Historical Fiction

C
The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh

Molly Greeley’s The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh, inspired by the tertiary character in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is a pleasant enough - but not remotely revelatory - piece of historical fiction. Anne de Bourgh, daughter of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and cou ...

A-
Find Me in Havana

Find Me in Havana is a difficult book to grade.  Startling, original, frank and powerful, it spellbinds and breaks a reader’s heart. The book tells the tale of Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban actress whose time in the spotlight led to a supporting role in Rio Bravo and a series of Roy Rogers films ...

A
The Last Garden in England

I’m an avid gardener and a lover of Historical Fiction so I was delighted to pick up The Last Garden in England. I’m happy to report it was everything I hoped it would be! The Last Garden in England tells the story of the Highbury House garden across three different time periods. The first be ...

B
Tsarina

I can’t recall the last time I read a book so intriguing as Ellen Alpsten’s gripping (although at points a touch unbelievable) Tsarina, the story of Peter the Great of Russia’s second, last, and longest-lasting wife. Marta is born onto an estate of serfs in the Baltics in the late 1600s. Ra ...

B+
Things We Didn't Say

I’m a big fan of epistolary novels and books set in the WWII time period, so Things We Didn’t Say, a story told in letters, snippets from newspapers, and telegrams about  a WWII prison camp for German soldiers in a small town in Minnesota was a perfect fit for me. Johanna Berglund was always ...

C+
When We Were Young and Brave

The biggest sin of When We Were Young and Brave is that it’s a perfectly ordinary World War II story.  The tale – true though it is – of brave teachers, resilient children, and big bad foreign soldiers has been told so many times that it’s hard to wring anything fresh from the subject, thou ...

B-
The Pull of the Stars

Are you the sort of person who has found comfort in These Times by reading tales of other pandemics throughout history? Or about historical social uprisings? Or the failure of institutions to protect those they are charged to? Then The Pull of the Stars is for you, since it takes place in Dublin dur ...

B
Magic Lessons

Alice Hoffman dips deeper into the bloodline of the love-cursed Owens women, those witches around whom Practical Magic (mainly about modern sisters Sally and Gillian) and The Rules of Magic (about aunts Jet and Frances’ childhoods in the 1960s) revolve. Magic Lessons takes us all the way to the be ...

B
The Beekeeper's Promise

The past few weeks I’ve been attempting to whittle away at my TBR pile. I picked up The Beekeeper’s Promise a year or so ago because I liked the cover and I have a thing for bees. I’m so glad I did. The Beekeeper’s Promise is a moving tale of life in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. Written ...

A-
A Most English Princess

When I opened up A Most English Princess to begin I was a little miffed at myself. Over 500 pages on Princess Vicky (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria) - what was I thinking to pick this book to review!?! Well it turns out to have been a good decision after all. A Most English Princess is a most fas ...