Author:Cathy Burnham Martin Release Date: 31st August 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction Series: Format: E-book Pages: 242 pages Publisher: Quiet Thunder Publishing Blurb: What happens when an American girl of Eurasian descent finds herself suddenly immersed in all facets of her Armenian ancestry? Told with an often soulfully introspective voice, “Destiny of Dreams” follows the true story of a teenager and her grandfather, retracing loving, learning, and terrifying footprints of the past. While survival remains center stage, love and courage must emerge, or all will be both lost and forgotten. More fact than fiction, the author reveals her Armenian roots in this historical novel, chronicling her family members’ love, strength, and resolve to both survive and thrive in treacherous times. Reflecting the traumas suffered by all people displaced from their original homelands, this Armenian story focuses on one family’s challenge to find light in the dark days of the waning Ottoman Empire. Anyone with the diaspora in their family heritage will relate. Whether thinking of Jewish people from Israel, Africans scattered through slavery, Armenians fleeing annihilation in Turkey, so-called boat people escaping Asia, or Syrians fleeing life-threatening violence in their own nation, humans continue to rise up in the face of the toughest times. Who would emerge from extraordinarily desperate places, and how could they choose to set positive examples of humanity during highly inhumane times? Set in the early 1900s and flashing forward to the 1960s, the story’s themes ring with tolerance and intolerance, dreams and destroyers, family and friends, amidst challenges that eerily parallel life in current judgmental scenarios.
Written for Young Adult and Adult audiences, the book contains some explicit descriptions and a couple of disturbing, though not graphic, violent scenes. While not gratuitous, the depictions may be unsuitable for young readers
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Destiny Of Dreams: Time Is Dear by Cathy Burnham Martin is a beautifully written historical fiction book about survival and the darkness that plagues our society.
This book was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, along with quiet graphic descriptions of violence, which lent this book an air of seriousness that otherwise would have been missing. I liked reading this book from cover to cover because the plot was very engaging, the writing was good, the characterisation was well done and the execution of the story was really good.
I would recommend this book to all historical fiction buffs. Although do keep in mind that this book has some graphic violent scenes (for those who might find them triggering.)
Anton Marković didn’t believe in a girl with a gun.
How could the Partisans win this war with only farmers, labourers and women for soldiers? The experiment was ridiculous. He should have stuck to the ships he knew and not be in a forest in Bosnia with a rifle in his hands, and a bullet in his head, and a woman by his side cackling like a throttled fowl in some dazzling display of hormonal triumph.
Tito had allowed the girls from the villages to serve in combat roles, and Mara was all in favour of anything innovative for women. She had just shot her first fascist, and her face beneath Anton’s was exuberant, breathless and beautiful.
He was at war, and clearly on more fronts than he anticipated.
But could he save Mara from that brilliant and psychotic fascist she could not shoot?
From the forests and mountains of Bosnia to the White Cliffs of Dover, the Nazis and the Ustasha battle the most successful resistance movement in Occupied Europe.
Death to Fascism!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Through Forests And Mountains by Margaret Walker is a beautifully written story about personal emotions and difficult situations (socially and otherwise.)
This book reads more like an experience than a story and takes the readers to the historical settings of upheaval in Yugoslavia in the year 1942. The historical backdrop is beautifully articulated and I was really impressed by the author penchant for details. The characterisation is brilliant and I loved the main leads, Anton and Mara, as well as the cast of secondary characters. All the characters had so much to offer to the story and the build-up of the plot, that it made the book a rich combination of a solid plot with equally strong characterisation.
This book covers a wide spectrum of emotions – from one’s love for their country and friendships between individuals to blossoming romantic relationship between the leads (that is built slowly and steadily.) Overall, this book is a highly engaging and entertaining read and I would recommend it to all readers, especially readers who love historical fiction works.
Author: Pramudith D. Rupasinghe Release Date: 29th April 2018 Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Sri Lankan Literature Series: Format: E-book Pages: 272 pages Publisher: Vor Press Blurb: In the serene tempo of classical Soviet literature charmingly merged into modernity, Bayan is a unique blend from among the work of Pramudith D Rupasinghe. Bayan begins in the sunny Ukrainian summer and ends with a hidden, deeply meaningful message. It is not only the story of a strange, bearded old man who finds solace and a soulmate of sorts, in a traditional string instrument, while facing a common narrative of his era; it is a commentary on life, and a celebration of the ultimate coming of age.
It juxtaposes the failure of physical strength and faculties to the accumulation of immense emotional fortitude. It lulls you into feeling safe in spite of the passing of transient seasons, the waning of political ideologies and the inevitable disintegration of the corporeal being. Bayan tells about changing world`s order, revolutions and the ravages of time, the music of life will go on.
Bayan is the only novel by a Sri Lankan author to be translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Burmese and Hungarian languages. And its German, Russian, Hindi and Sinhala translations have been added among the books of Sri Lankan authors translated into other languages.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Bayan by Pramudith D. Rupasinghe is a beautifully written book full of, and highlighting, a wide spectrum of emotions and emotional sensibilities.
It is difficult to summarise my opinion of reading this beautiful book because it was nothing short of an out-of-the-world experience and simply cannot be expressed in words. This book takes you on a journey to a time and place where you’d be struggling between contrasting emotions of wonder and revulsion. It is not an easy feat to write about the times of war and the post-war world because they both are two subjects that need a very good, and thankfully, Dr Pramudith – the author, did it so wonderfully well that I was left in awe.
This book is written beautifully well, interspersed with odd letters and poems, which made the experience of reading this book even more realistic. The characterisation was brilliant and I ached and pained for the plight of the characters. This book not only helped me understand the emotional background of many people who might have experienced the events told in this book but also made me reflect on the present times and how far the world has changed today from those of the earlier times.
This is a very good book that I will recommend to all readers, of all genres because it is an experience that no one should pass on.
You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.
