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Historical fiction adventures in the year 2018 cont.

Historical Fiction

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Edited: Sep 4, 2018, 6:08pm Top

I should have made this change in July ~ I believe two adventures threads each year
should work well going forward.

ALSO: the Audiobooks group would appreciate your input!

Edited: Sep 12, 2018, 5:16pm Top

Enjoying this Audible freebee ~

Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir
(England/1500s/latest in a Tudor series/read by Rosalyn Landor ~ excellent Regency voice ~ about 20 hours long)

UPDATE: a fave for the year

Sep 16, 2018, 3:21pm Top

Sep 17, 2018, 6:17pm Top

When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi. This was an audiobook, told in two voices, Fereiba and her teenaged son, Saleem. Both readers were very good, especially Sneha Mathan, who voiced Fereiba's character. I guess you could say it is *modern* historical fiction. The story is about a family from Afghanistan before and after the Taliban came to power. It is the story of every refugee who tries to find a safer home and comes up against obstacles at every turn. We have seen this played out on the evening news, on the big screen and in literature. This book is fiction but it is fiction based on the truth of the times we live in. Fereiba's son Saleem is separated from his mother and 2 younger siblings early on and it is only the goal of reuniting that keeps them both moving forward as they strive to reach England where her sister and her family are living. This is also a story about the depths of strength and courage in the human spirit, resources we can only hope never to have to draw on, ourselves, to such a degree.

Towards the end of this 11-disc audiobook, I found myself feeling that perhaps it was being drawn out a bit too long. But I reminded myself that in reality, for people on the run, any amount of time is too long, when it comes to seeking asylum and safety. And home.

I don't want to say more than this, for spoiler alert reasons. But this was a gripping and heart-rending story, well-written and I think it will stay with me awhile.

Sep 20, 2018, 1:22am Top

I have just finished yet another "Ramage" novel by Dudley Pope... Ramage's Diamond is a superb novel. This novel has Lord Ramage as captain of his own frigate in the Caribbean. He is assigned to blockade the French in a small island port. No spoilers here but suffice it to say with boldness and ingenuity he gets the job done. You have to read these novels in order as the characters and their history build upon each other novel by novel.

If you liked CS Forrester's Hornblower series.... you will really like Pope's Ramage series

Sep 20, 2018, 3:45am Top

My most recent historical fiction read was a mystery set in and around Toronto and Kingston, Ontario, in 1847: 47 Sorrows, by Janet Kellough.

Sep 20, 2018, 2:11pm Top

I have just started into reading The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. It so far is a compelling read and I doubt it will take more than 5 days to finish the 500+ page work.

Sep 23, 2018, 2:32pm Top

I recently finished The Incarnations by Susan Barker. Though the novel takes place in modern day Beijing, it also includes vivid chapters describing the various lives of a reincarnated soul (hence the book's title) throughout Chinese history. Quite good all in all.

Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 1:37pm Top

I just finished The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. It is a stellar fictional book on slavery in the late 1700's. Very well written and worth the 5 stars I give it...and more if it were possible.

I just checked out the book on LT and I cannot believe that this book has no readers here yet other than me. It is a national best seller in Canada, and winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for best book.

My copy is published in Canada and I see no USA pricing on it so it may not be available yet in the USA, but trust me, this is a book well worth reading.


Well there is something wrong with the Touchstones.... when I added the book to my library I found the proper one but it is not found through touchstones or searching.

To find the book and readers of the book go to my library and you will find it there and you can follow a link there.

Sep 28, 2018, 7:00pm Top

>9 Lynxear: - The reason you aren't seeing it here could be that for some reason, it was published in the States under a totally different title: Someone Knows My Name. It seems crazy to me to change a title that was chosen by the author but I suppose there is an explanation for it. I'm glad that the original was kept here in Canada. Have you seen the CBC adaptation of the book that was done some years back? It was exceptionally well done.

(explanation further down in this article)

Oct 2, 2018, 12:00pm Top

Just emerged from visiting China's Zhou Dynasty, thanks to Finding the Way: A Novel of Lao Tzu.

Oct 3, 2018, 7:40am Top

Enjoying this library audiobook ~

This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber

(Book #1, Verity Kent/post WWI England/a letter suggests that Verity's dead husband committed treason/British narrator)

Edited: Oct 3, 2018, 8:42pm Top

>10 jessibud2: I suppose the Canadian title was deemed offensive in the USA but the book exists on LT. If you go my library you will find it there with many many people adding it to their libraries and the reviews are superlative.

