Historical Fiction December 2008 Quaerite prime regnum Dei ("Seek ye first the kingdom of God") ~ motto of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador New and Recently Released! Guernica: A Novel - by Dave Boling Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 9/2/2008 ISBN: 9781596915633 ISBN-10: 1596915633 Best known for being firebombed by the Luftwaffe in 1937, the Basque town of Guernica is the setting of this absorbing family saga by author and journalist Douglas Boling. While close as children, the Ansotegui brothers--farmer Justo, fisherman Josepe, and priest Xabier--have gone in different directions as adults. Meanwhile, Miguel Navarro, fleeing an altercation with a Spanish Civil guard, settles in Guernica and falls in love with Justo's daughter Miren. As the Spanish Civil War tears the country apart and WWII looms on the horizon, the Ansotegui family finds itself drawn into the conflict against its will. The Tsarina's Daughter - by Carolly Erickson Publisher: St. Martin's Press Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 9/30/2008 ISBN: 9780312367381 ISBN-10: 0312367384 Daria Gradov has a secret: she's really Tatiana Romanov, second daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. While the rest of the world believes that the entire Romanov family met a tragic end in 1918 at the hands of Russian revolutionaries, Tatiana (now an elderly woman) reveals that she is alive and living in obscurity in Canada. She tells of her life as a princess and how, by trading places with palace servant Daria, she escaped the massacre that claimed the lives of her family. Publishers Weekly calls this thrilling novel by Carolly Erickson (The Secret Life of Josephine) both "romantic and gripping." First Chapter The Whiskey Rebels: A Novel - by David Liss Publisher: Random House Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 9/30/2008 ISBN: 9781400064205 ISBN-10: 1400064201 Once a spy under George Washington, Captain Ethan Saunders' intelligence career ended on the eve of the Battle of Yorktown, when he was wrongly accused of passing information to the British. Now living a dissolute life in Philadelphia, he's sure his luck is changing when he's recruited to find a missing man. Ethan takes the case, only to end up in the middle of a vast conspiracy when he learns that the man he's looking for is involved in Alexander Hamilton's plan to create a national bank. Meanwhile, additional troubles come in the form of the Whiskey Rebellion, as hardscrabble settlers protest the tax on the product that forms the basis of their lifestyle. Kirkus Reviews calls The Whiskey Rebels "compulsively readable." First Chapter A Mercy - by Toni Morrison Publisher: Knopf Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/11/2008 ISBN: 9780307264237 ISBN-10: 0307264238 Sixteen-year-old Florens, the daughter of a plantation owner and one of his slaves, is offered to Anglo-Dutch trader Jacob Vaark to settle a debt--at the suggestion of Florens' mother. In her new home, Florens gets to know the other members of the Vaark household: Jacob's wife Rebekkah, reeling from the deaths of her four children, and Native American servant Lina, who was ostracized by her tribe after her rape by a European man. Florens forges a close bond with Lina, but the memory of her abandonment still haunts her. When she falls in love with a free African blacksmith, she begins to overcome her troubled past...but will she be able to find happiness? Read Nobel laureate Toni Morrison's book to find out. First Chapter A Quiet Adjustment: A Novel - by Benjamin Markovits Publisher: W.W. Norton Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 9/14/2008 ISBN: 9780393067002 ISBN-10: 0393067009 When 19-year-old Annabella Milbanke marries Lord Byron in 1815 after a passionate two-year correspondence, she has a rude awakening. The brilliant poet turns out to be a terrible husband: he's emotionally volatile, drinks too much, has incurred tremendous gambling debts, and is carrying on a secret affair with his own half-sister, Augusta. Despite her disgust, Annabella endeavors to be a good wife, but as Byron's cruelty and neglect increase, she realizes that she can no longer endure her situation and flees with her young daughter. You won't want to miss this novel, which Kirkus Reviews calls a "delicate, painstaking, psychologically and socially acute examination of Byron's women." The Toss of a Lemon - by Padma Viswanathan Publisher: Harcourt Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 9/8/2008 ISBN: 9780151015337 ISBN-10: 0151015333 This novel, set in India and spanning six decades, follows the extraordinary life of a Tamil Brahmin woman named Sivakami. Married at the age of ten, Sivakami becomes a widow at 18 and, as the mother of two small children, must follow tradition by shaving her head, wearing only white clothing, and not touching anyone between dusk and dawn. She is also required to stay inside her home and ventures outside only three times during the rest of her life. Yet despite these limits, Sivakami cannot help but become aware of the upheavals that are transforming India into a modern nation. Inspired by the life of author Padma Viswanathan's grandmother, The Toss of a Lemon brings a bygone era to vibrant life. First Chapter Focus on: Newfoundland River Thieves - by Michael Crummey Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 6/4/2003 ISBN: 9780618340712 ISBN-10: 0618340718 In 1810 Newfoundland, hostilities between newly arrived colonists and the native Beothuk people escalate when a peacekeeping expedition to Beothuk territory results in the death of two soldiers. Settler John Peyton, Sr. wants to exact brutal revenge, while his more levelheaded son, John Peyton, Jr., wants to establish more diplomatic relations. Nevertheless, both plans go awry when they abduct a Beothuk woman during a raid. Lieutenant David Buchan, a British naval officer, is sent to investigate the incident and discovers what lies beneath the surface in this "complex portrait of conflict fueled by misunderstandings and the flaws of those caught in its web" (Booklist). First Chapter Creation: A Novel - by Katherine Govier Publisher: Overlook Press Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 5/1/2003 ISBN: 9781585674107 ISBN-10: 1585674109 In the summer of 1833, John James Audubon embarks on an expedition to the rocky coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador in order to discover and paint as many North American bird species as possible--particularly the Great Auk. Accompanied by British naval captain Henry Bayfield, who is attempting to map the area, Audubon is seeking not only to fulfill his ambitions but to escape his personal and domestic troubles. He's also conflicted by the necessity of destroying what he most cherishes, since the birds whose beauty he celebrates in his work must first be killed and mounted. Ecology and character-driven drama combine artfully in Canadian author Katherine Govier's splendid novel. Table of Contents First Chapter The Colony of Unrequited Dreams - by Wayne Johnston Publisher: Anchor Books Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 5/1/2000 ISBN: 9780385495431 ISBN-10: 0385495439 Wayne Johnston's captivating biographical novel presents a fictionalized life of Joey Smallwood--a controversial public figure who became Newfoundland's first Premier following his efforts in bringing the formerly independent British dominion into Confederation with Canada in 1949. As Smallwood tells the story of his rise to power, from his schooldays to his stint as a union organizer to his political career, his childhood rival and lifelong friend, journalist Shelagh Fielding, provides her own perspective on events. If you enjoy stories about real historical figures, then be sure to read The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which combines "sweeping historical drama, hilarious satire, [and] mystery" (Booklist). First Chapter The Bird Artist - by Howard Norman Publisher: Picador USA Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 5/1/1995 ISBN: 9780312130275 ISBN-10: 0312130279 "My name is Fabian Vas," the titular bird artist introduces himself before confessing, "I murdered the lighthouse keeper, Botho August." Born in 1891, Fabian lives in the remote settlement of Witless Bay in Newfoundland, where amidst family dysfunction he discovers a talent for nature illustration--particularly birds. But when he gets involved with manipulative pilot's daughter Margaret Handle and Fabian's mother begins an affair with the local lighthouse keeper, tragedy ensues. Newfoundland author and National Book Award finalist Howard Norman is "a superb storyteller who makes normality and nightmare equally convincing" (Kirkus Reviews). Don't miss this extraordinary book.