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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Compare and Contrast
Remember back in high school when we had to write those dreadful book reports? Groans all around in remembrance! But, in retrospect, to me they were back then excellent training for my task of reviewing books today. Especially the ones where we had to “compare and contrast” two characters in a novel; significant parallel plot events; even, as in this case, comparing and contrasting two different books I recently reviewed. Both of which, I must state, I thoroughly enjoyed reading. No penny dreadfuls here.

There is at first sight nothing similar between Jonathan Odell’s Miss hazel and the Rosa Parks League (a new, rewritten rendering of his earlier The View from Delphi) and A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor who last year brought us the blockbuster novel, The Girl Who Came Home.

At second sight, though…

Hazel’s name is in the title of Jonathan’s book! Both titles contain the name of a flower. Both are set in the 1900s. Both stories deal with freedom and class prejudice in significant historical eras: one is set in the deep South during the Civil Rights Movement; the other in London at the turn of the last century. One is about the plight of flower sellers; the other the plight of black domestics.

Both are written by very talent writers who each deal in his/her own way with what it means to love, to be a family, a friend, and, most importantly, with the  value of sisterhood – in all of its defining, often disparate forms and characteristics. Both, of course, are great reads and are best-seller list bound.

And these are just the obvious similarities…

My complete reviews of them* are posted on www.authorexposure.com.

Now, your assignment is to read my comments, buy a copy of each novel, and do a little leisurely “comparing and contrasting” on your own. Once again, written book reports are not necessary. But your reading enjoyment factor will be graded.

* Incidentally, A Memory of Violets marks a major milestone for me: It’s the 100th book I’ve read and reviewed since I started this labor of love less than four years ago…Here’s to 100 +more!

4:21 pm est          Comments

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June J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is an author, poet, and librettist. Her currently published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations, two volumes of poetry, stories for children (of all ages) and a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:
Miss Elmira's Secret Treasure: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
Colonial Theatre: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Roarin' 20s 
Phoenix Hose, Hook & Ladder: A Novel of Phoenixville during World War I
Columbia Hotel: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World War II
Rainbow in the Sky
Meditations for New Members

Adventures of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Spinach Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A Collection of More Spiritual Poems

We Three Kings

Beauty and the Beast


Noah's Rainbow

Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding Hood



Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She is currently working on her sixth novel.

June's novels can be purchased at amazon.com, through Barnes and Noble,
at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area,
the Gateway Pharmacy in Phoenixvile, PA

For more information about her musicals, which are also available on amazon.com,