Monday, May 11, 2020

Monday Mini-Reviews: Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and yet I find myself not reading all that many historical fiction books. Instead, I seem to collect them, "saving" them for the perfect moment.  I have stacks of books in my basement just waiting to be plucked from a pile and enjoyed.  Despite the fact that I doubt I will ever catch up, I am making an effort to read some of what I've collected while still keeping up on library books.

Here are two historical fiction books worth sharing this week:

The Engineer's Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood - this is one of my favorite types of historical fiction.  Wood writes a fictionalized account of the life of Emily Warren Roebling, the wife of Captain Washington Roebling, who can be credited with building the Brooklyn Bridge. Emily had no real education in math or science and her husband is the one credited with this feat, yet he was incapacitated from working in the pressurized tanks at the bridge's foundation, and Emily acted as his go-between, assuming a supervisory role and learning quickly while on the job.  There is a fair amount of math and science as the engineering behind the Brooklyn Bridge was explained, and I loved learning of the connection between Emily and PT Barnum.  

A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner - this is a WWII story of sorts which moves back and forth in time as we watch three war brides set sail for America, looking forward to being reunited with their fiances.  Annaliese Lange is one of these women who is escaping her Nazi officer husband and Simone Devereaux is the daughter of a French Resistance spy.  These stories connect when the women set sail, but the present day story centers around Brette Clarke.  Brette takes a tour of the Queen Mary, a ship known for the many ghosts that inhabit it.   As she connects with one of the ghosts on board, she tries to determine what happened on the voyage seventy years ago with these war brides and why one of them is still on the ship.

Both of these held my interest and were enjoyable reads.  I've started another historical fiction, this one about the Dust Bowl, and I'm working hard to clear off at least a little space in my home library.  

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