Author: Ian Lewis Release Date: 8th April 2019 Genre: Alternate history fiction, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery Series: The Reeve (Book #1) Format: E-book Pages: 252 pages Publisher: – Blurb: Sober, serious, and driven, Logan Hale is the highest peace officer in Beldenridge, and he knows his city better than anyone: the labyrinthine streets, the vaulted architecture, and all the dark corners where tales of mutations and a vicious enemy still linger like hushed secrets. Logan is quick to dismiss these accounts as part of a storied past with which he’d rather not contend, but when a suicide investigation leads him to believe there’s something more sinister at hand, he questions whether that near-forgotten lore isn’t the stuff of legend after all.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
From Legend by Ian Lewis is the first book in the alternate historical series The Reeve.
The first thing I loved about this book is the cover art! I absolutely loved it and once done with the book I was really happy (and grateful) that the high expectations set by the cover were fully delivered by the author in this book. I enjoyed this book tremendously and the many elements it had to offer to a speculative fiction lover like myself. I loved the writing, the world-building, the characterisation as well as the fast pacing and high tension throughout the story.
I liked how the author interweaved the alternate historical settings with fantastical elements and used old lores, legends and fables to build intrigue as well as the perfect atmosphere for keeping the reader on edge. I would highly recommend this book to all readers who like reading speculative fiction, fantasy as well as alternate history and also to those who are looking to explore a new author or a new series. This book would be a really good pick for most readers.
Author: Christopher Griffith Release Date: 28th May 2019 Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Comedy, YA, Short Story collection Series: Format: E-book Pages: 126 pages Publisher: Blurb: William seeks contented ease, not tragic hardship; Rick loves simple melody, not its mysteriously melancholic effect upon him; Emily dreams of anything but having to work another day for darkly comic Carol; Saman is overcome by revenge fantasy, but the subject of his vengeance wants only reconciliation; and young Will Shakespeare’s dream is to act, not write though the latter as history tells comes eagerly calling for him instead. Each protagonist definitely planned something else when life, in form of these unfolding stories, haply intervened!
Rating: 4 out of 5.
William Ottoway’s Utopia by Christopher Griffith is a vibrant short story collection of diverse nature showcasing different varieties of narration.
This collection contains 5 tales and I liked reading all of them. I liked this book mostly because of the assorted nature of all the stories. They all had a very different setting, characterisation, narratives, and ever time periods and crossed different realms even. Each and every one of them was very different from each other but equally good and engaging. I liked the way characters were brought to life in a fitting way and the pacing that was set by the clever use of varied types of sentence structures.
I’d recommend this book to readers of all genre especially if they like reading experimental styles of narrative prose.
You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.
Author: Eliza Harrison Narrated by: Eliza Harrison Release Date: 2nd October 2020 Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction Series: Format: Audiobook Pages: 9 hours 13 minutes Publisher: Blurb: Two women, two millennia apart, with seemingly unconnected lives – one from the English Lake District and the other from Bethany in Palestine. Neither is sure of their role or purpose, which leaves in them feelings of emptiness and uncertainty.
Martha of Bethany has Yeshua as friend and guide. From a place of tenderness and intimacy, she witnesses the last three years of his life and sees him embody the mystery and power of love. This leads her on a journey to the Sacred Isles where she finds her own pathway to awakening.
Martha from Borrowdale’s story begins in 2000 AD as she faces challenges that expose her deepest fears and insecurities. With her partner Ben, she discovers the mystical Aramaic teachings of Yeshua that offer her a pathway to Self-realisation and freedom.
These two redemptive stories weave alongside each other until finally they converge. It is a tale of revelation and mystery that uplifts and transforms.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Mystery Of Martha by Eliza Harrison is a unique kind of mystery novel that is set against the historical backdrop and inlaced with spiritualism that takes the reader on a surreal journey.
I was intrigued about this book from he start because spiritualism is a little hard to blend into a historical mystery and so I was curious to see how the plot unravelled. It was good for the most part and the writing was good. The narration wasn’t the best but it made for easy listening and I appreciated it a lot. The overall concept was a little out of my personal comfort zone, but it still made for a good and engaging read.
I think that if you are into spirituality and like reading experimental literature revolving around it then you’d appreciate this book a lot more than me and it would make for a really good read.
Author: Kevin Lee Akers Release Date: 17th March 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction, Family Saga Series: Format: E-book Pages: Publisher: Bassett Street Press Blurb: The illustrious and ancient Dunne family has ruled over land in the heart of Ireland since time immemorial.
In the manor house known as Brittas, resides the family of clan chieftain, General Edward Dunne. His estate agent and cousin Peter raises his brood in the servant’s wing. These two related yet very separate branches struggle to secure their futures during the country’s darkest, most formidable years.
As Ireland is crumbling, the West is rising in Golden sunshine.
In 1848, San Francisco lures James Dunne and eventually his brother and sisters to literally create a new city out of sand dunes and gold dust.
The Dunnes of Brittas follows three generations of family who share in each other’s triumphs and tragedies finally discovering that their strength doesn’t derive from their separate branches but their common roots.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Dunnes of Brittas: An Irish Family’s Saga of Endurance by Kevin Lee Akers is an emotional journey about three generations of a family who are trying to navigate difficult situations through life and finding solace in each other’s company.
I liked reading this book because it had so many layers of complexity embedded throughout the story and mainly because the author has done a fine job with the overall characterisation. The story is good and the writing complimented it well.
Overall it made for a very engaging read and I would definitely recommend it to everyone who enjoys reading historical fiction and family sagas with complex plot and characters.
Author: Jack Michonik Release Date: 25th June 2020 Genre: Historical Fiction Series: Format: E-book Pages: 388 pages Publisher: Blurb: The year is 1926. Thousands of Jewish families are forced to flee poverty and anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. Fate takes two families to the magical continent of South America, which opens its generous arms to them. Many surprises await the immigrants in the New World. In this exciting story of their lives from their early teens in the “shtetl” to leisurely musings of middle age, we see the hardships immigrants face in the long journey to America, the complex process of adaptation to an unfamiliar environment and the phenomenal development of their businesses.
