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 were refugees from the Inquisition in Portugal.  The researchers soon discover…

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 literature?  I heard of this book when it was nominated and…

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 them as well.  It’s thoughtful, interesting historical fiction written with Atkinson’s…

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 third of the book, so I can’t call it a five-star…

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 the movie Braveheart, although there were a number of historical inaccuracies…

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 departure from her other books.  This is a book that combines…

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