Welcome to the 10th historical fiction round up. How quickly the year has flown by! It was a quieter month for historical fiction this time around, with only 23 titles reviewed.
The following titles each had two reviews:
The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett
The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green
Drawing Sybylla by Odette Kelada
The Choke by Sofie LAGUNA
Beneath the Parisian Skies by Alli SINCLAIR
Half Wild by Pip Smith
Many of the titles reviewed this month were on novels I have already featured, so for this round up I’m going to focus on a few of the newer releases.
A much anticipated release by one of our AWW supporters is The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett.
Jennifer Cameron-smith was full of praise for this debut:
Ms Corbett brings her characters to life amidst the difficulties imposed by the close confines of travel in steerage. There are interesting backstories to learn, there are Welsh fairy tales to consider, and there is tragedy. I enjoyed the fairy tales, was reminded of the difficulties faced by emigrants to Australia in the nineteenth century, and was moved by circumstances and tragedy.
Likewise Isobel Blackthorn enjoyed it thoroughly:
Elizabeth Jane Corbett’s debut novel is a fearless yet endearing exploration of the day-to-day existence of a small cast of characters, each with their troubles, who are incarcerated along with numerous families in the steerage deck of a ship bound for Australia. The Tides Between is an ironic tale in some ways, for the duration of a voyage that spans half the globe, the epic journey that unfolds is one situated at the hearth of human existence.
Brenda gave us a sneak peak at The Good Sister by Maggie CHRISTENSEN, which is due for release on Thursday November 23rd. I’m currently reading this novel and I agree entirely with Brenda’s glowing review.
The Good Sister by Aussie author Maggie Christensen is the author’s first historical fiction novel and it’s brilliant! More please!! Maggie always writes about older women – this one is no different. But the nature of the two timeframes – 1938 onwards in Scotland, and 2015, also in Scotland, but with mention of Sydney, the heat and other significant Australian icons – made my enjoyment of The Good Sister complete.
War Flower by Mary-Anne O’CONNOR is another recent release quietly gathering rave reviews.
Michelle-Beauty and Lace had this to say:
O’Connor has written and insightful and well researched novel that explores the lives of the young men who were conscripted into service as well as what life was like in the sixties for those left behind. The protests, the political uprising, the drugs and the parties, and just how easily some people got swept up in that lifestyle and carried into addiction. We follow our cast of leads through years of upheaval and turmoil, from the innocence of adolescence through war, addiction, betrayal and acceptance. An interesting look at a dark time in history.
For something different, Folly Gleeson read Ada: Comedian, Dancer, Fighter by Kaz Cooke, fiction heavily inspired by fact.
Based on a wonderful collection of images and fuelled by very extensive research into newspaper reports, court records, reviews of performances, interviews, birth, marriage and death certificates, photographs, theatrical posters, advertisements, archived objects and scrapbooks held in public and private collections, Kaz Cooke has produced a spellbinding story of Ada Delray and her times. All the characters, except Horace, are real.
My pick of the month is The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green, a novel that I read with my book club recently. Being a remote book club ourselves, we all thoroughly enjoyed this novel and could relate to the friendships that had formed between the book club members. A snippet from my review:
I have absolutely adored reading The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club. True to the era and the location in which it is set, this novel is a real slice of rural social history, the spirit of Australian outback station life converging with the reality of living so remotely. With a cast of likable characters, your time at Fairvale Station will pass all too quickly, despite the hefty page count of the novel.
Carolyn Scott enjoyed this novel as well:
As the women get to know each other, firm friendships form and they support each other through the highs and lows of the next four years. Set in 1978-81, the author has drawn in many of the events of those years as a backdrop to her story. Although life on a cattle station may seem remote from the rest of the world there is plenty going on including romances, a runaway son, divorces, deaths, medical emergencies and plenty of description of life on a cattle station and in the Northern territory, all with a smattering of popular books read by the women.
That’s a wrap for this month. Please remember when linking your reviews to double check that your link is correct before saving. Each month I get a few broken links which is a shame as every review counts. Between now and next month, I wish you all plenty of time for reading and relaxation – of an historical nature, of course!
About Theresa: Writer, avid reader, keen reviewer, book collector, drinker of all tea blends originating from Earl Grey, and modern history enthusiast. I enjoy reading many genres but have a particular interest in historical fiction. You can find me and all of my book related news and reviews at Theresa Smith Writes, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.