Historical Fiction

B
The Night Tiger

Multiple worlds collide head-on in The Night Tiger, an exploration of Malaysian mythology as seen through the lens of its pre-World War II workaday world. In 1931 Malaya, accident-prone eleven-year-old orphaned houseboy Ren is watching the death of his mentor, Doctor John MacFarlane.  On his dea ...

C+
Black Berry & Wild Rose

Set in eighteenth-century Spitalfields, London, Blackberry and Wild Rose is the rich and atmospheric tale of a household of Huguenot silk weavers as the pursuit of the perfect silk design leads them all into ambition, love, and betrayal. When Esther Thorel, wife of a master silk weaver, rescues S ...

A
When We Left Cuba

Late in 2018, I started hearing quite a bit of talk about Chanel Cleeton's novel Next Year in Havana. The premise intrigued me, so I added it to my extremely sizable TBR pile, but didn't actually get around to reading it until February of 2019. I was completely captivated by both the setting and the ...

C
The Binding

Bridget Collins’ The Binding is set in a magical quasi-Victorian world in which books are dangerous. I was intrigued by that unusual premise, but the novel ultimately fails to deliver and instead presents the reader with a story that’s at times so dark as to be difficult to get through, and in w ...

A-
City of Flickering Light

In City of Flickering Light, readers are introduced to twenty-one-year-old Irene van Beck, a woman who has grown disenchanted with her life as a dancer in a bottom-tier Burlesque show. She knows there's more to life than removing her clothing in front of a different group of men each night, and she' ...

C
In Another Time

Jillian Cantor’s In Another Time takes us tastefully into the romance of Hanna and Max, two young people who meet and fall in love in Germany on the brink of the outbreak of World War II… and then introduces an awkward plot point that nearly wrecks the proceedings. In 1931, Hanna Ginsberg, a wa ...

B
The Poison Bed

London, 1615.  The young, spirited Frances Howard-Carr and her husband (And James I’s long time favorite), the self-made social climber Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, stand accused of poisoning Sir Thomas Overbury, Robert’s friend and advisor, who knew a dreadfully personal secret about the ...

A
The Last Year of the War

Early in 2018, I picked up a copy of Susan Meissner's breath-taking novel As Bright As Heaven, the story of one family's desperate struggle to survive the influenza epidemic of 1919. It was one of my favorite books of the year, and I've been powering through Ms. Meissner's other novels ever since. N ...

A
Slammerkin

A slammerkin is a loose dress, and also a loose woman. Emma Donoghue, author of Room, based this book on the true story of a girl who was executed in 1763 for murdering her mistress, and who apparently did it from a longing for ‘fine clothes’. While this wasn’t exactly a pleasant read, it was ...

C
The Familiars

I'm drawn to historical novels about witchcraft, so The Familiars by Stacey Halls seemed like a novel I'd absolutely love. I've read quite a few books about the witch hunts of the Middle Ages, but this was the first one I picked up that dealt specifically with the Pendle Hill witch trials in the ear ...