Thursday, February 20, 2014

Staff Review: Unmentionables by Laurie Loewenstein

Laurie Loewenstein has written a simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting insight into our world as it was a century ago. With scenes in small-town Illinois, war-torn France and gritty Chicago, you will experience both humor and hardship along with Loewenstein's flawed but lovable cast of characters.

The story reads as though in a contemporary setting. You'll find yourself immersed in long-standing feuds, cruel discrimination, military hospitals, and of course, love and adventure, almost without noticing the author's thorough research. She includes fascinating details of everything from clothing to printing presses to relationships and expectations. Your eyes will be opened to the obstacles and charm of the slower communication and transportation, and the (even more) judgmental neighbors, our ancestors lived with not so long ago.

Unmentionables includes a little something for everyone. You'll learn about the struggle for women's suffrage and early 20th-century politics and economics. The characters are diverse and complex, and you may find yourself missing a couple of them when you finish the book. If you're looking for a feel-good novel with a little extra education and drama, Unmentionables is perfect for you.

~Rachel, Technical Services

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