Historical Fiction

A-
Next Year in Havana

This island will break your heart if you let it. Home, exile, family and above all, hope. These themes all figure prominently in Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton's beautiful novel of love and Cuba. We see the love stories of a grandmother and her granddaughter playing out in Havana, but we also ...

B
Song of a Captive Bird

One of my favorite things about historical fiction is its ability to teach me about people and places I wouldn't have otherwise known about. I'm not a huge poetry fan, so the work of Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzhad wasn't even on my radar until I read the synopsis for Song of a Captive Bird, the dé ...

A-
The Glass Forest

Cynthia Swanson's The Glass Forest is one of those books that pretty much leapt out of nowhere and took up permanent residence in my heart. I picked it up on a whim, and I'm so glad I did. It's an examination of a family's dark secrets, filled with unforgettable characters doing their best to surviv ...

B+
The Taster

There is an old saying that states: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. In The Taster, V.S. Alexander shows that it takes many good men doing the right thing to triumph over powerful evil. Unfortunately, Germany at the time of the Second World War did not ha ...

A-
The Girls in the Picture

I'm a big fan of books set in the early days of Hollywood, so Melanie Benjamin's The Girls In the Picture seemed like the perfect book for me to review. It's the story of the friendship between two of Hollywood's first leading ladies, and I enjoyed it immensely. Frances Marion isn't interested in ...

A-
The English Wife

The English Wife is a tale of smoke and mirrors. It is a fable of wealth and power set during the 1890s swan song of the Gilded Age. It’s a mystery, a romance, a coming of age story and easily one of the best books you’ll read this year. Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil have the kind of elegan ...

B
Manhattan Beach

In Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan's first novel in seven years, one woman struggles to find her place in an ever-changing world. Anna is only twelve years old when she first meets Dexter Styles. He's a powerful, mysterious man, and for reasons Anna doesn't fully understand, her father seems inten ...

A
The Stolen Marriage

I've been a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain's work since the early 2000s. Everything she writes is filled with well-drawn characters who are in the midst of varied and complex situations. When I learned she was writing a novel set during the Second World War, I was over the moon, as that's one of my f ...

C-
I, Eliza Hamilton

I'm one of the few Americans who wasn't totally blown away by the Broadway musical Hamilton. I didn't find myself particularly moved by the music, even though the story itself seemed compelling. So, when I saw that Susan Holloway Scott had written a novel based on the life of Elizabeth Schuyler Hami ...

D
The Last Tudor

Philippa Gregory – author of the White Queen and White Princess novels, and of The Other Boleyn Girl – needs no introduction from me. This somewhat disastrous fifteenth tome in her series chronicling the lives of the Plantagenet and Tudor dynasties sweeps us from the reign of Edward I to the exe ...