Tag Archives: elle newmark

The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark: The 15th century is drawing to a close, and Luciano finds his life as a thief on the streets of Venice abruptly ended by the chef to the Doge, who takes him in as his apprentice. Meantime, the city is all astir about a mysterious book, said to contain untold secrets, spells, and other dangerous information. As he struggles to determine just how much his master knows about this book, Luciano sneaks food to his streetrat friends, witnesses the political machinations of assorted factions, and attempts to court a nun. It’s actually a fairly decent piece of historical fiction, but I have a soft spot for both Venice and that particular time period, so I may be biased.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark

The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark: It’s 1947, and Evie’s marriage has been failing ever since her husband returned from World War II, shellshocked and haunted. He wins a grant to document the end of the British Raj in India, so he takes his wife and young son to live in the small village of Masoorla. Behind a loose brick in the kitchen, Evie discovers letters between two young women written in the 1850s. Intrigued and perhaps more than a little in need of distraction, she searches out more information about the correspondents and what happened to them. The interwoven tales at the beginning and end of the British Raj fascinated me, as did the candid descriptions of life in colonial India. I loved most of the characters, and while at times the story was just heartbreaking, I had trouble putting it down. I had to know what happened to Adela and Felicity, whether Evie would leave, if Martin would be killed in an uprising. The ending was perhaps a little too tidy, but it was very sweet and satisfying nonetheless. I closed the book with a smile on my face, glad to have read it. That’s really all I can ask for in a novel.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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