Parallel to the story of the main characters, another story emerges: that of the birth of a typical Jewish community within a Christian city. Translated from the original Spanish book, La Descendencia, The Heritage is peppered with reflections on religion and historical events of the time regarding the Jews and the state of Israel. Throughout the narrative, the author captivates us with a fascinating story of overcoming, human conflicts and addresses issues of assimilation and identity. Though not an autobiographical novel, it could be the story of the parents or grandparents of any Jew from Central or South America. The author preferred to use a fictional provincial capital of Latin American so that the reader can recognize the history of his or her own Jewish community, as all Jewish communities in Latin America came into being in an almost identical manner.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Heritage by Jack Michonik is a heartfelt tale of the author’s Jewish community immigrating to South America in the 1920s. This book was historically enlightening and made for a great read as a real-life story. It highlighted the plight of the immigrant Jews who had to live in a country whose religion was not simply pre-dominantly Catholic but was entirely that. And to preserve their Heritage, the family had to walk on the precarious line of balancing between preserving their Jewish heritage and settling in their day to day lives in an entirely and unforgivingly Catholic town (and also setting up their business/trade on top of that.)
This book is a really gem and reading it made me understand the plight the immigrants have had to face in those times, whether Jew or not. I really appreciated the historical accuracy of the facts as well as the effort that was put into the writing of this beautiful story.
I would definitely recommend it to everyone who loves historical fiction and to the entire Jew community.
You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.
Author: Gayle Michelle Fowler Release Date: 9th September 2020 Genre: Holiday Story, Historical Series: Format: E-book Pages: 103 pages Publisher: Blurb: Through a granddaughter’s narrative, peek into the phenomenal triumphs that led to a “Gratitude Celebration,” a Thanksgiving tradition. The story centers on William Brewster, ancestor to many, father of the pilgrims and the nation, who perseveres through dividing issues of his era.
Living in an oppressive state that deems him an outlaw, he must hide before indenturing himself to servitude. Knowing the suffering endured by the tiny fraction who lived to tell of the horrific sacrifices it took to survive in the New World, he shepherded his family onto the Mayflower to voyage to undeveloped lands on a foreign continent to make a new home.
This short exposé connects the holiday feast to both of the first victorious American settlements Jamestown and Plymouth, covering Queen Mary and King James; notable sea captains during the pirate era: Newport, Smith, and Argall; First Nations Indians: the Powhatans, the Wampanoag and their chiefs, Powhatan and Massasoit, as well as crucial pilgrim allies Pocahontas, Namontack, and Squanto. Historical pictures provide visual accompaniment to an epic that passes on these early ancestor’s spirit of survival, hope, and actions for an amicable future.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
A Thanksgiving Tribute by Gayle Michelle Fowler is a beautiful holiday story about one of the most famous holidays in America – Thanksgiving. But even though the book is primarily about the American tradition and the history behind it – the sacrifices and the bravery of the ancestors, it also shows the relevance of the tradition in other countries, such as India.
Hailing from a country and religion where being grateful is one of the ways of life, I was able to relate to the book a lot, on many levels. I enjoyed it as well as got to learn a lot from it. The main theme of knowing and respecting one’s roots strung at the strings in my heart and I felt emotionally satisfied reading this beautiful book.
I’d definitely recommend it to all readers, especially considering that it is a short and sweet read and also the fact that with Diwali and Halloween approaching, the holiday season is just around the corner!
Author: Heather Morris Narrated by: Richard Armitage Release Date: 11th January 2018 Genre: Historical Fiction Series: Format: Audiobook Pages: 8 hours Publisher: Bolinda/Bonnier Audio Blurb: A tale based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov.
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is the real-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, who was imprisoned in the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp during the holocaust. Although the story is mainly about how he met his wife, Gita, and fell in love with her, the details and the insights of the concentration camp were horrifying and agonisingly insightful. The horrors of the camp were told from a very neutral perspective and therefore gave the readers a chance to feel things on their own without clouding their judgement. And for me, that was the best part of the book.
The romantic part was not particularly appealing to me, but the rest of the story was pretty good. I really thought that the character of Gita wasn’t done enough justice in the book, especially considering how the book was actually written for her. Male ended up dominating the story far more and it felt like his tale alone.
Though I did like the epilogue by Lale and Gita’s son as it lent an air of eery realism tot he book. I’d definitely recommend it to all historical fiction lovers and to all holocaust enthusiasts.
Author: Michael Bosland Release Date: 1st November 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction Series: Edition: e-book Pages: 242 Publisher:Read All Over Publishing Blurb: A Story of the Armenian Genocide is the story of Rosmerta Bedrossian, a thirteen-year-old girl living outside Bayburt with her extended family. The Armenians are ordered out of their houses and sent on a march. As Rosmerta witnesses acts of increasingly senseless violence and cruelty against her family and her people, her initial confusion at their treatment gives way to indignation and anger, moments of despair, and occasions of renewed determination to survive. She also receives kindness and help from a variety of people.
To those who were massacred during the genocides of World War I. To those who survived despite being forced to endure unspeakable horrors. And to the descendants who keep their memories alive.
Annihilation by Michael Bosland is a touching story that is definitely worth a read. It a compelling story providing a glimpse into he 2nd most talked about genocide int he history of the world. I am not a huge history buff so prior to reading this book I knew very little about the Armenian genocide, therefore I was really looking forward to read this book. And keeping up with my expectations this book turned out to be equally as insightful as it was engaging.
The characterisation felt realistic and the writing was really good and complimented the story well. But the best part was of course the concept and story. The author did a wonderful job in depicting the dilemmas and the horrors faced by the characters in dark times. It was a very informative read and even though the subject matter fo the book was so intense the book surprisingly did not felt too heavy.
It is a really good book and I’d recommend it to everyone who likes reading Historical fiction.
On a side note, after putting down this book, I looked up the topic on the internet and found it baffling about how less people know about the Armenian genocide. Everyone knows about the Holocaust but a lot of people, including me, are not aware of the details of this horrific period. So if you are someone like me and like researching stuff of the past, then do give this topic an eye. It was pretty mind baffling. Especially considering the term ‘genocide’ was coined for this particular massacre (basically, it happened even before the term was even coined – it started before and continued during WWI.)
