The list author says: "I will read anything that eludes to France and the French, as well as anything vaguely historical both fiction and otherwise. Join me for a walk through my favorite recent "reads"."
"With a Preface by author Catherine Schine: A tale of 4 women who sojourn to Italy to get away from a dreary English Spring, circa 1920's. A well written story of the wonders that a beautiful environment can work on the soul."
"After "Suite Francais" I have become totally hooked on Nemirovsky. This novel (more like a short story), although it ends abruptly, is a totally absorbing mystery in the lives of the 'paysan' in France between the two Great Wars. Kudos to the translator!"
"A moving story of love, loss and redemption.Relates the story of twins, (one healthy, one with Down Syndrome), separated at birth by their physician father, and the reprecussions of that decision over the next 18+ years"
"Another great tale from Phillippa Gregory. The story of Elizabeth I and her relationship with Robert Dudly. Interestingly, follows up on some of the characters from previous novels (The Other Bolyen Girl et. al) History comes alive through Gregory's pen."
"A finely crafted and engaing tale of two men --one a great writer, one a nondescript solicitor--whose paths cross at a critical time of life for each. A witty yet studied view of Victorian life and morals. A Great Read!"
"For women of a "certain age", lover's of folk/rock or just anyone: Weller reveals the 'backstory' of the female icons of a generation. Thouroughly researched, it is a study of the times as well as the women (and men)who broke the mold and made the sea change of the 60's"
"Not a fan of "mystery writers', still, I adore these brief stories. The mystery is nearly incidental to the people and country of Botswana. Written with great humor & a love of the characters and the land."
"This is an excellent, highly readable biography of a true saint whose life has been obscured by embellishment & legend. Spoto delves into the cultural & political movements of Francis times (early 1200's) to reveal this man for the true saint that he was."
"An incredibly moving story based upon the real life Carrie McGavock, the Widow of the South,creator & keeper of a private cemetary of close to 1,500 confederates who were killed in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War,at Franklin, Tenn. A must read novel of courage, faith & ultimately, transformation"
"Insight into the life and times of Mamah Borthwick Chaney. We learn of this creative woman as a writer and translator as well as the infamous lover and muse of Frank Lloyd Wright. The story pulls you inexorably toward its tragic conclusion"
"Engrossing story of several Orthodox Jewish families during a period of personal & religious change the 1970's. Their summers in Kaaterskill(a small town in the Catskills) as part of a community of Jews living alongside Yankee 'year-rounders' and the rest of the year in Brooklyn. Excellently written, past- paced read. Highly recommended."
"Fictionalized account of Gustav Klimt & Emilie Floge, one of his many muses and the subject of his famous painting, The Kiss.Much like Nancy Horan's "Loving Frank" (see above), it gives insight into the times (1880's Viennese Cafe society) and the cultural milieu that influenced the artist. As told in flashback by Emilie it also details the life of women of that era. Very good"
"Esquivel spins a compelling story the of Malinche,the woman known as "The Tongue"; consort of Cortez and, ultimatley a traitor to her race who aided the Spanish in their conquest of what we now call Mexico"
"As always, Francine Prose gives us a spellbinding story. With very little verifiable information to go on, she reconstructs the life of the great master, Caravaggio, combining what is available through the few sources (court records & stories by his contemporaries)available and provides deep insight into the works of this troubled, yet groundbreaking artist"
"Another great story from Philippa Gregory. This time out it is Hannah Verde,the Queen's Fool who becomes emmeshed in the court intrigues of Queen Mary Tudor, the young Princess Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. A fine historical novel revolving around the struggle for the throne between Bloody Mary and Elizabeth, the Protestant Princess."
"For the first time I was not knocked over by a Gregory "Tudor" novel. Had difficulty finding Mary a sympathetic figure or feeling concern re: her historical situation(although she certainly came tortured end!). Still, better than many of your average historical novel."