Category Archives: Historical Fiction

No One Is Here Except All of Us

I’m not sure what to make of this novel by Ramona Ausubel. It has the feeling of a fairy tale, but one in which the horrors are real. It’s a tribute to the power of storytelling, but it also exposes … Continue reading

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The Glass Palace

Ever since I read the Ibis trilogy (well, the first two-thirds of it!), I’ve been wanting to read more by Amitav Ghosh. I finally picked up The Glass Palace at the library, but I felt a bit hesitant. This book … Continue reading

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Hild

We don’t know much about Saint Hilda, or Hild, of Whitby. We know (from Bede) that she was born in 614, the second daughter of a prince of Elmet, who was poisoned when Hild was small. We know that she … Continue reading

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Lincoln in the Bardo

I like George Saunders’s short stories, but I was skeptical of his first full-length novel. The premise—Abraham Lincoln surrounded by a chorus of ghosts at his son’s grave—seemed like something that could just be plotless introspection. I’d don’t need books … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

The Wine-Dark Sea

The 16th book in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series finds the Surprise still in the South Pacific, en route to South America, where Stephen has a secret spying mission. The journey so far has been complicated, with multiple delays along the way, making … Continue reading

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The Truelove/Clarissa Oakes

Captain Jack Aubrey has never much liked having women on his ships, and in the 15th book in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, we can see why. Titled The Truelove in the U.S. and Clarissa Oakes overseas, this book follows the HMS Surprise through … Continue reading

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The Essex Serpent

I’ve been very much looking forward to the U.S. release of this novel by Sarah Perry. It has a Victorian lady naturalist, a minister, and a mysterious sea monster. What could be better? And the reviews from the U.K. have … Continue reading

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The Gustav Sonata

Gustav Perle and Anton Zweibel first became friends in kindergarten. New to their small Swiss town, Anton cried on his first day at school, and Gustav was the only one who could cheer him up. Their friendship was complicated at … Continue reading

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House of Names

It was supposed to be her wedding day. That’s what Agamemnon said when he sent for his daughter, Iphigenia. Her mother, Clytemnestra, was overcome with joy at the prospect of seeing her daughter married to the great Achilles. But after … Continue reading

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HHhH

This novel by Laurent Binet, translated from the French by Sam Taylor, tells the story of Operation Anthropoid, the plot to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, one of the key architects of Hitler’s Final Solution. Or, to be more accurate, it’s the story … Continue reading

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