Tag Archives: historical fiction

My Sister’s Books #41

The year 1887, was special for Haw County, it was the year that the town got their first railroad, but for the Hartsoe family, it was the year their daughter, Mary Bet was born. Mary Bet suffered the loss of most her family member by the time she was fifteen and as she grows into a young woman she is faced with even more difficulties and must find a way to survive the worst.

Even though the book starts out with a family tree that warns readers of just how many lives are lost in the Hartsoe family, the emotional journey will be exhausting at times. The first half of the book is full of pain, grief and heartache, while the second half is focused on survival and perseverance. Thompson does a remarkable job of writing a poetic prose that will immediately whisk readers back in time. The rich metaphors bring the setting of Haw County alive, while Mary Bet’s strength will leave readers in awe. The narration was a bit strange at times, almost as though it is an outsider looking in and there is more to the story that is being glossed over. But overall, this is a must read for Southern Gothic Literature fans.

 

Notes:

This review was written for the My Sister’s Books bookstore. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.

Similar Authors:

Amy Gail Hawkins, Elaine Hussey

 

Blio eBook Link:

http://mysistersbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY:0012783447&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12564

Epub ebook Link:

http://mysistersbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY:0012783446&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12564

 

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My Sister’s Books Review #35

A Place at the Table

By: Susan Rebecca White

Alice and her twin James were inseparable. They knew exactly what each other was thinking at all times. Unfortunately their peaceful world is destroyed when they stumble upon a young man who was hanged and they discover the truth about their family. Flash forward roughly 60 years and Alice has become quite famous as an amazing chef and author. Meanwhile, Bobby has been abandoned by his southern Baptist family, because he is gay. He goes to New York for a fresh start and he finds himself in a quaint café, where he trains to become the head chef. Alice and Bobby share an exquisite palate that allows them to form a profound friendship, despite the harsh realities of the world.

This book describes the human emotions with every commanding detail, which will surely reach deep within readers’ hearts. Susan Rebecca White divides the book into several sections, organized by the main character’s point of view and the decade. The beginning of Bobby’s story is a bit slow and it is difficult to tell how old he is when his story begins. However readers get the chance to grow along with Bobby, as he learns to accept his homosexuality, deal with his shattered family and his quest to find an accepting God. The ending is very rushed and even though it tries to tie back into the stories of Alice and Bobby, readers will wish the author could have extended the ending. This is a thought-provoking tale of how we are all connected in this seemingly big world.

Notes:
This review was written for My Sister’s Books.

Purchase Link:

http://mysistersbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY:0012420124&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12564

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My Sister’s Books Review #34

The Union Street Bakery

By: Mary Ellen Taylor

Daisy McCrae was abandoned at the bakery when she was just three years old. Thankfully the owners of Union Street Bakery took her in and made her a member of their family, but she still doesn’t feel like she belongs. Now that she has lost her job in DC and thanks to a handful of her mom’s margaritas, she is back at the family’s bakery. Living in her old room, still haunted by ghosts, she is forced to face her painful past, while using her money management skills to save the bakery from bankruptcy. Things get even more complicated when an old customer passes away and leaves her a journal that once belonged to a slave. Daisy has to rely on the help of her sisters in order to solve the mysteries of this ancient diary and continue the legacy of the Union Street Bakery.

Mary Ellen Taylor weaves a graceful and poignant tale within a tale in this book. She manages to balance several characters’ lives from the 1800s to present day. Chocked full of metaphors, readers will laugh and cry as they experience life in the McCrae bakery. Mary Ellen Taylor makes sure to include her readers in on each fascinating detail as the characters discover new truths from the past. At the end of the book, it contains a few of the characters’ famous recipes. Readers will only be disappointed by the fact that this book has to end, because they will feel as though they are a part of the McCrae family. A must read for those who want a little bit of historical mystery set during modern times, with a few morsels of family drama.

Notes:

This review was written for My Sister’s Books.
Purchase Link:

http://mysistersbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY:0012120755&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12564

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My Sister’s Books Review #24

Water to my Soul: The Story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney
By: Pamela Bauer Mueller
(Historical Fiction/Colonial Times)
(Local History)

Eliza Lucas Pinckney was a young girl living on Wappoo Plantation. She had big dreams and the determination to make change happen. A fast learner, she managed to change the life of Charles Towne, and the entire southern colony of Carolina with a much-needed crop. Her focus and drive allowed for her to successfully run three plantations and oversee the fast growth and profit that came from the indigo plant. This is a fictional account of her life, based off of her written letters, which are the only personal effects that remain.

This book starts off with a powerful prologue that will immediately capture readers’ attention. Even at a young age, Eliza is strong, outspoken young lady with a resilient spirit. She Pamela Bauer Mueller writes Eliza’s story in an easy-to-read fashion, so teenage to adult readers can both enjoy this book. Chocked full of details the readers will feel like they are stepping back in time, with the sights and sounds of Wapoo Plantation and Charles Town. The book is broken down in four main sections, by year, so readers will be taken on the journey of Eliza’s life. This is an admirable read for anyone looking to learn more about South Carolina and the woman who made its history a success.

