book review, historical fiction

Review: Little by Edward Carey

Little by Edward Carey tells the extraordinary, fascinating origin story of the real Madame Tussaud: Marie Grosholtz. Some people may not know that Madame Tussaud was a real person, as she seems more like a legend given the various wax museums around the world bearing her name. Marie was real (referred to by the nickname… Continue reading Review: Little by Edward Carey

book review, historical fiction

Review: Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer

  Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer fictionalizes the true story of an 18th century Englishwoman who convinced doctors of all rankings--even the King's own--that she could birth rabbits. This unique historical nugget seems stranger than fiction, and Palmer vividly fills in the blanks and the world in which Mary Toft conducts… Continue reading Review: Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer

book review, historical fiction

Review: Fled by Meg Keneally

Based on the historical figure Mary Bryant, Fled by Meg Keneally follows the extraordinary journey of late 18th century Jenny from Cornwall to The Sydney Cove Penal Colony and all the raging seas and lives that could have been in between. When Jenny's fisherman/smuggler father dies, Jenny must find work to help support her mother… Continue reading Review: Fled by Meg Keneally

book review, historical fiction

Review: The Orphan’s Song by Lauren Kate

The Orphan's Song by Lauren Kate transports the reader to dazzling, romantic, and beautiful 18th century Venice. Violetta is an orphan at the Incurables, a hospital and orphanage where girls are raised in the musical arts to eventually perform in the prestigious Coro (where once sworn, a girl must never sing outside its walls.) From… Continue reading Review: The Orphan’s Song by Lauren Kate

book review, historical fiction

Review: The Widow’s War by Sally Gunning

Set in early 1760s Cape Cod, The Widow's War by Sally Gunning follows the story of Lyddie Berry after losing her husband to the sea. By modern standards, Lyddie is a young widow at 39, but the community and the law treat her as if she is a helpless, elderly woman. Lyddie has no choice… Continue reading Review: The Widow’s War by Sally Gunning

book review, historical fiction

Review: Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton

Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton is set in 18th Century London, specifically within the silk industry in Spitalfields. Set against this vibrant backdrop, Velton weaves together the stories of two women--Sara, a former harlot and now maid, and Esther, wife of a wealthy silk weaver. Arriving in London naive and sheltered, Sara is… Continue reading Review: Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton

book review, historical fiction, history

Review: The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins

  I need to preface this review by saying that about 80% into The Turning of Anne Merrick I found out this book was a sequel! First, this speaks to the fact that technically this novel can stand on its own. Second, Yes--there were moments where major events in the characters' pasts came up that… Continue reading Review: The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins

book review, historical fiction, history

Review: The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd

The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd tells the true story of Eliza Lucas, who at the age of 16 was given control of her family plantations after her father returned to Antigua to secure his political position. It is remarkable that in 1738, a father would give his 16 year old daughter control of such… Continue reading Review: The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd

book review, historical fiction, history

Review: The General’s Cook by Ramin Ganeshram

  The General's Cook by Ramin Ganeshram tells the true story the George Washington's head cook, Hercules, in Philadelphia during the first presidency. Hercules is a complex and formidable figure, enjoying the benefits of his "station" as the President's head cook, while at the same time still, in reality, an enslaved man. Although he is… Continue reading Review: The General’s Cook by Ramin Ganeshram

book review, historical fiction, history

Review: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

  The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar is a mix of well-researched historical fiction and magical realism, taking place in colorful 18th century London. I had an idea of what this book would be before I read it, but it turned out to be something else--pleasantly so. Take Hulu's Harlots and Emma¬†Donoghue's… Continue reading Review: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar