Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review: The Secrets of the Nightingale Palace by Dana Sachs

Publisher: William Morrow
Released: 2013
Pages: 368
Source: Blog Tour/Publisher
Rating: 4.5/5


Anna has been struggling to move on with her life, the death of her husband has left her with many questions.  At times, she wonders if they were meant to marry. She loved him, loves him, but for months before his death they fought. They were opposites, and when he died of leukemia she couldn’t help but feel a small sense of relief that she no longer had to take care of him. When Anna’s estranged grandmother calls her up, and requests that she come to New York, Anna is reluctant but decides to go see what she wants. Goldie doesn’t hold back when it comes to Anna, and for years she told Anna that her husband wasn’t good enough. When Anna arrives in New York, Goldie asks Anna to take her on a cross-country road trip from New York to San Francisco. Goldie wants to return a collection of valuable Japanese art to a long lost friend. Anna agrees and hopes her grandmother, a window by twice, can help her move on and find happiness.


The Secrets of the Nightingale Palace was an interesting read, alternating between Goldie’s experience in the 1940’s and Anna’s perspective. Goldie is rough around the edges; she’s honest and overly opinionated. She hasn’t been entirely honest about the trip to San Francisco. Along the way, Goldie opens up to Anna about her past and her determination to rise about. Anna questions Goldie about her doubts in her marriage and why she never approved. Over the course of the trip, Anna and Goldie open up to each other and begin to sort through their differences. Anna mourns her late husband, and begins to realize that her life if not over.

The ending was really memorable, and not predictable in any way. I loved both Goldie and Anna, and enjoying their journey. Goldie is not a character that you forget; she’s strong and independent and doesn’t hold back. She honestly thinks she’s helping but it doesn’t always come across as such. Anna is vulnerable but still strong. She’s kept herself going but she begins to realize that she needs to focus on her wants and at this point in her life, she can do this.

The writing is beautiful, and learning about Goldie’s past was fascinating. It really gives readers and understanding of why she is the way she is. How she took care of herself, and did what she thought was best for her. I recommend this one for those who are looking for a good dual narrative story.


  1. Hadn't heard of this one before reading your review. Sounds good!

  2. Great review! It has made me want to read this book! I'll be adding it to the list!

  3. I love that it alternating pov's and I am excited that the author really fleshed out the characters so you understood what motivated them.

  4. Goldie sounds wonderful. I'll have to look for the book.

  5. Dual narratives don't always work, but it sounds as if this one does, which intrigues me. I would love to get my hands on a copy of this book and see if I love it too. My mom went through some similar feelings when my step-father died, and it would be interesting to get that perspective. Very nice review today!

  6. I've been wanting to read this one. Great review. It sounds fantastic.

  7. I've really wanted to read this one for awhile now! Glad you liked it!

  8. That cover is gorgeous. I can't wait to read this one. Great review.

  9. I had no idea what this book was about before I read your review. Now I want to read it, it sounds like a beautiful story. Anna and Goldie sound like remarkable characters with fascinating stories. I like the idea that by opening up to each other they get to know each other better but also learn so much about themselves.

    I really enjoyed you review!

  10. I reviewed this book the other day. Looks like you enjoyed it as much as I did. I agree the ending was not predictable and it really worked. That in itself was a breath of fresh air!

  11. Memorable and unpredictable are an excellent combination!

    Thanks for being on the tour.