Tag Archive: historical-fiction



Seventh HeavenSeventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love me an Alice Hoffman book. I don’t what happened here. Okay, maybe I can make the allowance that reading this with text-to-speech makes the confusion of characters even more perplexing. There was a whole neighborhood of people with problems.

Maybe when you can read the book as a paper product, you can see whose point of view that you are looking through. Books with a lot of characters are hard when the author doesn’t give you a straight forward warning like the chapter name (character’s name) or first word (character’s name) of the new chapter. Especially with TTS.

Having read a couple of reviews, I found some who felt the story started with promise but went downhill. I was bewildered during the first part of the book. I just rode along feeling I would soon catch up. Sure enough by the end, I did seem to care about a couple of the characters and felt I was knowing who was who.

This book takes place in the late 50s early 60s. I didn’t need the author to spell that out as I recognized it right away. I remembered people saying and gossiping about the things included in the story. It is my least favorite part of my life. So it was painful to live it again. Still, I wonder how folks who are not of that era see all of this. Older women may see this far differently than Gen X-ers. I need to go read some other reviews to see if age affects the read.

Alice Hoffman writes so well that even when I am lost I stick with the book until the end. I certainly think others might enjoy this book thoroughly.

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The ForetellingThe Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun mythological story to read before bed. I always love an Alice Hoffman tale. I wonder if this could be made into a movie like Practical Magic? A tribe of women living their truth in their own time. And HORSES. Yep! All the fun things a fem could want to read about.

I may have to read this again sometime when escape isn’t my only intent. Or even if it is. I could jump into this world again. Maybe take it slower and absorb it more.

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The Bluest EyeThe Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish I would have read this any other year but 2020. In a year I am reading to escape pain, depression and just trying to breathe through the smoke, this book took me deeper and sadder and more disturbed. I am sorry anyone has to deal with the many problems the main characters in this book had to go through. Though this was a historical fiction, much of the bigotry, and abuse goes on still.

Toni Morrison did the narration of her own book and kept the story alive. Her writing is known for the poetic prose. I did appreciate that, but I found it made the story even more disturbing. I do plan to read more of her books. But not right now.

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What the Wind KnowsWhat the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My cousin recommended this wonderful book. I am so sad to leave it. Yes, there were tears at the end but not so much for sad ending, but sad because the story ended. I think I am going to have read/listen to it again.

Amy Harmon writing kept me so engaged that I didn’t want to go to sleep. I was lucky to hear the narration of Saskia Maarleveld , Will Damron. I prefer to hear the language of the Irish spoken by those who can speak it best.

If you are crazy about Outlander, like I am and time travel by any means, this is your book.

I would write a longer review but I am on my tablet so must keep this brief. All I can say is I highly recommend this book, expecially using Audible!

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Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series (Patternist, #1-4)Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have loved other books by Octavia E. Butler, but this set of four books just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t figure out the characters, who was who. Maybe it was because I had to listen to it on text-to-speech, though I did try to follow with my eyes. Still, I did stay with it. A lot of times if something doesn’t make sense it comes together in the end. But I didn’t find that. I found four different stories about similar things.

But don’t take my word for it. Others have loved these books so maybe it is just me and this time in my life. Heck, toothache from infection, smoky-hot summer, Covid19, and its craziness could have flavored how I took the books in. So maybe I’ll read them again later. I see that many people read these in publication order rather than chronological and get a lot more out of all of this combo. Ms. Butler writes well and keeps the reader interested, even when the story itself doesn’t go in the flow I think it should.

Try it. You might like it!

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The Space Between (Outlander, #7.5)The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That was fun. But so far from as long as I wanted. I don’t like short stories. I love a chance to get to know characters deeply. And though we met a couple of these earlier I wanted a lot more to their story. Even the newish ones I wanted to know deeper than given here.

Remember the Comte de Saint-Germain and Maitre Raymond? They’re back. I could do without the Comte. Maybe he is redeemable. But Raymond has some surprises.

