Filed under Historical

The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I

Like fine wine, author Alison Weir is better with age. Or maybe it’s just taken this long to forgive her interpretation of Elizabeth I’s early years. The more Tudor historical fiction one reads the more one is apt to forgive the glossing over of certain persons and events, as well as the concept of artistic license. Still, it would be safe to say that this novel is Weir’s crowning achievement as she flawlessly manages to both realistically and sympathetically  portray Elizabeth’s endless sidesteps and intricate machinations in avoiding “the married state.”

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Rainwater will stay with you for a long time after you have read it.  This rare and beautiful story focuses on a woman struggling to run a boarding house alone with a child that has special needs. Set in the 1930’s when times were hard and life was uncertain, a man named Mr. Rainwater comes along; he will ultimately change their lives.
April Continue reading

Rules of Civility

It’s New Year’s Eve 1937 in New York City.

Katey, the witty narrator, and her roommate, Eve, both in their twenties, find themselves enraptured by a smartly-dressed man who enters the bar. The three quickly form a friendship throughout the following year that takes the women into social circles far beyond their boardinghouse.
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Madame Tussaud

It is France in the year 1788 and the Revolution is about to begin. Young sculptress Marie Grosholtz works with her family in the wax salon, the Salon de Cire in Paris. She has become an accomplished artist and business woman and her uncle’s salon has become a meeting place for revolutionaries.
Maggie Continue reading

Shadow on the Crown

Life in Dark Age Britain 1002 A.D. – Viking raids every summer and cold and hunger every winter. Not exactly a Disney movie!

15-year old Emma is thrust into the center of this violent world with her marriage to 35-year old English king, Athelred II (Not the Unready – he’s later!). Emma is the sister to Duke Richard of Normandy and a pawn to ensure that Richard not provide shelter to Viking raiders from Denmark.
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The Anatomist’s Wife

When Kiera, Lady Darby’s, husband died suddenly, her role in his work on an anatomy text was discovered. She is vilified as unnatural and shunned from polite society. She returns to Scotland to live with her sister and her family and to continue to paint portraits, although now she must sell them under a pseudonym. During a house party at her brother-in-law’s estate Kiera is reluctantly drawn into the investigation for the hideous murder of one of the guests.
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The Plum Tree

It is 1938, in a quiet, beautiful German village and the country is on the brink of another World War. Seventeen year-old Christine and Isaac are in love and afraid of their families’ reaction. Christine is poor and met Isaac while working for his wealthy parents. They soon discover that class differences are the least of their worries — Isaac is Jewish.
Beth Continue reading

The Dovekeepers

The year is 70 C.E. and Roman armies are destroying the desert villages in Judea one by one. Four women, each with her own secrets and superstitions, toil in the dovecotes, tending to the sacred birds and fertilizing the fragile mountain soil near the fortress of Masada.
Karen Continue reading