The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

In 1974, fourteen-year-old Leni Allbright and her parents Ernst and Cora move from Seattle to the wilderness of Alaska looking for a fresh start. Leni's father had returned from Vietnam a broken man, haunted by horrific memories that rob him of sleep and render his moods volatile and unpredictable. The family hope that the harsh beauty... Continue Reading →

Tombland by C.J. Sansom

In this latest installment of the Matthew Shardlake series, the eponymous character decamps to Norfolk on a personal mission for the Lady Elizabeth and becomes embroiled in a massive uprising that threatens to engulf England.  In the early summer 1549 - during the reign of Edward VI - Lady Elizabeth Tudor becomes concerned about the... Continue Reading →

Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit

The popular perception of those who arrived on the shores of North America on the Mayflower is that they were all godly puritans and that the colony of Plymouth was an idyllic community where everyone worked equally hard and religious harmony prevailed.  This image may be idealized, if we are to believe the version of... Continue Reading →

Zoli by Collum McCann

Colum McGann's novel Zoli delves into the little known world of eastern European Roma, who for centuries were known as Gypsies. Although set mainly in Slovakia, it is loosely based on the life of Polish Roma poet Papusza.  Disaffected Irishman Stephen Swann arrives in Slovakia in the early postwar years, attracted by the revolutionary allure of the... Continue Reading →

Treachery by S.J. Parris

In the fourth installment of the Giordano Bruno series, Treachery, Sir Francis Drake is still basking in the glory of being the first person to circumnavigate the globe. It is August 1585 and he is preparing for another sea voyage, which this time will take him to the New World via the coast of Spain,... Continue Reading →

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters's The Little Stranger combines historical fiction with a touch of supernatural. Set in a crumbling, gloomy manor of Hundreds Hall in the English countryside in the immediate postwar years, it has a psychologically tense air that will appeal to many gothic mystery fans.  Middle-aged country physician,  Dr. Faraday, is called one day to attend to... Continue Reading →

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon's historical novel Flight of Dreams imagines the lives of the Hindenburg passengers in the final days before the epic disaster that destroyed the airship. The history is well-known: in the 1930s, the world's aviation industry was rapidly changing and expanding into intercontinental passenger travel, and nothing was a greater symbol of those ambitions that the... Continue Reading →

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 →

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