Category Archives: Reviews

review: Country Folklore 1920’s & 1930’s

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Country Folklore 1920’s & 1930’s …and That’s the Way It Was by Louise K. Nelson This gem of a book offers invaluable resources for writers of the Depression Era in the rural areas of the South. Because the author lived through the times, the information is firsthand and authentic, if somewhat simplistic. The repetitive nature of the writing is due… 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: The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald This book is a classic–not historical fiction–but as it’s set in the 1920’s, I thought I would include a review here. Nick Carraway, the narrator of this story, is a businessman from the Midwest who settles in a fictional community on Long Island, New York. There is soon talk about his mysterious and… Read more »

review: The Spirit of Grace

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The Spirit of Grace by Terry Lynn Thomas California, 1942. Sarah Jane Bennett has been locked in an asylum since her mother’s death the year before. Because she doesn’t remember anything from the horrific event, and was found standing over her mother’s body, she remains under suspect to those who do not believe the death to be an accident. Her… Read more »

review: Suddenly Mrs. Darcy

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Suddenly Mrs. Darcy by Jenetta James This is a re-imagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that begins at the Netherfield ball, where Elizabeth is found in a compromising situation with Mr. Darcy and she is forced by her parents to marry him. A reluctant, though curiously tame Elizabeth begins her new role with some hope of happiness, and it… Read more »

review: The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet

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The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet by Caitlin Williams In the genre of Jane Austen variations, this is a particularly long tale, spanning the course of five years. It also stands out among its contemporaries because it’s a prequel of sorts. The author imagines Elizabeth Bennet at the age of 15 with a personality reminiscent of the character of… Read more »

review: The Midwife of Venice

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The Midwife of Venice By Roberta Rich Venice, 1575. Hannah Levi , a midwife from the Jewish community, awaits news of her husband, who was captured during a business trip and imprisoned on the island of Malta. Desperate to raise the funds for his release, she accepts a hefty offer from a Venetian nobleman in exchange for saving his laboring… 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: The Rivals of Versailles

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The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie Amazon / Goodreads / Author Website Following on the heels of The Sisters of Versailles, Rivals continues the story of Louis XV’s mistresses with perhaps the most well-known–Madame de Pompadour–and those who wish to supplant her. Jeanne Poisson was a common-born beauty whose glittering future was foretold when she was 9-years-old by a… 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 »