Historical Novels Focus on England
I enjoy a good historical novel every once in a while. The first two books mentioned are entertaining and educational to boot.
Karen Harper's historical novel "The Irish Princess" (NAL, $15) is a wonderful book that introduced me to a little part of history that I hadn't known.
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, known to her family as Gera, is the daughter of the Earl of Kildaire. The family is constantly on the edge due to the uncertain relations between Henry VIII's England and Ireland.
When Henry has Gera's father imprisoned, leading to his death, she vows to someday get revenge. Since the family is forced from their home, Gera manages to insinuate herself into the royal circle to do what she can to quietly undermine the king. History fans will enjoy this read.
"A Murderous Procession" by Ariana Franklin (Berkley, $15) is a historical mystery set in the time of King Henry II.
Adelia Aguilar is a woman who was lucky enough to be trained as a doctor, but she has to hide her healing talents in England. Mansur, a Moor, represents himself as a doctor in order to keep her safe. The king insists that Adelia and Mansur attend his young daughter on her trip to Palermo, where she is to marry.
Adelia is not happy about leaving behind her own daughter to make the trip, but decides it would be nice to see her family again. Little does she know that among their party is a man who wants nothing more than to see her dead. This book is filled with intrigue and secrets.
I just love Susan McBride's "Little Black Dress" (William Morrow, $14.99).
Antonia Ashton hasn't had a great relationship with her mother. Even though the event planner lives only an hour away, she hasn't been back since her father's funeral.
When she receives the news that her mother has had a stroke and is in a coma, Antonia puts her life on hold and returns to her hometown.
Evie's story comes out as she recalls her life while lying in the hospital bed. Antonia discovers much she didn't know about her mother's life while she goes through some of the items stored in the attic - especially after she tries on the black dress that her mother was wearing.
Seamlessly weaving their stories together, McBride relates a tale of love that endures.
I discovered that I had let this book by Hamlet author Jody Meacham get to the bottom of a box of books. "Through the Heart of the South (Doodlebug Publishing, $16) is a book that gives the reader the viewpoint of life in the South as the schools were facing integration.
Chris McAndrew is a white high school quarterback whose school is merged with the town's black high school. Chris is not expecting too many issues, but the views of other people swirl around him. The controversy is putting him in a position of having to choose.
As someone who was in high school when full integration took place in North Carolina, much of what happens in the book seems familiar.
Meacham was a sports writer for 27 years who now works in public relations in California.
Contact Faye Dasen at email@example.com.
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