Readingthepast features an essay by Richard Sharp

Readingthepast features an essay by Richard Sharp

Richard Sharp, author of The Duke Don’t Dance and Crystal Ships, writes about why the 60s should be considered an intriguing candidate for historical fiction exploration, outside the well-known social upheaval and Vietnam War….

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A Few BEA Titles

I have made headway into Richard Sharp’s The Duke Don’t Dance, a story that traces what he calls “The Silent Generation” through the interconnected stories of seven very different protagonists…an excellent character-driven narrative, so far.

Book Expo America is right around the corner, and I’ve been pouring over the list of author signings but have only found two historical fiction books that I’d like to eventually review. Both, however, look to me like the kind of mouth-watering epic tales that HF lovers crave. I can’t access the Publisher’s Weekly “galleys to grab” article, so I don’t know what HF galleys are being touted this year–if anyone sees HF novels that would be of interest, please let me know.

I’ll be posting updates from BEA, but before that will be the review of The Duke Don’t Dance, by the end of the month.

City of Slaughter: A Novel by Cynthia Drew is one of the upcoming books:

Synopsis from Amazon: Fourteen-year-old Carsie Akselrod and her younger sister, Lilia, flee the Russian pogroms to live with relatives on New York’s teeming, dangerous Lower East Side. Like many Jewish immigrant Americans in the early 1900s, the girls go to work in sweatshops, eventually taking jobs at the ill-fated Triangle Waist Company, scene of the infamous 1911 industrial fire that claimed the lives of 146 garment workers. Set against Tammany Hall politics and gangland crime, City of Slaughter is a tale of a woman torn by family, faith, and her drive to rise from poverty, succeed in business, and claim her place in New York’s world of fashion and society.

 

 

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk

Synopsis from Amazon: Orphaned when his mother dies of starvation, having been cast out of her village as a witch, John is taken in at the kitchens at Buckland Manor, where he quickly rises from kitchen-boy to Cook, and is known for his uniquely keen palate and natural cooking ability. However, he quickly gets on the wrong side of Lady Lucretia, the aristocratic daughter of the Lord of the Manor. In order to inherit the estate, Lucretia must wed, but her fiancé is an arrogant buffoon. When Lucretia takes on a vow of hunger until her father calls off her engagement to her insipid husband-to-be, it falls to John to try to cook her delicious foods that might tempt her to break her fast.

The Summer Line Up

I will soon be completing Helen Hollick’s Sea Witch, and will post a review as soon as I am able. The line up for the next few months is as follows:

May review:The Duke Don’t Dance by Richard Sharp  (All summaries from Amazon.com):

Compressed between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom were those who became known to some by the ill-chosen name of the Silent Generation. They were those born too late to share in the triumph of the great victory, too early to know only the privilege of the American empire and in too few numbers to assure themselves a proper identity and proper legacy. Despite those attributes, they invented rock and roll, filled the streets in the struggle for racial equality, bled in the heated precipitates of the cold war and opened the doors to the sexual revolution and feminism, her serious-minded sister. Their triumph lay not in their completion of these transitions, but in their survival through them. The Duke Don’t Dance follows the adult lives of men and women who made that journey.

This book may not fall under the category of historical fiction exactly, but it comes close.

June review: The second in Sam Baty’s thriller series, Darkness into Light:

Even though the ferocious battles of World War II have concluded, the world is unfortunately not a safer place. The iron curtain has dropped in front of Eastern Europe, Josef Stalin is focused on world domination, and United States Army nurse Jennifer Haraldsson is on a mission to find her former patient and foe, German POW Otto Bruner. Once attracted to Otto until wartime secrets divided them, Jennifer must know the truth. Does she love him or not? After Otto is transferred to a detention camp in West Germany, he remains devastated by the loss of Jennifer and witnessing the post-war destruction of his beloved Germany only makes it worse. Desperate to win Jennifer back, Otto summons his friend Ernst Peiper to help, but they soon discover they are being targeted by a group of Nazi extremists and must be transferred to another camp. But Otto is ready to risk everything for love and escapes off the transporter truck into the dark of the night. In a last-ditch effort to rendezvous, Otto and Jennifer throw caution to the wind and cross into the other’s territory, never realizing that their unsettled world is much more complicated than they ever imagined.

July review: Eucalyptus and Green Parrots by Lori Eaton:

Virginia Reed has followed her husband, Clem, to Argentina, trading in her mother’s Texas poultry factory for an apartment in Buenos Aires and a cocktail-bright social life among American expatriates. But it is 1943. The Nazis have overrun Europe, Japan dominates the Pacific, and Allied and Axis agents are fighting a secret war for control of Argentina. When Clem’s clandestine activities put her family at risk, Virginia is shaken from her comfortable life and forced to take control of her family’s destiny. As Virginia navigates the political undercurrents of a country struggling to remain neutral in a war that is consuming the world, she finds friends in unlikely places and enemies frighteningly close to home. In the face of conflicting loyalties and desires, Virginia uncovers a hidden strength and a dormant thirst for independence.

I’d like to review Sarah Bruce Kelly’s Vivaldi’s Muse at some point, as it looks like a splendid read, as well as Before the Fall by Orna Ross and The Silk Weaver’s Daughter by Elizabeth Kales. For the August edition of the HNS Indie Reviews, I will be reviewing Oleanna by Julie K. Rose (and will also post comments about the book here). What a wonderful summer of reading ahead!!