historical

Red Sky at Noon is a remarkable historical novel. It is 1942, and the battle of Stalingrad is just beginning. Benya Golden, a Russian Jewish writer, has been imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he didn’t commit, doomed to die in the dreadful conditions. But then he is offered a strange chance of redemption… Read More

It’s plague season in Paris, and a woman’s entire family is dead except for her son. Then her son is kidnapped, so the woman goes on a merry adventure. I feel like that’s a summary of City of Crows that sits around the same level of Chris Womersley’s writing. Chris Womersley is the author of… Read More

The story is well-known – on 28 April 1789 Fletcher Christian and his followers took control of the HMAV Bounty, disposing of Captain William Bligh and leaving him adrift in the ship’s launch. Many books and movies have covered the mutiny, but Graeme Lay explores the enigmatic character of Fletcher Christian in this well-written and… Read More

Set in 1929 in Western Queensland, An Uncommon Woman is a novel about a young woman, Edwina Baker, finding her way in a world that is ruled by men. Even though the world is changing, and attitudes are becoming more progressive, Edwina is stuck on the family farm in a life of servitude. She is… Read More

The subtitle, Forbidden Love in a Hostile World, is a good summary of Mandy Hager’s new book. It is a dense work of historical fiction, rich with actual quotes from the main characters and a deep understanding of the history of the time. The story is a familiar one, that of Heloise and Abelard, lovers… Read More

Although at first this historical novel appears to be about land owner Matthew Fenchurch, in reality Jarulan by the River is the story of Rufina, who arrives as a German maid to the northern New South Wales property, Jarulan, a beautiful home of grandeur that is now decaying. Spanning from 1917 until the modern day… Read More

Award-winning novelist Paddy Richardson latest novel Through the Lonesome Dark is a departure from her previous crime novels. In this compelling historical novel, she looks at a dark time in the past.  Set on the West Coast of New Zealand before the First World War, it follows the story of Pansy, Clem and Otto from… Read More

Reading a proof copy of this novel, all four sides of the cover are full of praise for Helen Dunmore. Picked out for particular note are her gift for human observation and her ability to portray the horrors of history. Sadly I reached the end of this novel and shrugged my shoulders. True it was… Read More

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