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Nancy's Notes - September 29, 2016

“Girl in the afternoon: a Novel of Paris” by Serena Burdick, "Monticello” by Sally Cabot Gunning, “One Less Problem Without You” by Beth Harbison.

Serena Burdick, an author new to our library, has written “Girl in the afternoon: a Novel of Paris”. Born into a wealthy Parisian family at the center of Belle Epoque society, 18-year-old Aimée Savaray dreams of becoming a respected painter in the male-dominated art world. She also dreams of being loved by Henri, the boy her parents took in as a child and raised alongside her. When Henri inexplicably disappears, in the midst of the Franco-Prussian war, the Savarays’ privileged lives begin to unravel. Heartbroken, Aimée tries to find him, but Henri doesn’t want to be found and only one member of the family knows why.
        If you like historical fiction, especially if you’ve been interested in Thomas Jefferson’s life, you might enjoy, “Monticello”. It explores the shaky relationship between Thomas Jefferson,a complex father, and his devoted daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph. After the death of her mother, Martha Jefferson spent five years abroad with her father on his first diplomatic mission to France. Now, at seventeen, Jefferson’s eldest daughter is returning to the family’s beloved Virginia plantation, Monticello. While the large estate is the same as she remembers, Martha has changed. The young girl that sailed to Europe is now a woman with a heart heavy by a first love gone wrong. The world around her has also become far more complicated than it once seemed. The father she idolized since childhood has begun to pull away. Moving back into political life, he has become distracted by the fight for power and troubling new attachments. The home she adores depends on slavery, a practice Martha abhors. But Monticello is burdened by debt, and it cannot survive without the labor of her family’s slaves.
        Three women suddenly find themselves together at their own very different crossroads in “One Less Problem Without You”. Prinny is the owner of Cosmos, a shop that sells crystals, potions, candles, and hope. Prinny is in love with her married lawyer and she’ll need nothing short of magic to forget about him. Chelsea works as a living statue at tourist sites around Washington, DC. It's a thankless job, but it helps pay the rent. That, and her part-time job at Cosmos. As her dream of becoming a successful actress starts to seem more remote and the possibility of being a permanently struggling one seems more realistic, Chelsea begins to wonder: at what point do you give up on your dreams? Diana Tiesman is married to Leif, a charismatic man who isn’t faithful. But no matter how many times he lets her down, Diana just can't let him go. She knows the only way she can truly breakaway is if she leaves and goes where he will never think to follow. So she ends up at Cosmos with Leif’s stepsister, where she makes her homemade teas as she figures out whether she'd rather be lonely alone than lonely in love.
        Stop in and check these or any other great books: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.