Book Review: The Chosen Maiden by Eva Stachniak

4 out of 5
Bronia Ninjinky’s contribution to modern ballet is overshadowed by her brother Vaslav but at least she kept her sanity. I’d prefer her productive life and resiliance over being a brilliant genius. She finally gives the accolades that are her due in this historical fiction.


Review: Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson

Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson
Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson by Betty Keller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This biography was an enjoyable read, even if it felt like a required read to me because of my ethnic heritage. It took a lot of boldness for a woman raised as a Victorian lady to leave home and become a stage performer. even if she isn’t as bold a trailblazer as some modern feminists would prefer. Her half-breed status limited her options for marriage yet freed her to pursue a literary career. Both as her “Mohawk Princess” gimmick and for the fact that she couldn’t be kept at home if there was no one willing to offer her an establishment. Her older sister had to find work outside the home to support herself, and Pauline’s means of support was more glamorous than others. I feel her contributions to Canadian literature get ignored by women’s studies because she was too busy making a living during her lifetime to be a campaigner of women’s rights.

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Review: Bleak House

Bleak House
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This work is best approached as a historical document rather than a light pleasure read. It’s a legal novel regarding a protracted court case involving an inheritance. A modern legal novel would have a clearcut villain not petty embezzlers and legal sharks extracting as much money as they can out of the estate or at the very least the greed of these people would’ve escalated to the point of murder. It’s an indictment on the inefficiencies of the English legal system of the time. We get exhaustive slices of life regarding the people affected by the case and the resolution, when a will is finally found, feels like one subplot among many when a modern legal novel would’ve made it the driving focus of the story. I

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