Reviews and Blog Posts: Historical Fiction

The girl you left behind

by Jojo Moyes

DPL Rating:
3

I both liked and didn't like The Girl You Left Behind. I enjoyed the book's two settings: 1916 and present day. I learned a lot about German-occupied France during World War I. I also liked the main male character during the present-day setting. However, I had a hard time feeling...

The valley of amazement

by Amy Tan

DPL Rating:
3

The mother-daughter theme of Amy Tan’s new novel, The Valley of Amazement, will be a familiar one for fans of her previous works.  Tan delves into the complex relationships and nuanced interactions of several generations of strong female characters.  The author reveals her inspiration for this novel came from a...

Life after life : a novel

by Kate Atkinson

1910, England on a snowy night Ursula Todd is born and dies before taking her first breath. Ursula is born on a snowy night in 1910 England and she lives. As Ursula grows up, she also dies repeatedly in a variety of ways. She lives again and again trying to...

The daylight gate

by Jeanette Winterson

DPL Rating:
4

A visceral, brutal, and spare historical novel. England, 1612. King James I is ruling, and any remaining Catholics have fled to Lancashire. The law there uses their power to retaliate, rape, abuse, and torture, whether their victims be accused of sympathizing with the pope or of witchcraft. Alice Nutter is...

Life after life

by Kate Atkinson

DPL Rating:
5

On a cold, snowy English night in January, 1910, Ursula Todd is born with her cord wrapped around her neck, and dies the same day. On that same night, Ursula Todd is born again, and lives. We follow Todd through many lives, many experiences, many circumstances, many choices and chances....

Paperboy

by Vince Vawter

DPL Rating:
5

Paperboy is a thought provoking coming-of-age novel.    In Memphis 1959, an 11-year-old boy takes over his friend’s paper route.  This is really difficult because the boy has a hard time talking.  He stutters.  Over the course of the summer, the boy experiences difficulties in his own life and the lives...

She rises : a novel

by Kate Worsley

DPL Rating:
5

It is 1740, and life isn't easy if you're not one of the upper class. Louise Fletcher is a country dairy maid, summoned to the coast and Harwich to become a lady's maid to Rebecca, a captain's daughter hoping to marry well. We follow Louise's story as she learns the...

The outcasts : a novel

by Kathleen Kent

DPL Rating:
3

Acclaimed historical fiction author Kathleen Kent sets her newest novel, The Outcasts, in her native state of Texas.  This titillating tale of the west regales the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Kent draws from historical records in her deft portrayal of period characters.  In alternating chapters, we follow the...

The gods of Gotham

by Lyndsay Faye

DPL Rating:
5

Great historical novel and mystery rolled up in one. The setting is 1840s New York City, a place with lots of poor immigrants and suffering. Firefighters were volunteers and the police force was just getting established. The main character is one of the first "copper stars" on the new force....

In Praise of Mary Doria Russell

Doc

Do you love literary fiction? Historical fiction? Science fiction? This author is a rare find - someone who can cross genres with ease, style, and literary merit. She has won many national and international awards for her work. If you haven't read her, you should!

Many years ago, I discovered The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and loved it, but somehow with all of the other books on my list, I never revisited her work. Then, this year, Doc hit our featured titles table. I snagged a copy and devoured it in three days. It was so good, I was compelled to read every work of fiction she ever wrote.

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