Category: Historical Fiction

Black & White by Lewis Shiner

Black and White by Lewis Shiner

I went and checked, and Lewis Shiner never did reconcile with his father. Terrible fathers feature so prominently in several of his novels — Glimpses (1993), Outside the Gates of Eden (2019) and Black & White (2008); maybe also the other three that I’ve read, but it’s been so long that I do not remember for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/29/black-white-by-lewis-shiner/

Outside the Gates of Eden by Lewis Shiner

Outside the Gates of Eden

There’s a live recording of a Bruce Springsteen song — “The River,” I think — with a long spoken introduction in which Springsteen talks about his difficult relationship with his father. The elder Springsteen, a veteran of World War II, didn’t understand what his son was doing with his long hair and his late nights and his …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/30/outside-the-gates-of-eden-by-lewis-shiner/

Das Erwachen by Josef Ruederer

Das Erwachen by Josef Ruederer

I admired the conception of Das Erwachen (The Awakening) more than I enjoyed its execution. As Josef Ruederer’s widow Elisabeth wrote in an brief introductory note, “[He] wanted to portray life — history and people — in his home city through the nineteenth century up to the present [1916] in a four-volume novel.” Unfortunately, he …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/17/das-erwachen-by-josef-ruederer/

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Let me just say up front that I loved all four main characters in Utopia Avenue and didn’t want anything bad to happen to them ever. It’s a good thing I wasn’t in charge, then, as that would have made for a dull novel. David Mitchell not only had the skill to create people who …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/26/utopia-avenue-by-david-mitchell/

Murder At Wedgefield Manor (A Jane Wunderly Mystery #2) by Erica Ruth Neubauer

After the events at Mena House, Egypt, in the first novel of this 1920s-set historical mystery series, our heroine, the widowed American Jane Wunderly, and her (obnoxious) Aunt Millie decide to take up residence at Wedgefield Manor, an estate in the English countryside owned by Lord Hughes, a former and possibly future paramour of Aunt …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/02/murder-at-wedgefield-manor-a-jane-wunderly-mystery-2-by-erica-ruth-neubauer/

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

More than any other book I can think of Wolf Hall impressed upon me the number of people constantly present in a pre-modern household of any size. The first book of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell, it teems with people coming in and out the main character’s presence, from its unforgettable …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/24/the-mirror-and-the-light-by-hilary-mantel/

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

It’s been so long since I’ve read a standalone YA novel that I barely know what to do with myself at the end of A Golden Fury, in no small part due to Samantha Cohoe’s gifts as an author. Despite the ending being quite firmly The End, I’m so invested in these characters and their …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/10/16/a-golden-fury-by-samantha-cohoe/

Die Schaukel by Annette Kolb

Die Schaukel

As the story of an artistic family in a materialistic time, Die Schaukel reminded me of The Family Fang, though of course Kolb’s work predates Kevin Wilson’s novel by more than three quarters of a century. The Lautenschlags are a Franco-German family who moved from Paris to Munich not long after the Franco-Prussian War led …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/11/die-schaukel-by-annette-kolb/

Dark River by Rym Kechacha

Wow, this book. Dark River tells the tales of two women, separated by millennia but whose struggles eerily echo one another’s as they both embark on perilous migrations in the face of environmental disaster. Shaye is a Neolithic woman whose tribe is concerned at the way the waters of their plenty time place have begun …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/23/dark-river-by-rym-kechacha/

An Interview with Marian Womack, author of The Golden Key

Q. Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did The Golden Key evolve? A. The story emerged, oddly enough, in California while I was attending the Clarion Workshop. It was the story I wrote to be workshopped the week when Catherynne Valente was teaching …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/20/an-interview-with-marian-womack-author-of-the-golden-key/