Book Review: The Secret Life of Mrs. London

The Secret Life of Mrs. LondonAbout the book:

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

My thoughts:

Jack London is known for being a prolific writer. He is well known today for his two novels, White Fang and The Call of the Wild but who is the man behind the stories? What was his personal life like and who were the people in his life that supported his work? When I spotted this book at NetGalley I crossed my fingers and hoped I would get a review copy and sure enough, I did. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be accepted to review this book. I absolutely love it when modern writers write about other writers about their commercial successes-if you will. After reading The Secret Life of Mrs. London, I started to research him further and what I found made such a bigger impression on this story. Jack London lived quite a life to say the least…

This story is told in Mrs. London’s-Jack’s second wife-point of few and it was extraordinary! I was captivated right from the start to finish, I didn’t want the story to end to be honest. I was quite envious of the authors beautiful flow of story-telling, she weaved the story so in tuned with that era and captured so eloquently what life must have been like for Mrs. Jack London. She was an intriguing woman and contributed to Jack’s work in a big way. When reading this story, you realize that without her in Jack’s life, you question if he would have been the writer he is known for.

I would also like to add that I enjoyed the passages from London’s books at the beginning of each chapter. The only problem I had with this story is that it ended.

Wonderfully drawn characters, beautiful prose, larger than life story-telling and a story I will hold close to my heart for a long time to come. I highly recommend this book to all and hope to see more stories like this from this author. I am a big fan!

Five-star rating!

I obtained a copy from the publishers through NetGalley for an honest review.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

 

Advertisements

What’s New On Layered Pages Bookshelf-Galley Reviews

The Secret Life of Mrs. LondonThe Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

Lake Union Publishing

Pub Date 30 Jan 2018

Description

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

The Dead HouseThe Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan

Skyhorse Publishing

Arcade Publishing

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 01 May 2018

Description

Sometimes the past endures—and sometimes it never lets go.

This best-selling debut by an award-winning writer is both an eerie contemporary ghost story and a dread-inducing psychological thriller. Maggie is a successful young artist who has had bad luck with men. Her last put her in the hospital and, after she’s healed physically, left her needing to get out of London to heal mentally and find a place of quiet that will restore her creative spirit. On the rugged west coast of Ireland, perched on a wild cliff side, she spies the shell of a cottage that dates back to Great Famine and decides to buy it. When work on the house is done, she invites her dealer to come for the weekend to celebrate along with a couple of women friends, one of whom will become his wife. On the boozy last night, the other friend pulls out an Ouija board. What sinister thing they summon, once invited, will never go.

Ireland is a country haunted by its past. In Billy O’Callaghan’s hands, its terrible beauty becomes a force of inescapable horror that reaches far back in time, before the Famine, before Christianity, to a pagan place where nature and superstition are bound in an endless knot.

Mind of a KillerMind of a Killer by Beaufort, Simon

A Victorian mystery

Severn House

Pub Date 01 Apr 2018

Description

Newspaper reporter Alec Lonsdale discovers that a series of seemingly random murders may be connected in this absorbing historical mystery.

London, 1882. Alec Lonsdale, a young reporter on the Pall Mall Gazette, is working on a story about a fatal house fire. But the post-mortem on the victim produces shocking results: Patrick Donovan’s death was no accident. But why would someone murder a humble shop assistant and steal part of his brain?

When a second body is discovered, its throat cut, and then a third, Lonsdale and his spirited female colleague, Hulda Friederichs, begin to uncover evidence of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest echelons of Victorian society.