Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen

I loved Dexter Palmer’s previous book, Version Control, and so I knew I’d be interested in whatever he did next. However, I did not expect his next book to be about a woman who, in 1726, claimed to be giving birth … Continue reading

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The Water Dancer

There is a lot to like about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ debut novel. I appreciated, for example, the way he illuminates the complex relationships between the enslaved and those who enslaved them, especially when, as so often happened, those characters were actually … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

The Heaven Tree Trilogy

“You think you will be healed of your hell when you have made hell everywhere about you.” One of the main heroes of Edith Pargeter’s Heaven Tree trilogy spoke these words to a villain who’d made it is mission to … Continue reading

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The Long Song

I’ve recommended Andrea Levy’s novel Small Island many times since I’ve read it, and I’ve wanted to read more of her books but (as usual) never got around to it. Her death back in February put her back on my radar, … Continue reading

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Kristin Lavransdatter 3: The Cross

The final book in Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy (translated by Tiina Nunnally) finds Kristin, Erland, and their sons back at Kristin’s childhood home of Jørundgård, thanks to Erland’s political machinations detailed in The Wife. They no longer have the wealth and influence … Continue reading

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Kristin Lavransdatter 2: The Wife

The second volume in Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, translated from Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally finds Kristin newly married and pregnant, learning to adjust to her new home at Husaby. Although she finally has the marriage she longed for for … Continue reading

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Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Wreath

Sigrid Undset’s trio of novels set in 14th-century Norway tells the story of a young woman named Kristin, daughter of the prosperous farmer, Lavrans (hence the name Lavaransdatter). The first novel, The Wreath, translated by Tina Nunnally, was published in … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

The Doctor’s Wife

Ever since Kae was a little girl, she was fascinated by the Hanaoka family, especially Otsugi, a beautiful woman who married into the family. So Kae was delighted when Otsugi approached her family to ask if Kae would marry her … Continue reading

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Warlight

In post-War London, Nathaniel and his sister Rachel have been left behind by parents who decided, for reasons they don’t make clear, to go to Singapore for a year. Although the plan was for the two to go to boarding … Continue reading

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Washington Black

George Washington Black was a field slave in Barbados when, at age 11, he is pulled away from everyone he knows to become the assistant to Christopher Wilde, brother of his master, Erasmus. Christopher (known as “Titch”) treats Wash not … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 14 Comments