Category: Historical Fiction

Review: The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

I was afraid this book might be a little “sappy” for me. I like emotional reads but rarely read the kind of books described as “heartwarming”, and this book about a friendship between a dying teenager and an elderly woman fit that bill. But it came highly recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Best Books of Summer 2022,…

Review: The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews

I gave up reading historical romances for a little while because they started feeling dated and repetitive. I understand that it’s hard to write about independent women and diverse characters in times that don’t lend themselves to that. I’m grateful to Evie Dunmore – and now Mimi Matthews – for bringing me back to historical…

Best Reads of 2022 (so far)

I’ve read 65 books so far this year.  Of these, StoryGraph characterizes my reading as predominantly “emotional”, then “reflective”, “funny”, “mysterious”, “light-hearted”, and “informative”. My most frequent categories of books are romance, historical, contemporary, memoir, and literary (as categorized by StoryGraph, which isn’t necessarily the way I’d categorize each book). I’ve read more nonfiction than…

Review: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

I loved this novel about a strong, opinionated woman in the early 1960s who is a chemist, a single mother, and the star of a cooking television show. This sort of novel could easily become trite but it never did. Elizabeth Zott has to deal with sexism, harassment, and assault, as she navigates the world of science…

Review: The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule

I appreciate books that are hard to categorize because they cross genres. Not surprisingly, this debut novel by Blitz Bazawule, a musician, artist, and filmmaker, does exactly that. The Scent of Burnt Flowers tells the story of a young Black couple, Melvin and Bernadette, who flee the United States in 1966, after a violent altercation with…

Review: Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

I liked the idea of this book better than I liked the book itself. It’s set in 1950’s London, in a fictional shop called Bloomsbury Books. It centers around three women: Grace, who’s in an abusive marriage; Vivien, who longs to write and to manage the bookstore rather than merely stand at the cash register;…

Review: A Deadly Fortune and The Unquiet Dead by Stacie Murphy

I was offered a review copy of Stacie Murphy’s new novel, The Unquiet Dead, a historical mystery set in 1893.  Since it was a sequel, I decided to read A Deadly Fortune first. I loved both of them and highly recommend them for anyone who likes historical mysteries.  A Deadly Fortune, Murphy’s debut novel, introduces…

Review: Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

This is the kind of historical novel I love – it’s a decades-spanning family saga that builds on the author’s own family history.  In this debut novel, Fu tells a story that parallels that of her father, who is born in China during the Japanese War of Aggression in the 1940s and the Chinese Civil…