Category Archives: Historical Fiction

September 15

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

Just what exactly happened on the SS Californian during the midnight watch the night the Titanic sank? This debut novel by David Dyer explores the motives of  the Californian‘s Captain, Stanley Lord, who did not respond to the distress rockets of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, despite being the closest ship in the area. Survivors […]

September 11

Alias Grace by Margaret Attwood

Everyone’s talking about the serialised version of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – everyone but me actually, as we had trouble streaming from SBS on demand, so I’ll just have to patiently wait for my hold on the library copy to arrive. We also have the 1990 film adaptation on the catalogue, starring Natasha […]

September 07

Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris

I hesitated to listen to these stories: I’d heard they were racist. I’m OK with working through that sort of material, but was looking for something lighter, so it floated down my listening stack. It’s more complicated than that though… Joel Chandler Harris was a white guy who collected stories in the antebellum South of […]

August 29

Stars across the ocean

The main character in Stars across the ocean is foundling Agnes Resolute. Agnes was raised at Perdita Hall orphanage and advised that upon her coming of age, she would join society and practice her trade (she is a seamstress).The year is 1874 and in alignment with societal practice of the era, Agnes is advised not to aim […]

August 25

Mississippi burning – a novel about the people of the deep South of America

Mississippi Burning by  Greg Iles. Post by Robyne. This book is the third in the series about the life of Natchez mayor Penn Cage and his families involvement with the Klu Klux Klan, and we already know that this will not have a happy ending. The other two novels ”Natchez Burning” and “The Bone Tree” set the scene […]

August 17

Moonlight over Paris / Jennifer Robson

Moonlight over Paris is a delight to read. Set in Paris during the 1920’s, aristocrat Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr has been deemed terminally ill with Scarlet fever. With death knocking on her door at the early age of 28, Helena realises she had been coasting through life. In light of this, she made a deal with herself; […]

August 15

A Single Spy by William Christie

Posted by Neen A Single Spy by William Christie Moscow, 1936. Alexsi Smirnov, 16 year-old orphan and thief, has been living by his wits and managing to avoid the attention of the Soviet authorities when his luck runs out. Alexsi is caught by the secret police and given an ultimatum – to be trained and inserted as a spy into […]

July 12

My cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

I’m not sure why, but lately I seem to have developed a passion for all things written about, or filmed in, Cornwall. Much to my great joy the new series of “Poldark” has started airing on the ABC, and now My Cousin Rachel , also set in Cornwall, has just been released in cinemas in Australia. […]

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead This harrowing, imaginative novel of a part of America’s darker history is both powerful and exhilarating. We follow Cora, a young slave in Georgia, pre-Civil War. Life is full of despair and hopelessness until Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia encourages her to flee with him along the Underground […]

The wild, dark flowers

The Wild Dark Flowers by Elizabeth Cooke. Post by Sandra. This book is exquisitely written of a time past as the war years approach and affect the lives of the people who live at Rutherford Park.  There is the story of Harry Cavendish and his child, Cecilia, by a servant which he finds difficult to […]