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 →

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel

Today's review is a bit of a throwback, especially given that Hilary Mantel recently published the last book in her historical Cromwell series, The MIrror and The Light. However, that book had rather mixed reviews, so to get my Mantel fix I reached for something else on my shelf, A Place of Greater Safety, published in 1992.  I have... 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 →

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 →

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