1960s

A-
In the Face of the Sun

In the Face of the Sun is an engrossing family saga filled with heartbreak and love, victory, forgiveness, and loss, and a wonderful character study of several unforgettable women. It is 1968, and a pregnant Frankie Saunders is leaving Chicago, abandoning an abusive marriage to the violent, contr ...

A
Confessions in B-Flat

Confessions in B-Flat is a resonant and romantic novel, filled with truth and history and finely-etched details.  Featuring two young lovers who are passionate about changing the world but unsure of how to accomplish their goals, the reader will remember them and their story long after finishing th ...

A
Daughters of Jubilation

Daughters of Jubilation is a powerful read.  Imbued with a beautiful, graceful sense of strength, it comes out swinging with a heroine who has a wonderfully memorable voice. Sixteen-year-old Evalene – Evvie - Deschamps is growing up in a Jim Crow Era mid-south, helping to care for her younger ...

A
Utopia Avenue

Utopia Avenue is one part Backbeat, two more of the bracing whimsical wit of A Hard Day’s Night, several parts Head-like support of social upheaval and psychedelics, with maybe a skosh of That Thing You Do! thrown in.  The rest is the story - detailing the struggles and joys of the titular psych- ...

B+
All the Ways We Said Goodbye

Powerhouse authors Beatriz Williams, Karen White, and Lauren Willig have teamed up for their third collaboration, a triple timeline story about three women whose lives are inexplicably bound up in the somewhat tragic history of Paris' Ritz Hotel. The sweeping tale spans fifty years, introducing read ...

B+
Promise Me a Dream

Promise Me a Dream is a gentle, tender story about two people coming together at a turbulent time in American history.  Unsparing when discussing racial violence, it also tells a lovely story of community and first true love.  And while I had a couple of issues with the stiffness of its prose, ove ...

A
Lady in the Lake

In Lady in the Lake, Laura Lippman sweeps readers back in time to 1960s Baltimore, where the body of a young, African-American woman is found floating in a lake. No one seems to know who she is, nor do they seem all that interested in finding out, so housewife-turned-reporter Maddie Schwartz decides ...

A-
Star Dust

With the recent fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, it was about time that I caught up on the Fly Me To The Moon series, which fictionalizes the astronauts, techs, and families of 1960s NASA into the imaginary American Space Department (or ASD). I’m completely thrilled that I did. In ...

B+
Christmas Presents and Past

I was a small child during the last years of the Vietnam War era, and unlike the hero and heroine of Christmas Presents and Past, have no first hand memories of the conflict or the political upheaval it caused. Learning about the events through their eyes has given me a new appreciation for this per ...

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 ...