Reviews

Viewing entries tagged with 'historical fiction'

15 Jan 2018

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Katey Kontent, daughter of an immigrant Russian family, reminisces about her life in New York after seeing photographs of some of her early friends in an exhibition. The story is one of post-depression, pre-2WW New York, of the WASP culture, the at once egalitarian/hierarchical society, and the many choices one makes that define a path through life.

27 Dec 2017

The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

Building on research that rehabilitated Neanderthal culture in the popular view, Cameron has created a story around the possible first encounter between a young Neanderthal woman and local homo sapiens. In a parallel story she follows the paleoanthropologist who discovers the female Neanderthal’s remains.

18 Dec 2017

Heloise by Mandy Hager

“Of all my frustrations with the Christian Church, besides its demonising of women, there are two that most confound me: the preoccupation with unquestioning obedience and the notion of original sin.” So says one of Heloise’s early teachers – a Jew who was forced to convert and who along with her daughter had faced the worst that the patriarchal society of 12th Century France could inflict. And Heloise’s exploration of the life and character of Heloise is unflinching in its descriptions of the endless abuse and disempowerment of women.

13 Sep 2017

Dead Man's Blues by Ray Celestin

Chicago, 1928 is loud, colourful, drunk on moonshine. Jazz is everywhere, fuelled by Louis Armstrong and other musicians who have come north to seek a brighter future. Al Capone rules with a Tommy Gun and prohibition sees speak easys on every corner.

16 Aug 2017

Fletcher of the Bounty by Graeme Lay

I really enjoyed Lay’s James Cook trilogy, from the first installment which adores Cook, through to the final depiction of a man gone mad. I picked up Fletcher of the Bounty expecting a combination of the two – adoring of Christian and a depiction of an insane Bligh – needless to say my history of the events comes from various movies!

30 May 2017

The French Perfumer by Amanda Hampson

Iris is 35 and living in London in 1956, her only company her father, her cat and a workmate, Colleen. She does have a brother, but their relationship is tainted by the brother’s ambitious wife. When her father and cat both die, Iris takes Colleen’s advice and ditches her long-standing Civil Service job and heads off to take up a mysterious secretarial position in the South of France.