Miranda, who was an assistant state’s attorney, was assigned a case where a young girl was assaulted and raped. Determined to put the assailant behind bars even though the case was weak to begin with, Miranda does what she can to help this innocent girl. When the case falls apart, the defendant goes free, and Miranda is fired after it comes out that she was having a relationship with the lawyer who represented the defendant. Miranda makes an effort to move on and in doing so she creates a podcast called Miranda Writes. After three years a victim of the case Miranda was on comes forward to say that the defendant has struck again. Miranda must decide between going after the defendant or continuing on with her rise to success by taking an offer to host a daytime TV show.
Author Gail Ward has created a compelling legal thriller that is as bold as it is entertaining. The author writes sharp dialogue which feels authentic and pulls you into this emotionally invigorating crime thriller. The author paints realistic courtroom scenes; utilizing obvious experience with the subject matter to make the legal drama feel grounded even when the intrigue is high.
Miranda is a character I was immediately intrigued by and empathized with, which I think is why I clung so tightly to the book when the twists started coming. I enjoyed reading about Miranda’s character as she is tenacious, smart, and devoted to her clients. Readers are immediately immersed in the plot and the story takes off with only the occasional respite for some background information.
One thing that stood out to me the most with this book is how there is a balance of emotions in this book, making it way more accessible and entertaining then your average legal thriller where everyone is constantly brooding. The book has its sad moments, but there are also moments of levity where humor is used to great effect, and even made me laugh out loud a few times. The author takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster that winds through love, hate, fear of the unknown, and anxiety.
Miranda Writes, by Gail Ward Olmsted, has well developed characters and an engaging plot that will have you hooked as you are taken on this tense journey to put Chelsea and Becky’s rapist behind bars. For me, this is the year’s stand out legal thriller.
Pages: 239 | ASIN: B0B1G87C1Y
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Landscape of a Marriage follows a strong woman who sets out to win her new husband’s heart as he tries to create beautiful parks throughout the U.S. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The real life story of Frederick Law Olmsted (FLO) inspired me. FLO is an ancestor of my husband’s- they’re actually distant cousins- and we’ve always enjoyed visiting his parks in Boston and New York as well as the grounds of the private estates he designed, including the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I read a few of the well-written biographies about FLO and discovered that, acting on a deathbed wish from his brother, Fred married his widow Mary, adopted her three children and together, they had four more. It got me thinking about Mary- what was her story? How did she feel about all of this? Was theirs a marriage in name only or something more? I couldn’t find a story to read, so I wrote it!
Mary is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Although much has been written about Mary’s husband, renowned park builder Frederick Law Olmsted, there is relatively little known about Mary herself. I hoped to present her as much more than the little woman tending the home fires while her husband is out there transforming the American landscape, one park at a time. I wanted to portray an intelligent and passionate woman impacted by society and its’ social restrictions, but curious and loving and deeply committed to her husband, their children and her best friend Anne. I saw Mary as a practical person determined to make the best of her situation as a frequently single parent who was inspired to join her husband on his quest.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Although Landscape of a Marriage is my first historical novel, the theme is consistent with my first four contemporary works. I continue to be inspired by the idea of starting over and second chances. All of my main characters share that fervent desire for a happy ever after despite their current circumstances.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on two projects- the first is contemporary fiction- Miranda is a disgraced former Assistant State’s Attorney seeking a career comeback when a missing witness from the case that derailed her career resurfaces with a story of bribery and coverups involving Miranda’s ex. I am hoping to see it published within the year. The second is at the very early stages. It is biographical fiction set in the early 20th century, featuring the South’s original power couple. More to follow.
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Landscape of a Marriage: Central Park Was Only the Beginning is an impassioned historical romance. The reader gets to enjoy the experiences and even feel different emotions through the wonderful characters thanks to Gail Ward Olmsted’s impeccable writing. Marriage and family are the major themes of the story, exploring topics such as health, finances, politics and governance, love and friendships.
Mary was widowed early. Left with three children after her husband passed away, Mary married her brother in law, Frederick Law Olmsted. This may have appeared eccentric to anyone at first, but it worked for the two. Their love was so deep and beautiful, and made even the naysayers admire them. Among the many beautiful things Mary and her husband did was the creation of a dozen city parks across different cities in America. I enjoyed following the story of Frederick’s career, and how Mary described the landscapes, locations and whatever infrastructure her husband made.
The story of Frederick being told through Mary’s eyes added a beautiful element to the writing. One is able to read every emotion and sensation through the text, which was a great thing for the reader. Landscape of a Marriage: Central Park Was Only the Beginning is a well written and fascinating book that tells an intriguing story that many people can relate to.
Being in a marriage that lasted as long as Mary and Frederick’s is not easy. I also appreciate that amid the narration, Mary also touches on the challenges and issues she and her husband faced, and how they resolved each problem. I learned that no good relationship or marriage is built by one partner. It takes the effort of both parties involved to make something as beautiful as what Mary and Frederick had.
Landscape of a Marriage will make you fall in love with city parks and even inspire you to make more frequent visits to the parks near you. Gail Ward Olmsted inspires the reader through the tales shared in the book.
Landscape of a Marriage: Central Park Was Only the Beginning is a deeply thoughtful and emotionally charged historical fiction story that gets the details of the time period right and sets up stirring characters that readers will love to follow.
Pages: 315 | ASIN: B0947331QQ
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, Gail Ward Olmsted, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, kindle, kobo, Landscape of a Marriage, literature, love story, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, writer, writing