Author: Vahid Imani Release Date: 9th February 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery Series: Edition: E-book Pages: 300 Publisher: Stormtop Publishing Blurb: The shadows were closer than he thought …
Tehran in 1924 is the stage for a daring international showdown over the control of Persian oil fields. James Malcolm, a British operative stationed in Tehran weaves an intricate plot in hopes of installing a new loyal Persian king. A teenage boy’s accidental involvement becomes a distraction. When his plot is sabotaged, the fragile peace in Persia is threatened along with the boy’s life. Malcolm’s clandestine investigation entangles him with unwitting American diplomats, treacherous double agents, and murderous Soviet spies, all seeking to foil the oil grab of the British.
In The Shadow Of The Kingmakers by Vahid Imani is an immersive historical suspense thriller that pulled me in right from the start to the very end. I really liked it because of the complexity of the plot and the ease with which it was laid by the author for the reader to read.
The writing is really good and the book is easy to follow, making it a relatively quick read. The characterization was also good and I was able to feel a connection to the protagonist, James, and was rooting for him throughout the book. The plot was the hero for me and the story felt very well fleshed out, especially the cultural details and the rich exposition.
The ending was apt and it made a lot of sense. I enjoyed this book through and through and would recommend it to all historical fiction fans and readers of mystery and thriller genre.
Author:Rob Shackleford Release Date: 25th February 2017 Genre: Time-Travel, Historical, Science-Fiction Series: Traveller (Book #1) Edition: E-book Pages: Publisher: Book Baby Blurb: If you were sent 1000 years into the past, would you survive?
Traveller – Inceptio describes how the Transporter is accidentally invented and becomes public knowledge when it sends a subject 1000 years into the past.
A Special Forces team of Travellers is then selected and trained with the intent to send them to Saxon England to explore what could be a very dangerous period of history.
From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers discover they need a lot more than technology to survive the trials of early Eleventh Century life.
Traveller Inceptio by Rob Shackleford is a time-travel story set 1000 years in the past, through the machine that was invented by mistake. What follows next is an interesting tale about how our ever-so-reliable-science-and-technology can’t bail us out of dangerous situations and how power-hungry people can go to any lengths in order to get their hands on any new invention that can trip the scales in their favour.
The story was good and pretty engaging. The events were interesting and some of them even capturing. The overall world-building was good and the pacing was even. I enjoyed the book on the whole but had a couple of issues both with the plot and the writing. The author went overboard with the exposition, as a result of which I found myself skimming over a lot of pages. The beginning of the book and the base of the story felt a bit weak as it seemed too far-fetched a concept to have actually invented a time-travel machine that travels only certain years and then has the ability to come back when summoned too. I mean the concept could have been a bit more believable if the machine had at least some faults and wouldn’t have been this perfect. After all, it was a result of a mistake.
But after the first part was over, the story only got better. The research appeared to be impeccable and the story got more and more interesting, save for the exhausting bits of exposition. The plot started to feel realistic and I was able to connect with it once the first part was over.
Characterization, unfortunately, felt like another lingering problem as I had a hard time connecting with the characters. They were not badly created, but they weren’t overly impressive nor relatable. I just liked them enough to have been able to read and finish the story (which seemed to be much longer than it should have.)
Overall, I think the book needed a bit more tweaking and that a good editor would have been able to make this book much better. Still, it was an enjoyable read.
Author: John A. Heldt Release Date: 30th April 2018 Genre: Historical Fiction, Time-Travel, Sci-Fi, Relationships & Family Series: Carson Chronicles – Book #2 Edition: E-book Pages: 659 Publisher: Blurb: Days after barely escaping 1889 with their lives, the Carsons, siblings from the present day, resume their search for their missing parents in 1918. While Adam and his pregnant wife, Bridget, settle in Minnesota, unaware of a wildfire that will kill hundreds, Greg seeks clues in his great-grandparents’ Mexico, where he finds love, danger, and enemies. At the same time, Natalie, the ambitious journalist, follows a trail to World War I France, and teen twins Cody and Caitlin rekindle a friendship with an old Pennsylvania friend haunted by her past. In THE MEMORY TREE, the sweeping sequel to RIVER RISING, several time travelers find answers and meaning as they continue the adventure of a lifetime in the age of doughboys, silent movies, and Model T’s.
The Memory Tree by John A. Heldt is a compelling sequel to River Rising, book one in the Carson Chronicles series. Just like the first part of this series, and the others I’ve read by the author, this book was equally interesting, entertaining and emotional. It had a lot to offer in terms of the rich American history, WWI and the culture of the years long gone. This book was especially good because it had a twist which I was not expecting and the element of surprise really caught me off-guard as I’ve come to understand where things are generally moving in author Heldt’s books because of having read many of them and being familiar with his style of writing. So the twist was a pleasant surprise for me.
The characterization was good and I was able to see the development of all the characters from the last book experiencing new worlds and living in times new to them. The writing was good and complimented the story well. And I’m really looking forward to reading the next part of this series.
I’d recommend this book to all historical fiction lovers and to everyone who loves reading stories on relationships and families. It is an honest-to-god feel-good story that will definitely warm your heart.
Author: Sam Meekings Release Date: 1st August 2018 Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction Series: Edition: E-book Pages: 290 Publisher: Eyewear Publishing Blurb: Who is that mournful man in the painting? THE AFTERLIVES OF DOCTOR GACHET tells the story of Paul Ferdinand Gachet, the subject of one of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous portraits: one that shows what the artist called “the heartbroken expression of our times.” But what caused such heartbreak? This thrilling historical novel follows Doctor Gachet from asylums to art galleries, from the bloody siege of Paris to life with van Gogh in Auvers, and from the bunkers of Nazi Germany to a reclusive billionaire in Tokyo, to uncover the secrets behind that grief-stricken smile.
“I know some people argue that our lives are predicated on the quirks of our genes, that our destiny is inscribed in the code of our DNA. On the other hand, it is only when we are tested in the outside world that all the possibility bristling within us is whittled down and we really take shape.”
The Afterlives Of Doctor Gachet by Sam Meekings is a very delightful and a pretty compelling historical read with a powerful, well-written and brilliantly executed storyline. This book was such a good break from all the contemporary fiction I read. The plot was very unique, fresh and pretty captivating. I enjoyed reading this book a lot because I truly enjoyed reading each and every single sentence of this book (which is very rare for me.) The writing was beautiful and the author’s style was pretty impressive. I guess I can say without a speck of doubt, and as rare as it may be, that in this book the writing was the best part.
