Posts Tagged: historical fiction

Gutenberg’s Apprentice

October 13, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 23

Gutenberg’s ApprenticeTitle: Gutenberg's Apprentice
Author: Alix Christie
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Although this story was slow-paced, I loved how the author captured the way people would have thought and acted at such an interesting time in history.

When Peter Schoeffer’s foster-father insists he return to Munich, abandoning a promising career as a scribe in Paris, he’s dubious about Gutenberg’s invention. He doesn’t believe that a machine can replace a scribe and at first thinks the idea borders on blasphemy. However, as he is able to add some beauty to Gutenberg’s process, he begins to see the potential of the printing press. However, Gutenburg’s volatile temper and warring political and religious factions threaten what Peter has come to see as a divinely inspired project he must complete.
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Henna House

August 12, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction 13

Henna HouseTitle: Henna House
Author: Nomi Eve
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a beautiful, poetic, inspiring story. I loved both the rich historical setting and the exciting foreshadowing.

Adela’s father’s health is failing and he’s desperate to find her a husband. As a Jewish child, if she is  isn’t betrothed when her father dies, she will be take from her family to be raised by a Muslim family instead. Just when Adela is giving up hope, her uncle arrives with a handsome son and an aunt who teacher her about henna and the woman’s world her harsh mother has never let her be a part of. However, when Adela’s family is forced to flee to Aden, she will begin to discover herself only to be betrayed by those she loves.
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The Sea Garden

June 26, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 17

18635091Title: The Sea Garden
Author: Deborah Lawrenson
Source: from publisher for TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: The first of three interconnected stories didn’t work for me, but I enjoyed the second two and loved the way the three stories worked together to provide a richer experience.

Since this story is not just a dual narrative but a triple narrative, for the full explanation you’ll want to visit goodreads. The first storyline follows a British garden designer hoping a commission on a beautiful  island will be her chance to break into the international scene. However, once she realizes that her clients are eccentric and possibly malicious, she’s not sure the job is worth the risk. The second story is that of a young blind woman living in Nazi-occupied France with a difficult decision to make. And the third story is that of a British intelligence agent during WWII who falls for a French agent who disappears, suggesting he might have had hidden allegiances. The way these three stories connect is a surprise. Read more »

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All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

May 6, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Uncategorized 12

18505785Title: All That is Solid Melts Into Air
Author: Darragh McKeon
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Summary: Despite being a bit dark and depressing,  this book swept me off my feet with fantastic writing and a fascinating setting.

Signs of the impending collapse of the Soviet Union are everywhere, but fear of the regime is equally widespread. Piano playing prodigy Yevgeni faces violence daily as he travels the city. His aunt and mother struggle to make ends meet while staying under the radar. Everyone knows something has gone terribly wrong, from farm boy Artyom who notices that the cows’ ears are bleeding to Grigory, a doctor who sees how peoples’ lives are valued less than keeping up appearances. All of these characters will struggle to not only survive, but to make a difference. Read more »

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The Shadow Queen – Review and Giveaway

April 29, 2014 Historical Fiction 15

18209338Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: Sandra Gulland
Source: from publisher for France Book Tours
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although I wish the protagonist was more the focus of the story, I loved the lush historical setting and the plot which gave us a glimpse at a very cool facet of life in the 1600s.

Even as the young daughter of poor, travelling players, Claudette longs for a better life. When her mother begins working for a theater in Paris, it opens an opportunity for Claudette to interact with the rich and famous. She is beguiled by the life of the mysterious young lady Athenais, with whom she forms an uneasy friendship. When Athenais becomes the mistress of Louis XIV and needs someone she can trust, it is Claudette she asks to serve as her personal attendant. Claudette is easily seduced by the richness of life as Athenais’ attendant but quickly learns that life at court is as much about acting as the theater. Read more »

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The Collector of Dying Breaths

April 5, 2014 Historical Fiction 5

18144112Title: The Collector of Dying Breaths
Author: M.J. Rose
Source: from publisher for France Book Tours
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although the writing of this book included bits that were melodramatic and bits that were dry, I really enjoyed the action-packed plot, complex characters, unique mythology, and rich grounding in historical fact.

Jac L’Etoile has been hiding from her past. She’s avoided joining the family perfume business, is skeptical about her visions of past lives, and tries not to think about her ex-boyfriend Griffin. However, her brother’s death will force her to confront all three as she tries to finish his final project: reconstructing an ancient formula for reviving someone using their dying breath.  Through her visions, she learns about the originator of the dying breath project, René le Florentin. René is both a perfumer and a poisoner for Catherine de Medici. Only by learning about René’s tragic death can Jac hope to avoid the same fate. Read more »

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The Medea Complex

February 15, 2014 Fiction, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Thriller 10

18685624Title: The Medea Complex
Author: Rachel Florence Roberts
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This book was a haunting psychological thriller that kept me quickly turning pages, but it was also great historical fiction with a plot that perfectly fit the time period.

Lady Anne has been committed to Bethlem insane asylum, declared unfit to stand trial for a crime she doesn’t seem to remember. Her husband is unsure whether to love her or hate her and may harbor dangerous secrets of his own. Dr. George Savage simply wants to restore Lady Anne to her sanity and return her to her husband. However, when events spiral out of control both Dr. Savage and the reader will be forced to question everything they’ve learned about Lady Anne and her husband. Read more »

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Literary Love 2014 – Love In France

February 11, 2014 Blogger Events 25

Lately, I’ve been in love with all things France, so this week is the perfect time for me to share with you some of my favorite books set in France. Whether you like historical fiction or non-fiction, translated fiction or chick lit or steamy romance, there’s a book set in France that’ll be perfect for you 🙂 Read more »

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Some Almost Awesome Fiction in Mini-Reviews

February 3, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 23

17333319Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

The writing in this book was as beautiful as all the reviews say. Hannah Kent has the rare skill of finding new metaphors which speak right to the soul without relying on the familiarity of a cliche. The emotions, the tension, and the scenery were all very vividly brought to life. I was less impressed with the plot. Although I knew to expect this to be sadder than my typical fare, I was surprised by just how bleak things got. I was also unimpressed by the main characters’ naivete and inability to escape the bad situation which led to her present plight. Finally, while I loved the inclusion of “primary sources” and the real feel they gave the book, the author’s use of a report to unemotionally wrap up the ending felt very anticlimactic. The writing impressed me enough that I would still be happy to read more by Hannah Kent. Read more »

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The Secret of Raven Point

February 2, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 11

16130674Title: The Secret of Raven Point
Author: Jennifer Vanderbes
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This book was darker and more depressing that my typical fare, so I think it’s a testament to the author’s superb writing skills that I was blown away anyway.

Juliet Dufresne has always looked up to her brother so once he enlists, becoming a nurse is an easy choice. When her brother is reported missing in action, Juliet is determined to find out what happened to him, even if that means lying about her age. However, once she reaches the front, her only connection to her brother is  a man so shell-shocked, he may never speak again. Juliet will have to work hard to balance her desire to learn more about her brother with her duty to her patient. Read more »

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