All posts tagged: historical fiction

GHOST WEEK: Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A GHOST IN THE THROAT is a tremendously dark and varied and authentically raw exploration of contemporary motherhood married with archaic morals, plus a writing prompt, more

By Leslie Lindsay ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ GHOST WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Featured Spotlight: A GHOST IN THE THROAT by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a poet and essayist. In addition to A Ghost in the Throaf, she is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the Ostana Prize, a Seamus Heaney Fellowshop, ad the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT: “When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.” So writes Doireann Ní Ghríofa in A GHOST IN THE THROAT, a “…female text, a chat, a keen, a lament, and an echo,” and I love everything about it. On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who narrowly avoided her own …

WITCHES WEEK: What is the psychogeography of a region? C.J. Cooke talks about this and writing about trauma, the subconscious, motherhood, limpets, carving yourself into a place that ‘fits,’ and more in THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES

By Leslie Lindsay A chilling tale set on a remote Scottish island, THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES has suspense, supernatural elements, and historical references for a delicious fall season of reading. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Leslie Lindsay & C.J. Cooke in conversation CJ Cooke grew up on a council estate in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She started writing at the age of 7 and pestered publishers for years with manuscripts typed on her grandparents’ old Remington typewriter and cover notes written on pages ripped from school notebooks. Her debut, The Guardian Angel’s Journal, was an international bestseller. She has published two poetry collections, a creative anthology (Writing Motherhood) and her sixth novel, The Lighthouse Witches, published October 5 2021 in the U.S. ABOUT THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES: A spellbinding read about witches, mother-daughter relationships, folklore, and even the human impact on nature, THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES by C.J. Cooke is an exploration of reinvention and what it means to be a family. One of PopSugar’s “10 New Books About Witches Are Utterly Spellbinding” Traversing several time periods …

Caroline Beecham talks about illegal adoptions during WWII, a distant family secret, a woman pioneer in book editing, and so much more in her American debut of WHEN WE MEET AGAIN

By Leslie Lindsay Hope, love, loss, and the power of reading, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN (Putnam/Penguin Random House, July 20 2021) is about one woman’s struggle with her career, as well as personal matters, set against the backdrop of WWII England and New York. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Caroline Beecham in conversation WHEN WE MEET AGAIN is Caroline Beecham’s American debut in historical fiction and will most certainly appeal to fans of Fiona Davis meets Christina Baker Kline with a touch of Kristin Hannah’s THE FOUR WINDS. This is an absorbing and emotional story about a mother’s love, but also secrets and redemption. ABOUT WHEN WE MEET AGAIN: London, 1943: The war has taken its toll on the book publishing industry. All the while, Alice Cotton, a young, sharp editor is on the rise. She sees books a way to cope, entertain, and distract–her hope is to get them into as many hands as possible. But she falls pregnant–a surprise–and certainly not in line with being a single, unwed woman of the day. She flees …

Michael Rose talks about his debut, THE SORTING ROOM, about delaying creativity, how business informed his writing life, why he loves historical fiction, modernity, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay An epic family saga, THE SORTING ROOM is a captivating tale of several women’s struggles, perseverance, and more set in Prohibition/Depression-era NYC. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Michael Rose in conversation After serving in executive positions in global companies, Michael Rose retired from the corporate world. The Sorting Room is his debut fiction. He grew up on a diary farm and now resides in San Francisco. COMING SEPTEMBER 2021 ABOUT THE SORTING ROOM: It’s the beginning of The Great Depression and Eunice Ritter is a living in squalor. She and her brother, Ulrich–Uli–are not exactly close– she’s alone, living on the edges of his world of marbles and friendship. He throws a rock at her, but Eunice may actually be more industrious and skilled than Uli, and even their parents. She’s just ten years old when she gets a job at a local sweat shop–an industrial laundry–a job no one wants. In fact, Eunice was sort of ‘dared’ into the job by adult men who suggested she would become …

Chris Bohjalian talks with me about HOUR OF THE WITCH, how far–and yet so short–we’ve come in leveling the playing field of men & women, secondary characters, rescue dogs, more

By Leslie Lindsay A young Puritan woman caught in the crosshairs of religion, justice, and sexism in Boston during the 17th century. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ WeekEND Reading: Historical Fiction Spotlight An Indie Next Pick for May 2021 A Read It Forward Most Anticipated Book of 2021 A Lit Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2021 A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book of 2021 I’ve been a longtime fan of Chris Bohjalian, ever since I read and loved MIDWIVES, so when HOUR OF THE WITCH (Doubleday, May 4 2021) came to my attention, I knew I couldn’t pass it by. A young Puritan woman caught in the crosshairs of religion, justice, and sexism in Boston during the 17th century. Mary Deerfield left England years ago with her parents, Priscilla and James, embarking on a new world, one in which religious and mercantile freedom were promised. Mary soon marries Thomas, a second marriage for him, her first. They have a stable home, his work at a sawmill provides most comforts of the day, including a servant girl. All is well–except for …

Laird Hunt talks about how ZORRIE was inspired by his grandmother, her ties to Indiana, plus memory, being a literary citizen, the transformative, multifaceted aspects of the color green, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Gorgeously and sparsely told tale of one woman’s life from her hardscrabble days on an Indiana farm and everything in-between. ~Writers Interiewing Writers|Always with a Book~ March Spotlight: Historical Fiction O Magazine’s Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels of 2021   This stunning and luminously told story is so affecting, and transformative, too. Set against the harsh, quintessential Midwestern landscape, ZORRIE (Bloomsbury, Feb 9, 2021) is at once a historical fiction of a one woman’s life, but also a study in Americana, grit, and the transformative events of the 20th century. Zorrie is an orphaned child who goes to live with her aunt on a farm in Indiana. She’s twenty-one when she decides to set off on her own, and it just so happens to be in the midst of the Great Depression. She ends up in Illinois working odd jobs and then at the radium plant, sleeping in abandoned barns and under the stars. At the end of the day, the girls from the factory glowed from the radioactive material. Here she meets several young women who become friends–those …

Is the past really prologue? I think so, and so does Kristin Hannah–join us as we talk about THE FOUR WINDS, prejudices in our everyday life, women in history, how she was influenced by memoirs of the dust bowl

By Leslie Lindsay  A powerful and poignant examination of a very bleak and gritty time, THE FOUR WINDS is about the Great Depression, the American Dust Bowl, perseverance, and more. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Weekend Reading MARCH SERIES: HISTORICAL FICTION One of “2021’s Most Highly Anticipated New Books”—Newsweek Read with Jenna/Today Show Selection for FebruaryOne of “27 of 2021’s Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels That Will Sweep You Away”—Oprah MagazineOne of “The Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021″—ParadeOne of the “Books Everyone Will Talk About in 2021”—PopSugarOne of “The 57 Most Anticipated Books Of 2021″—ElleOne of “32 Great Books To Start Off Your New Year”—Refinery29One of “25 of the Best Books Arriving in 2021”—BookBubOne of “The 21 Best Books of 2021 for Working Moms”—Working MotherOne of “The Most Anticipated Winter Books That Will Keep You Cozy All Season Long”—Stylecaster One of the “Most Anticipated Books of 2021”—Frolic It’s 1921 when we meet Elsa Wolcott, an unremarkable twenty-five-year-old woman. She’s tall and gangly, a bookworm spinster living at home with her parents. Her family does well …

Why I’m on the fence about the critically-acclaimed INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget. ~ALWAYS WITH A BOOK | Leslie Lindsay~ Spotlight: Historical Fiction I  might be an outlier on this one. It seems everyone either loves ADDIE LARUE, or they could do without. I’m in the ‘without’ category, and I don’t say that to be lightly. Really, I wanted to love this story, it just didn’t strike like I hoped.  Quick Take: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. New York City, 2014: But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. Quick Thoughts: I was all-in with …

Sylvia True talks about her astonishing novel-based-on-a-true story, WHERE MADNESS LIES, combining elements of historical fiction, medicine, mental illness, motherhood, secrets, more

By Leslie Lindsay Such a beautifully tragic and heart-wrenching tale of hope and redemption, a lesser-known slice of WWII, combining intergenerational trauma, mental illness, secrets, more. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Spotlight: Women’s Historical Fiction I was absolutely struck by the themes and ideas—and writing—in WHERE MADNESS LIES (Top Hat Books, February 1 2021) by Sylvia True, which is a gorgeous and devastating voyage into the madness of madness, tracing the Nazis’ view of the morally disgusting idea of racial hygiene, but also eradicating ‘any life not worth living,’ such as those deemed feebleminded, mentally ill, sexually degenerate, more. Alternating between the 1980s Massachusetts, and 1930s Germany, with a brief stint in Switzerland, WHERE MADNESS LIES is so beautifully rendered. I was in awe at the breadth of this book–in terms of historical accuracy, emotional intelligence, compelling voice/characters, how it’s based on a true story, and so much more. This story is hauntingly compelling, devastating, and horrifying, yet there’s a glimmer of hope dangling from a pearl. WHERE MADNESS LIES is achingly honest and masterful, a page-turner with fully developed characters and timelines, each …

Ladee Hubbard on her new novel, THE RIB KING, how it is a historical novel haunted by the present, racial violence, cultural stereotypes; plus, developing strong characters with compelling backstory

By Leslie Lindsay  Bold, original frame story of a class, race, revenge, set in 1914 at a white home with black servants, THE RIB KING is truly a unique read not quite like any other. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Spotlight: Women Writers of Color GLOWING PRAISE for THE RIB KING: Book Riot – Our Most Anticipated Releases of 2021| Real Simple – The Best New Books to Read in 2021|Chicago Review of Books – 12 Must-Read Books of January | Book Riot – January 2021 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations |Glamour–7 of the Best New Books in January | Vulture – 46 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021 |Lit Hub – Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021|GMA.com – 16 January reads for the new year |Harper’s Bazaar – 24 Books You Need to Read in 2021|The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview | Popsugar – From Bravery to Outlawed – These Are the Best Books of January 2021|Ms. Magazine – January 2021 Reads for the Rest of …