The Lake on Fire by Rosellen Brown

The Lake on Fire by Rosellen Brown

Chaya and Asher’s story circles around and runs through the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The two, immigrants from the old country, flee the midwest farm where they have landed to come to find their fortune in the big city. Chicago, recovered from the Fire of 1871, is booming. The factories, stockyards, sweatshops, brothels employ thousands of […]


Never Caught; the Washingtons’ relentless pursuit of their runaway slave, Ona Judge

Never Caught; the Washingtons’ relentless pursuit of their runaway slave, Ona Judge

After reading In the Hurricane’s Eye (2018) by Nathaniel Philbrick,  the story of George Washington and the battle of Yorktown, I wanted to learn more about Washington and his position on slavery, which is only touched on briefly in that book. Never Caught brings us a heroine from history, Ona Marie Judge, Martha Washington’s lady’s maid. […]



The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death #1) is great British mystery writer, Minette Walters’, first historical fiction and it is amazing! Both painstaking historical research and terrific character development make this book really special. The Black Death enters England from a ship docked at a port in Dorsetshire in June 1348. The countryside is emptied by […]


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Victorians weren’t all prudish, repressed, unfeeling, dismissive of new ideas. Like the characters in this entrancing book, they were often overrun by their various passions, be they escape or scientific discovery or good works.  Cora, released by the death of her sadistic husband, uses her new freedom to run from London in search of […]


Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

1908 Shanghai As the last Chinese dynasty collapses, a young mixed race girl awaits the return of her mother, hiding in the Western Residence of the house on Dragon Springs Road. Using Chinese magical realism and gritty historical detail, author Janie Chang tells the coming of age story of young Jialing, from that time awaiting […]


The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

“Ester, do not rue your lack of freedom.” Ester, however, burns to be free, to reason freely, to write. Helen, approaching forced retirement from her English university History Department, discovers a cache of 350 year old letters hidden under the stair of a 17th century house. In deciphering them, she is thrilled to realize that […]


The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes

The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes

Robert is 9.8 years old. He’s just learned decimals in school but along with his family must flee Hungary from the pressing Russians. He and his adored older brother Attila, 13.5 and much more sophisticated than his younger brother, head by train to Paris with their parents, grandmother and one sack each. During the journey, […]


Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

This “dual time historical fiction” romance (who knew that was a ‘thing?’) shares the story of a museum curator working to create a museum on Long Island in the home of a revolutionary war hero. She is researching the war hero’s sister’s romance during the last year of the French and Indian War. We also […]


Varina by Charles Frazier

Varina by Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier’s beautifully written novel follows the life of Varina Davis, the wife of the President of the Confederacy, from her teen years through the Civil War all the way to her death in October, 1906. The “frame” of the book involves Varina’s black adoptee finding her in 1905. James and Varina   haven’t see each […]