Historical Fiction

C
For the Most Beautiful: A Novel of the Trojan War

For the most Beautiful is the first book in début author Emily Hauser's Golden Apple trilogy. Per the Author’s Note in the back of the book, Ms. Hauser took her inspiration from Homer's epic poem, the Iliad, although her aim is not to reinvent the story, but to provide motivation, thoughts, and f ...

A-
The Orphan's Tale

World War II is a period in history that fascinates me. Every time I read a book set during this bleak period, I learn something new. In The Orphan's Tale, author Pam Jenoff explores the role German circuses played in hiding Jewish people and smuggling them out of Germany. Since I absolutely love ci ...

B-
A Piece of the World

Christina Baker Kline’s A Piece of the World is a fictionalized look into the life of Christina Olsen, the tough-minded farm woman who became a model, friend and occasional muse for surrealist painter Andrew Wyeth. Compared to Wyeth’s somewhat more exalted status as the son of illustrator N.C ...

B+
The Orphan's Tale

For me, the hallmark of a good book is a desperate desire to reach the end. The Orphan’s Tale was a very good book and I became deeply invested in finding out how it would conclude. When Noa’s family finds out that the German soldier who had been lodging with them had seduced her and left her ...

B
A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World tells the story of Christina Olson, a physically disabled woman who spends her entire life in a small, coastal town in Maine. No one expects much of her, but for twenty years, she serves as muse to artist Andrew Wyeth, and is immortalized in his painting Christina's World. We ...

C+
Dragon Springs Road

My experience with books set in China has not been stellar – I've read too many authors who seem only interested in transplanting characters with western attitudes to a more exotic setting. Janie Chang's Dragon Springs Road, I am happy to say, does not fall in this category. If anything, by adheri ...

A+
The Lady of the Lakes

Josi S. Kilpack takes on the love life of Sir Walter Scott in The Lady of the Lakes, a fictionalized account of the two defining romances of his life; with Wilhelmina “Mina” Belsches-Stuart, his childhood sweetheart, and Charlotte Carpenter, his eventual wife and his self-proclaimed ‘best love ...

C
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

I've never read Julie Klassen before but know her by reputation - several of her inspirational romances have received good grades here at AAR. Therefore it pains me to say this, but her latest book is a predictable and meandering affair punctuated by plot holes that repeatedly took me out of the sto ...

A-
Good Time Coming

I killed a man in the summer I turned thirteen. Sometimes I still see him in my dreams, his eyes as blue as the Gulf on a clear spring morning, his cheeks reddened by the hot Louisiana sun. So begins a powerful story of the U.S. Civil War as seen through the eyes of an observant and courageous youn ...

B+
Wideacre

Philippa Gregory’s début novel, Wideacre, is a difficult book to describe without spoiling the plot, but I’ll give it a try.  I’ve read reviews which damned it and reviews which praised it, and I’ve agreed with both. Beatrice Lacey wants her family estate, Wideacre. Nothing more, nothi ...