Category: Superstitions & Old World Beliefs

Blog Book Tour | “Alchemy’s Daughter” by Mary A. Osborne

Posted Thursday, 30 July, 2015 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Alchemy’s Daughter” hosted by Italy Book Tours. Although I recently started to host for iRead Book Tours, this is my first tour with the Italian side of this duo book touring company! I received a complimentary copy of “Alchemy’s Daughter” direct from the publisher Lake Street Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Switching from France to Italy:

When I was first approached to host for iRead Book Tours, and their sister hosting services via Italy Book Tours, something inside me was quite keen on the idea to start reading stories set in Italy as I have been spending nearly two full years residing in the historical past of France! I love learning about different cultural traditions inasmuch as I like the angling of insight into my own heritage but sometimes I find that if I switch up the locales a bit, exchange one country for another, it keeps everything quite fresh and invigorating! Therefore, imagine my sweet surprise in finding I can start to tuck inside novels set in Italy and continue to time travel through history!?

I was quite happy to discover inside my ARC copy of this YA Historical a lovely bookmark from the publisher! Quite a keen surprise to discover and I can assure you it was used as I read the book! I love finding bookmarks in the pages of a book I am reviewing; as I am definitely a book blogger who can NEVER have too many! Laughs with mirth. Perhaps you feel the same!? Does your bookshelf have a lot of current reads and must-get-those-soon reads begging for your attention? Do you pick out bookmarks to compliment your reading queue whilst finding each book to be read has a bookmark, which leaves you a bit curious to find one to use with the current book in hand? Thus, you can see how lovely it was indeed for me to pull out a bookmark from a book I was reading as I blog my review! Quite champion of Lake Street Press!

Blog Book Tour | “Alchemy’s Daughter” by Mary A. OsborneAlchemy's Daughter
by Mary A. Osborne
Source: Publisher via Italy Book Tours

In medieval San Gimignano, Italy, daughters of merchants are expected to marry. But Santina Pietra cares only for Calandrino, a brilliant young scholar who is preoccupied with his ancient alchemical texts.

Soon Santina meets Trotula, the village midwife, who might or might not be a "strega," a witch. Trotula challenges her to forget Calandrino and become the woman she is meant to be. Some say she is a victim of the midwife’s spell, but Santina is determined to follow in Trotula’s footsteps even as calamities strike.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Midwife | Midwifery, Young Adult Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Studies


Published by Lake Street Press

on 14th May, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 288

Published By: Lake Street Press (@LakeStreetPress),
Available Formats: Trade Paperback only

NOTE: Alchemy’s Daughter is the PREQUEL to Nonna’s Book of Mysteries

Read more about the 1st Novel in the series

I opted to read the PREQUEL ahead of the first novel!

About Mary A. Osborne

Mary A. Osborne

Mary A. Osborne is the multiple award-winning author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries. A graduate of Rush University and Knox College, where she was mentored in the Creative Writing Program, Ms. Osborne is a registered nurse and holds degrees in chemistry and nursing.

Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as Hektoen International, Newcity, and the Examiner.com. Ms. Osborne lives in Chicago.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 30 July, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 14th Century, Ancient Egypt, Apothecary, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Catholicism, Christianity, Coming-Of Age, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, History, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Italy, Italy Book Tours, Late Middle Ages (1300-1500), Life Shift, Literature of Italy, Medical Fiction, Midwife | Midwifery, Midwives & Childbirth, Naturopathic Medicine, Passionate Researcher, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Philosophy, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Religious History, Single Fathers, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, the Renaissance (14th-17th Centuries), Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions, Young Adult Fiction

List | Psychological Suspense and/or Cosy Horror films selected to watch during Horror October {#OTBHorrorOctober}

Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by jorielov 0 Comments

Horror October 2014
Psychological Suspense and/or Cosy Horror films selected to watch during Horror October:

This is a selective list of what I may or may not watch & thus will be edited:

The Canterville Ghost (?) starring Patrick Stewart & Neve Campbell

The Woman in Black (?) starring Daniel Radcliffe

Dracula (?)

