All posts tagged: historical fiction

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 …

WHAT IF YOU WERE DRIVEN BY REVENGE but also trauma? ANDROMEDA ROMANO-lax talks about this, the early days of psychoanalysis, & so much more in a genre-bending new book, ANNIE AND THE WOLVES

By Leslie Lindsay A modern-day historian finds herself enmeshed with the life of Annie Oakley, in a dual-timeline novel exploring the concept of revenge and changing one’s past/path. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ “2020 Best & Most Anticipated Historical Fiction” Oprah Magazine “Most Anticipated Books of 2021” by Buzzfeed  Several years ago, I read and loved Andromeda Romano-Lax’s BEHAVE, about Behaviorist John Watson and his wife, Rosalie Raynor Watson, their inhumane ‘experiments’ on children and parenting, done in what they believed was what was ‘best’ for the children (withholding affection, etc.). When I discovered her forthcoming ANNIE AND THE WOLVES (Soho Press, Feb 2, 2021), I knew I had to get my hands on it. Ruth McClintock is a historian in her early thirties and completely obsessed with Annie Oakley. For nearly a decade, she has been studying the show-stopping sharpshooter, convinced a tragic past is what elevated her status as one of the best shots in the land. But Ruth sort of loses it all–her book deal, her finance, her dissertation because her own mental health gets in …

Serpentine Literary Historical suspense inspired by the classic ‘rebecca,’ THE TWO MRS. CARLYLES is about the bond between women, but also manipulation

By Leslie Lindsay A twisty literary thriller set in the wake of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. ~Wednesdays with Writers|Always with a Book~ Historical Fiction Spotlight San Francisco, 1906. Violet is one of three people grateful for the destruction of the big earthquake. It leaves her and her two best friends unexpectedly wealthy — if the secret that binds them together stays buried beneath the rubble. Fearing discovery, the women strike out on their own, and orphaned, wallflower Violet reinvents herself. When a whirlwind romance with the city’s most eligible widower, Harry Carlyle, lands her in a luxurious mansion as the second Mrs. Carlyle, it seems like her dreams of happiness and love have come true. But all is not right in the Carlyle home, and Violet soon finds herself trapped by the lingering specter of the first Mrs. Carlyle, and by the inescapable secrets of her own violent history. “If you loved Rindell’s THE OTHER TYPIST, if you adored Jane Eyre, if you were riveted by Rebecca, you will be enthralled by THE TWO …

THE PULL OF THE STARS A historical novel that is strikingly similar to our current pandemic, set in 1918 Dublin, by the bestselling author of ROOM

By Leslie Lindsay  Pregnant women quarantined in a Dublin hospital during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Historical Fiction Spotlight Barnes & Noble Book Club choice for August Reader’s Digest Book Club Pick Australian Women’s Weekly Book Club Pick  Oprah Magazine Best Book of Summer 2020 Chapters Indigo Best Book of 2020 AudioFile Earphones award for the unabridged edition I’m always alert to the work of the the lovely and talented Emma Donoghue, especially since I fell in love with her disturbingly good, ROOM. The Pull of the Stars (New York: Little Brown; July 2020), seemed to be vying for my attention, whispering, “Read me, read me,” when I came across this historical fiction set in 1918 Dublin. For three days, we are midwives in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. There’s work, and risk and a claustrophobic sense of the world browning at the edges; and yes, it has so many parallels with today’s pandemic. In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse …

A mesmerizing tale that reads almost like a lucid dream, Ursula Hegi’s THE PATRON SAINT OF PREGNANT GIRLS is about the cacophony of grief, a freak accident, wanderlust, and so much more; plus an excerpt from her NER essay on craft

By Leslie Lindsay  Three mothers, one circus, a one-hundred-year wave, a drowned town, coupled with grief, parenting, and the ways women hold each other up through challenging times. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ It’s the summer of 1878 and the Ludwig Zirkus has come to the island of Nordstrand in Germany. Big-bellied girls from the nearby St. Margaret’s Home for Pregnant Girls are thrilled to see the parade and the show as are the Sisters who care for them, so begins THE PATRON SAINT OF PREGNANT GIRLS by Ursula Hegi (forthcoming from Flatiron Books, August 18 2020). Lotte and her husband, Kalle, a toymaker are near the ocean when a one-hundred-year-wave roars from the Nordsee and claims the lives of three of their young children. Lotte is holding Wilhelm, the baby, and he is spared. Yet, Lotte and Kalle, childhood sweethearts are bereft with grief. On the beach that day are three mothers: Lotte, whose children are gone except Wilhelm, Tilli, an 11-year old girl who just gave birth at the home and had her baby adopted, …

