Biographical Fiction

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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 ...

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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 ...

B+
That Churchill Woman

Wealthy, privileged, and fiercely independent New Yorker Jennie Jerome took Victorian England by storm when she landed on its shores. As Lady Randolph Churchill, she gave birth to a man who defined the twentieth century: her son Winston. But Jennie--reared in the luxury of Gilded Age Newport and the ...

C
A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of The Vanderbilts

Therese Anne Fowler follows her bestselling novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald with A Well Behaved Woman, an encapsulation of the life of gilded age boundary breaker Alva Vanderbilt, exploring life in the early twentieth century and the way that climbing society’s social rungs can damage a perso ...

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Another Side of Paradise: A Novel

In the wake of the resurgence of interest in all things Fitzgerald, Sally Koslow’s Another Side of Paradise digs into a topic that biographical fiction writers have rarely explored; Scott’s three-and-a-half year long extramarital romance with gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, one that molded Grah ...