Ghost Town (2008) starring Grey Kinnear & Tea Leoni

The Ghost & Mrs. Muir

I am not quite certain how many of the films running during the fortnight on Turner Classic I will have the opportunity to watch, but the first one that aired on Tuesday was a Topper film, and as I grew up learning about the Topper tv series by way of my parent’s fond recollections, I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to jump straight into one of the film versions of the story itself. I considered it, but ultimately I decided to wait until I can watch the tv series and then gather the films in succession from that moment forward. The rest of the films are all of the selections TCM is airing between now and Halloween — therefore, if this list aides any participants in knowing which film is airing at which time of day and when, I am thankful I decided to post it! :)

Likewise, I am going to be tuning in and coming back to this post to journal my thoughts underneath each selection I am able to view! I want to keep a running total of the films I am watching throughout the fortnight and therefore, I started by mentioning the one I had seen before I even had the chance to get my posts onto my blog! I must admit, I never thought I’d come to love a ‘campy’ film, but the one I saw this week took me by surprise and gave me a good hour of a laugh! And, in the end, isn’t that just as important as becoming terrified!?

Schedule on Turner Classic Movies:

Thursday, 16th October:

The Ghost Breakers (1940) @ 8p

I positively loved this film! And, it had Bob Hope in the leading role alongside my very first “Zombie”!! I am not a Zombie girl at all when it comes to films or novels, but in this one particular case, I did not even know there was a Zombie in the film until I was already seated and enjoying the music, the old rambling house, and the mystery of how they projected the ghost rising and lowering himself into the ‘makeshift’ casket in the hallway! I loved the texture of the house itself, as much as the haunting ethereal elements of the setting! The fact that the house was as haunted as the cast feared themselves to being made it especially special! I would adore to see this film from the beginning rather than accidentally discovering it was on air towards the end! Hence my favourite part is when Bob Hope’s wife in the film came down the staircase in an elegant black dress and frightened the Zombie!

The Old Dark House (1963) @  9:30p

This is the ‘campy’ film I saw that simply had me smiling into smirks left, right, and otherwise! I never truly understood the idea behind a ‘campy film’, but cheekily this had all the benefit of “Clue” without the sync of plot! I loved Peter Bull the most; he played twins Jasper & Casper, and for me he completely stole the role of the hour! The most incredible part of this film is how the whole presence is how one family has to stay within the walls of a house in order to inherit the inheritance! I had memories of seeing “So, I Married an Axe Murderer” coming back to mind for the comic moments as much as pieces of “Clue” interweaving throughout the plot! The whole idea is absolutely rubbish, and I think it would have lost the ‘campy’ feel if they had made the Femm family GHOSTS! Now that would have been a more uniquely driven plot! Still,… it was an hour or so I can honestly say I thought of nothing but the absurd notion that there was someone killing off the family one person at a time!

Wednesday, 22nd October:

Topper Takes a Trip (1939) @ 4:45p *decided to ILL from my library

Thursday, 23rd October:

The Uninvited (1944) @ 10p

I loved this film!

The Woman in White (1948) @ midnight

Night of Dark Shadows (1971) @ 2a

Saturday, 25th October:

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1982) @ 2p

The Haunting (1963) @ 8p

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) @ 11:30p

Sunday, 26th October:

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941) @ 8p

Gaslight (1944) @ 4:15a

Tuesday, 28th October:

House of Dark Shadows (1970) @ 1p

Horror of Dracula (1958) @ 3p

Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965) @ 4:30p

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1969) @6:15p

Dead of Night (1945) @ 8p

Twice-Told Tales (1963) @ 10p

Thursday, 30th of October:

House on Haunted Hill (1958) @ 8p

The Legend of Hell House (1973) @ 9:30p

13 Ghosts (1960) @ 11:15p

The Haunting (1963) @ 1a

Reader Interactive Question:

Which films are you hoping to watch between now & Halloween!? Do you have seasonal favourites you like to curl up by the tv and watch annually!? Are there light-hearted comedies intermixed with psychological suspense!? Family or animated movies? Modern vs Classic!? Have you seen any of the films listed on this page that you would recommend that I NOT miss if I can ‘catch’ it on TCM? Do we share a film in common!? Share your thoughts!

