Historical

Book Review: Honolulu: A Novel

Author: 
Brennert, Alan
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This is a gripping tale of four "picture brides" dreams, challenges, and successes set in scenic Hawaii during the early 1900's. This author brings us to places not in the tour books. Instead, he describes the life of everyday and impovished people with a frankness that is both informative, overwhelming, yet hopeful.

Reviewer's Name: 
Tina Marie

Book Review: These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901

Author: 
Turner, Nancy E
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a must read! The characters and the imagery of the time and place bring you right into Arizona at the turn of the century. Written in a diary format and loosely based on the memoirs of the author's grandmother the authenticity of life in territorial Arizona is felt in every description of the land, people and time. Sarah exemplifies the life of so many women from my ancestral past. Strong, courageous, kind, funny, loving and smart. Her quest for an education and fulfillment of dreams touches the heart. I found at the end of the book I yearned to know more about this incredible women... If you do too, don't miss the sequels "Sarah's Quilt" and "Star Garden".

Reviewer's Name: 
Rhonda

Book Review: Hattie Big Sky

Author: 
Larson, Kirby
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Historic books are so tough to get right. The history might be accurate but the prose downright boring, or the prose might be fantastic, but the facts totally off-base. For "Hattie Big Sky" the author took bits of her grandmother's past, combined it with several trips to Montana, and countless hours of research, to create a fantatic heroine with the flavor of the Old West who lives in that remarkable era of the 1918-1920 where there was still the possibility of obtaining manifest destiny. Hattie's a plucky little 16-year-old whose uncle left her a claim in Montana, all 300+ acres of claim, that she has to 'prove up' by a certain date if she wants to keep the land. She heads out, on her own, for Montana to make good on her uncle's claim. This is literally one of THE BEST historic novels I have read in I don't know how long. It's what you would call 'clean' teen historic lit. It's even got a spiritual angle since Hattie does an awful lot of praying, but you never feel preached at, which is refreshing. Teens and adults alike will enjoy this book, not only because of its heroine, but because it feels fresh and original, and it's always fun knowing a story is inspired by real-life events.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carissa

Book Review: Once Upon Another Time

Author: 
Sawatzki, Diane
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book mixes western, historical fiction, fantasy, adventure, and romance in a unique and exciting way. The main character gets transported to a different time and has to figure out a way to make it back, all while trying to stay alive. This author is also from Colorado and has based the story in the local area.

Reviewer's Name: 
Tori

Book Review: Tallgrass

Author: 
Dallas, Sandra
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I loved this book. It is a Historical Novel covering the period in US History after the start of World War II when the government gathered Japanese citizens living across America and placed them into camps. This is a sad time in our history. Japanese Americans were forced out of their homes and their businesses and had to live like Prisoners of War. Colorado had one of these such camps. This book covers the history of the camp and follows families through their horrible ordeal. The actual families are fictional but the history is true and a learning experience within a great read. This book led me to read other great historical fiction books or biographical fiction such as The Day the Falls Stood Still, and The Paris Wife, The Dressmaker, and Loving Frank. All great books that tell you historical truth with fictional characters or fictional conversation surrounding truth. A genre that I have discovered I love and it is all started with Tallgrass.

Reviewer's Name: 
Robyn

Book Review: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Author: 
Chevalier, Tracy
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book captured my attention from the very first page.
Chevalier's first-person style and descriptive writing made for an easy and enjoyable read! The idea that the "girl with a pearl earring" in Vermeer's famous painting was employed in the household as a maid was very intriguing. Chevalier obviously did her research, since her descriptions of Delft in the 17th century coincides with historical accounts/writings. This is a must-read for historical fiction lovers!

Reviewer's Name: 
Missy H.

Book Review: Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: A Novel

Author: 
Chiaverini, Jennifer
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Elizabeth Keckley is a former slave who becomes a dressmaker to the elite women in Washingon D.C. She becomes not only Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker but also a friend. She is a first hand witness to the historical lives of Mary and Abraham Lincoln and supports Mary throught the death of her son and husband. Elizabeth writes her memories in a book "Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House".

Reviewer's Name: 
Sharon

Book Review: A Young Wife: A Novel

Author: 
Lewis, Pam
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This is a quick semi-historical fiction read set at the turn of the century. The main character has a series of significant ups and downs as she travels from her home in Denmark to Argentina and then New York. Although very loosely based on actual events the author appears to have done some research about the areas and times protrayed making it an interesting read for history buffs.

Reviewer's Name: 
Steve

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: 
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book was amazing! Shadow of the Wind has something for everyone. It is a book within a book and has many parallel stories. It is shadowy, but not vulgar and emotionally disturbing. You will be transported to Barcelona and will be kept on your toes wondering at how the details will work out.
It is great for a book discussion group. Part thriller, mystery, historical fiction with much character development. Not too wordy or detailed.
Enjoy!

Reviewer's Name: 
Lisa

Book Review: One Tuesday Morning

Author: 
Kingsbury, Karen
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

One Tuesday Morning was recommended to me from my hair dresser and I am thankful to her that she did. Although my husband is not a firefighter, he was an active military man (as a matter of fact reenlisted a month before this attack to the ARMY again) and I knew it would change our personal live very much.
This is the first book I've ever read by Karen Kingsbury, and it was a good one to start with. The story is EXCELLENT and absolutely captivating. It was probably the most heart-wrenching thing I have read in a VERY long time. I can't remember the last book that literally had me choking back tears through a good portion of it!

Set against the backdrop of 9/11, the story is fiction, but could very possibly have happened. In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy and a case of mistaken identity, two families’ lives are completely turned upside down and changed forever. Changed in a way for the worse, but so many ways for the better. Both families learn how to cope. One family must learn how to be a family, while the other family (a close knit family) must learn how to live with sudden and permanent loss. This book will have you giggling one minute and sniffling the next, and then send chills down your spine. I HIGHLY recommend you pick this one up and take the journey I did in a matter of just two weeks (which for me is a very fast read).

That said, I ran out right after the 1st sequel and crapped Beyond Tuesday Morning, and started it right ahead.

Reviewer's Name: 
Marion

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