Review: The Knife with the Ivory Handle

When I found out Cynthia Bruchman, one of my blogging friends, had written a book I went onto Amazon and Goodreads and checked it out. After reading the synopsis I decided to give it a go.

Here’s the synopsis:

knifeIt is 1900. The story follows the fortunes of two orphan train riders, a black southern man the two children rescue, and a young priest who has to find his own way into emotional adulthood. From the first train as Annette and Jonathan cross the country to their adopters in Illinois farm country, to the final eruption into riot, fire, and murder in a coal mining town, dramatic tension sustains through alternating points of view. If you love psychological tension fused with plot action, this is the novel for you.

At first I was surprised that the book is under two hundred pages. I feared that the author would only skim the surface of the story and not delve too deep. Fortunately my hunch was wrong. Bruchman packs a lot of punch into a short amount of space. Yet the story never seems rushed. My other fear was that the descriptions would be lacking. Again, I was happy to find out I was wrong. She has vivid descriptions. One of the main characters is an artist and when Bruchman is describing him at work it’s like she’s using her words to paint a vibrant picture in the reader’s mind.

As a history nut, I enjoyed the bits and pieces of history that she included. Not once did I feel like she was info dumping. Instead she eased me into the time period via her characters. This is Bruchman’s debut novel and I have to say she’s off to a good start. Now I need to find out if she’s working on another novel.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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18 Responses to Review: The Knife with the Ivory Handle

  1. T.F.Walsh says:

    Isn’t it great when you discover such a nice surprise by your friend:) Sounds like you really enjoyed the book:)

  2. Sounds really good – will have to check it out!

  3. Beth Ann says:

    Sounds like a really interesting book–you did a great review! 🙂

  4. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your review, and your assessment of it! I can’t wait to read yours…:)

  5. Reblogged this on Cindy Bruchman and commented:
    How kind of TBM to read my novel and provide a review!

  6. I love it when shorter stories surprise us like that. I’m going to have to add this one to my TBR list now! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Author Interview: Cynthia Bruchman | Making My Mark

  8. sandradan1 says:

    I’ve just finished reading this and thoroughly enjoyed it too. The period is brought to life so vividly. Review coming soon on my blog! SD

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