Author: Karen Abbott

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Latest Reads From Favorite Nonfiction Authors

August 31, 2020 Uncategorized 4 ★★

Latest Reads From Favorite Nonfiction AuthorsTitle: The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America
Author: Karen Abbott
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:two-stars

I have to admit that the first of these two books might have knocked the author off my list of favorites! Like¬†Six Days in August, this book had undistinguished prose, but it also lacked a compelling plot. It’s the story of a wildly successful bootlegger in the 1920s, who largely built his business by bribing people and exploiting bureaucratic loopholes. There was much less action than I expected. There also weren’t many characters or outcomes I was invested in. I didn’t empathize with any of the characters. The only suspenseful point felt contrived, as the author avoided revealing whether the bootlegger eventually shot his wife or she shot him. There were a few interesting parts to this story, especially a female prosecutor (unusual at the time), but I was frequently bored by this one. Read more »

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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

September 2, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 21 ★★★★★

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, SpyTitle: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Author: Karen Abbott
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Some of the most exciting narrative nonfiction I’ve read. All four stories are¬†brought vividly to life, with great detail and accuracy.

The four women in this book are very different but they also have a lot in common. Two of them were Confederates and two were loyal to the Union. They each had different motivations, from Belle Boyd’s pursuit of notoriety to Emma Edmonds’ desire to provide medical aid to soldiers on the battlefield. However, they all shared common attributes, including their bravery, their dedication to their work, and their ability to influence the outcome of the war.
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