Friday, December 21, 2018

From Across the Room by Gina L. Mulligan - HFVBT Book Review and GIVEAWAY


Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Five Star Publications
Hardcover & eBook; 271 Pages
Genre: Historical/Epistolary

Publisher's Summary  
Self-indulgent young writer Thomas Gadwell has traveled from Boston to the new Hotel Del Coronado in California to at last finish his novel when he meets the clever and headstrong Miss Mary Harting. At once Thomas tosses aside his literary pursuits for a charmed summer of romance that ends with the happy couple making future plans. However, Mary Harting is the only unmarried daughter of notorious railroad tycoon Charles Harting, and he has no intention of letting a useless wordsmith derail his own critical plans for Mary. The couple must continue a clandestine courtship, but Thomas’ ingenuity has unexpected repercussions and he unwittingly uncovers a sinister plot of deception, greed, and blackmail. Guided by mentor Henry James, to win Mary, Thomas must step from the pages of the world he creates to explore his own insecurities, battle against worldly corruption, and expose family demons.
Told through a series of clever, heartfelt, and engaging letters, From Across the Room is a voyeuristic escapade that delights at every twist. Reflecting back to a time when letters were saved in the imagination of the reader, the lost art of letter writing brings to life the opulent Gilded Age and unfolds the universal passions of love, ambition, and the resilient bonds of family.
Purchase Links


Praise for From Across the Room

“A passionate love story set in a brilliantly recreated Gilded Age, this intimate epistolary novel takes the reader from a wide-open California to the salons of literary and industrial New York. Colorful and indelible characters stride across the pages of this exceptionally vivid historical novel that brings the past stirringly to life.” -Diana Birchall, Bestselling Author of Mr. Darcy’s Dilemma
“Gina Mulligan’s impeccable prose, engaging characters, and original style reminds us all why we love to read.” -Reza Kahlili, 2010 National Best Books winner for A Time to Betray
“The characters have richly defined voices and fascinating lives that sparkle against a transcontinental history of America at the beginning of the twentieth century.” -Jessica Klein, Award-winning Writer/Producer of Northern Exposure, Beverly Hills 90210, Gabriel’s Fire and other popular TV series.
My Take
Ahhh...the epistolary style...I've read enough books in my lifetime to really appreciate one that uses something a little different to tell a story.  Nothing turns me off more than reading the same ole same ole all the time.  Seriously. Who has time for that?
From Across the Room is told entirely via letters from the main character Thomas Gadwell to a variety of other characters, including his love interest, Mary Harting.   When I first began reading From Across the Room, I thought the story was going to be more romancey, and I wondered if I had made a mistake in agreeing to read it...I'm not usually a romance fan.  
I quickly realized that there was so much more involved in this story.  
Mulligan weaves in family and societal issues from the Gilded Age as well as description that is so vivid, I could see the action.  Here's where the letters are perfectly situated.  In a world very different from the world we live in today, the words on the page were IT.  There were no visuals to click on, no immediate opportunity to ask a question if the reader didn't understand something, and no smart phones to send SnapChats and Selfies.  To communicate, the writer HAD to choose words carefully.  The writer got one shot...and then might have to wait two weeks to find out how the recipient interpreted the letter or felt about it because that's how long it took for the letter to arrive, be read, responded to, and the response sent.  In today's time, I know a lot of people who would go crazy waiting that long for anything :)

I loved that Thomas Gadwell's mentor was Henry James :) I'm an English teacher so the author and writing aspect of From Across the Room interested me a great deal...the publishing industry, Thomas's agent, etc. were also interesting tidbits.

Abigail Winchester is the character that jumped out to me...I think Mulligan could write an entirely new novel about this very eccentric lady :):) 

I wasn't entirely sure about the ending.  At first, it made me a little mad...but the more I sit with it, the more I think I do actually like it...from the author, publishing viewpoint.  If you like a sneaky little read, you'll like this turn of events as well.

About the Author

Gina L. Mulligan is a veteran freelance journalist for numerous national magazines and the author of the award-winning novel, REMEMBER THE LADIES and FROM ACROSS THE ROOM. After her own diagnosis, Gina founded Girls Love Mail, a charity that collects handwritten letters of encouragement for women with breast cancer. She was honored for her charitable work on the nationally syndicated television talk show The Steve Harvey Show,, and


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 26
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, November 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, November 28
Review at Jathan & Heather

Thursday, November 29
Review at Tar Heel Reader

Friday, November 30
Review at A Holland Reads

Saturday, December 1
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, December 3
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, December 4

Wednesday, December 5
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 6
Review at Peppermint Ph.D.

Friday, December 7
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, December 10
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, December 11

Wednesday, December 12
Review at Laura’s Interests

Friday, December 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, December 17
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, December 18
Feature at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, December 19
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, December 20
Review at Bri’s Book Nook

Friday, December 21
Review at The Book Mind
Guest Post and Excerpt at Confessions of an Avid Reader


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 3 copies of From Across the Room & Stationary! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

From Across the Room

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