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 →

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 →

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 →

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Given the subject matter of Kate Quinn's latest novel The Huntress, it is difficult to use terms like "enjoyment" and "fun" to describe the reading experience. So I will limit myself to saying that it is among the best historical fiction I have read in a long, long time. The novel opens with a scene at... Continue Reading →

Abigale Hall by Lauren Forry

In the wake of World War II, orphaned London siblings Eliza and Rebecca must live with their Aunt Bess, the only other family survivor. But Aunt Bess is not a very affectionate woman, and she is also deep in gambling debts. Thus begins the gothic suspense novel Abigale Hall by Lauren Forry. One day the... Continue Reading →

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