I loved the characterization and character development in every chapter. I also appreciated the side-story of which was given in alternating chapters; it kept the story from being monotonous and made it very interesting.
I’d recommend this book to all historical-fiction readers and to anyone who is looking to take a break from their usual choice of books and might want to explore something refreshing and brilliant. Also, I’m sure Van Gough enthusiasts and fans would definitely love reading this book and exploring the background of the subject of one of his most talked about pieces.
Author: Jack B. Rochester Release Date: 15th July 2014 Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction Series: Edition: e-book Pages: 340 Publisher: Wheatmark Blurb: The year is 1969. After an interminable four years under the boot of the US military, twenty-four-year-old Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers is ready for his real life to begin. His plans are straightforward: spend as much time as he can with his girlfriend, Jane, finish college, and become a writer. But when Nate is denied admission to UC Santa Cruz, he decides that a bachelor’s degree isn’t necessarily the path he’s laid out for himself. He can learn about literature on his own, and he’ll have more time to write if he isn’t in school. His choice doesn’t sit well with everybody. Jane’s father asks Nate how he’ll support Jane without a degree. Jane’s mentor offers to pull some strings at SC if Nate agrees to become his student. And when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself, even Nate is tempted by the allure of conventionally defined success. Picking up where Wild Blue Yonder left off, Madrone inspires us to consider how far we’ll go to remain true to ourselves.
Madrone by Jack B. Rochester is a beautiful sequel to Wild Blue Yonder, which picks up where the first one left off giving a detailed glimpse into the life of the protagonist, Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, after he enters the next phase of his life and explores the world outside of the military.
Just like the previous book by author Rochester, I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well. I’m glad that I got a chance to read the first book so close to this one because the whole story of Nathaniel felt like a nice long movie. The writing was really good and felt apt for such a beautiful story. The characterization was great as instantly I was able to connect to Nathaniel, and was able to relate to him while he went about living his life in a world that was new to him.
The book is based in the 1960’s and the author has done a commendable job in enabling people like me, who never saw that era, to be able to live it through his amazing cast of characters. The settings did not only make the book very interesting but also very enjoyable.
It is a good book with a heart-warming story and exceptional writing to compliment it, sprinkled with a cast of characters that would steal your heart in a blink and I’d recommend it to everyone who loves reading a meticulously constructed story with fully fleshed-out characters.
Author: Jack B. Rochester Release Date: 1st August 2018 Genre: Historical Fiction Series: Edition: e-book Pages: 306 Publisher: – Blurb: “Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, eh?” said First Sergeant Wilford H. Buford. “That yer real name or one you picked up out there in fairyland Cally-forny?” “Wild Blue Yonder” is the coming-of-age story of Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, a smart but sheltered boy from suburban Chicago whose beloved father suddenly dies, resulting in his flunking out of college. It’s the 1960s, so he gets a draft notice but joins the Air Force to avoid going to Vietnam. Nate’s adventure takes off as he tries to understand the military mindset and the massive social disruption going on in America. His journey takes a Kafka-esque turn when he is sent to Germany to become a military newspaper correspondent whose stories will never see print. Existential, psychedelic, fun-filled and laced with the rock ‘n’ roll of the times, “Wild Blue Yonder” is the story of Nate finding his personal and spiritual values as he discovers the love of a girl and the meaning of family and friendships.
Wild Blue Yonder by Jack B. Rochester is a beautifully written historical fiction book with such realistic characterization that it takes the book to a whole new level of awesomeness.
I truly enjoyed reading this book; it had great writing, really good characterization, very nice pacing and tension and the plot-progression was really, really good. And on top of all this, the story was not only realistic but also very emotional and deep, which made reading this book so worth it. I was pulled into the story right from the start and was in it for good till the very end. The conflicts felt real and the backdrop was fantastic. Overall, it is a very, very good book.
I’d recommend this book to the readers of historical fiction as well to those who are looking for a refreshing new dramatic story and won’t mind the backdrop of war.
Author: Radhika Giridharan and Vidya Nagaraj Release Date: 12th December 2017 Genre: Women’s Fiction, Indian Literature, Historical Fiction Series: Edition: Paperback Pages: 302 Publisher: Notion Press Blurb:
When a marriage proposal from a much married 30 year old Raghavenrda for 12 year old Krishnaa comes knocking on the door of Gundappa Chowltry, life takes on a dramatic turn for Krishnaa. An official bride-seeing ceremony and a quick peek at the bridegroom seals things and before long Krishnaa finds herself embarking on her new journey with her new husband-a man she barely knows, to the temple town of Kumbakonam. What lies in store for Krishnaa in her new house as Raghavendra’s second wife? Where is Raghavendra’s first wife? Are Krishnaa’s dreams and desires fulfilled? What cards are dealt to Krishnaa by the hands of destiny?While tracing Krishnaa’s life journey from 1904 to the modern times, the book captures the soul of the Indian Joint family system, the customs and traditions, the love and laughter and the ever green human values. Set in the picturesque temple town of Kumbakonam, on the banks of river Cauvery, amidst the majestic Gopurams of Chakrapani and Sarangapani temples, the story of Krishnaa unfolds in all its colourful glory.
Krishnaa: Queen Bee Of No.8 West Iyen Street by Radhika Giridharan and Vidya Nagaraj is a very interesting take on marriage, in general, and the Indian joint-family system and its quirks.
This book was a welcome change from the western books I read, and as a bonus, it had a good story that was equal parts interesting and entertaining. I enjoyed reading this book a lot and I felt the joy that I always feel while watching Rajshee films (which are famous Bollywood movies based on Indian joint-families and are about Indian traditions and belief-system.)
The characterization was great, the writing was good and overall the book was a quick and easy read. The story had quite a few turns that made it very enjoyable and the authors’ ability to not go melodramatic over issues like child-marriage and second marriage is really commendable.
Overall, it was a nice read and if you are an Indian or an Indian culture enthusiast, then you should definitely consider reading this book.
