Tag: English historical fiction

Review: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

I recommend this historical novel about two researchers who discover a cache of letters from the 1660s about a rabbi in London and the young Jewish woman he’s taken in, Ester Velasquez.  The rabbi and Ester have emigrated from Amsterdam, but before that they… Continue Reading “Review: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish”

Review: The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

I loved this book, set in 18th century England, about a lonely merchant who comes upon a mermaid that changes his life.  Gowar’s debut novel is one of those rare books you can’t possibly categorize – is it historical fiction, fantasy, romance, or just… Continue Reading “Review: The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar”

Review: Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Readers of historical fiction will enjoy this book about MI5 agents in World War II (and post-WWII) London.  I also know there are some Atkinson fans who didn’t love Life After Life and prefer something a little more straightforward, so this book should please… Continue Reading “Review: Transcription by Kate Atkinson”

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

I wanted to love this book by the author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. I didn’t love it, a problem I’m having with a lot of books this year. I expected the book to be different from Major Pettigrew, so that wasn’t the problem. … Continue Reading “The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson”

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

This is a strange, complicated story, involving time and mind-reading and intricate clockwork. Pulley’s debut novel is artfully written and most importantly, the characters are well-drawn – except where they’re meant to be mysterious. I will say I struggled a bit with the last… Continue Reading “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley”

Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud

When I’m reading a novel about a historical figure, I want the book to be factual enough that I get a good sense of who the person was. I also want it to have an interesting story. And finally, if I admire the person,… Continue Reading “Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud”

The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney

If you’re interested in detailed historical fiction about Scotland, this is a great book. The Spider and the Stone tells the story of the years between 1296 and 1330, known as the Scottish Wars for Independence. You’ve heard of William Wallace if you’ve seen… Continue Reading “The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney”

Mini Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This was the last book I finished in 2013, and it was a great way to close the year!  I was struggling halfway through A.M. Homes, May We Be Forgiven, and needed something light, and Sweetness was on my shelf. To be honest, I’d… Continue Reading “Mini Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley”

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is Laurie R. King’s take on Sherlock Holmes towards the end of his career.  In this first book of a series, Holmes meet fifteen-year-old Mary Russell, an independent girl who is as clever and observant as he is.  As the title… Continue Reading “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King”

Review of A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

I was excited about this book, because I’ve been looking for a good historical mystery to sink my teeth into for a while.  I love the Monk series by Anne Perry, and I used to like C.S. Harris’ Sebastian series, but it’s gotten a… Continue Reading “Review of A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd”

Review: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

I’ve had kind of a mental block about writing this review, which is strange.  I often wake up with a review in my head and putting it on paper is easy.  I think it’s because I liked this book, but I suspect it’s a… Continue Reading “Review: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro”

Review of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life is one of those books that’s hard to review.  It’s a challenging read and it’s got glowing critical reviews.  I’m a big fan of Kate Atkinson, so I expected to like it, and I did.  Be warned though, it’s quite a… Continue Reading “Review of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson”

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