Some mixed feelings here. On one hand, some of these dedications were quite interesting, and so so were the histories they brought up. On the other hand, most of the dedications were simply to the current significant other of the author in question, so it ended up being more of a series of short biographies than I had expected. Maybe it's too tall of an order, but I would have rather that Wagman-Geller had concentrated on the more unusual dedications. Because let's face it, the dedication of [b:Schindler's List|375013|Schindler's List|Thomas Keneally|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348163457s/375013.jpg|3127624] (to the Holocaust survivor who inspired the author to write about Schindler and helped his research) will always be more interesting than the dedication on [b:The Darkest Evening of the Year|379316|The Darkest Evening of the Year|Dean Koontz|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320497888s/379316.jpg|3208572] (to his wife).
I had some quibbles with the style, too, mostly the author's need to end nearly every essay with something unbearably trite, usually referring directly back to the title of the book in question. ("They are the ones who prevent 'the darkest evening of the year' from being a metaphor for Dean's life.") And call me a history snob, but I have severe qualms about a published book that cites Wikipedia. Maybe I should just be happy that Wagman-Geller cites her sources at all (she does!), and I do like reading Wikipedia myself (I do!) but for nearly every section to refer back to at least one Wikipedia article is just really poor research practice. I wonder if she would have accepted Wagman-Geller teaches high school history and English, and I have to wonder if she would have accepted Wikipedia as sources from her own students.