The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah's novel The Nightingale traces the fate of two French sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, whose complicated relationship is further tested when the Nazis invade their country in the spring of 1940. The story starts when Vianne's husband, Antoine, joins the army to fight the enemy, and Vianne settles into a life that's increasingly full of... Continue Reading →

A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers

I've been on a dual-timeline narrative bender lately (see my review of The Lake House), so I picked up a copy of A Witch in Time at Barnes&Noble on a weekend trip just before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The protagonist is Helen Lambert, a high-powered DC publisher, who is reeling from a recent divorce and... Continue Reading →

Silence in the Woods by J.P. Choquette

As a new Vermonter, I'm fascinated by local folktales. None are more popular here than those telling of the possible existence of Bigfoot, a hairy, ape-like creature that is said to dwell in the wilderness. J.P. Choquette's Silence In the Woods is the first in the Monsters in the Green Mountains series that centers around... Continue Reading →

The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo

The Borgia dynasty of Renaissance Rome continues to fascinate 500 years later. Much has been written about them - fiction and non-fiction alike - but The Borgia Confessions offers a rare perspective - that of a servant to the famous papal family. Maddalena Moretti is a young widow from the rural Romagna region who arrives in Rome in... Continue Reading →

The Power to Deny by Wendy Stanley

The Power to Deny introduces the reader to one of the forgotten figures of the late colonial and revolutionary America. Elizabeth Graeme was a Philadelphia socialite and a poet in her own right who was friends with, and admired by, many in her day, including some of the men who went on to sign the Declaration... Continue Reading →

Conspiracy by S.J. Parris

The Giordano Bruno historical mystery series by S.J. Parris is one of my favorite, and part five, Conspiracy, does not disappoint. Set in Paris in the fall of 1585, it sees Bruno return to Paris after his latest adventure helping quash a plot against Queen Elizabeth in London. The philosopher is in search of a quiet life and... Continue Reading →

The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks

Among the slew of Tudor-era historical fiction novels The Locksmith's Daughter stands out with an interesting premise: its protagonist is a female whose primary identity is not that of someone's wife or mistress. On the contrary, Mallory Bright has a trade - of sorts. She can pick any lock. This being the 16th century, Mallory... Continue Reading →

The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

In the 1750s London, Genevieve Planché - a young Huguenot (descendant of French Protestants who had been forced into exile) - dreams of becoming a painter. But hers is not an era conducive to such female ambition. The most Genevieve can hope for is a job as a decorator at a porcelain factory in Derby,... Continue Reading →

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