The problem is the tombstones which do not recognize the book.... also if you look up the author's name on LT you won't find the book listed as one of his novels with that name. I think that should be corrected. I would never look for the book under the name "Someone Knows My Name"

This title in no way relates to the subject of the novel, whereas "The Book of Negroes" does as it was a real book listing Black Loyalists moving to Nova Scotia and the main character, Aminata Diallo, was inserted into the story as the person who wrote the names into the book.

Ahhh I see now how it appears in LT.... when you click on the title Someone Knows My Name you go to the page that is IN REALITY "The Book of Negroes" as I show in the following touchstone.

So all that is required is put the REAL name of the book in its place and then somehow mention that American editions are titled differently.

The book under the name "The Book of Negroes" has won awards... "Someone knows my name" does not reflect that.

Oct 6, 2018, 6:02pm Top

I just discovered a new-to-me Canadian author, Jean E. Pendziwol. I have just started listening to her first novel for adults (she has written for children up to now), The Lightkeeper's Daughters, on audiobook and I am already totally drawn into the story. It is read by 3 narrators and is a very atmospheric story, so far.It takes place up near Lake Superior and involves mysteries and secrets being revealed after decades. After clicking on the touchstone, I see there are only 6 LT reviews for this book but all seem to have really liked it so I have high hopes. I can't actually say more than this as I am still only on disc 1.

Oct 7, 2018, 3:06pm Top

Murder at Midnight: An Eleanor Roosevelt Mystery

Girl in a Blue Dress: A Novel Inspired by the Life and Marriage of Charles Dickens The author changed the names because she didn't feel she could attribute things to Charles Dickens that he didn't same. But she was willing to put words in Queen Victoria's mouth.

Edited: Oct 9, 2018, 8:32am Top

Enjoying this library audiobook ~

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce
(WWII London/aspiring journalist secretly types responses in Mrs. Bird's advice column/humorous confusion and moving war-time realities/narrated by a Brit)

UPDATE: a fave for the year!

Oct 23, 2018, 8:23am Top

Not sure if this is actually considered historic fiction but I just finished The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Canadian author Jean Pendziwol. It was a very atmospheric story, told in basically 2 voices, alternating between past and present. Morgan is a teenager, in foster care, who has been caught *tagging* a fence that surrounds a senior's residence. As part of her rehabilitative service, she must remove the graffiti painting and repaint the fence. She also happens to meet one of the residents, Elizabeth, who is blind. Elizabeth enlists Morgan's help to read the journals that Elizabeth's father left behind and that have recently been found in a shipwreck off Porphyry Island in Lake Superior. There is a mystery hidden in those pages and it is slowly revealed as Morgan and Elizabeth discover the surprise connection between them, in that small, remote community where they live.

What I found particularly fascinating was the author's note after the story ended. She talked about the lighthouses and communities in that part of northern Ontario, their history, and how she used facts to help her develop the story, taking some literary license with dates, for example, to weave a story. I also loved learning more about a part of my own province that I knew nothing about. I listened to this on audiobook, and the 2 main readers were excellent. There was a male reader, as well, heard mostly at the very beginning and the end of the story but the story was mainly about Morgan and Elizabeth.

Oct 23, 2018, 11:43am Top

Scotland, 1943--training British spies before their parachute drop into France in Madeleine's War. It reminds me greatly of the BBC series "Wish Me Luck," if you've ever seen it (circa late 1980's).

Oct 23, 2018, 4:58pm Top

I'm currently in Malta in the 1550s with Francis Crawford of Lymond and The Disorderly Knights (Dorothy Dunnett).

Oct 23, 2018, 5:03pm Top

I'm reading what I once heard referred to as a "time-slip" book, which I'm not sure how widespread is as a term, but it was used to describe a book with a modern or modern-ish plotline alternating with a historical plotline. In this case, Unsheltered, which alternates chapters between the 1870s and 2016, and two different families in a structurally unsound house in Vineland, NJ. Some of it's a bit heavy handed but overall I'm enjoying it.

Oct 23, 2018, 5:06pm Top

>20 Unreachableshelf: - So funny. I just heard that term *time-slip* a couple of days ago. I found it confusing until it was explained.

