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November 2, 2018

4 Books for Fans of Historical Fiction

by Susan Roberts


Fall so far has yielded some excellent historical fiction. I reviewed 3 last month and here are 4 more that you will want to pick up.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher

The Kennedy Debutant
October 2018; Berkley; 978-0451492043
audio, ebook, print (384 pages)
biographical
We have all read about the males of the Kennedy family - Joe, Jack, Bobby and Teddy, and many books have been written about them and their father. Very few books have been written about the females of the family and I knew very little about them. The Kennedy Debutante is about Kathleen Kennedy - nicknamed Kick. She is the fourth child in the family, right after Joe, Jack, and Rosemary. It's an in-depth look at her life beginning in England when her father becomes the American ambassador. As the story begins, she is being presented into society at the beginning of her debutante season in 1938. As she becomes part of the social season in London, she makes friends with the elite young people in London and gets very close to Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire and a devout Protestant. Her strict Catholicism (as well as that of her devout mother, Rose) keeps them from taking their feelings to the next level. When WWII breaks out and the Kennedy family returns to the States, Kick has to make a decision over whether her love for Billy or the beliefs of her family is the most important to her future.

This book was a wonderful look at a member of the Kennedy family that had not been written about much in the past. Along with Kick's story, there is a lot about the rest of the family, the way the parents doted on the boys and the dad included Joe and Jack in his decision making, the problems with Rosemary, plus tidbits about all of the other kids in the family. For a family with so many words written about them over the years, this was a refreshing look at the family that was full of new information for most readers.

I highly recommend this book and predict that it will be one of the popular MUST READS of the fall.

Buy The Kennedy Debutante at Amazon

The Cards Don't Lie by Sue Ingalls Finan

The Cards Don't Lie
October 2018; She Writes Press
978-1631524516
ebook, print (355 pages); romance
This is a well written, well researched historical fiction novel about a war that is rarely written about. Not only was it a great book to read but I also learned a lot about this time period and did some additional research after I finished the book. I love it when you read a great book that also teaches you more about history.

The year is 1814 and the location is New Orleans. The second war of independence is taking place against the British and the British are fighting to gain control of New Orleans as part of their plan to take over all of America. Some parts of the book are about the fighting and the men who fight but the most important characters are three very different females. Catherine is a free woman of color who is a healer and a midwife and a voodoo princess. Margeurite is the wife of a rich plantation owner. She has had several miscarriages and goes to Catherine for help getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. Millie is a prostitute who yearns to have another life but because she is the daughter of a prostitute she knows that her choices are limited. These three women couldn't be more different and they are all on very different social levels in the New Orleans society.

When General Jackson and his army arrive in New Orleans to defend America against the British, the women's differences disappear as they all take part in helping the men injured in the battle. Not only are they compassionate and caring but all three of them have a husband or lover who is involved in the fighting. Will their love and sacrifices be enough to help not only the men that they love but also the city of New Orleans?

I loved the three female characters in this novel. Even though they all knew their place in the social hierarchy of New Orleans during this time period, they were willing to step in and help where they could. They all showed love and compassion far beyond their roles of 'just women'. My favorite was Millie - she was the one who was the most unacceptable in society yet she let her love and compassion for others rule her life and was the bravest of the three women.

If you enjoy historical fiction and books about strong women, this is a must read!

Buy The Cards Don't Lie at Amazon

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
October 2018; William Morrow Paperbacks
978-0062698629
audio, ebook, print (416 pages); biographical
This beautiful, well-written novel has two wonderful main characters that I loved - I laughed with them and cried with them as they faced the storms of life - not only the outer storms but also the inner storms that can cause so much damage.

Grace Darling lives in a lighthouse in England with her family in 1838. She loved the lighthouse and the way it worked and would have loved to be the keeper when her father retired but since she was a woman, that role went to her brother. She helped her Dad rescue some passengers from a ship and became famous throughout the land for being such a brave FEMALE. The other main character is Matalida who has been sent from Ireland to live with a cousin at a lighthouse in Rhode Island after she becomes pregnant in 1938. As she sorts through an old chest, she learns more about Grace Darling and the connection between them. They are both brave women during different parts of history and the connection between them is strong.

I loved this book. It's about love through the ages, the strength of women and their friendships and family. It will make you smile and it will make you cry but at the end you will feel that you know both of these incredible women.

Buy The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter at Amazon

A Sparkle of Silver  (Georgia Coast Romance #1) by Liz Johnson 

A Sparkle of Silver
October 2018; Fleming H Revell Co
978-0800735500
audio, ebook, print (358 pages); Christian
This is a dual timeline novel about a lost treasure in a palatial estate on St. Simon's Island in Georgia. Ruth's story took place in the 1920s when she stayed at this estate with friends and fell in love. The modern-day story is about Millie, Ruth's great-granddaughter. Millie has a tough life - she is working three jobs and living in a small apartment over a garage. She had to give up her plans because someone swindled all of her grandmother's savings. Millie grew up with her grandparents and is now the sole provider for her grandmother who is in a home where she can get daily help due to her Alzheimers. When Millie hears that Ruth may have hidden a treasure at the estate, she decides to try to find it so that she can move her grandmother to a better home. As she is sneaking around the estate, she meets Ben, a security guard who also works three jobs. They decide to split whatever money they find as they work together to find the treasure. Their search gets them into all sorts of trouble but also leads to increasing feelings for each other. Will they both be able to let go of the past and plan a future together?

This was a quick summer read about taking care of family at the expense of your own happiness. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to the next book in the series.

Buy A Sparkle of Silver at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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