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 →

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 →

Writing a Family Story as Historical Fiction

Guest blog by Peter Curtis  After retiring from medical work, I decided to write an account of my family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Prague in 1939. I researched refugee life in France and Britain and read a host of WWII accounts: military events, famous or infamous people, insurmountable obstacles overcome, and Holocaust survivals. I always had... 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 Arrival of Barbara Radziwiłł

Excerpt from Midnight Fire, Jagiellon Mystery #2 Increasingly bored, I was about to turn to Maria, when the volume of conversations suddenly abated and heads turned toward one corner of the hall. A sense of anticipation filled the air, as if the gathering awaited the beginning of a performance by a troupe of players, lowering... 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 Lake House by Kate Morton

I haven't enjoyed a novel like Kate Morton's The Lake House in a long time. What a revelation! A dual time narrative, the novel tells the parallel story of Alice Edavane whose baby brother Theo went missing from the family's Cornish estate in the summer of 1933; and that of Sadie Sparrow, a Met detective... 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 →

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