Tag: Books: Historical Fiction


Review: The Witchfinder’s Sister

Posted 20 April, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Witchfinder’s Sister
By: Beth Underdown
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

‘The number of women my brother Matthew killed is one hundred and six…’

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Picked up this book…last year, I believe. Witches, historical fiction, a witch hunter–sounds interesting and intense!

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Review: Eva Sleeps

Posted 6 April, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Eva Sleeps
By: Francesca Melandri, Katherine Gregor (Translator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Out of the struggles and conflicts in the border regions of Northern Italy and Austria and the rich history that has resulted from this meeting of cultures, comes a family story that embodies the history of nations. Eva, a forty-year-old public relations professional living in Northern Italy, recieves an unexpected message from Southern Italy. Vito, a man she briefly knew as a child as a friend of her mother’s, is very ill and would like to see her one last time. He is a retired police officer who was stationed in the north during the late-sixties, a period rife with tension, protest, and violence. These troubles, however, did not stop a young hapless policeman from falling in love with the “wrong” woman, a girl named Gerda from Austrian Tyrol, an inventive and accomplished cook, a single mother with a rich family history of her own, a northerner, the sister of a terrorist, and Gerda’s mother.

Vito’s affair with Gerda was a passionate one, but what was the nature of their love? And if he loved her so passionately why did he return to Calabria? What scars did those years leave on Vito, and on Gerda? It’s time for Eva to find out.

I love how diverse Europa Editions is in bringing translated fiction to the English-speaking audience. I’m always interested to read the latest from the European literary scene, like in Italy. So this book has been on my wishlist for some time; picked it up a few years ago, but then it took me another few years before I finally read it 😛

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Review: Belgravia

Posted 3 April, 2020 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Belgravia
By: Julian Fellowes
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

It is the evening of 15 June 1815, and the Duchess of Richmond has thrown a magnificent ball in Brussels for the Duke of Wellington. The guests include James and Anne Trenchard – who have made their money in trade – along with their beautiful daughter Sophia.

When the Trenchards move into the fashionable new area of Belgravia some twenty-five years later, they are surrounded by some of London society’s most influential families. But something happened that night of the ball, so long ago, that threatens their new status.

Because behind Belgravia’s magnificent doors is a world of secrets, gossip and intrigue.

I enjoyed Downton Abbey (before it got a bit ridiculous towards the end of its run) and the premise of this book sounded interesting–set at the even of the end of the Napoleonic Wars–so naturally I snatched it up. Of course, it would take me several years before I finaly got around to reading it, but anyway lol. Ended up blitzing through it recently, which was surprising given it’s quite a tome, so here we are (maybe I’m making up for lost time, who knows lol).

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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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