{SOURCES: Horror October banner provided by Oh! The Books for participants to promote the event on their book blogs; used with permission. #OTBHorrorOctober badge for Jorie created by Jorie in Canva. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Monday, 20 October, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Horror, Horror-Lite, Mummification Practices, Parapsychological Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs

List | Top Favourite Classic Horror Films {#OTBHorrorOctober}

Posted Sunday, 19 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Horror October 2014

List | Top Favourite Classic Horror Films

Selection One:

Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde (1941) Original Film Trailer starring Spencer Tracy via TCM

The uncanny part of watching Tracy in this role is how well he absorbed himself into the role itself and conveyed such a primal transformation as to capture the pure horror and terror of being ‘other’ than himself within those seconds of where Hyde took over his life. I can still remember being glued to my seat whilst transfixed on his emotional conveyance of the character! Tracy had this uncanny ability to delve so deeply into his role as to bring out the raw connective tissues that stitched his essence into the heartbeat of Jekyll & Hyde; he was so tied into this role, the most chilling aspect for me was reminding myself *he!* was Spencer Tracy! The atmospheric intensity of the set decoration, the period costumes, and the elemental eerie effects of how they produced this particular version of the story solidified this as one of my favourite Tracy pictures! I also realised whilst watching this film how much I appreciate psychological suspense bordering on the horrific — as this short clip from Turner Classic demonstrates, there is quite a unique transmorphication to the Jekyll & Hyde story itself.

I can only watch this every so many Halloween’s due to the performance of Tracy and due to the intensity of how Jekyll & Hyde fit into the era in whence they lived. My goal is to read the novel and then watch the film; I had given the thought to doing this for the 2014 Horror October event but methinks it would be wiser to schedule that for 2015!

Adding to the joy for me was the inclusion of Ingrid Bergman, of whom, I had originally discovered in the film Intermezzo and lateron in Notorious & Gaslight. Her performances are golden as they are innocently natural with a gentleness of intelligence. I love watching her perform, she gave it a certain type of artistry that is also reflective and reminiscent of Spencer Tracy. For me, they were two equals who shared the screen and gave performances that never leave you!

Selection Two: 

The Haunting (1963) Original Film Trailer starring via TCM

I found this film quite by accident, as I had taken a fancy to watching Turner Classic on *Halloween!* for a few years as I wanted to expand my viewings of classic films set against the backdrop of the holiday itself! I knew this would involve Classic Horror, Film Noir, Psychological Suspense, & Gothic Lit entries, but that was part of the appeal for me! What I hadn’t expected is to become so fully entertained on Classic Horror films! With each startling discovery whilst I watched one film after another per each Halloween I had tuned in, I was fascinated by everything the film-makers had used to create the appeal of creating a suspenseful night of fright! In this one, *everything!* is simply perceived and unseen – the mind of the characters in the film have convinced themselves of what they fear the most, thus giving the plot the deadliest thread of narrative! I enjoyed watching each of their technique of how they brought their characters to life and even though there is a death in the story; it is how the death occurs & why it occurs that left me full of museful thoughts on the haunted and the hauntings themselves.

Selection Three: 

Mystery at the Wax Museum (1933):

I still remember being a bit creeped out about the entire premise surrounding the Wax Museum plot, but what drew me into the film itself was the original spin on it! I have this film on dvd and thus, it is one of the only Horror films I actually own! I have a small collection of Halloween & Classic Horror films on dvd, but this most definitely one of my favourites! The very nature of how the museum is curated with new ‘pieces of art’ is enough to make your hand stand on end and your stomach to flip into somersaults! There are some key comical moments, but not due to the vein of action or dialogue but due to the nature of how they filmed certain sequences — especially when they are say transporting a body? I caught myself in a near-fit of giggles, because the time of when this film was produced, they made a few gaffes as far as how they sorted out a few of the filming locations & scenes! Needless, it did not take long to feel the full breath of danger, horror, and intrigue! I nearly closed my eyes — I wasn’t sure how this one was going to end, and even though I braced myself for the worst, I admit it — I was a bit of a chicken! If Mum wasn’t watching this with me for the first time, I seriously doubt I would know the ENDING at all! Laughs. No, seriously,… I’d be in the dark! Yet. Yes. It is still a bonefide favourite!

