Category: Historical Fiction

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/

The Golden Key by Marian Womack

If you’re looking for a book with atmosphere, The Golden Key has it in peat-filled, gas-lit spadefuls. Set just after the end of Queen Victoria’s death, it travels from the fenlands of England to the spiritualist parlors of London, where seances are once more all the rage. Samuel Moncrieff is a young man adrift after …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/17/the-golden-key-by-marian-womack/

Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1) by Evie Dunmore

Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

There’s an almost Hardy-esque quality to this book, from its impoverished protagonist’s longing for higher education to the frank discussions of sexual transactionalism to the desperately whipsawing balancing acts between respectability and happiness. Of course, since this is a romance novel written in the modern era, our main protagonists do find their ways towards a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/06/bringing-down-the-duke-a-league-of-extraordinary-women-1-by-evie-dunmore/

The Silence Of The Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence Of The Girls by Pat Barker

Gosh, I still can’t get over how clunky that title is. That said, I was disappointed with this novel. Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy is one of the all-time best examinations of the horrors of war, and her skill at writing about armed conflict and the toll it takes on the men who fight in it …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/28/the-silence-of-the-girls-by-pat-barker/