Oct 26, 2018, 8:48am Top

>19 rabbitprincess: Advanced Reader points to you! I have tried to read Dorothy Dunnett; started on the first Lymond Chronicles, and while I wanted to love it, had trouble seeing the plot through the old-fashioned language and references. I need an abridged easy-reader edition :)

Oct 26, 2018, 9:54am Top

>20 Unreachableshelf: Its actually a pretty common term, actually I thought it was more for stories where a character is moving back and forth in time, like in Time Traveler Wife, as opposed to books that go back and forth in time with a modern story that fits with the actual story. The latter is not usually done well imho, Too often the orginal story is enough, and does not need the modern section to help move the story. In fact the modern story is often subpar the original.

Oct 26, 2018, 6:58pm Top

>22 gmathis: The first one is much heavier on the references; there aren't as many in later books. There's also a Dorothy Dunnett Companion that looks like it would explain a lot of the background material.

They are pretty meaty reads, though; I'm reading them at the rate of one a year :)

Edited: Oct 27, 2018, 6:42pm Top

Started this OverDrive audiobook ~
The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
(NYC, 1950s/socialites/Truman Capote/tale featuring betrayal and scandal)

UPDATE: pulled the plug!

Replaced with this OD audiobook ~

Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller

(Kansas, 1870s/novel authorized by Little House Heritage Trust)

Oct 27, 2018, 10:08pm Top

>23 cindydavid4: That's funny because I heard it as explicitly meant to differentiate a book from one that actually includes time travel.

Oct 28, 2018, 8:49pm Top

>26 Unreachableshelf: Hee, I suspect there are lots of definitions, so not surpriesed :)

Oct 31, 2018, 4:02pm Top

I am a great fan of Dudley Pope and have roughly finished 1/2 of his Ramage series of Napoleonic naval war novels.

He has another series of Yorke novels. LT does not include this novel Decoy in that series even though the leading character is Ned Yorke.

Decoy is set in WWII. The Germans have developed Enigma, which they believe is an unbreakable code/cipher machine. They have just introduced the Mark III version and new cipher manual. It is crucial that Britain gets their hands on this machine.

The book is well written. There is a lot of information about the use and usefulness of the Mark 111 and German U-boats.
There are few periods for "action" in this book. For example a good deal of this novel deals with acting as a decoy waiting in a lifeboat waiting to be spotted by a passing U-boat so the group can capture it. It could be such a dry period in the novel but pope fills that void with interesting material.... sometimes a bit too much but frankly I doubt anyone could do any better.

If you haven't read Dudley Pope novels.... give him a try...you won't regret it if you like naval novels

Nov 1, 2018, 8:53am Top

Just starting The Racing Factions, fourth in the Vespasian series.

Nov 5, 2018, 1:34pm Top

Enjoying this audiobook ~

The Player King by Avi

(England 1487/royal tale based on a true story/a kitchen boy's first person narrative/middle-grade lit)

Nov 6, 2018, 3:36am Top

I am back to reading Nevil Shute, this time the novel is A Town like Alice a WWII novel about an English woman in Malaya during the advance of the Japanese army...being captured with about 30 other women and being forced to march from town to town looking for a woman's prisoner of war camp but there never was one. She meets an Aussie prisoner who helps them out at a risk to his own live and after the war is over they try to find each other.

It is a very well written novel. I am growing to like Shute's writing a lot. Good story, well written with interesting characters. This is my second novel by Shute....it won't be the last.

Nov 7, 2018, 8:44am Top

That book and On the Beach are two of my favs of his; excellent writer

Nov 7, 2018, 10:04pm Top

>31 Lynxear:
>32 cindydavid4:

And in addition to those two I also loved Pied piper and Trustee from the toolroom

Nov 8, 2018, 12:00pm Top

>32 cindydavid4: >33 nrmay:

I finished A Town Like Alice in record time for me. I could not put the book down. It took me a while to understand the third person narrative style of the book but once I adjusted to it, I could not stop reading. Normally I am not a "love story" type of reader but found myself cheering for both men in Jean's life ... Noel, her trust representative and Joe her eventual husband. I wished I could meet a woman like Jean Page in real life. Very well written.... The last twenty pages were just tying up loose ends and seemed done in a rush to end the book but other than that there are a lot of twists in the story... never boring at all.

I think there is a movie by the same name.... I wonder how true it would be to the book.

