historical fiction

Post image for Review: ‘The Chaperone’ by Laura Moriarty

One Sentence Summary: A summer in the city chaperoning a wayward teenage starlet becomes the opportunity for a 36-year-old woman to have her own coming-of-age story.

One Sentence Review: The Chaperone sticks out to me because of the unexpected protagonist, an everywoman who learns to push convention in small ways and find what she wants in her life.

Post image for Review: ‘Butterfly’s Child’ by Angela Davis-Gardner

Two Sentence Summary: What would happen if the story from the famous opera, Butterfly’s Child were real? A three-year-old boy — the product of an affair between an American lieutenant and a Japanese geisha — is adopted by his father and new wife, Kate, and transplanted to a family farm in rural Illinois.

One Sentence Review: Butterfly’s Child is hard to put down, but an almost-too-clever mid-book revelation and general feeling of quickness in the storu left me wondering whether this is a book that will stay with me in the long-term.

Post image for Review: ‘The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet’ by David Mitchell

One Sentence Summary: A devout clerk for a Dutch trading company goes to find his fortune in Japan so he can marry his wealthy fiancee, but has his plans thrown off course after a random meeting with young midwife-in-training.

One Sentence Review: The first part of this book was terribly boring, but things picked up about 175 pages in.

Post image for A Sister’s Review: ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett

Earlier this summer, my sister Jenny and I decided to read and review The Help by Kathryn Stockett. We both read the book over our 4th of July vacation, and had a race to see who would finish first. We have a long-standing competition about reading speed that dates back all the way to the early Harry Potter books. It’s vicious.

In this race, Jenny beat me out… but just barely. She also very responsibly answered all of the questions we came up with for our review in a timely manner… while I procrastinated and was lazy! However, finally, I bring you the latest edition of The Sisterhood of the Summer Book Reviews.

Review: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

by Kim on September 12, 2010 · 17 comments

Post image for Review: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

One Sentence Summary: A former Russian prima ballerina tries to sell her jewelry collection and push away the memories the collection brings forward. 

One Sentence Review: Daphne Kalotay’s book doesn’t fit well into any genre, but is poetic and a book I wanted to immerse myself in.

Post image for Review: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

Two Sentence Summary: The historical record for one summer of beloved author Louisa May Alcott’s life is mysteriously silent. What if Alcott was involved with a summer romance that would inspire Alcott’s career and the love story between Laurie and Jo in Little Women?

One Sentence Review: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is a solid work of fiction with a satisfying love story that whetted my appetite to learn more about Louisa May Alcott.

Post image for Review: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

One Sentence Summary: Middlesex is both a sprawling immigrant family epic and an intensely personal story about one person trying to find their identity among challenging circumstances.

One Sentence Review: Eugenides book is exactly the sort of educational and historical fiction that I love to read, so I was definitely wasn’t disappointed in this book.

Post image for Review: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Two Sentence Summary: Jacob Jankowski ran away from veterinary medicine at Cornell and joined the circus. Now, at “ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.” Janakowski is in a nursing home, slowing fading away while he recalls his life in the circus in Depression-Era America.

One Sentence Review: Gruen’s book is well-researched and well-written, but some qualms with the ending (discussed after a spoiler warning below) kept me from giving an otherwise awesome book a perfect rating.