Tag: Historical Fiction

“An Untamed Land” by Lauraine Snelling

“An Untamed Land” by Lauraine Snelling

Christian values and 1880’s Dakota Territory combine in this inspirational story. Roald and Ingeborg, Carl and Kaaren, two young couples from Norway emigrate together to America in order to take advantage of the homesteading opportunities in North Dakota. Just getting there almost costs Kaaren her life, but they have been researching and planning for this trip for years and are ready to hit the ground running when they arrive. Proving up a homestead is no easy task and finding the tools and livestock they need proves more challenging then they anticipated. The story follows these two couples through the first 3 years recounting their triumphs and tragedies, and demonstrating how their faith pulls them through.

I don’t normally read books in this genre but I was drawn to this one because the story takes place in the Red River Valley where I happen to live and I was looking for a change from my usual thrillers. The story did not disappoint. The pacing and creative of the storyline kept me well engaged. I think the author did a great job of bringing the realities of the homesteading life to the reader. My usual problem with this genre is that it can be quite preachy, but I did not find this to be true in this case. If this is a genre you enjoy then you won’t go wrong with this book. This is the first book in the Red River of the North series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“Scarred” by Michael Kenneth Smith

“Scarred” by Michael Kenneth Smith

Synopsis:  After fatally shooting the Confederate sharpshooter who killed his best friend, Zach Harkin’s sense of revenge changes to deep remorse when he views the dead man’s diary and photo. Haunted, suffering from post traumatic stress, and unable to serve, he is mustered out of service. With scant information, he begins an epic journey to search for the dead man’s family. He is captured, imprisoned, tortured, and thoroughly tested as a human being, but after escaping, he never expects to find love in the war ravaged South.

My thoughts: I found this story very moving. Zach Harkin is so damaged by his war experience and yet still all he wants is to return the journal he found on a Confederate soldier to the man’s wife. What he thinks will be a relatively simple task turns into a nightmare for Zach. I liked that even when his circumstances were at their worst, he thought of other’s needs before his own. It’s not often that I come across a story set in the Civil War, but this is a moment of history that has always piqued my interest so that just added to my enjoyment. I cannot recommend this story highly enough, a real gem. I am looking forward to more from this author.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

“The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

This story is a masterpiece! I’m never quite sure what to expect when I pick up a book set in a different culture and I was very pleasantly surprised by this story. The author has based this story on the life of her great-grandmother and she must have been an amazing woman. The story begins in 1878 and is set in Malaysia. Chye Hoon in born into a Nyonya household and is trained in the tradition. Her marriage is arranged for her by her parents and she is fortunate because they choose a handsome young man who will become not only her husband but her best friend. The newlyweds settle in Ipoh just before the turn of the century and their family grows right along with the town. They will have 10 children before tragedy strikes and Chye Hoon must find the courage to go on. She turns to her Nyonya training to support her family.

Chye Hoon shows great strength in the midst of a quickly changing world. She never learns to read or write but she manages to start not 1 but 3 successful businesses. She faces incredible personal losses but her family keeps her going. Her story is beautifully told in this book. Since Chye Hoon supports her family with her Nyonya cooking there is a lot of talk about food in this story and the author’s descriptions will have your mouth watering in no time. The author also does an excellent job of describing the culture and the tension between the white rulers and the Malaysian people. I am highly recommending this book, especially for readers who enjoy learning about other cultures. This could also be a great book club pick.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating  5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and AmazonCrossing in exchange for an honest review.

“Lilli De Jong” by Janet Benton

“Lilli De Jong” by Janet Benton

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Random House

This is a powerful story that you won’t want to miss. Lilli is a young Quaker woman in 19th century Philadelphia. A night alone with her fiancé leaves her pregnant, and his departure to Pittsburgh to find work leaves her a shamed woman. After being rejected by her father and stepmother, she finds herself in a charity for unmarried pregnant women. The charity expects that the girls will give their babies up for adoption, but Lilli cannot bear to do so. This decision leads her on a circuitous route just to survive.

I found this story very moving. The circumstances Lilli faces are gut-wrenching to read about but her determination is an inspiration. The author has carefully crafted Lilli’s story and her research and attention to detail shows through as she presents the way of life and the culture of the period. I highly recommend this story to all lovers of fiction.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“The Other Einstein” by Marie Benedict

“The Other Einstein” by Marie Benedict

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

We all know who Albert Einstein was, but do you know Mileva Maric Einstein? Mileva was Einstein’s first wife and a physicist in her own right. They met while at University in Zurich and had 3 children together. There is controversy in the world of physics about whether or not Mileva played a role in the development of Einstein’s early theories. “The Other Einstein” is a fictional account of Mileva’s life that is very heavily based on the facts. Marie Benedict has beautifully crafted this story. I was riveted from the first page to the last. Reading this book shines a new light on Einstein, which is not always flattering, but may be closer to the truth than the view that we are typically given about him. Mileva’s story is a perfect example of how women of the time period often reduced their own ambitions so that a husband and children could shine brighter. Albert Einstein has been idolized by the world for his brilliance and the accolades are well deserved, but he was still human and susceptible to human failures. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the author’s writing style make it approachable and easy to read. This book would be a great story for those who enjoy historical fiction or women’s stories.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Thriller Book Review: “The Jekyll Revelation” by Robert Masello

Thriller Book Review: “The Jekyll Revelation” by Robert Masello

Fasten your seat belts for this one. The story opens with a journal entry from the late 1800’s detailing the discovery of a body on a beach in Samoa. The we fast forward to the present day where Rafe Salazar is a researcher working for Land Management in Topanga Canyon, CA. What’s the connection? You have to read this incredible story to find out!

Rafe Salazar is in a tough spot right now. He lives in a run-down trailer behind a gift shop in Topanga. His landlord, Miranda, is in a rocky relationship with Laszlo, a good-for-nothing who’s more than happy to let Miranda support him. Rafe is sole support for his teenage sister, Lucy, who is developmentally disabled and living in a group home. His research funding is under threat which would bring an end to his study of a pair of local coyotes. And then, he gets himself on the bad side of a couple of really bad guys, members of the Spiritz motorcycle gang, when he unearths from a local lake, an old trunk. The trunk reminds Rafe of something a pirate might have buried, like the ones in the Robert Louis Stevenson books he used to read as a child. Will treasure be found within?

This story will take you on an adventure from Switzerland to the Pacific Islands. You’ll encounter serial killers, wildfires, and a host of carefully crafted characters. The story alternates back and forth between the journal entries and Rafe’s recounting of current events. Robert Masello is a master of historically inspired fiction. He blends the facts and the fiction flawlessly throughout the story. The superb writing and plot twists kept me fully engaged from beginning to end. I will definitely be looking to read more of this author’s work in the future.

Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads