book review, historical fiction

Review: Things Past Telling by Sheila Williams

Things Past Telling by Sheila Williams is the sprawling of tale of Little Bird, or Maryam, a girl taken from her home in West Africa in the 18th century and transported to the Americas where she is forced to carve a new life path. The book is loosely inspired by the author's discovery of a… Continue reading Review: Things Past Telling by Sheila Williams

book review, historical fiction

Review: A Woman of Endurance by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

A Woman of Endurance by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa takes place in mid-19th century Puerto Rico and follows Pola, once named Keera, who is kidnapped from her home on the west coast of Africa and taken across the infamous middle passage. Pola/Keera grew up with a gift of being able to see ones' soul and past via… Continue reading Review: A Woman of Endurance by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

book review, historical fiction, history

Review: Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

Booth by Karen Joy Fowler explores a family made (in)famous by the history-altering actions of John Wilkes Booth. While many know that John Wilkes was an actor, many still may not know (including myself) that he came from a family of actors. His father, Junius Brutus Booth, was a famous Shakespearean actor in London who… Continue reading Review: Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

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Review: Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Faladé

Black Cloud Rising follows Sergeant Richard Etheridge of the African Brigade on their mission liberating Plantations in coastal North Carolina, as well as flushing out remaining Confederates and partisan guerillas. The story takes place in 1863, in a time and place where many enslaved men had fled their masters to join up with the Union… Continue reading Review: Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Faladé

book review, historical fiction

Review: Right Back Where We Started From by Joy Lanzendorfer

Right Back Where We Started From by Joy Lanzendorfer is a sweeping and complex multi-generational story set against the backdrop of an evolving America from the mid-19th century to WWII. In a way, it's also a love letter to the state of California and all the multitudes contained therein: the glamorous mystique of Hollywood, the… Continue reading Review: Right Back Where We Started From by Joy Lanzendorfer

book review, historical fiction, history, sci-fi

Review: Becoming Leidah by Michelle Grierson

Becoming Leidah is a magical realism tale set in 19th century Norway, a time and place still deeply entrenched in superstition, in which the clash between the Norse Paganism and Christianity was still culturally present. The narrative, rather than linear, moves between past, present, and future in mirroring the three Norns of Norse Mythology--the sisters… Continue reading Review: Becoming Leidah by Michelle Grierson

book review, historical fiction, history

Review: Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

  Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson follows Phebe Delores Brown, the child of an enslaved woman and the master of their plantation. Phebe has avoided the harsh field toil by weaving and sewing alongside her mother on the Bell Plantation in Charles City, Virginia. Her mother is a strong influence on her life--teaching her healing… Continue reading Review: Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

book review, historical fiction, history

Review: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

  Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier is based on the life of Mary Anning, an early 19th century fossil hunter, collector, and paleontologist (although without a formal education.) I first discovered Mary Anning during a visit to the National History Museum in London. I was fascinated by this young woman, whom I somehow had never… Continue reading Review: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

book review, historical fiction

Review: One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus is an alt-history novel, of sorts, in which the US government agreed to the true to life request of the Cheyenne tribe to send white brides to them in order to help integrate the Cheyenne into white society and thus survive. In reality, President Grant refused, but Jim… Continue reading Review: One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

book review, history

Review: Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

Long after the slave trade had ended, slavers and merchants would still travel to the West coast of Africa to illegally purchase new "property," while at the same time avoiding any nation's govt ships to bring the "contraband" to the US. Such was the case with Cudjo Lewis in the early 1860s, right before the… Continue reading Review: Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston