Category Historical Fiction

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

I was beyond thrilled to receive an ARC of Jennifer Robson’s The Gown. I’ve mentioned how much I love The Crown TV show before, so a novel featuring the women who made Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown sounded like it’ll be right up my alley! The Gown begins by taking its readers to post-WWII England. The […]

A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler

What a marvelous story! Therese Anne Fowler who brought the fascinating life of Zelda Fitzgerald into the limelight with her previous novel Z: The Beginning of Everything has returned with the life story of another remarkable woman. This time around Fowler’s focus is on Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, an American socialite in the Gilded Age […]

Like a Sword Wound by Ahmet Altan

Before I read Like a Sword Wound, the first volume in the Ottoman Quartet I knew very little of Turkey’s history or its present-day politics. So while I was reading this book, I spent a lot of hours on the internet researching this fascinating country. But, sadly, it seems like today people in Turkey, just […]

Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

Auschwitz Lullaby, which is based on a true story, begins one morning in Berlin when Nazis arrive at Helene Hannemann’s home while she is getting ready to leave for work. Helene is a German Aryan nurse married to Johann, a Gypsy. So since the WWII started times have been tough for the Hannemann family. Johann has […]

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Had The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock not been shortlisted for Women’s Prize for Fiction, I don’t think I’d have picked it up. It’s historical fiction, with a dash of romance and fantasy thrown in for good measure. Since the latter is not my jam, I found the notion of reading a 500-page novel featuring mermaids […]

Circe by Madeline Miller

I’m a big fan of Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, which is so far my favorite out of all the Women’s Prize for Fiction winners. So I was very excited when Miller’s second novel, Circe came out in April. Circe, a goddess of sorcery in Greek mythology, is the daughter of Helios, the solar […]

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one. Sarah Schmidt’s debut See What I Have Done begins on August 4th in 1892 at Fall River, Massachusetts, soon after the body of Andrew Borden, a wealthy manufacturer/ entrepreneur is discovered by […]

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky

I saved Suite Française, the novel that revived the world’s interest in Irène Némirovsky when it was published close to six decades after her death, for last. Suite Française is the first two parts of what is considered Némirovsky’s masterpiece; a five-part novel she had in mind that would have taken the model of Beethoven’s […]

Niki: The Story of a Dog by Tibor Déry

The Ancsas are a middle-aged couple in Communist Hungary. They are quite an ordinary couple – Mr. Ancsas is a mining engineer, and Mrs. Ancsas a housewife – living in the outer suburbs of Budapest. However, Niki is not a story about them; it is the heartwarming story of the terrier that finds and adopts […]

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Do Not Say We Have Nothing is a book that completely surprised me! When I started to work my way through the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 shortlist, I kept Do Not Say We Have Nothing for last because the reviews I read about it were mostly negative. One of the recurring complaints by some […]

The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell

In 1857, when Chapatis begin to appear mysteriously in the most unexpected of places, only Mr. Hopkins, the Collector for East India Company senses danger. His attempts to warn others fall on deaf ears. Yes, the British made a mistake in handling religious matters in India, but surely the native Indians wouldn’t want to reject […]

Troubles by J. G. Farrell

Major Brendan Archer meets Angela one afternoon in 1916 while he was on home leave. When letters come pouring for him to the trenches, signed ‘Your loving fiancee, Angela,’ it seems like Brendan may have acquired himself a fiancee without having any recollection of it. So after the war ends in 1919, Brendan goes to […]

The Judges of the Secret Court by David Stacton

In 1963, two years after David Stacton published The Judges of the Secret Court, Time magazine named him one of “the best American novelists of the preceding decade.” Alongside Stacton in the list were big-league literary giants like Joseph Heller, John Updike, and Philip Roth. However, Stacton was not a well-known writer in his time – his historical novels didn’t make […]

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart’s Invisible Furies is the story of Cyril Avery, a Dubliner. Cyril’s story is told in different times of his life, from his conception to his old age, and in the backdrop, we see the gradual transformation of Ireland. The back cover says this novel is John Boyne’s most ambitious novel yet, and it […]

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

There aren’t a lot of books set in Sri Lanka, my motherland. So I was thrilled to read The Tea Planter’s Wife, a story set in the early 1900s when Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon. The protagonist of the story is Gwen, a nineteen-year-old white lady who joins her older, widowed husband, Laurence in […]