Book Review: Bradstreet Gate

Bradstreet GateThe Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Bradstreet Gate is a Harvard Yard gate that commemorates the puritan poet Anne Bradstreet and the 25th anniversary of women living in the Yard.  It is also the site of the murder of Julie Patel, a young woman on the eve of her graduation from the illustrious Ivy League school and a subsequent memorial to the young woman.

Kirman’s novel begins ten years after the murder, when a young reporter, Nat Krauss, contacts Georgia Reese (née Calvin) regarding her recollection of events surrounding the murder.  It is through this beginning that Kirman takes us back to 1997 and Reese’s interrogation by police.  From there we are introduced to the other players in the drama: Charles Flournoy, a young man from a blue-collar family who worked hard to get to Harvard; Alice Kovac, a Serbian immigrant who despises her family; and Professor Rufus Storrow, Jr., who teaches a controversial course on ‘Law and the Colonial State.’

The novel moves quickly and is a fast-paced and easy read.  At 320 pages, it just plotted intricately enough to keep you engaged and waiting to see what happens next.  These are certainly assets enough to recommend Bradstreet Gate.  The ending though may leave you wanting and that is the drawback.

Book Details:  Published by Crown (July 7, 2015), 320 Pages, ISBN:  978-0804139311.

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Secret Societies and A Mystery Solved

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

A friend of mine has been extolling the virtues of Matthew Pearl for quite some time, she ia a true fan and was always encouraging me to read his books.  She just knew that I would enjoy them and she was right!

The Technologists is a thriller about the very first class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at a time when the idea of teaching science and technology was considered a danger to society.  A series of scientific disasters spreads throughout Boston, and a small group of students from the class of 1868 come together to uncover the source of the menace. They form their own Secret Society known as – you guessed it – The Technologists.  Included among the members of the Secret Society is Ellen Swallow, the very first female student at MIT who is hidden away from the public like a “dangerous animal.”   The fight to discover the cause of the disasters soon becomes a fight for the very life of MIT.

Matthew Pearl has made the seemingly uninteresting beginnings of one of the world’s premier educational institutions into a thriller worth reading.  His incorporation of MIT’s William Barton Rogers and other historical figures makes the science and technology aspect of the novel interesting rather than a drag, which I must admit I feared!  If you like historical fiction, this is a must read.  If you haven’t read Matthew Pearl, but like Caleb Carr and Stephanie Pintoff, pick up a copy of The Technologists soon.

I received an Advanced Reader’s Edition of this book free from Random House. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Book Details:  Published by Random House (February 21, 2012), 496 pages, ISBN: 1400066573.