Jamie’s nephew Michael, and his stepdaughter Joanie (Laoghaire’s daughter) appeared in this story also.

Either way, I would love to see a lot more of their life stories.

The most important concept, to me, was the possibility of time-travel into the future. Please bring this into a Gabaldon-size novel.

I want MORE!

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Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey, #0.5, #1.5, #2.5)Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I couldn’t leave the world of Outlander. This little book kept me involved for a couple more nights.

Short stories are not my cup of tea. Still, the three stories included kept my interest until the end.

Jeff Woodman, the narrator, held his own covering the characters and most especially our Lord John.

Diana Gabaldon’s wonderful writing and wit show throughout this book. And it did keep me in the Outlander world, sans time travel.

It is worth the read.

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The Island of Sea WomenThe Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Lisa See’s work. Her research is obvious and the story draws me in. And makes me want to know more about the Sea Women of the Korean island of Jeju.

This is another hot day, so I will keep this short so as to get off the heat-creating computer. Which brings me to remember my favorite aspect of the book, water, and swimming. The descriptions of the cold sea and the beauty of the underwater life cooled me off and distracted me from the other aspects of today’s life.

Jennifer Lim’s narration kept the characters individualized and interesting.

Maybe a warning is needed for the angst and sadness this book brings. It was wartime and the poverty and pain are there. But it seems truthful and helps us see how others have lived.

The research of the Sea Women draws me. And the heat imposes. I hope you get the chance to read this book.

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Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought that book 7, Echo In The Bone, was my favorite of the Outlander books. Nope. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood wins. It was fantastic!

Regardless of the time the characters land in they all grow and help us learn the rules of Gabaldon’s Time Travel.

What can I tell you that won’t spoil it for you?

As usual, there is a lot of research evident in the reading and as one supposes, there are instances of poetic license, which Diana Gabaldon admits that she has it framed on her wall.

The most exciting part of the book is as Breanna talks about Doctor Who in a chapter called, Thank You For The Fish. (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Now I really wish I had a TARDIS so I could play in all three universes.

And I wish I could move on to book 9 but my Audible credits don’t come until the middle of the month. A quick note about why I read by Audible most often now. Actual reading is impossible for my eyes. It seems a tracking issue. So I use a lot of Kindle Text-to-Speech. Though TTS works well for most books when there are other languages involved I want to hear the words pronounced correctly. Davina Porter is able to range the language barriers and character ages and sexes with apparent ease. I love listening to her.

If you get the chance, the books are as good if not better than the shows, and the Audible versions are the best of all the worlds. Enjoy!

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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book may be my favorite of all the Outlanders. Maybe because of how I chose to read it nearly 24/7. After all, I had reached the skinny-mini underbelly of all streamings–teen or young people who look like Barbie Dolls going through the samo-samo life issues. Give me some older adults, women of all shapes and colors, real people, not Hollywood-mothers, whores, or weaklings. Not enough streaming of strong women holding up half the world. So back to reading the only way I could. Audible.

Also, I was making scrubbies and washcloths while listening. That helped me ‘hear’ better.

By constant reading, I could stay in the story better. And family members came and listened with me on occasion. So it wasn’t a lonely process.

At any rate, I loved watching the cast of the characters struggle with life and time travel issues and historical moments. I especially loved the parts about Brianna and Roger at Lallybroch recovering letters from Claire and Jamie. And though I used to find Willy obnoxious, I think I clicked with him this time. And I grew more in love with John Grey. How nice to see good, honest, quality men portrayed.

I tried to find something else to read last night as my bedtime read but couldn’t resist looking for more Outlander. Now I am listening to book 8, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.

Time to lower my reading goal as I seem stuck in tome reading. I love it! I hope you get the chance to read these. Oh, and Davina Porter does so many voices so well. I still wish for more actual actors for sometimes Bri and Claire sound the same, and all the children sound the same, and Roger, even with his sore throat, sounds like other men. Still, for one person covering so many people, Davina is fantastic!

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