Marmee: A Novel of Little Women, by Sarah Miller — A Review

From the desk of Jayda B. Justus:

I am a huge fan of Little Women and read it multiple times as a child and adult, laughing and crying along with the March sisters (and desperately longing for sisters like them!). Marmee is a new novel retelling of the story from the point of view of the sisters mother, Margaret March. Author Sarah Miller has turned the familiar story to focus on how the antics of the sisters and the absence of Mr. March affected Margaret, the saintly mother, and wife who held the family together in the midst of war and near poverty. Continue reading “Marmee: A Novel of Little Women, by Sarah Miller — A Review”

An Exclusive Interview with Amanda Dykes, Author of All the Lost Places

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Did you know that for several centuries Venice was one of the main stops during a British gentleman’s “Grand Tour” of the continent? The ancient city of islands and canals in northeast Italy is renowned for its beautiful architecture, artwork, and a fascinating history. Setting her new historical fiction novel in this enchanting city, Amanda Dykes includes the magical elements that it is known for and adds a century old mystery into her plot of her new novel, All the Lost Places. Curious about the two main characters and how the city would impact their story, I asked Amanda to join us today to discuss her new novel. Continue reading “An Exclusive Interview with Amanda Dykes, Author of All the Lost Places

Little Women (Abbeville Illustrated Classics), by Louisa May Alcott, with Illustrations by Clara M. Burd, & Introduction by Alice A. Carter — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Few novels have touched and inspired young readers as profoundly as Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). Originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, it is a remarkable coming-of-age story of four sisters with distinctive, endearing personalities set during the American Civil War, and after. Continue reading “Little Women (Abbeville Illustrated Classics), by Louisa May Alcott, with Illustrations by Clara M. Burd, & Introduction by Alice A. Carter — A Review”

The Matchmaker’s Gift: A Novel, by Lynda Cohen Loigman — A Review

From the desk of Rachel McMillan:

“A drop of love sometimes brings an ocean of tears.” (137)

After learning that Lynda Loigman’s forthcoming book was about a matchmaker in 1910s New York City, I begged her for any early PDF file. She was kind enough to oblige. After all, I had quite enjoyed the emotional depth of her previous historical novels. Having read The Matchmaker’s Gift twice, I am able to appreciate it not only for its central story but also its evocative blend of history and wisdom: as intricately and beautifully design as the Ketubahs elaborately serving as the frame for wedding contracts (and Continue reading “The Matchmaker’s Gift: A Novel, by Lynda Cohen Loigman — A Review”

An Exclusive Interview with Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, & Susan Meissner, Co-Authors of When We Had Wings

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Since watching the 1943 movie, So Proudly We Hail, I have always been interested in the story of military nurses in the Pacific during WWII. There are so many movies and books based on the Battle of the Philippines (1941-1942) from the male perspective that I was thrilled to discover, When We Had Wings, a new collaborative novel co-authored by three bestselling authors: Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, & Susan Meissner. I was curious about the inspiration for the novel, the research involved, and writing Continue reading “An Exclusive Interview with Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, & Susan Meissner, Co-Authors of When We Had Wings”

The Marriage Portrait: A Novel, by Maggie O’Farrell — A Review

From the desk of Theresa Smith: 

“You,” Elisabetta breathes, maliciously, almost delightedly. “You will be blamed. So be careful, Lucrezia. Be very, very careful.”

In The Marriage Portrait, O’Farrell gives us a fictional retelling of the short life and marriage of Lucrezia de’ Medici (1545-1561), third daughter of Cosimo l de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, fateful first wife of Alfonso d ’Este, Duke of Ferrara. Continue reading “The Marriage Portrait: A Novel, by Maggie O’Farrell — A Review”

Marvelous: A Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review

From the desk of Rachel McMillan:

I first discovered Molly Greeley’s forthcoming novel Marvelous in a Publisher’s Lunch deal memo. Knowing Greeley was a fan-favourite after her two deliciously engaging re-imaginings of Jane Austen’s world (The Clergyman’s Wife, and The Heiress) I would read anything she wrote. The true story behind the couple from the “tale as old as time” that may have inspired the Beauty and The Beast fairy tale was my favourite trope-y catnip. Continue reading “Marvelous: A Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review”

Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel, by Natalie Jenner — A Review

From the desk of Tracy Hickman: 

Natalie Jenner’s debut novel The Jane Austen Society was an international bestseller and one of my favorite books of 2020. Would Ms. Jenner’s latest novel, set in post-war literary London, hold up under the weight of public expectation and comparison with her accomplished first effort? Would the Bloomsbury Girls be up to the task set before them? Continue reading “Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel, by Natalie Jenner — A Review”

An Exclusive Interview with Tessa Arlen, Author of A Dress of Violet Taffeta

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Happy Friday, dear readers. Spring is finally here in my neck of the woods. It is time of renewal, flowers, and new books!

I am pleased to have a special guest with us today. Author Tessa Arlen has a new historical fiction novel arriving in July that immediately caught my eye, A Dress of Violet Taffeta. Arlen is a favorite author of mine. I have enjoyed her Lady Montfort mystery series, and recently adored her In Royal Service to the Queen. Continue reading “An Exclusive Interview with Tessa Arlen, Author of A Dress of Violet Taffeta”

The 12 Best New Historical Novels to Welcome Back Spring 2022

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

My tulips are sprouting! Spring is on its way here in the Pacific Northwest along with a great selection of new historical novels.

Here is a curated list of my favorites for March, April, and May. The range of stories and settings are diverse: Georgian, Regency, WWII, and post war England to Gilded Age Newport and 1930s Hollywood. Continue reading “The 12 Best New Historical Novels to Welcome Back Spring 2022”

The Magnolia Palace: A Novel, by Fiona Davis — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

I often wonder how authors find inspiration for their novels. It is such an incredible skill to create a story from thin air. In the case of bestselling author Fiona Davis, she has made a successful career from reimagining stories surrounding iconic New York City buildings. In The Magnolia Palace she explores secrets, betrayal, and murder within the impressive Gilded Age mansion of Henry Clay Frick. The story is Continue reading “The Magnolia Palace: A Novel, by Fiona Davis — A Review”

The Last Dance of the Debutante: A Novel, by Julia Kelly — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Once upon a time, every young lady who was anyone in British society was presented at court. It involved an official invitation from the Palace, the proper bespoke gown, and a steady, deep curtsey in front of their sovereign. The ceremony heralded in a new crop of debutantes and the official opening of the Season. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed that the ceremony would cease, and the final year of presentations would be 1958. In The Last Dance of the Debutante, bestselling author Julia Kelly follows the Continue reading “The Last Dance of the Debutante: A Novel, by Julia Kelly — A Review”

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