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Vanessa Riley’s ‘Island Queen’ Is the Powerful, Fictional Retelling of the Life of Dorothy Thomas
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 14th, 2022 2:27 am

There are queens born and there are queens made. In Island Queen, Vanessa Riley tells the story of a real-life, self-made queen of the highest order: Dorothy Kirwan Thomas. Born into slavery, the daughter of a slave and a plantation owner, Dorothy was barely five years old when she was first introduced to the darker side of life, as the British fought the French on the island of Monserrat for power, as friends died wounded right on the floor of her and her mother’s hut, as bombs exploded in the...

‘Wildflower Season’ Sets the Stage for Michelle Major’s Spin-Off of Her ‘Magnolia Sisters’ Series
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 14th, 2022 2:15 am

In Michelle Major’s Wildflower Season, a spin-off of her Magnolia Sisters series, Emma Cantrell lands in Magnolia, North Carolina hoping for a fresh start after a nasty divorce and hoping to cut the strings attached to her overbearing mother. She buys an old mansion that’s seen better days, now dealing with damage from the storm that recently ravaged Magnolia. Her vision is to open an inn; however, financially cut off by her mother and having lost all her money in the divorce, Emma is hoping for...

Melissa Broder Explores the Forbidden Joy of Indulgence in Her Latest Novel, ‘Milk Fed’
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 14th, 2022 2:33 am

When we first meet Rachel in Melissa Broder’s Milk Fed, she’s counting calories with fussy meticulosity. She follows a strict food regimen to maintain what she considers her perfect weight and perfect look. If she goes over her allotted calorie count, she’ll have to run extra hard on the elliptical machine or limit herself to a couple of power bars for lunch and maybe a piece of nicotine gum for dessert. Rachel can’t help it, though. She’s the product of her overbearing mother’s conditioning, a...