Selection Four:

Gaslight (1944) Re-Issue Film Trailer starring Ingrid Bergman via TCM:

I hadn’t realised that Angela Lansbury had her start in motion pictures within this particular film, as I was keen on watching it after a dear friend of mine in California mentioned to me by letter how much I’d fall over the moon in LOVE with this film! She not only was quite right in that pre-assessment of my reaction, but it has become a beloved movie for me to watch around Halloween! I love everything about this film, most especially watching Ingrid Bergman’s character descend into madness & emerge out of the darkness of that plight into a stronger, braver, and very sane woman whose heart led her astray but her fortitude of strength gave her the courage to survive! I loved the details of this film, as it isn’t something you can understand completely the first time you see it; my second viewing was a full year after I had seen it originally, and I was still picking up subtle clues and little bits of foreshadowing strokes of genius! Not too many, mind you, this is a very tightly writ screenplay!

Hearing Lansbury’s cockney voice throughout the film was a pure delight for me, as I’ve been fascinated by how the words & rhymes sound out loud! You can tell even within this film the dexterity of performance Lansbury would use throughout her career! She was so young, yet held such a pose of presence as to belie her age! She would endear me years (decades, really!) lateron in her career with Murder, She Wrote as I grew up watching her sleuth her way through Cabot Cove! To go backwards in time, seeing the roots of her filmography knit together has been an absolute joy!

Selection Five:

Rear Window (1954) Re-Issue Film Trailer starring James Stewart via TCM

I wanted to focus on bonefide Horror films before shifting into straight-up Psychological Suspense films but in many ways I think the two merged together irregardless of my intentions! Hitch has been in my life for as long as I can remember, as there was something innately wicked about his films – he had this intricate way of telling a story through camera, performance, atmosphere, and that line between what is real and what is imagined real; he bridged the art of film-making with the art of story-telling with precision! Rear Window never fails to keep me on the edge of my seat, even though out of all his films, I have seen this repeatedly throughout my life! I cannot remember how old I was when I first watched an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but I believe I was at least in middle school at the time!?

James Stewart had already captured my heart from It’s A Wonderful Life (my joy of seeing a Capra film is intense!) yet in Hitchcock’s films, Stewart steps out of the warm & cosy settings of the family stories providing such a convicting performance as to make me wonder each & everytime I see this particular film if he will come out alright in the end! I kid you not, I’m always curious, will they solve this in time? Will there be enough evidence?! And, of course, I had to sort of resolve the fact the villain is Raymond Burr (my beloved Perry Mason!) of whom I wish was NOT cast in this role! Talk about giving you shivers! I never like seeing actors I appreciate in strong lead roles go ‘over to the dark side of the screen’ and this is one moment where I truly wished another actor could have played the part! I love the rest of the supporting cast, especially Thelma Ritter as Stella!

Selection Six:

Vertigo (1958) Movie Clip from the Opening Credits via TCM:

Out of all the films I could have picked as my second favourite Hitchcock, I went with Vertigo over The Lady Vanishes (1938) for the simple reason that I am never quite certain if I have sorted out the plot and by the time I realise that I know *exactly!* which way is up in this film, I find myself completely captured by the suspense of not knowing all over again! I love how I continue to watch this film in enough intervals of time as to forget half of it — which is unique considering I have a solid memory for films & books, but in this particular case, I nearly try to forget the pieces of the puzzle, because I want that ‘first  look’ experience where I was wholly captured by the gravity of truth as equally as Stewart’s character was himself! Not to mention the fact, I found it incredible how Kim Novak played her role as both Madeleine & Judy!

