Category Archives: 19th Century

review: Burial Rites

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent This story opens on a small family farm in Northern Iceland with two sisters receiving the news that their household was chosen to retain a young woman who had recently been convicted of murder. When Agnes Magnúsdóttir arrived filthy and starved, everyone in the family and neighboring farms were repulsed by merely the thought of… Read more »

First Line Friday: 03/03/2017

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“Sometimes anger is a living thing.” THE PURSUIT OF MARY BENNET by Pamela Mingle “A tale of love and marriage, society balls and courtship, class and a touch of scandal, Pamela Mingle’s The Pursuit of Mary Bennet is a fresh take on one of the most beloved novels of all time, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Growing up with four… Read more »

First Line Friday: 01/13/17

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“That solemnity which etiquette, decorum and decency insisted should prevail could scarcely hide the excited expectation in the Palace of Kensington on that June morning in the year 1837.” THE QUEEN AND LORD M by Jean Plaidy On the morning of 20th June 1837, an eighteen-year-old girl is called from her bed to be told that she is Queen of… Read more »

New Year, New Books!

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To kick off 2017, I ordered myself 4 books that have been on my my wishlist. This year I plan on reading more books I choose to read, rather than orphans from my editing work (the majority of the YA books I reviewed last year), or review requests. What better way to start than by anticipating lovely, new books in… Read more »

review: Mercer Girls

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Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker In 1864, founder of the University of Washington, Asa Mercer, left the Territory in search of young, single women willing to make the treacherous journey from the East Coast of the United States to the Pacific Northwest. While Mr. Mercer did not hide the fact that honorable women were needed for marriage–the population in Washington… Read more »

review: Mansfield Park Revisited

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Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken I’ve not actually read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, but I have seen a film adaptation and so I know the characters and the story (though I am sure with inaccuracies, as is the nature of movie vs. book). The Susan Price of this novel is a kind, unassuming and helpful person, eager to… Read more »

review: Jane Eyre’s Daughter

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Jane Eyre’s Daughter by Elizabeth Newark Though it’s been a while since I’ve read Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte’s imaginative writing style came back to me reading this book. It is apparent that the author not only channels the original in style, but also loves nature as the descriptions of wildlife and the changing of the seasons are very detailed and… Read more »

review: The Testament of Sophie Dawes

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The Testament of Sophie Dawes The Queen of Chantilly and a Scandal at the Heart of Victorian Society by Robert Stephen Parry Author Website / GoodReads / Amazon During the Victorian era, a few months after Prince Albert’s untimely death, an archivist arrives at the Queen’s residence of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. His job is to sort… Read more »

review: Fallow Are the Fields, We Danced Until Dawn & Under the Wedding Tree

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The best way to describe these three books by Steven D. Ayres is “localized narrative history”. They aren’t fiction, but the first one, Fallow Are the Fields, is written in the voice of the author’s Civil War era ancestor and includes dialogue that pegs it as a story. The second, We Danced Until Dawn, is somewhat the same, but without… Read more »

review: Bride of a Distant Isle

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Bride of a Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd Daughters of Hampshire My review for Mist of Midnight (HNR) A Lady in Disguise (coming 2017) Annabel Ashton of Highcliffe Hall had grown up knowing of her mother’s shameful and alarming condition, which ended with an early death at an asylum. At only four years of age, Annabel lost her mother, and… Read more »

Southern Historical Novels by Steven D. Ayres

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Fallow Are the Fields This is an American Civil War novel, about young Steven Jett, his four older brothers, sister, mother and father, living on a small farm near Salt Springs, Georgia, just west of Atlanta in the middle 1800’s. From humble beginnings, this story takes you on a real life adventure, as the great war ravages across the country-side… Read more »

review: Lincoln and His Boys

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Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells illustrated by P. J. Lynch This children’s chapter book, aimed at ages 8 – 12 years, is an easy read at 96 pages and features beautiful full-page illustrations. It begins in 1859 in the voice of one of Abraham Lincoln’s sons, Willie, who has been allowed to travel with his father on a… Read more »