Genre: Historical Fiction

Caroline (Little House Revisited)…by Sarah Miller

Caroline (Little House Revisited)…by Sarah Miller

 The books that really got me reading as a child are the ‘Little House’ series. I was also a huge fan of the show (I cried during the finale). One Christmas my parents gave me a boxed set of all the ‘Little House’ books. I still have them today . When I heard about ‘Caroline’ I couldn’t wait to read it. Also, I can’t get enough of this cover!     ‘Caroline’ is told in third person. The entire novel is pretty much Caroline’s thoughts. This gives the story a very different feel then the ‘Little House’ books. Since it is told from an adult’s perspective it has a much grittier and darker tone. Children are able to see everything as an adventure where adults have to sweat the details and shoulder the worry. This is true when comparing ‘The Little House Books’ to ‘Caroline’. In fact this is the best book I’ve ever read that represents what it feels like to be a mother. There is never a moment when you aren’t thinking and worrying about your children.    Caroline’s story also really drives home the debt that Americans owe to the pioneers.  For example, before the Ingalls leave […]

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We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

Zara feels shut off from her Bosnian born mother. She knows that her mother survived some horrible things in the Bosnian war but Zara wants desperately to understand who her mother is. So when Zara, her mother, and her little brother are victims of a tourist attack, Zara begins to understand what emotional and physical trauma can do to a person and a family.   I really love a good historical fiction. Good historical fiction is entertaining while at the same time teaches us about significant events. I have noticed that much of the historical fiction out there covers the really well-known periods of history. For example: the Tutor period, the American Civil War, WWI, and especially WWII. I really love it when I find a  novel that explores world events that are lesser known . When I read the synopsis of, ‘We Are All That’s Left’, I knew this was a book that I had to read.   ‘We Are All That’s Left’, alternates between Zara dealing with the aftermath of a present day terror attack and Zara’s mother, Nadja, living in war-torn Bosnia in the past. Going into the story, I did know a little about the Bosnian […]

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The Bone Sparrow…Zana Fraillon

The Bone Sparrow…Zana Fraillon

Subhi is born in a refugee in an internment camp. He has never seen the outside world. He has no books, no school, and not enough food, water, or clothes.   Every once in a while I stumble on a book that totally takes me by surprise. One that I haven’t heard anything about. A book that you had no idea would be so meaningful, impactful, wonderful, and life changing. One that rips out your heart, and in the process makes you a totally different person. ‘The Bone Sparrow’ is definitely one of those books. I had absolutely no idea what ‘The Bone Sparrow’ was about going in to it. Right before I started reading it, I read over the synopsis, so I had a vague idea that it was about a refuge.  I was not at all  prepared for the punch that ‘The Bone Sparrow’ gave me.   First thing is that Subhi is only ten years old. Honestly, the story did seem as if it is  told by a ten-year old. As the mother of three kids around this age, I am stunned at what Subhi had to endure. Lack of enough food, clothes, water, places to bathe, a school, or […]

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Glow…by Megan E. Bryant

Glow…by Megan E. Bryant

‘There’s a certain kind of light that I should have been afraid of all along.’   Radium was discovered by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie on December 21, 1898. When radium decays it causes luminescence.  With America’s entry into WWI came a need for self-luminous aircraft switches and instrument dials. Marie and Pierre Curie by André Castaigne  Soldiers involved in trench warfare were especially in need of watches that could be seen in complete darkness. The harmful effects of radium were not yet known.    Factories that produced the luminescent dials were set up Orange, New Jersey, Ottawa, Illinois, and Waterbury, Connecticut. These factories employed young girls and women to paint the numbers and hands with radium. Enter the radium girls. Watch hands painted with radium  The painters were instructed to point their paintbrushes between their lips to create finer details on the numbers and hands of the watches. Not surprisingly, soon many of the workers began experiencing sores, anemia, and bone cancer. Radium is treated as calcium by the body and is deposited in the bones. The dial painting companies tried to cover up the adverse effects of radium and insisted that their workers were suffering syphilis (let that sink in for a minute). […]

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Hard-Hearted Highlander…by Julia London

Hard-Hearted Highlander…by Julia London

The Highland Grooms series centers around the Mackenzie clan. Each novel revolves around the relationship of one of the male members of the family. Robbie’s love is killed while he was in exile.  Bernadette is the governess of the women Rabbie’s family has arranged for him to marry. Almost immediately both Rabbie and his intended, Avaline, know that they are not a good match. Avaline is smitten with one of Rabbie’s brothers and Rabbie is drawn to Bernadette. It turns out that  Bernadette has a tragic past of her own. I am not a big romance reader. I can honestly say that I only occasionally read a romances . When ‘Hard-Hearted Highlander’ came as  surprise book mail, I wasn’t sure I was going to read it. ‘Hard-Hearted Highlander’ takes place eighteen century Scotland just after the Jacobite Rebellion . The historical information in ‘Hard-Hearted Highlander’ is amazing. I learned so much about Scottish and English relations during this time period. I also was enthralled by the descriptions of the landscapes of Scotland. (While we were at the  library sale in Gainesville last weekend, I heard two women having a discussion about how much history is covered in many romance novels. If ‘Hard-Hearted […]