Selection Seven:

Cape Fear (1991)

I can honestly say after I saw this film, I purged it out of my memory, it was THAT terrifying! To this day, I cannot and will not watch it for a second time! Yet, the main reason I am placing it on this list is simply because it captured what I felt the genre of Horror Films would always contain; hence the reason I made the choice to stay within the fringes of horror rather than to crossover completely into it full throttle. To say this is a favourite of mine is not as accurate as saying it was one of the most mind-numbing films I ever survived watching! I cannot deny that whilst I watched the film, it not only held my nerves in suspense but it quite literally nearly choked me into a fit of nightmares! Oy vie!

This feature post is part of my participation in:

#OTBHorrorOctober badge created by Jorie in Canva

Reader Interactive Question:

Your turn! :) What are your Top Favourite Horror Films & why!? Do you lean towards psychological suspense, thriller, & the more atmospheric side of the Horror Film genre like me? OR are you a bonefide Horror lass or bloke, who is only entertained by the harder hitting films full-on with gore & violence? List the films that captured you & the film-makers and/or studios that hold your attention the most! All answers are acceptable – even if your interests do not run parallel to mine! Speak openly! :)

{SOURCES: Horror October banner provided by Oh! The Books for participants to promote the event on their book blogs; used with permission. #OTBHorrorOctober badge for Jorie created by Jorie in Canva. Film Trailers &/or Film Clips for Classic Movies embedded due to codes provided by Turner Classic Movies. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Sunday, 19 October, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, Bookish Films, Classic Motion Pictures, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Horror, Horror-Lite, Motion Picture Inter-related to Bookish Topic, Psychological Suspense, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, TV Serials & Motion Pictures

+Blog Book Tour+ The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman

Posted Wednesday, 24 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman

Published By: Ecco (@eccobooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Official Author Websites: Site@sbfeldman  | Facebook
Available FormatsHardcover, Ebook

Converse via: #TheAngelOfLosses

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Angel of Losses” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher Ecco, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I am always seeking stories which will challenge my mind and take me somewhere completely outside of where I have travelled before in literature. I had a sense that this was a story that I would devour — a story which would alight inside the vast plane of my imagination and give me something hearty to chew on afterwards. It was a premonition of a reaction long before the ARC ever arrived by Post. Do you ever find yourself stumbling across an author or a novel that you simply ‘know’ will leave an etched impression on your mind?! This is what I felt when I read the premise of Feldman’s novel and as I read the final words cast on the final page of the last chapter, I knew my premonition was true.

A notation on the cover art design:

The cover art for The Angel of Losses is a mosaic of the visual representations and clues of where the story leads you to follow it’s epic conclusion and of whom you need to pay particular attention to as the story evolves. Pictorial stimulating clues that you will only recognise as you alight on the pages in which give you the insight to understand the circle of their presence. The story is nearly a riddle when all is said and told – a riddle of a theory and a puzzle of an ancient truth aligning forward out of history.

+Blog Book Tour+ The Angel of Losses by Stephanie FeldmanThe Angel of Losses
by Stephanie Feldman
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.

When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To find the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York Stephanie FeldmanCity and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.

Author Biography: Stephanie Feldman is a graduate of Barnard College. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and her daughter.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Magical Realism


Published by Ecco

on 29th July, 2014

Pages: 288

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Elements of Folklore, Mythology, & the Craft of Stories within a Story:

One of the most beautiful additions to a story I am reading is the otherworld presence of either folklore, mythology, or the craft of how stories are told as they are passed down from one generation to another; oft-times referred to by myself as ‘living  histories’ as they truly are ‘the living history’ of a particular family. Inside Feldman’s novel, you gather a proper sense of time, place, and the stability of connection between the sisters and their grandfather was unified through the genesis of his art for story-telling. Their connective bond was untethered as they grew apart as they aged, but what I loved is seeing how the grandfather’s stories took such a central focus and method of shifting the story forward as I read deeper into the novel itself. To the level that his handwritten stories and prose scribbled into his notebooks were shared with the reader from one chapter into another. It felt very natural to go from an ordinary day out of Marjorie’s life, straight into a piece of this story she only had a peripheral knowledge of before finding one of her beloved grandfather’s notebooks.