I will definitely look for other Nevil Shute books.

Nov 8, 2018, 7:12pm Top

I'm tagging along with Rob Roy MacGregor in Nigel Tranter's MacGregor's Gathering.

Nov 8, 2018, 7:43pm Top

>34 Lynxear: I've never seen the Peter Finch movie of a "A Town Like Alice", but there was a 1981 mini-series starring Helen Morse as Jean, Bryan Brown as Joe and Gordon Jackson as Noel. That was very well done and quite close to the novel. Because it's longer than a movie, they didn't need to cut much from the story.

Nov 9, 2018, 11:46am Top

Have started Anne Perry's The Sheen on the Silk; Crusades-era Constantinople--not her normal Victorian London venue!

Nov 9, 2018, 8:09pm Top

I am back to my Napoleonic war era naval series with Dudley Pope's Ramage's Mutiny. I love this series and it is 20 odd books... this is the 7th and I am trying to spread them out and not binge read them.

Nov 14, 2018, 11:31pm Top

I finished Ramage's Mutiny another enjoyable read...not too deep, predictable but satisfying end even funny in parts.

Nov 18, 2018, 7:55am Top

Enjoying this Kindle eBook ~

The Dance Before Christmas (Lady Travelers Society) by Victoria Alexander

(Regency Christmas romp involving mistaken identity/Alexa is reading this to me with her British accent!)

Nov 30, 2018, 9:33am Top

Finished Lancelot by Giles Kristian, another retelling of the great story without magic or sorcery, after the Romans left Britain.

Dec 7, 2018, 2:36pm Top

I'm in 1793 at the moment in Little.

Dec 7, 2018, 5:48pm Top

I'm preparing to head to Ireland in 1921 with Morgan Llywelyn's 1921.

Dec 11, 2018, 9:54am Top

I am thoroughly enjoying Paris by Edward Rutherfurd. Lots of time hopping; primarily late 1300's and late 1800's.

Dec 13, 2018, 1:33am Top

Just finished Field Gray, the seventh book in Philip Kerr's scandalously entertaining "Bernie Gunther" Berlin Noir series. The book jumps around in time, taking us back and forth from Berlin, circa 1931, through Russian front World War 2, to the opening of the Cold War in Berlin, 1954.

Edited: Dec 23, 2018, 10:59am Top

Enjoying this informative OverDrive novel ~

Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher

(London & US, 1930s and 40s/Kennedy clan saga ~ Kick Kennedy's life is center stage)

Dec 15, 2018, 7:22pm Top

I spent the last couple of days spending the first part of the 19th century traveling from Barbados to the Arctic to England to Amsterdam to Morocco with Washington Black.

Dec 16, 2018, 3:18pm Top

Starting this Audible novel ~

A Tale of Two Hearts: Book 2 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas
by Michelle Griep

Dec 20, 2018, 8:53am Top

Looking forward to hearing this library audiobook ~

Lady Osbaldestone's Christmas Goose (Lady Osbaldestone's Christmas Chronicles series) by Stephanie Laurens

Edited: Dec 20, 2018, 9:24am Top

Edited: Dec 20, 2018, 1:33pm Top

>50 tealadytoo:

I enjoyed hearing the first two books in the Dicken's Christmas series, and I'm looking forward to hearing the third next year. I love listening to the British accent the narrator uses.

Dec 24, 2018, 9:50am Top

This book is not technically Historical Fiction but it is set in Australia about 65 years ago, titled The Far Country. The novel is really just fiction since Nevil Shute wrote it in the early 1950's.

I just started to read this novel but I love Shute's writing style though I confess at this stage (I did not read the description) I don't know exactly where this book is going yet.

Dec 24, 2018, 10:16pm Top

Historic fiction is in the eye of the beholder. i can make most anything fit :)

Dec 31, 2018, 1:09am Top

Well I finished The Far Country and enjoyed it very much. Actually it is more of a Historical Romance and as such I don't look for such books but Nevil Shute has a talent as a writer that he creates quite both male and female characters that are quite believable and interesting. A bit on the predictable side but there is one section that is quite riveting when there is an accident in a lumber camp and the lives of two men are placed in the hands of a German doctor who cannot legally practice medicine because he is technically not qualified in the eyes of the Australian government.

This is my third Nevil Shute book and I have convinced myself that I must read all of his novels now.

Group: Historical Fiction

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