Author: John A. Heldt Release Date: 7th February 2017 Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance, Historical
Series: Carson Chronicles
Edition: e-book Pages: 661 Publisher: Blurb:
Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.
While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.
In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.
River Rising by John A. Heldt is an engaging sci-fi historical book that’ll take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.
I’ve always loved author Heldt’s books because of the beautiful storylines and his exceptional storytelling skills, and this book is no different and had the same charm that I find nothing short of magic. In fact, this book was all this and so much more; it had elements of mystery and something very different from the author’s previous books – this book is a series based around the same family. This made me look at the characters, the main ones as well as the secondary ones, in a very different light.
Overall it was a very good read and I enjoyed every aspect of it. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, science-fiction – time travel, simple romance, family drama and easy mystery.
Author: Jon Budd Release Date: 17th October 2015 Genre: Historical Fiction Series: The Vince Davis Trilogy Edition: E-book Pages: 177 Publisher: Jonathan H Budd Publishing
To prevent a repeat of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Hank, a modern day Native American Indian, overcomes his doubts about his tribe’s ancient religion and leads a war party to recover a cursed Indian treasure.
Succumbing to the genocide brought down upon them during the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush, the Washo Indians were teetering on the brink of extinction. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they devised an ingenious plan to survive. Many years later, when the secret of their survival is threatened, the tribe appoints a modern day warrior to lead a war party to San Francisco to recover stolen Indian treasure and secure the secret of the Washo Gold.
This novel enables the reader to experience the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush from the perspective of a tribe of Native American Indians who lived through it.
The Legend Of The Washo Gold by Jon Budd is a very interesting and engrossing read.
This book is one of those rare reads that make you realise how the world can be a very difficult place to live in. That minorities are not always treated right and sometimes they have to go for extreme means to sustain and survive the cruel world that’s nothing more than an enemy to them. This book does exactly this and so much more.
The story was really good and gave a unique perspective of a small Native American Indian tribe that was not treated well and had to take up extreme measures for their survival. The writing is good and makes the reading of the book easy and smooth. The imagery was good and the overall the story was full of internal as well as external conflicts.
The characterization was good and though not every character was memorable, the important characters stood out, albeit a bit slowly. I enjoyed reading about them and that was more than enough to keep me glued to the book right until the end.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes reading historical fiction and won’t mind the tribals’ point of view.
Author: Jane Jordan Release Date: 26th November 2016 Genre: Dark Thriller, Historical Edition: E-book Pages: Publisher: Black Opal Books
Annabel Taylor, a beekeeper’s daughter, grows up wild and carefree on the moors of England in the late 1860s, following in the footsteps of her mother, a beautiful witch. Annabel’s closest friend is Jevan Wenham. The son of the blacksmith, he lives his life on the verge of destruction. His devotion to Annabel is full of twists and turns as brutality melds with deepest desire. But when Jevan is forced to travel to London to receive an education, Annabel is devastated.
Then Alex—heir to the Saltonstall legacy and son of Cerberus Saltonstall, the wealthy landowner of the foreboding Gothelstone Manor—comes into her life. Alex is arrogant and self-assured, but he cannot stop thinking about the outspoken girl he encounters on the road to Gothelstone. Not only is he bewitched by Annabel’s beauty, he feels drawn to her by something he can’t explain. Alex and Annabel are socially worlds apart, but that doesn’t stop him from demanding her hand in marriage. When Annabel refuses, she is forced into an impossible situation. Jevan believes she has betrayed him, regardless of the fact that her decision saves him from the hangman’s noose.
As a devastating love triangle unfolds, disturbing revelations thrust Annabel into a startling reality, where nothing is as it seems. Now both her life and Jevan’s are in danger, and her fledging powers may not be enough to save them…
The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Jane Jordan is a historical book that was a bit of a heavy read, at least for me.
I did have a lot of expectations from the book, but when I started reading the book the writing itself failed to pull me in and this happens very rarely with me. Needless to say, it proved to be a hard read for me and in spite of trying my best, I was not able to connect to the lead the way I should have and, as a result, the rest of the book obviously started to feel like a drag.
Though I must say that the story is unique, in spite of the cliched love triangle. I really wish I was able to connect to the lead because then it would have been a much pleasant read.
This book has a lot fo positive reviews, so I’m sure that Historical Fiction lovers might actually like this book. But it wasn’t for me.
Author: Tim Symonds Release Date: 21st November 2016 Series: Sherlock Holmes Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Suspense. Edition: Ebook (PDF) Pages: – Publisher: MX Publishing
It’s the year 1906. Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching – not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London’s Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes’s task – discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it. But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch’ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain’s vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake. Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence – until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.
Sherlock Holmes & The Nine-Dragon Sigil is an exceptionally well-written book.
Writing about the two MOST loved characters of all time – Sherlock Holmes and Watson – is in itself a humongous task, and pulling it off successfully is not only nearly impossible but also unreal.
But Author Tim Symonds successfully took these two legendary characters and completely owned them in his epic new release Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil.
I haven’t read the previous parts in this series, but I am certainly looking forward to reading them as soon as I can get my hands on them because I really enjoyed and loved reading this book.
Author Tim Symonds’ writing is exceptional. It flows in tune with the settings and the era the story is set in and reminds the reader of the beautifully poetic and enchanting rhythm that the classic authors had.
I was completely spellbound by the captivating storytelling and the flow of the sentences in old English.
The plot is ingenious and the pacing is moderate, but it picks up wherever the need arises, keeping it thoroughly engaging for the reader.
I absolutely enjoyed the narration, no doubt, but I enjoyed the plot even more. Staying true to the most famous traits of the most amazing and observant detectives on the planet, the author created a fabulous plot, which kept me guessing at each and every turn.
And needless to say, the end completely baffled me and left me sitting there, holding the Kindle in my hands, smiling at the author’s cleverness. It was a true jaw-dropping ending! And it was mostly because the author handled foreshadowing really well.
The characters were done complete justice and I really enjoyed how the author’s classy sense of humor came out through the characters.
And a bonus for me was that being an Asian myself, I enjoyed the author’s fascinating details and descriptions of China to no end.
