Welcome to the February round of historical fiction novels that have been reviewed as part of the challenge.
This month there were 10 reviews that were linked up to the challenge. There was a good mix of newer or less reviewed titles and those that we have seen plenty of reviews for previously like All That I Am by Anna Funder, The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (click on the links to go to those reviews)
There were two authors who were reviewed more than once during February. Amanda Curtin continues to be strongly represented in the challenge with two reviews this month of Elemental. The first was by Monique at Write Note Reviews who loved it and also by Danielle at Goodreads. Given that I spent a lot of time talking about this author last month, I thought that in this post I would focus instead on the other author who was reviewed twice.
During February there were two reviews of books by Elisabeth Storrs. Jennifer at Goodreads reviewed The Wedding Shroud, the first book in a series looking difference between life in the Etruscan societies and their near neighbours in Rome using the marriage between a Roman girl to an Etruscan as the basis.
Bree at All the Books I Can Read reviewed the second book in the series, The Golden Dice, which continues the story and luckily it left her waiting eagerly for the third book!
The Golden Dice is an excellent follow up to The Wedding Shroud, giving us a story rich in colour and history with some clever characters. The end of this one leaves so much yet to happen and I can’t wait for the third book to discover what comes next.
Among the books that haven’t had as much exposure through the challenge is Perfect North by Jenny Bond. The book was reviewed a couple of times last year but I don’t think I mentioned it. This month Kathryn reviewed the book over at Goodreads saying:
This is an impressive first novel by Jenny Bond and I really enjoyed reading it, though I tend to be frustrated by novels whose characters trap themselves by not speaking, by keeping their thoughts or truths to themselves. (I nearly threw Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn across the room, so annoyed was I by Eilis. But that’s another story.) Bond’s central character, Anna, is this kind of character, but I remained engrossed in her story and very keen to know what happened next. And the fact that I wanted to shake her (and occasionally Stubbendorf) and tell her to speak is hardly a flaw of the novel – just proof that I was drawn skilfully into Anna’s world.
A new to me book is Skins by Sarah Hay which was reviewed by Danielle. In actuality, this is a book that came out back in 2002 and was very well received, including winning The Vogel Prize which is awarded for unpublished manuscripts by writers under the age of 35. Danielle says of the book:
‘Skins‘ is an enthralling historically accurate tale providing one woman’s insight into the extreme harsh reality of life in the very early days of our settlement.
The final book I will mention this month is The Rose Grower by Michelle DeKretser, a book that was published back in 2001. I must admit that I haven’t heard a lot about this book but as soon as I read Marilyn’s review I was wondering why I haven’t already read it! Marilyn says:
The Rose Grower is full of period detail but the way the characters react to events remains the focus. Love, sometimes unrequited, is a major theme, but so is betrayal and tragedy. It is a story we see too often in today’s world: a community living more or less peacefully together turning violently on each other. Yet this is not a sad book. People learn to live their lives day by day in the face of forces that invade from outside and change them. But they survive, most of them.
I’ll be back next month with more reviews. As always you can find more of the historical fiction reviews at any time by clicking on the Historical Fiction Weebly page.
Marg has long been an avid reader of all genres but especially historical fiction and she loves to read about all different eras and locations. Marg has been blogging about all different genres and other things at Adventures of an Intrepid Reader for more than 8 years, and was a founding member of Historical Tapestry, a group blog that has been focusing only on Historical Fiction for more than 7 years. You can tweet to her either @margreads or @historytapestry.