From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian
I have a love/hate relationship with historical fiction. On the one hand, I love being immersed in another time period but I hate knowing that many people who read a novel, particularly if it’s based on the life of a real person, will believe that everything in the book is true. My hope is they will look up to discern the true bits from the fictional embellishments, but I suspect that’s rarely the case. Still, it’s a popular genre and I’m always on the lookout for new titles. These are a few recently or soon-to-be published novels that have caught my eye.
“Booth” by Karen Joy Fowler centers on the theatrical but unbalanced family that produced assassin John Wilkes Booth. “Wild Irish Rose” by Rhys Bowen, and Jacqueline Winspear’s “Sunlit Weapon” are both the most recent entries in long-standing and popular series. Well-known historical fiction writers Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White have teamed up in “The Lost Summers of Newport,” set in different time periods. Kate Quinn has added “Diamond Eye” to her WW II repertoire (it features a female Ukranian sniper). “Wingwalkers” by Taylor Brown explores the world of a husband and wife aerialist team as they barnstorm across Depression-era America. “Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez tackles discrimination faced by an African-American nurse in 1973 Montgomery, Alabama. Of course, I’m eager to read “Front Page Murder” by Joyce St. Anthony, a new WW II-era historical mystery series set in Pennsylvania, as well as Sandra Dallas’ “Little Souls,” yet another tale of the 1918 Spanish flu.
As usual, my “to read” list is longer than the time I have to read but I have no doubt that I’ll be able to fit them into my schedule.