Biographical Fiction

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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 ...

B
Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen

The story of Jane Seymour’s rise to the throne (and her subsequent death after bringing forth Henry VIII’s only male heir) has been well chronicled by many.  Was she pushed by her ambitious family?  Was she truly the docile angel she was later enshrined as?  Alison Weir – well known writer ...

B+
My Name is Victoria

With My Name Is Victoria, delightful British historian Lucy Worsley (you may have seen her in multiple BBC and PBS productions) brings her second piece of historical fiction to the market.  Featuring the story of Victoria “Miss V” Conroy, daughter of Sir John Conroy – creator of the infamous ...

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Love and Ruin: A Novel

Martha Gellhorn had, in so many words, one hell of a life.  The daughter of a respected doctor and a well-known suffragette, she bucked social expectations and became a gutsy, daring reporter of topics that women were rarely allowed to report upon at the time, from the effects of America’s depres ...

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...