I loved this book and would recommend it to all the Sherlock Holmes fans, mystery lovers and anyone with a craving for a well-written piece of English literature.
In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night.
The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.
Guardian Of Paradise by W.E. Lawrence is a action-packed historical read.
I really enjoyed reading this book especially because of the beautiful setting of this story. The fitting descriptions made the island’s beauty come to life and I was left craving for more.
I’m not a Historical Fiction fan, but there are a few authors who really write this genre well, and W.E. Lawrence is definitely one of them. I liked the romance bit too. It was the main theme, but thankfully the author did not overburden the story with mindless romance.
The adventurous undertones and the well-written plot were really engaging. The writing was really simple and easy to follow, making this book a really breezy read. I was hooked right from the beginning to the very end. And the characterization was also good. I didn’t feel a very strong connection with the leads, but considering that it’s not one of my favorite genres, I cared enough about the characters to want to know what happens next – and it was good enough for me.
Despite a few minor flaws (lacking justification of some of the actions of the islanders and a few odd loose ends) I liked reading this book and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to read a moderate-paced and light-hearted Historical novel.
Author: John A. Heldt Release Date: October 21, 2015 Series: American Journey Genre: Science-Fiction>Time Travel, Historical Fiction Edition: Ebook (Kindle) Pages: 431 Publisher: Self-Published
Weeks after her husband dies in the midst of an affair in 2016, Chicago writer Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace on a California vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The novelist, however, finds more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel. Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties. Filled with poignancy, heartbreak, and intrigue, MERCER STREET gives new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and commitment as it follows three strong-willed souls on the adventure of a lifetime.
Mercer Street by John A. Heldt is the second book in the American Journey Series. As a fan of Mr. Heldt’s books I had a lot of expectations for this book, and as expected, this book lived up to each and every single one of them.
I always find Mr. Heldt’s novels very meticulous, gripping and heart-warming. There’s a unique quality about his writing that makes you feel eerily happy and content while reading his books that you simply can’t put them down. His story-telling is so beautiful that his writing puts tons of ‘big-time’ authors to shame in comparison.
This story is about three females of varied ages – a daughter, a mother and a grandmother. I loved the assortment of memorable characters and their deliciously distinct backgrounds in this book. They were so compelling that I found myself thinking about them for days, especially about the way things ended.
The vivid imagery, the complex emotional battles each character fights, the moving story and the gut-wrenching situations the characters go through make this book an unforgetful read.
There are some books that are not simply read, but experienced, and this one is one of those. When you read each and every chapter, you feel like you’re not just reading them but savoring them and feel like doing it slowly so as to enjoy the experience for a long time.
I highly recommend this book to everyone, no matter what genre you read.
In 1939, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.
But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.
If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.
This is my first book by W.E. Lawrence and I must say that I’ll be reading more books by him soon.
In Chakana, the story began with a simple, yet interesting, prologue and I was drawn into the book right from the beginning. The alternating POvs kept the plot clear and interesting throughout the book. It ended on a great note and I really enjoyed the little twist at the end.
The characterization is good, but I hate to say that I wasn’t able to feel a strong connection with either of the leads. The characters are built nicely, but something about them felt amiss. In spite of the author’s efforts, James came out a little disconnected and crude, and Kate’s character didn’t have enough clarity. As a result, the romantic angle seemed dull, in spite of all the steamy make-out scenes.
I enjoyed the adventure on the whole and, apart from minor flaws, this book makes for an interesting and engrossing read.
This book has a great storyline and the historical settings make this adventurous novel a really interesting read. I liked the author’s writing style because it had a great flow. The pacing was good too.
Overall this book makes for a really good read and I’d recommend it to all the adventure buffs.
Opening Line: The rumble of thunder sent the horse into a nervous prance.
Highlights: Writing and storyline.
Lowlights: Lack of strong connection with the leads.
Final Thoughts: A lovely historical adventure book that’ll make for a nice summer read.
You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.
Author: Rick Sulik Release Date: November 6, 2015 Series: – Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Historical Fiction Edition: Paperback Pages: 287 Publisher: Christopher Matthews Publishing Source: Author Buy it here:Amazon
Rating: ★ – DNF
A reincarnated evil is stalking the women of Houston. With each murder, the madman quotes an excerpt from the Oscar Wilde poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” A huge smokestack belching smoke, a ragged flea market double-breasted wool coat, and an old antique picture frame, bring the distant past back to haunt Houston Homicide Detective, Sean Jamison. With those catalysts, Jamison knows who he was in a past life and that he lost the only woman he could ever love. Searching for his reincarnated mate becomes Jamison’s raison d’être as he and fellow detectives scour Houston for a brutal serial killer. The memory of timeless love drives Jamison’s dogged search for a serial killer, determined to finish what he started decades earlier.
Each clue brings Jamison closer to unmasking his old nemesis. Tenacious police work, lessons learned in the past, and intuition may be the only weapons he has in preventing history from repeating itself.
I left this book at page no. 158 (which is more than 50% of the book) because that was exactly where my patience gave way. The story began nicely and I liked the concept and settings, but the narration and editing didn’t work me.
At times, the dialogues didn’t make sense and most of the time if felt like the male lead was giving lectures instead of having conversations. I really think that this book needs heavy and thorough editing.
I hate DNF’ing books and I always try my best to push myself and to give the book another chance (again and again,) and with this book too I tried the same (especially because the author sent me the book from the US) but even after forcing myself to read further I simply couldn’t.
I really feel that a few revisions and strong editing can help this book reach its full potential, but right now it’s simply not ready.
You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.
In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime.
Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters. Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes… Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.
This book is simply beyond words. All I can say is that I loved it and that Brandy Purdy is a BRILLIANT author. This is the first book that I’m reading by her, but it is most definitely not the last one. I loved her vivid imagination and the powerful writing which compelled me to forget all the facts and believe in the story that she crafted/weaved so artfully.
For a crime author like myself, this book is a piece of art in the most literal sense and I salute the author for pulling off this book on such a talked about crime. She recreated the entire life of Lizzie Borden in such detail that it’s crazily scary At more than a dozen places I actually wondered if the author really found some diary or a personal journal of Lizzie in her research for the book. It was that believable!
