Historical Fiction

A-
The Lost Summers of Newport

The Lost Summers of Newport is, quite simply, a solid, cracking yarn, another novel in which Williams, Willig and White each take the point of view of a different women, weaving together stories of soapy scandal, heartbreak and true love in a convincing way. These three stories take place among t ...

C+
Bloomsbury Girls

A lovely look at life in Britain after World War II, Bloomsbury Girls gives us a glimpse at the time between the end of the war and the social upheavals that led to the women’s right movements of later decades.  It’s a good story, but not one that engaged me deeply in the various plights of our ...

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 ...

C
The Lost Son

The Lost Son is a very straightforward women’s fiction novel centering around - you guessed it - a woman’s quest to find her missing child. Julia Kruse’s mother died in childbirth. Her father, a famous chef at a luxury hotel, fears his demanding job will keep him from spending time with his ...

B+
The Last Daughter of York

The Last Daughter is an unusual, intriguing novel featuring time travel, magical artifacts and an interesting defense of Anne Lovell.  It’s well-written, well-researched, engrossing and incredibly original - but the magical world-building is somewhat weak. The plot is split between two differe ...

A-
Chasing Shadows

In 1975 a movie was made of the popular biography The Hiding Place. Covering the horrific events of the Nazi’s occupation of the Netherlands, the narrative tells what happened to Corrie ten Boom and her family as members of the Dutch resistance. Chasing Shadows is a fictionalized account based on ...

A-
The Curator's Daughter

The Curator’s Daughter is a story of how women often find themselves in the most impossible situations and manage to rise above them to create a better world for themselves, those they love and all who come after them. Hanna Tillich is not a Nazi, but she is reluctantly employed by them. She wo ...

C
Hour of the Witch

A just-all-right Salem Witch Trial drama, Hour of the Witch feels in places like The Scarlet Letter – Demi Moore’s film rewrite, not the Hawthorne classic.  Yet Chris Bohjalian’s skillful way of getting into his protagonist’s head keeps this one from sinking below the midpoint mark. Mary ...

B+
The Moonlight School

The Moonlight School is a prettily written if occasionally predictable inspy with a heart of gold. Its feeling for life in the Kentucky hills alone is worth the price of admission. Lucille – Lucy - Wilson carries an ugly, heavy burden with her.  When she was a little girl, it had been her job ...

B+
The Jane Austen Society

Narrated by Richard Armitage This past spring, in the early days of the pandemic, I read the complete works of Jane Austen, which, I thought, made me rather suited to taking on a review of the audiobook version of The Jane Austen Society, a gentle, quiet, sincere story that is an homage to the wo ...