Tag Archive: historical-fiction



The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of, #2)The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross by Lisa Tuttle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was different! And fun!

After so many problems with the text-to-speech and a miraculous fixing, I got to hear the whole book. Here let me share the blurb that brought me to diving in.

“The paranormal answer to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Jesperson, and Lane are turning the Victorian era upside down in this bewitching series from John W. Campbell Award winner Lisa Tuttle.”

As much fun as this adventure was, I did get angry with how the women were treated. And how they accepted the treatment. But it was that era, so I guess it wouldn’t be right to have a down-right rebel, though Bridgerton is doing a good job of bending the historical rules.

I was lucky to find this on NetGalley.

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Kristin Lavransdatter (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1-3)Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was the longest book I think I have ever read. It was agony. I’m glad I listened to it on Audible.

I’m sorry. I know a lot of people absolutely loved this book. Okay, it is three books in one. But it just seemed to go on and on. It was like living in that miserable time when misogynic religion ruled everyone’s life.

Still, I did like the main character and watching her make up her mind about life. I must have liked it as I couldn’t stop reading it even though I wanted to quit. The whole time I was reading, was it a month? All I could think about was trying to write a decent review. So let me lead you to a review that says what I felt better than I can. Read Rachel’s Review.

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Beneath a Scarlet SkyBeneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a compelling story. I loved that I got to ‘read’ it through Audible on Kindle Unlimited. It was quite interesting.

Normally, I don’t like war stories. And my mission has been for quite some time to read female writers and female main characters. Mostly because in my early life, I only had male books to read to. I am feeding my inner child. Even so, I make exceptions. This one qualified. It is based on a true story, and I did love the main character in most of the book.

Pina is the main character, and I think I loved him because he tried so hard to help his loved ones, and then he tried to help others to safety in a world that was going wrong all around him.

I highly recommend this book, especially the Audible version. It is longer than my usual read, but It kept me up until 4 AM a couple of times. I just didn’t want to leave him to fight without me. And the story, probably because it is based in a sucky reality, stayed with me into my sleep. I pray we never have that kind of thing happen in the world again!

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The Last Tea Bowl ThiefThe Last Tea Bowl Thief by Jonelle Patrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m sorry it took me so long to review this. I read it while deeply into NaNoWriMo, so taking the time from my own writing seemed impossible. But finally, here I am!

I love Jonelle Patrick’s writing. I always find myself drawn in by her characters and the virtual travel to Japan. I am not much into mysteries because most involve murder and finding who did the murdering. This mystery goes histories deep, and it is to find what happened to the tea bowls and the artist who made them. My way of describing this story sounds rather boring. The author makes this an adventure in two parts of Japan’s history. All the characters seem real and in the now with the reader. Best of all, in this book, there is no murder, even though in war times. Meanwhile, we learn a little about modern Japan while being taught about people’s rituals and beliefs from three different generations of Japan.

I was sad to leave the book in the end. As always, I want to know more. Don’t worry. You feel secure by the ending. Our main character, who has had to research the feudal and WWII Japans, grabs your heart as she tries to keep family and soul together.

Great job with something quite different in this genre Ms. Patrick!

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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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