Monday, August 29, 2016

Historical Fiction

Dray, Stephanie and Laura Kamoie.  America’s First Daughter.  2016.  As the eldest daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph experienced the shaping of an American legacy.  The story unfolds around Patsy who became Jefferson’s helpmate, protector and constant companion due to her mother’s death, even traveling with her father when he became American Minister to France.  The interesting aspect of this novel is the narrative which comes from the daughter’s perspective, being her struggle to keep the promise she made to her mother on her death bed to always watch out for her father.  Jefferson’s daughter would become the mother of 10 children and continue to be the devoted daughter, mourning over a lost opportunity to be with the man she truly loved.  This story is a page turner, and you will not want to put it down once you are drawn into the history and characters woven into a strong narrative.

Kutsukake, Lynn.  Translation of Love.  2016.  This is a debut novel for Lynn Kutsukake and captivates the reader with intertwining stores of several characters in the post World War II Japan during the American occupation.  The story begins with Aya and her father, Japanese Americans facing a very difficult decision to move to the Rocky Mountains or return to Japan.   Choosing to go back to Japan, which is occupied by Americans, proves to be a very difficult transition for Aya and her father.  In school Aya is an outcast and struggles to learn how to speak Japanese.  Enter Fumi, a young girl assigned to translate for Aya, who draws her into an extensive search for her missing sister.  This novel allows for a deep read on resilience, friendship and love that can translate across cultures and borders. 

George, Margaret.  The Memoirs of Cleopatra.  1997.  Margaret George is well known for her ability to incorporate historical figures to create fictional biographies.  This first person narrative tells the story of every triumph and failure of the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.  At 21 years of age Cleopatra seeks out the most powerful man in Rome, Julius Caesar, while her heart is pinning for Marc Anthony, a military hero.  Cleopatra and Marc unite and have three children.  George illustrates history thru a well-researched narrative which makes for interesting reading.  

Simons, Paullina.  The Bronze Horseman.  2009.  1st title in the Bronze Horseman Series. 
Called “a Russian Thorn Birds,, the Bonze Horseman is a sweeping saga of love and war that has been a bestseller all over the world.  The title is taken from a poem written by Alexander Pushkin in 1833. Taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia, a love story develops around the War of Leningrad.  Alexander is a fearless, brave and handsome soldier begins a relationship with  Tatiana, a petite optimistic young woman, and her sister who is also interested in Alexander. Upon meeting, sparks fly while their country goes to war with Germany. The reader will become caught up in the dialogue, telling a haunting tale of war.  Simons is a native Russian which allows her the ability to clearly articulate the relationships going on throughout the story.

-Diana Menhennick, Reference Department

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