I wish this wasn’t a fictitious tale but an autobiography. It definitely felt like one. It seems like Lizzie is one of my old friends and that her deeds were totally justified. Not that I’m a sadist who likes to see people butchered, but I do believe that sometimes motive behind the crime does, in fact, justify it.
Coming back to the book, I did find it quite lengthy which is quite surprising given that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. But I feel that the reason behind it was the fact that the much-anticipated murders are committed just after the half-way point in the book (around 55%-60%) and, at that point, I was wondering what the hell is left now. But the author smartly told the tale after the murders were committed, which for me, later proved to be the highlight of the book.
Each and every fact I read about the Borden murders (in my obsessive research of course) was beautifully weaved into the story and made me believe that this tale is not just a fragment of someone’s imagination but the real tale itself. And how I wish it were true, because after reading this book I’ve found myself sympathizing with Lizzie more than a dozen times. My heart really ached for the lost soul that she was and I kept obsessively thinking about the would haves and the could haves for days after reading this book.
Sometimes, though, the writing seemed a little complex considering the lengthy sentences which sometimes stretched as long as one entire paragraph. Especially in the starting of the book. After the first quarter of the book either the sentences got better or I got used to them and didn’t notice them again. Other than this, the writing is superb and I managed to learn a few new words from this book (which is always a plus.)
Here’s the famous rhyme that would have definitely tortured Lizzie to no end:
Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
You can read all about Lizzie Borden on Wikipedia here.
If you want to read about the details of her trial then visit these awesome links:
Opening Line: I awoke from the dream, wishing, as I always did, that it would vanish right away without lingering to torment me, or, better yet, never come to visit me again.
Highlights: Well crafted story.
Sometimes it is easier to tell a lie. To say No closes the door on the conversation, whereas saying Yes flings it open wide and invites further inquiry and to slam and bar it then is to be branded rude and inhospitable.
I do not know; nor do I want to. I cherish my illusion, if illusion it was.
I won my freedom and baptized it in blood, with Death acting as midwife at the bloody birth that spawned my new life! In one blood-bathed dayI was transfigured! I was set FREE! Free, rich, and orphaned all in the same bloody day.
I was sorry, and yet I wasn’t. I had done the right thing, even though it was wrong. If only things, if only we- all of us- had been different it might never have come to this. If only, if only, if only…
“If I were you, Lizzie, I wouldn’t have let anyone see me doing that. I’m afraid that burning that dress is the worst thing you could have done!” Besides killing your own parents of course! her chilly blue eyes silently finished the sentence.
If life were a theater play or a novel this is where my story would end- happily, in a spirit of jubilation, with me vindicated and set free.
But life is not like that.
How very ironic that all the world sees her as the very picture of the meek as a mouse prim and pious brittle and birdlike little maiden lady in eternal mourning too afraid to ever say Boo! to a goose. They don’t know the real Emma; no one does except me.
Sometimes the sadness still steals over me and I cry for what might have been. How different my life would have been! I would have been lost to history; there would have been no murders at 92 Second Street, no immortal singsong rhyme about forty whacks; no one would have even remembered my name after I died – I would have had a different name; he would have changed that, just like he changed my life.
All I wanted to do was forget. And I wanted everyone to forget too and just leave me in peace to live my life the way I saw fit. I don’t go prying into their business and private lives! Why couldn’t they accord me the same respect? But I had traded the prison of my father’s house for actual prison bars, only to find when I was vindicated and freed from those that I had become a prisoner of my own notoriety and a higher judge had decreed that it should be a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Ostensibly, I was free to come and go and do as I pleased, but I would never be truly free.
Author: John A. Heldt Release Date: January 1, 2015 Series: American Journey Genre: Science-Fiction- Time Travel | Romance | History Edition: Ebook (mobi) Pages: 412 Publisher: Self-Published Source: Author Buy it here: Amazon
When unemployed San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend and his college-dropout son, Justin, take a cruise to Mexico in 2016, each hopes to rebuild a relationship after years of estrangement. But they find more than common ground aboard the ship. They meet a mysterious lecturer who touts the possibilities of time travel. Within days, Chuck and Justin find themselves in 1900, riding a train to Texas, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Their quick trip to Galveston, however, becomes long and complicated when they wrangle with business rivals and fall for two beautiful librarians on the eve of a hurricane that will destroy the city. Filled with humor, history, romance, and heartbreak, SEPTEMBER SKY follows two directionless souls on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to make peace with the past, find new purpose, and grapple with the knowledge of things to come.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Mr. Hedlt’s books and The Mine and The Journey are one of my all time favorites. As a result, I had huge expectations from this one and, I must say, that September Sky didn’t disappoint me.
The storyline is well thought out and thoroughly researched. All the historical facts and places are to the point. Though the plot felt a little far-fetched at times, I still enjoyed it, given that the book was about time-travel, a far-fetched concept in itself.
This book is written in third person multiple POVs which give a very clear idea about everyone’s thoughts and reflections. Author’s writing is one of the best parts of the story and I can’t sing enough praise for it. It is simple, relatable and flows beautifully.
It book had a slow start but it picked up the pace gradually. This, however, is a point that I have gotten accustomed to while reading Mr.Heldt’s books. So, when I read his books I know what to expect and that makes it a little easy for me to get through the slow start of his books. But might be a problem for anyone who’ll be reading his book for the first time. So bear in mind that his books are worth the initial labor.
The ending is amazing. In spite of being a romance novel, I really didn’t see it coming, so it was a pleasant surprise. All the questions were answered with great care at the end and I was completely satisfied with the way things turned out for everyone.
The characterization is really good and I felt a connection with each and every character (even with the secondary ones) and thoroughly enjoyed reading about each and everyone.
As this is the first book in the American Journey series, I’m really looking forward to reading the next one.
Opening Line: Charles Townsend lifted the small, framed photo from the corner of his desk and studied the boy with the bat.
With that Geoffrey Bell, professor of physics, cruise-ship lecturer, and time-travel agent, walked out of the room and out of sight. He left his guests with Victorian clothing, bogus documents, and twenty-first-century anxiety.