Tag: Books: Historical Fiction


Review: Transcription

Posted 25 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Transcription
By: Kate Atkinson
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Picked this book up on a whim; I greatly enjoyed reading her books Life After Life (review) and A God in Ruins (review) and the premise of the novel sounded interesting.

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Review: Melmoth

Posted 23 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Melmoth
By: Sarah Perry
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now, in Sarah Perry’s breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.

It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy.

But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . .

I’ve seen Sarah Perry’s books around for the last few years but just never got around to picking them up. I ended up picking up this title because it was recommended in a list of recommendations on some website…I was in the mood for something Gothic, as well as a story about friendships, and look! it’s set in Prague, so I ended up picking up this book. Plus, look how gorgeous the book cover is! 😀

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Review: Bellewether

Posted 16 September, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

Bellewether
By: Susanna Kearsley
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Some houses seem to want to hold their secrets.

It’s 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. The times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many New York merchants who have secretly been trading with the French for years, defying Britain’s colonial laws in a game growing ever more treacherous.

When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes on their parole of honour, it upends the lives of the Wilde family—deeply involved in the treasonous trade and already divided by war.

Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother’s death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. And Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war’s end they’ll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily.

Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum.

Charley doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as she starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story…or the whole truth.

Alas, here we are, the last of the Susanna Kearsley novels sitting on my TBR queue. It’s funny, I seem to always read her books around the summertime but they seem perfect for the season. So here we are 🙂

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Review: A Desperate Fortune

Posted 7 August, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

A Desperate Fortune
By: Susanna Kearsley
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

For nearly 300 years, the mysterious journal of Jacobite exile Mary Dundas has lain unread-its secrets safe from prying eyes. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas has been hired by a once-famous historian to crack the journal’s cipher. But when she arrives in Paris, Sara finds herself besieged by complications from all sides: the journal’s reclusive owner, her charming Parisian neighbor, and Mary, whose journal doesn’t hold the secrets Sara expects.

It turns out that Mary Dundas wasn’t keeping a record of everyday life, but a first-hand account of her part in a dangerous intrigue. In the first wintry months of 1732, with a scandal gaining steam in London, driving many into bankruptcy and ruin, the man accused of being at its center is concealed among the Jacobites in Paris, with Mary posing as his sister to aid his disguise. When their location is betrayed, they’re forced to put a desperate plan in action, heading south along the road to Rome, protected by the enigmatic Highlander Hugh MacPherson.

As Mary’s tale grows more and more dire, Sara, too, must carefully choose which turning to take…to find the road that will lead her safely home.

Oh man, I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for ages. I guess I put off reading this book because it was focusing on the Jacobites, which I guess I studied to deat at uni so I wasn’t so inclined to read it lol. But it is a Susanna Kearsley book and she writes wonderfully so slowly but surely I finally got around to reading it.

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Review: Warleggan

Posted 17 June, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Warleggan (Poldarks #4)
By: Winston Graham
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When Ross Poldark plunges into a highly speculative mining venture, he risks not only his family’s financial security but also his already-turbulent marriage. When his old flame Elizabeth Warleggan re-enters his life, Ross is tested like never before. But soon, his wife Demelza retaliates, becoming dangerously involved with a handsome Scottish cavalry officer of her own.

With the looming threat of bankruptcy and scandal, the Poldarks now face the possibility of disaster on all fronts. Will they be able to keep it together before everything falls apart?

So after reading Jeremy Poldark (review), I went on to pick up this book as it was sitting on my TBR queue on my eReader.

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