Inspired by true events and the lush land of Hawaii, Sara Ackerman’s RED SKY OVER HAWAII will transport you to another time and place

Leslie Lindsay  Inspired by real places and events of WWII, RED SKY OVER HAWAII immerses the reader in a time of American history full of suspicion and peril in this lush and poignant novel. ~WEDNESDAY SPOTLIGHT|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ USA Today Bestselling and Hawaiin powerhouse author Sara Ackerman returns with a fabulous new work of historical fiction… Continue reading →

What if Jesus had a wife? Sue Monk Kidd explores this and more in THE BOOK OF LONGING, plus how her primary interest was portraying humanity, how writing is an act of courage, more

By Leslie Lindsay  An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings.  ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, THE BOOK OF LONGINGS (Viking, April 2020), Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything. Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary in a much more humble abode than what she …

Can we save a library? Janie Chang talks about this, the Sino-Japanese war, being a refugee, COVID-19, her fascination with myths & folklore, and so much more in her new novel, THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS

By Leslie Lindsay  Based on true events of the Sino-Japanese war, THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS is a poetic and compelling piece of historical fiction. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS| ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Blending history and beautiful imagery, plus Chinese myth and folklore, THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS (WilliamMorrow, May 12 2020) brings the past to light in this atmospheric tale. This is a captivating saga of a young woman traveling across China with a convoy of student refugees, fleeing the hostiles of a brutal war with Japan. Here is where I knew little of this piece of history. But this is all based on true events, taking place during WWII. It’s 1937 and Japanese bombs fall on the city of Nanking when 19-year old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Together, along with about one hundred students, and staff, Lian must walk a thousand miles to safety while protecting a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as “The Library of Legends.” Unexpected bonds develop on this pilgrimage…a cautious romance, but also death and skepticism, …

Award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer Jan Eliasberg talks about her debut fiction, inspired by true events and strong women in science, HANNAH’S WAR, plus WWII movies, RBG, and more

By Leslie Lindsay A gripping story of one woman’s bravery and brilliance during WWII, exploring themes of identity, deception, and more. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ JAN ELIASBERG DIRECTOR, WRITER AND PRODUCER KNOWN FOR CREATING EVOCATIVE MATERIAL FEATURING PERFORMANCES FROM TODAY’S MOST COMPELLING ACTORS. With HANNAH’S WAR (Little Brown/Back Bay Books, March 3 2020), award-winning screenwriter and film director, Jan Eliasberg turns her gaze toward fiction, but staying true to form, she is continuing to highlight strong, independent female characters. I was blown away with the writing in HANNAH’S WAR and had to remind myself this is a debut novel for the author. The writing is fast-paced and beautifully descriptive. Inspired by real-life scientist, female physicist Lise Meitner, HANNAH’S WAR is Eliasberg’s answer in seeking truth and information about scientific discovery, women’s place in the workforce (and in war), discovery, morality, love, family, and more. There’s a bit of everything in HANNAH’S WAR–from mystery and science, to spies, and romance; a wartime story of loyalty and truth and the unforeseeable fallout from one women’s …

Now in paperback! Jennifer Chiaverini’s sweeping WWII historical fiction, RESISTANCE WOMEN, about a woman from Wisconsin, friendship, romance, and more

by Leslie Lindsay  A captivating historical novel that recreates the danger, sacrifices, and romance of the WWII era, inspired by a true story.  *COMING FEB 4th IN PAPERBACK* RESISTANCE WOMEN by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini RESISTANCE WOMEN (William Morrow, Paperback February 4, 2020) was an Amazon Best Book of June; a June Indie Next pick; and received praise from People, OprahMag.com, and a slew of other media outlets. American-born Mildred Fish Harnack is well known throughout modern Germany, where streets and schools have been named after her. A literary scholar and anti-Nazi resistance fighter, Mildred was the only American woman whose execution during World War II was personally ordered by Adolf Hitler.  Yet here in her native country, Mildred’s story is largely unknown.  Coming in Paperback Feb 4th After University of Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding …