Back to normal programing this month and what a month it has been! Historical fiction readers have clocked 35 reviews on 23 books into our database. Thanks to all of you for your continued enthusiasm and efforts!
Let’s take a look at what books everyone has been drawn to this month:
The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer is our most reviewed book for this month with four reviews and one interview. Having read this myself, I can completely understand why (my review).
The Things We Cannot Say is a novel that I recommend to all readers without hesitation. I have a feeling it will be in my top reads list at the end of this year. It’s a brilliant blend of contemporary and historical fiction that so many readers will be able to appreciate and relate to. A truly moving novel about love and tolerance.
Kim Kelly for The Newton Review of Books:
The Things We Cannot Say is a tale told by an author who cares about her subjects and the pressures that shape their lives. Rimmer is fearless in tackling human frailties and showing us at our worst – and how the best can shine out from that forge. Her characters are everyday people whose stories are free of the more outlandish plot twists of popular historical page-turners, and they learn more than secrets: they learn something about themselves.
It’s this intrepid thoughtfulness that elevates Rimmer’s writing above the commercial fiction crowd, demonstrating why she is an Australian star on the rise across the globe.
Mrs B’s Book Reviews with a review and an interview
In a Great Southern Land by Mary-Anne O’Connor has garnered three reviews.
Mary-Anne O’Connor has done an incredibly good job of bringing to life the time and the places in which this novel is set. The characters are a myriad of different people from all walks of life, some are nicer than others, but all are needed to tell this story. There are heartbreaking moments in this story, but also moments full of joy. Life in the 1850s was certainly not the easiest of times and I’m not sure I’d have survived. Though I guess just like the characters in this story, none of us know how strong we are and what we are capable of until we are put in situations that require us to be, “This great southern land was wild and unpredictable, sometimes savage, sometimes beautiful but like anywhere there was opportunity, if you sought to find it.”
Sunshine, the latest release by Kim Kelly, has also been getting some love, with three reviews and one interview.
Mrs B’s Book Reviews offers us a delightful interview with Kim as well as a gorgeous review.
Stepping into one of Kim Kelly’s books, Sunshine included, is like entering a great glass historical elevator. With the simple push of a button, the reader is transported to another time and place, in vivid detail. With any of Kelly’s books, this one included, the reader knows they will be taken right back to Australia’s past. Kelly offers her audience a taste of the historical context, the landscape, the social and moral mindset of the times and a rich exploration of character. Within Sunshine, despite its small size, expect to be faced with many strong themes. These cover plenty of ground, from trauma, PTSD, persecution, prejudice, heartbreak, loss, acceptance and peace. Kelly’s perceptive and insightful tone is applied to all these themes.
Jessica Stewart for The Newton Review of Books
The Hollow Bones by Leah Kaminsky was another stand out read for me this month (my review).
The Hollow Bones tells one of the most unique and sinister tales of WWII that I have ever read. It’s utterly compelling and profoundly thought provoking. It pulled me in so many directions, and even when I thought that something was either black or white, the prism would shift and all of a sudden shades of grey would seep in and collapse my convictions.
Jenny Mustey felt pretty much the same as I did:
Through detailed research Leah Kaminsky has provided us with a novel with deeply unsettling characters and incidents from the past that I knew nothing about, until now. A gripping, well researched novel about a villain, there were so many at that time and sadly so many more have followed with misguided and totally insane ideas of what is correct, what is right and what is acceptable.
There were plenty of old favourites popping up this month, which is always nice to see, and a few of the newer releases from January and February. I’ll leave it here though and call it a wrap on a great month. Look forward to catching up again in April. All the best for a prolific month of reading!
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 @TessSmithWrites
Great roundup,I really need to get to The Things we Cannot Say, and Hollow Bones is waiting for me at the library
Both excellent reads, but perhaps don’t read them back to back! They are both rather heavy themes.
Great round up Theresa. That’s an interesting point Kim Kelly makes about Rimmer’s book and commercial fiction. I suspect the same can be said about Viggers’ The orchardist’s daughter (not historical fiction of course) which I’m just reading now. She also does very well overseas – in France in particular I believe.
Yes, Karen is very popular over in France. It’s really rather excellent to see an Australian author enjoy so much success in a foreign market.
Re: Kim’s comment, did you mean this:
“Her characters are everyday people whose stories are free of the more outlandish plot twists of popular historical page-turners…”
If so, then yes, I think this also applies to The Orchardist’s Daughter, most definitely, even though it is a different genre.
It sure is… And yes, that sentence.