My Review of The Angel of Losses:

Such a haunting and riveting opening of a Prologue for The Angel of Losses as we are caught inside of a memory of two sisters who are transfixed and spellbound by their grandfather’s tale of a land far away where a magician knows part of the truth of a missing son of a King. What implored me forward from there is this sense of foreboding, where did the tale leave off from the lore of the bedtime story and where did reality step forward out of the tale? I love feeling an undercurrent of suspense when I read a novel, and as this is my second Magical Realism with an under thread connection to Judaism (as the first was The Golem and the Jinni) I was mesmerized! Entering the story out of the Prologue, time has shifted forward for both sisters, as Holly (the one who was horridly afraid of her Grandfather’s story) switched religions and lived an orthodox life whereas her sister had grown into a bittersweet version of her younger self soured on how the loss of her sister has affected her heart. Her sister is still living, mind you, but the version of Holly as an adult is a far cry from the sister Marjorie knew as a child. The two are living worlds apart rather than mere blocks or cities separated by streets and the swirl of modern life between them.

I loved seeing the larger sense of their familial bond being tested by how one half of their connection is being shattered by the inability to have compassion outside of religious grounds. In this instance, I am referring to Holly’s husband is not accustomed to a non-Jewish family nor does he condone non-religious texts inside his home. A home that was inherited to Marjorie but on loan to Holly; the mere fact that Marjorie has to refer to Holly as Chava is another wrinkling thread of Marjorie’s disfavour of Holly’s choice in husband. You gather the sense at this point in the story where Marjorie is attempting to lock a hold of her past into her present, that the sister’s disconnection was already occurring long before Holly made her choice in marriage. There is an absence of words and an absence of sisterly compassion between both of them, and it points to a larger issue at hand that is slowly unfolding in the narrative itself. I like being caught up inside of a family drama, watching everything unravell as the story unfolds on its own timeclock.

Feldman has a gift for narrative voice stemming out of a wordsmith’s spirited soul for visceral imagery – she innately has gifted us with a special treat of a story, giving us a full-on adventure as we hug to the coattails of Marjorie as she pieces together the legacy and the history of a fabled Magician and the true meaning behind where the lore was always meant to take a believer; the latter of which she never felt she could ascertain on her own behalf. It is a true quandary of a problem – how to root out the history of a theory she has nibbling inside her own mind which other scholars were equally mystified about themselves? Her journey towards understanding edges her further into the mythes and pathos of ancient ruminations.

There are moments whilst I am reading I have gathered a proper sense on how each novel I consume is a building block for another yet to be known novel I will pick up in the future. As if I were stitching a tapestry woven exclusively with the threads and stitches of knowledge itself and of wisdom flowing out of the stories by which have enchanted my mind and enraptured my heart. Each story which slips into my mind’s eye has allowed me to grow, to transcend where I was before I read the story and to appreciate a bit more than I had already before the characters had lived their lives as a shadowy presence inside my own spirit. As I went deeper inside this story, I noticed little nuances of memory flittering through my internal memory files; automatically opening, closing, and filtering as I read Feldman’s prose. I had not realised I had amassed enough knowledge of the religious past to propel myself forward through this story at such an alarming clip of a pace! I cannot wait to re-read this novel when time is not extinguishing off the clock whilst a deadline was passed and overdue.

The researcher in me was happily appreciating the sections devouted to Marjorie’s attempt to research her thesis as much as research further into the legacy of her grandfather’s story. As she was always on the brink of realising that the story itself was much more than it first appeared to be. Being hunkered inside a library, piles of books atop of a table, and pages littered with bookmarks, post-it notes, and notebooks clotted full of scribbled ‘spur of the moment’ notes is what makes my own writerly heart go aflutter! Research is in part how I fell in love with writing, and it is research of another writer I treasure whilst I am reading their own stories cast out into the world for us to find. There is an electricity of excitement reading The Angel of Losses,…

At some point I started to read on autopilot, willing myself past sleep and choking myself a bit on exhaustion, but I simply needed to know how this story, this novel was going to end. I was a bit worried it might end on a cliffhanger, as I never take too kindly to ambiguous endings of stories; especially without the foreknowledge of a pending sequel. Two hours blinked off the clock and I’m at a loss for words — I’m so absorbed into this story, I feel as though I am the one pursuing the research to understand what is just outside of my own memory. This story is not like any other I’ve read and I will never quite forget it either. It is meant to be absorbed and illuminated inside the reader’s mind without revealing everything to the next reader who comes across it. For each of us has to read it ourselves and satisfy our own curiosity,… especially if we’re a seeker of stories and understand the greater meaning of what stories can give us all.

