Friday, August 20, 2010

'Dangerous Neighbors' by Beth Kephart

1. Title of book: Dangerous Neighbors

2. Words to describe the book: mystery, heartache, sibling love and hatred, growing pains, history, thought-provoking, the U.S. perched precariously on the edge of modern inventions, women's suffrage, and a changing society.

3. Location or characters you met:
  • Katherine: She is the youngest of twin girls, yet she has always felt responsible for the welfare of her sister Anna. She's thoughtful, quiet, contemplative, follows the rules, and takes much to heart.
  • Anna : She is the impulsive twin and though she doesn't mean to be hurtful, many of her actions could pose disastrous consequences to her sister and family. She's a dreamer and sees no difference between classes in society. She's ruled by her heart and rarely ever thinks with her head.
  • Philadelphia: This city is so rich in U.S. history and it's one that I want to visit some time in the future. 
  • 1876 Centennial Exhibition- directly quoted from book-" a World's Fair of unprecedented proportion that brought upwards of 10 million people to fairgrounds just west of central Philadelphia during a six-month period." Can you just imagine how crazy and exhilarating this time in history would have been for those that lived there?
4. Things you liked/disliked:
  • The writing was simply exquisite. I've read almost all of Kephart's work and believe that she is a pure word poet. The scenes flow into one another seamlessly and the descriptive words that she used invoked quite sharp and vivid pictures in my mind!
  • Being a bit of a history buff, I was totally enthralled with the Centennial Fair and all that it encompassed. I love a book that makes me want to do some research. I also love a book that uncovers a time period of United States history that I knew nothing about!
  • I enjoyed the love story between Anna and her baker. Oh, to be young, naive, and so in love with someone that you would pretty much risk all sorts of wrath just to be with that person.
  • I ached for Katherine. As a mother, I wanted to grab her and crush her to my heart to give her some sort of comfort. Comfort that her own mother refused to acknowledge and to give. I am glad that Katherine's father seemed to be somewhat attuned to Katherine's emotions.
  • I absolutely was thrilled to see that Beth has made a teacher's guide for this novel. My teacher's are always looking for books that will be interesting, informational, and exciting. Having a guide makes it that much easier to recommend to a teacher who is looking for an unique time period of United States history to share and enrich our children's education.
5. Rating:  4.5/5 

Thank you to Nicole of Winsome Media Communications. for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review.
My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.
They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

Review Style patterned after Show Me 5


  1. Love the review and you definitely made the format your own. Hope you are feeling better about the review blues.

  2. I agree with you that Beth Kephart is a pure word poet. It's easy to get lost in her writing!

  3. AWESOME review Staci!! I want to read this Philly is one of my fave places (well...except for their 'today' about the rudest employees i have EVER encountered! LOL!)...but the city.... JUST LOVE IT!!! Thanks for the GREAT review! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  4. Wonderful review! I have not read one of Beth's books yet, (I know!). Today, I am going to the library and will come home with one or two of them!

  5. So many thanks for this kind and (for me) exhilarating review. I am so grateful to you for cherishing those parts of the book that matter greatly to me, and for mentioning the teacher's guide, which was a true labor of love.

    I will cross-post this beautiful post tomorrow. Much gratitude!


  6. I like the format too! You're definitely not "showing" the blues! :--)

  7. This one looks goo, as do most of Kephart's books. So, why haven't I read any of them?!

  8. I have heard so many wonderful things about this book. I really do have to read this one.

  9. Keep the pattern :) it works for you, and fun to read.
    I might take it one day too

  10. I've never read anything by Kephart but I've heard nothing but good things about her books. Serena let me borrow this book, and now I think I'm going to start reading it as soon as I'm off work!

  11. This book sounds delightful, and I enjoyed reading about it in your format.


  12. Now I have to look up the author on google! I think I have read a book by her but want to read this one after reading your review.

    I just love 'must read' reviews from people who read genres I enjoy. :)

  13. I'm so excited to read my first ever Kephart (Heart is not a Size) that I also received from Nicole at Winsome. It seems that Kephart is an author that I have really been missing out on!

  14. Oooh, I haven't read any of her books yet. This one sounds like a wonderful one to start with--I love me some history, too, and the hubby grow up in the Philly area (actually I lived there for a couple years as well) so I love reading stuff set there. And Staci, I really love the way you wrote this're always so creative! :D

  15. I will have to give you the historical tour if you ever come to Philly. I enjoyed this one a great deal and can't believe I haven't read any of Kephart's work before. I will remedy that soon :)

  16. You sold me! And this on a book that I would have completely passed up before reading your review. I know not to judge a book by it's cover but this one really doesn't give me a clue as to the depth of the book.

  17. Loved your review of this one Staci, another one to go on my wishlist. I'm slowly getting through all the books that come highly recommended via one of your reviews!!


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