[bksvol-discuss] Fw: Historical Fiction December 2008

  • From: "Amber Wallenstein" <amber.wallens@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 15:56:20 -0500

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 
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 
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, 
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 
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 
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 
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 
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 
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, 
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, 
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 
(Kirkus Reviews). Don't miss this extraordinary book.

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  • » [bksvol-discuss] Fw: Historical Fiction December 2008 - Amber Wallenstein