Skip to main content
  1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. Books

Mini-Reviews: 'The Scent of Pine', 'Fiddlehead', and 'What Nora Knew'

See also

'The Scent of Pine', 'Fiddlehead', and 'What Nora Knew'


'The Scent of Pine' by Lara Vapnyar

One line synopsis: Two unhappy people, one experiencing an early midlife crisis and the other a failed artist, are drawn together at a conference where they embark on a revealing weekend getaway.
Thoughts: The Scent of Pine is a slow-paced book that hints at a tantalizing secret. If you read the book waiting for a shocking revelation, you will be disappointed. I know I was. Regardless, the book is well-written, engaging, and bittersweet. It’s about letting go of the past and understanding yourself. 2.5/5.

'Fiddlehead' by Cherie Priest

One line synopsis: Gideon Bardsley is a brilliant inventor and his newest creation is attracting more attention than he’d like, he teams up with (mostly) retired agent Belle Boyd (under the orders of Abraham Lincoln) to find out where the threat is coming from.
Thoughts: Fiddlehead is the fifth entry into the Clockwork Century series. It tells the story of a very alternative Civil War with a steampunk twist. Although the plot is a little thin, the brilliance of the books lies in the world Priest creates. It fun, it’s fascinating, but you must read the four previous novels and one novella to get the most out of this book. If you happen to be a fan of the steampunk genre, Priest is one of the best – just don’t read it for the history, the Civil War nerd in me got a bit nitpicky… 4/5.

'What Nora Knew' by Linda Yellin

One line synopsis: Molly is a practical, unromantic, ambitious woman who finds that romance has been relegated to the back burner in her life – until she meets the one man she can’t get out of her head.
Thoughts: I’ll begin by saying I liked What Nora Knew. It was sweet, engaging, and everything I expected to be. It’s romantic and plays –as it should – into everything Nora Ephron. If you love her movies - like I do - than I suspect you'll love this book. That being said, it is very much the story of wealthy white people with wealthy white people problems and solutions (i.e. struggling columnist with nice New York apartment meets handsome bestselling author with even nicer New York apartment, they fight, fall in love, and the columnist gets a fabulous book deal with the hottest literary agent in town). It’s cute, funny, and the banter is spot on (in an Ephronesque way). Read it if you’re in the right mood, if you’re not you’ll hate it. 4/5, because I read it when I was having a good day.


Arts & Entertainment

  • Tori Spelling
    Tori Spelling candidly talks about her husband's cheating and her future
    Today's Buzz
  • Jazz Fest
    Music and cultural festivals sweep the nation this month, see where the fun is
    Festivals Buzz
  • Monsters Inc
    Pixar challenges eagle-eyed viewers to hunt for Easter eggs in their films
    Join the Fun
  • KFC Double Down
    KFC is bringing back it's infamous Double Down chicken sandwich
    Pop Culture
  • Angelina Jolie
    Knives, jets and typewriters: What your favorite stars obsess over
    Celebrity Buzz
  • Paul Walker
    Paul Walker's brothers will be standing in for him during filming of 'Fast 7'
    Today's Buzz

Related Videos:

  • 'India Was One' a captivating romantic thriller
    <div class="video-info" data-id="516948152" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Harvard Yard once sported an Indian School and other early American realities
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518063272" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • When the Cypress Whispers
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!