Tag Archive: historical-fiction



The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London, #1)The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If you like a romantic tale of the victorian era, Mimi Matthews has written one for you. Not for me. And though Lydia Hanman (Narrator) did a good job reading for her part, Vidish Athavale was horrible. I always hate males doing female parts. He didn’t even do well for the male he was supposed to portray. But then he tried to read for his counterpart, which threw the whole story.

It just wasn’t my kind of story. But I thank Libby for letting me read it.

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UnshelteredUnsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve gotten behind on my reviews. But after thinking about this book, I remember a lot more than I thought I did. My first thought was how the teen daughter had so much to say about life here and elsewhere, Cuba, for example.

Then I remember the historical references and am so glad I read this book.

The author narrated it. She did an excellent job keeping the story and characters separated and believable.

I highly recommend reading this book. Since it’s been a while, I will leave you to read other reviews of the book. I still have good feelings about it and wouldn’t mind rereading it. I was able to read it through Libby, the library app.

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Galway BayGalway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I can see that this book was full of history and the overall story felt true, it was long and hard to read, even with text-to-speech. It might have been easier to read than listen to the robot voice trying to pronounce the Irish words. I would have loved this with a narrator who might have known how to say the Gaelic verbiage.

On the other hand, I loved the main character and her family. She painted a realistic picture of 19th-century Ireland during the potato famine. After all the Outlander taught me about Scottish life, this is more of an eye-opener of how the English treated people. It showed that we haven’t grown in any way with how we all treat people, looking for those who represent ‘the other.’

I think I would like to read this again with narration. It might make a good series as we follow this young girl through old age.

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Before We Were YoursBefore We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a while to figure out who was who. And until that lightbulb went off over my head, I found the story boring. Suddenly, there was the clue, and it all fit together. My biggest problem was not reading to see if I was right. That need to know for sure seemed to pull me more than the plot or characters.

Still, in the end, I was deeply caring for all the characters and hoping for their best endings.

Above and beyond the story is the truth of the story that this happened and continues to happen in real life. The cruelty to children and poor parents that cannot have their own true lives. That money can buy others’ lives for their own purposes.

This book is worth the angst it brings as you dive into the story. The awareness of how it can happen will be with me forever. As it should. Oh, and Emily Rankin’s narration was acted out like a full-blown movie. It made every chapter come to life.

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The Book Woman of Troublesome CreekThe Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quite an interesting read. Even though I read these out of sequence, reading book two first, I found I like both stories. They were very similar, and with the same narrator, Katie Schorr, I felt both main characters were the same. Still, when I took a moment, I found my way back to the current person. Her voice fits the characters and keeps the story going.

Until these stories, I don’t think I remember hearing about the blue-skinned people of Kentucky until these books. But what doesn’t surprise me is the bigotry of the willfully ignorant. Though the main character does everything in her power to help others, some see a minor issue as something to hate a person for.

What is fun is watching the main characters of the two books grow in their abilities as librarians, teachers, women, and riders of an onery mule.

This story is worth reading, even if you have to read this out of order.

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In Falling Snow: A NovelIn Falling Snow: A Novel by Mary-Rose MacColl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite my brain’s inability to go with the author, Mary-Rose MacColl, and Orlah Cassidy (Narrator) between past and present for the characters’ present embodiment, I still loved this book. No matter past or present, the characters were exciting and lovable.

Maybe if you have the written word to look at and help orient whose point of view and when this story
progresses might be more accessible. Ms. Cassidy did vary her voice to inform the listener. Even still, I had managed about 50% of the story when I felt so totally lost that I started over. I found myself confused. But I relaxed, let the story take me where it would, and soon, I found the end. I hated that it was over. I did love the characters and voices so much!

It was interesting to read about the women of the first world war. I highly recommend this read.

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The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War IIThe Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II by Madeline Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m so sorry I am finished reading this book! I wanted to live with these characters. No, I didn’t want to live during a war, especially while bombs were dropping. But I love living with book people who love to share books with those they love. Oh, yeah. I already live that, sans bombs!

Saskia Maarleveld (Narrator) keeps the story live. Not even a moment did I remember real life while in the book.

I love stories about females during World War II, but they are often soft mushy girls who do not seek their inner strength. They often fall in love with the guy and become arm candy or the like. Not our main character here. She seeks her own worth and, in the process, finds a fellow book lover, even before she has become addicted to the same.

Please, if you get the chance, try this book. I think you may love it as much as I did. I was lucky to pick it up on Libby, but I am seriously thinking of getting my own copy for when I want to curl up in a guaranteed good read. I hope you love it as much as I do.

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The Book Woman's Daughter (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, #2)The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t realize until the author’s note at the end of this book that this is book two of a series. So it can obviously stand alone. I was lucky to find it on Libby as an audiobook. I don’t know if the book reads with quite the accent of the narrator, Katie Schorr, but I think she adds authenticity to the story.

I don’t usually add the blurb about the book but I don’t think I could do the story justice, so:

In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good.

Picking up her mother’s old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn’t need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren’t as keen to let a woman pave her own way.

If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she’s going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.

It’s worth the read. May I suggest the possibility of triggers in abusive situations? Serious outcomes. But the strength of the young woman as she learns to stand up for herself is amazing.

It is worth the read. Now I am looking up book 1 and hoping it won’t be difficult to go backward. I’ll let you know later.

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The Orphan’s Mother by Marion Kummerow


The Orphan's MotherThe Orphan’s Mother by Marion Kummerow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I hated to end the reading or listening to this book. Sarah Durham narrated the story with all the acting skills needed to do the many parental and child voices. She managed the German and Polish names and words; at least, I thought they sounded right. It is one of the reasons I love Audiobooks so much. Other languages, if read by my voice and eyes, would probably be wrong.

I love books about women during the wars. You know there must have been situations like this. There must be even now with COVID19 orphans, earthquake orphans, etc. The news rarely brings the stories to life. But people get misplaced and have to survive somehow.

This is more than just one mother. Watching all the moving parts turn the story deeper and deeper is intriguing. Amazing writing!

My only objection is the missing parts of the orphan’s life. I wanted more.

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Yellow WifeYellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a challenging, necessary read. But with Robin Miles narrating, the story became something I couldn’t stop ‘reading.’ It is a book written colloquially, so I think without narration, it might have seemed bad writing. But as you hear how the language is spoken, it feels quite natural.

I have never heard the term “Yellow Wife.” But it makes sense. How horrid the things humans have done to humans. I don’t understand that at all. To force people to work beyond their capacity or force women to marry those they didn’t love or chose to be with. It is all baffling.

At any rate, I am glad there are authors to take us into the past to see the kinds of things that have happened.

Since it was based on someone who had existed and that person’s history, the fiction around it became something believable. Just bring a box of Kleenex and gird up your loins for a good story that includes the cruelties of humans against humans.

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