What I’m Reading: Historical Fiction

Boston GirlCompletely by accident, this past month’s reads have included two historical fiction novels, though they’re very different. The first was for book club at work. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant starts around the turn of the last century in and around Boston when it was teeming with immigrants. In this case, the family is Jewish. However, you could probably insert nearly any European/Scandinavian nationality and it would feel familiar to those of us who had relatives come over from the “old country” around that time.

My own grandmother was about 20 years younger than Addie, the MC, but much of it rang true with stories my grandmother told about her own upbringing–less than affectionate parents, many expectations, lots of criticism but an exciting time in U.S. history as cities grew, opportunities (especially for women) began to expand and families looked out for one another. While this wasn’t an “OMG AWESOME” read for me, I enjoyed it very much and it got the creative juices flowing. So, if you’ve come across any historical fiction YA/NA that depicts immigration around the turn of the last century, I’d love to know about it!

Indigo GirlRight now I’m in the middle of another historical fiction novel that I’ve been meaning to read since before it came out. I adore Natasha Boyd both as an author and a genuinely lovely person, which made The Indigo Girl a no-brainer. It follows a 16-year-old girl left in charge of her family’s plantations during the 1700s in South Carolina in her father’s absence.  The whole thing has been very atmospheric, slightly philosophical and plenty controversial with what we’d now call social justice themes. I’m also digging (forgive the pun) the agricultural aspect. I managed to read about half of it in one sitting, which is no small feat for this busy working single mom.

Pretty sure the next book on my list will be Glimpses of Wilderness by Lee Ann Ward.

How about you? Read anything good lately? 

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