Monday, March 4, 2024

Monday Mini-Reviews: Historical Fiction

 I have long claimed that historical fiction is my favorite genre and yet when I look back at the end of the year, I am always surprised by how little of it I read.  I think this year might be a different story.  I have been picking up more historical fiction (as opposed to buying historical fiction books that just sit on my TBR) and thoroughly enjoying them.

A Wild and Heavenly Place by Robin Oliviera is a love story of sorts. Samuel is in awe of Hailey MacIntyre's beauty and when he rescues her brother from a speeding carriage, the two instantly have a connection.  But then Hailey's father relocates them from Scotland to Seattle, a new city where he believes he can find a job.  As Hailey leaves she yells to Samuel to remember Washington Territory, and Sam, who is raising his young sister, tries to find a way to get there himself. What I loved about this one: the Seattle setting as the city is just developing and the love story between Hailey and Samuel.

The General and Julia by Jon Clinch- Ulysses S Grant writes his memoirs as his death approaches.  He shares different critical stories from his life in an effort to leave his family with some financial security as he lays dying from cancer.  What I loved about this one: I knew very little about Grant or his wife Julia Dent and I found my interest piqued.  His character is something I want to know more about as he fought for equal rights for blacks and against the Ku Klux Klan.

The Turtle House by Amanda Churchill- this is a debut novel set in 1990s Texas and WWII Japan, Lia and her grandmother find themselves sharing a bedroom at her parents' house during a pivotal time in both of their lives. Lia, a promising architect, has returned home after a situation at work, leaving her job.  Mineko tells Lia stories about her early life in Japan and the man she loved before she married Lia's grandfather.  What I loved about this one: the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter and the WWII stories

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry- this American classic consumed a lot of reading time in February.  I don't think this is a five star read for me, but once I finally got into the story (which took quite a while), I was invested in the characters.  There are lots of characters which also made it a little more difficult at the beginning, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the men who drove cattle from Lonesome Dove to Montana and the rough life they lived.  What I loved about this one: I fell in love with the female characters whose lives were so challenging, especially Clara.  I also loved the landscape and open country that I could picture as I read.

These four were all winners.  I'm trying to read more memoirs in March, so I expect I'll have fewer historical fiction reads this month.


Mystica said...

The four stories are good in different ways. Thank you for the reviews.

Kay said...

I am definitely planning to read The Turtle House. My library has it and it's set in Texas. Win-win. Thanks for sharing these!