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Mailbox Monday #188

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is 5 Minutes for Books.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received:

1.  Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama, which I’m going to pass onto The Girl from Diary of an Eccentric.

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

2.  The Siren of Paris by David LeRoy, which I will review in September.

In war-torn Paris during the German occupation, a legion of fiercely patriotic men uses their wits and courage to resist the encroaching German army. One of those intrepid heroes happens to be American. The Siren of Paris, the debut work of historical fiction by David LeRoy, tells a searing story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, and war that brings to vivid life the shimmering City of Lights during its darkest hours during World War II. It’s 1939, and Marc Tolbert, the French-born son of a prominent American family, has taken off for Paris to follow his dream of becoming an artist. Marc’s life soon sparkles in the ex-pat scene in Paris, befriending the famous Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare & Company; and running across William Bullitt, US ambassador to France. At art school, he finds himself further enchanted by the alluring model Marie. Marc’s Parisian reverie, however, is soon clouded over by the increasing threat from Germany. As Americans scramble to escape Paris, he finds himself trapped by the war, and nearly meets his fate on the disastrous day of June 17, 1940, aboard the RMS Lancastria, only to then face an even more ominous fate at Buchenwald. Rigorously researched and vibrant in historical detail, The Siren of Paris reimagines one of history’s most turbulent times through the prism of an American abroad in Europe’s most harrowing days. Poignant, gripping, and thought-provoking, LeRoy’s work mines the human dilemma of revenge versus forgiveness, and vividly captures the conflicted state of survival.

What did you receive?