Similar Authors:
June Hall McCash and Teresa Robison

Note:
This review was written for My Sister’s Books.

Purchase Link:

http://mysistersbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY:0010095870&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12564

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Leaving Tuscaloosa

By: Walter Bennett. Format: Paperback. Read: April 2013.

It is the summer of 1962 and two young men’s lives are about to change forever. Richeboux Branscomb is a young, white male who should have stayed at the dance with his girlfriend. Instead he chooses to ride with his friends into Cherrytown. Acee Waites, is a young, black male who works hard and is just trying to find time to spend with his girlfriend. He is called home, when the cops show up searching for his brother, a civil rights activist who lives with a white, northern woman. This is the journey of these two men and the dividing barrier of one’s race.

This book is a power house of emotions and actions. Walter Bennett will captivate readers with the struggles of Richeboux and Acee. Readers will feel as though they have been transported through time and space, thanks to the intricate details and accurate dialects. Told from various points-of-view, this story allows readers a chance to feel the inner turmoil of the main characters. Leaving Tuscaloosa is a superb example of Southern Literature and this book should be on every adult’s must-read list. Graphic scenes, rough language and harsh content will not be appropriate for all ages.

This book left me breathless and speechless. It is a gripping, action-packed book that provides an excellent representation of a southern community in the 1960s. Have you read Leaving Tuscaloosa? Without giving anything away, did you feel that the consequences of the main characters’ actions were justified due to the time period?

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

Note:
The PR representative for this book, provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about this PR company, please visit her website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #9

Wench

By: Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Tawawa House is a vacation resort located in the free territory of Ohio. Northern white families vacation here as well as Southern white men. However the Southern white men do not bring their wives and children, they bring their women slaves. Three of these women, Lizzie, Sweet and Reenie, have bonded over the several summers they have spent at Tawawa House. It is the newcomer, Mawu, that stirs talk of escaping into the free territories. As the women face new horrors, they relive their pasts and one tragic fire will change all of them forever.

Told mostly from the point of view of Lizzie, Wench gives a gripping inside look into a painful time. Perkins-Valdez shows the inner conflicts that some slaves faced, while dealing with the cruel demons of slavery. Readers will be caught up in all the emotions of pain and fear and even love. This is a powerful, emotional and heart-wrenching tale that everyone should read. However be prepared for an unsatisfying ending.

Similar Author Suggestions:
Kathryn Stockett, Erin Morgenstern, Marlon James, Kathleen Grissom

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The Istanbul Puzzle

By: Laurence O’Bryan. Format: Paperback. Read: February 2013.

 

Sean Ryan just learned that his friend and co-worker, Alek Zegliwski, has been killed while working in Istanbul. Sean must leave London in order to identify Alek’s body, but once he lands in Istanbul, Sean realizes there is more to his friend’s death than he realized. With the help of Isabel Sharp, a British diplomat, Sean escapes death numerous times as he hunts for the people that killed Alek. Little does he know that there is a deadly virus being tested and unleashed in Istanbul by the same people that are trying to prevent him from finding out the truth.

 

The Istanbul Puzzle is full of suspense, while history comes alive in this fast-pace, action-packed thriller. With each new twist and turn, more information is revealed about Istanbul’s past and the religions that have fought to control it. Laurence O’Bryan writes with a passion as he describes the scenery in Istanbul and he sets up intriguing possibilities for the next book. O’Bryan even includes a travel guide for those interested in visiting Istanbul. Each chapter rotates between Sean’s story and what is happening in the world, which gives readers extra insight into the truth and builds up the . Fans of conspiracy theories, mysteries and suspense need to mark this book as a must read!

 

 

I absolutely love books that combine historical facts with conspiracy theories. Authors that can build the suspense in a fiction setting, while still relaying facts have a supreme talent. I enjoy the ‘what-ifs’ these books create and love the fact that I can discover something new each time I re-read the story. This book has all of this and is set up as the first in a series. I cannot wait to read the next book! So, who are some of your favorite historical conspiracy theory authors? I know I have a few on my list and was able to add another author after reading this book!

 

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

Note: The author provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about this book, please visit his website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #6

Follow the River

By: James Alexander Thom

Mary Ingles lived in the settlement with her family and was expecting her third child in Virginia in 1755. Mary’s happiness changed when the Shawnee Indians brutally attacked the village and kidnapped Mary, her children and her sister-in-law. This is the story of how Mary followed the Ohio River through rough terrain and back to her family.

James Alexander Thom writes a powerful and honest tale of life in a western Virginia settlement. The gruesome and brutal details may turn some readers off, but the descriptions are accurate and realistic. Readers will be entranced as they read this book and they will feel as though they are kidnapped along with Mary. The strength and determination Mary demonstrates, is something that will leave readers talking long after they have finished reading. I recommend this book for reading groups.

Similar Author Suggestions:  Lucia St. Clair Robson, Anna Lee Waldo, John Jakes

Note: This review was written for My Sister’s Books.

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