Stephanie Feldman gives her readers a window into a portal of time:

We are stepping through a veil slit into a portal of time made available through an opened window which is the novel inside your hands as your reading The Angel of Losses. Two stories came to mind as I started to read this fantastical journey: The Golem and the Jinni (novel) and The Neverending Story (film) as they are akin to how it feels to step through this world Feldman has provided us to discover. She gave us the same vehicle Bastian had in The Neverending Story, to become one within the story as it unfolded and to live as one with the character as she found where she was going herself. I loved this aspect of the novel because all of reality around me dissolved as I was wholly consumed by the voice of the evoking narrator and the clarity of Feldman’s vision for this unique novel which bent genre and illuminated the world half out of mystic history and half out of the truism of where faith can take anyone if only they were to believe in what is not yet seen.

On the footheels of consuming The Ghost BrideI felt honoured to have had the chance to read Feldman’s tome of esoteric concentration of mystic Judaism cross-sected with religious ancient truths. The suspension of reality and the generous backstories of where the mytho origins of the story can be traced was a treasurement to fall in front of my eyes. I devourted this novel as readily as if I were astride a thunderbolt – even knowing I was outside my intended deadline (as the moon had long since waned and the midnight hours had tilted into a crescendo) I could not yield to sleep. I had to consume the text as quickly as I could process the words on the pages themselves, as my mind was lit aflame by the creativity and the ingenuity of how the historical arc was interlaced into the present of the character’s lives.

Fly in the Ointment:

I counted the words this time and there were less than a dozen splintered out across the whole of the novel. I wasn’t happy to find them; this is an intellectually stimulating piece of literary fiction and they felt misplaced amongst the rhetoric. I am not even sure why they were included in such a brilliant spec of literary voice. They degraded the quality in my eyes, as not only could this stomach their expulsion it was necessary to keep in tact the gift Feldman had writ.

A small explanation on my tardiness:
I had lost hours whilst being needed at the hospital in visitation of my neighbour (as previously disclosed here & here) as much as I was out of the house on another appointment that could not be detained. I attempted to revive the lost hours and run into my deadline without passing through it — but alas, I am quite human and not as immortal as the character inside this novel. Time can be bent but time cannot be recaptured once lost. I apologise for the delayed response, but my tweeting at least was a small clue at my enjoyment whilst I read. I am attempting to make the rest of my scheduled book reviews & tour stops to be alight earlier in the day / evenings from here on out; barring any further unexpected life emergencies, crises, or unplanned events such as lightning storms. 

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This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

TLC Book Tours | Tour Host

click-through to follow the blogosphere tour.

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Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

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I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, and although I had happily made sure that I could reacquire the WP Comments where you can leave me a comment by using: WP (WordPress), Twitter, Facebook, Google+, & Email a java glitch disrupted my plans to have these activated! Therefore, I had to re-instate CommentLuv, which only requires Email to leave a note for me!

Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

Reader Interactive Question:

Have you ever alighted inside of a novel that you unexpectedly were swallowed up inside? Taken root inside the shoes of the character, where their life was full of emotional upheaval and partially an exploration of how to create a life shift that will alleviate their disillusion with where their life was heading; to find a different way of living and carve out their own little peace of happiness? Did you ever read a novel that surprised you?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Angel of Losses”, author photograph, book synopsis and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “The Angel of Losses”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

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Posted Wednesday, 24 September, 2014 by jorielov in Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Angels, Biblical Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Browse, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Mystery, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired By Author OR Book, Judaism in Fiction, Judiasm, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Literary Fiction, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Magical Realism, Modern Day, New York City, Psychological Suspense, Reincarnation, Religious History, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, TLC Book Tours, Unexpected Inheritance, Vulgarity in Literature, World Religions