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Lucky Broken Girl…by Ruth Behar

Lucky Broken Girl…by Ruth Behar

‘Lucky Broken Girl’ is a middle-grade novel about a girl named Ruth. Ruth is growing up in 1960’s NYC. Her family is Jewish and Cuban . It is a semi-autobiographical novel about Ruth Behar’s childhood. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’s focus is on the year Ruth was in a full body cast following a car accident. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’ gives the reader a unique perspective about childhood injury. It explored, in gritty detail, the boredom, humiliation, sadness, and fear that Ruth experienced during her year in bed. This story was well written and I loved that none of the characters were picture perfect. Ruth could be whiny and self adsorbed at times. Her father is macho and controlling. While her mother is often resentful of Ruth’s situation. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’ is richly detailed. The diversity was well done and the history in ‘Luck Broken Girl’ was amazing. Ruth and her family are Cuban but are also Jewish so they demonstrate a wealth of cultural identity. Ruth also has a friend who is Indian so there was a lot of information about Indian culture and beliefs. This also made an amazing background story. Ruth’s grandparents had left Europe during the buildup to the  World […]

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The Shadow of a King…by C.M. Gray

Posted August 19, 2017 by Karen in Books, Reviews , , / 0 Comments
The Shadow of a King…by C.M. Gray

‘The Shadow of a King’, tells the story of Uther Pendragon, King Arther’s father. The story begins with Uther late in life and near death. The ‘The Shadow King’ then flashes back to Uther’s early reign. What I Loved: The concept of the story of King Uther’s father is an interesting one. Something that has not been done a lot in literature. Gray gave strong personalities to the characters. Uther, Morgan Le Fay, Gorlois, and Sir Ector, all had complicated and deep characteristics that added depth and interest to the story. The descriptions in ‘The Shadow King’ were also vivid and interesting. The Middle Ages are often romanticized. In ‘The Shadow King’ everything is described in gritty reality. Gray really brought alive how dark, dirty, and unhygienic the middle ages were. What Left Me Wanting More: Although I did like the flash backs, I wish they would have been more delineated. I was often confused when a flashback stopped and started. Also, the flashbacks were very long and I often had to go back to see what was happening before the flashback. There were also a few flashbacks within a flashback. Although, I did love almost all the chapters,I found […]

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Otherwise Known as Possum…by Maria D. Laso

Otherwise Known as Possum…by Maria D. Laso

‘Otherwise Known as Possum’ is a middle-grade historical fiction novel. The story takes place in the deep south during at the height of the great depression. The titular character, Possum Porter’s, mother and baby brother recently died in childbirth. Adding to Possum’s grief, her father decides to send her to the town school (up until then she had been homeschooled). Possum’s goals  become to show her daddy that she is too smart for school and to keep her teacher, Ms. Arthington, away from her father.     ‘Otherwise Known as Possum’ reminded me a lot of ‘Little House on the Prairie.’ There were major differences such as the setting and time period. However,the story just had the ‘Little House ‘feel to me. There were also obvious similarities such as ‘Mary Grace’ being the daughter of the  town store owner and she constantly teases ‘Possum’. Also, the town Possum lived in had a ‘Walnut Grove’ type of atmosphere.   What I Loved… I think that historical fiction middle-grade books are very important. In today’s time, where kids spend their time glued to devises, it’s important for them to take glimpses into the past. One of the best ways to do this is by reading a great historical fiction  book. I […]

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The Christmas Eve Letter…by Elyse Douglas

Posted October 19, 2016 by Karen in Book Tours, Books, Giveaways, Reviews / 2 Comments
The Christmas Eve Letter…by Elyse Douglas

Review   Eve Sharland is just coming out a messy divorce, when she finds a touching love letter inside a lantern . She is startled to realize that the person the letter is addressed to has the same name as her. She discovers the lantern can propel her to 1885 New York city. She also realizes that she may be there to change the past. She  struggles in eighteenth century to fit in and find her way home.   Ever since I saw the movie’ Somewhere in Time’ as a child, I have been intrigued by the idea of time travel. Especially, time travel with romance woven in. So I was really excited to read ‘ The Christmas Eve Letter’.   The descriptions of ninth century New York was vivid and very well researched.  One thing that is not realized in some novels is that speech and slang terms were different in the past and those things were definitely addressed in this story. I liked the character of Eve. She seemed like a genuine twentieth century women. Very much independent but not without faults. Her love interest sub-plot with Patrick added more depth and emotion to the storyline.  I flew through reading this […]

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Time and Regret….by M.K. Tod-Blog Tour

Time and Regret….by M.K. Tod-Blog Tour

    Read an Excerpt When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past and to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man and suddenly aware that someone is following her. Through her grandfather’s vivid writing and Grace’s own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasn’t the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them. Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound Review ‘Time and Regret’ is the story of Grace, a newly divorced career women and mother, struggling to regain her identity. Grace finds an old tackle box of her grandfather’s while cleaning out her attic. […]

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