Biographical Fiction

C+
The Bookseller's Secret

The worldwide fascination inspired by the six Mitford sisters continues apace, as might that inspired by any family which managed to spawn an ardent communist activist journalist whose investigation of the funeral industry made history, an anti-communist internationally famous novelist, two Hitler-l ...

B
Emily's House

Emily’s House is a well-observed slice of historical fiction that takes a working-class look into the life of Emily Dickinson and her maid, Margaret Maher…with one large fly buzzing in its otherwise soothing ointment. Emily Dickinson’s relationship with Margaret Maher has been valorized for ...

B
Her Heart For a Compass

The second daughter of the Queens’ close friend, the Scottish Duke of Buccleuch, Lady Margaret Montagu Scott is expected to make an advantageous marriage. But Margaret is an impulsive and outspoken girl in a repressive society where women are, quite literally, caged in corsets and required to conf ...

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 ...

F
The Queen of Tuesday

Darin Strauss came up with The Queen of Tuesday by asking himself one question – what if his philandering insurance salesman grandfather, Isidore- Iz -  Strauss had met actress and sitcom queen Lucille Ball at a benefit thrown by Donald Trump’s father – which they both actually attended – a ...

C
Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters

Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters is a perfectly okay slice of historical fiction that ends up getting subsumed in too dry, too technical prose. While Chiaverini tries to balance the points of view of a slew of Mary Todd Lincoln’s sisters, they often come off as rather plain of speech. Elizabeth, France ...

F
The Queen's Secret

I don’t think I’ve ever said anything like this before, but I’m honestly not sure I have the ability to convey how dreadful a book The Queen’s Secret is. I’ll start with some basic math: I can read a good book in a day. It took me thirty-three days to read this one. In 1939, Queen Eliza ...

B
The First Actress - A Novel of Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt’s life was destined to grab headlines.  The first actress of international acclaim, she drew eyes and plaudits – and controversy and criticism -  wherever she trod the boards. But Bernhardt’s life was also no picnic. Given to a stranger to be raised, she was the daughter o ...

B
American Princess

In American Princess, novelist Stephanie Thornton peels back the layers of Alice Roosevelt, oldest daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt. During her father's presidency, which began in 1901, Alice was the media's darling, dubbed America's Princess by those who paid close attention to every facet ...

A-
The Only Woman in the Room

Marie Benedict's The Only Woman in the Room is the story of Hedy Lamarr, a woman best known for her roles on the silver screen. Ms. Benedict looks deeper into Hedy's life, bringing us an engrossing tale of a woman who is both brilliant and beautiful. Hedy Kieseler is a Jewish woman married to an ...