Tag: Historical fiction

  • From chaos, violence comes a brilliant novel

    Bob Moyer reviews the latest novel by one of his favorite authors. One note: Despite what Bob writes, not all Southerners called the conflict of the 1860s the War Between the States. Some – I think particularly of an elderly woman who owned a historic house in downtown Charleston that a group of graduate students…

  • Things done for love

    Bob Moyer reviews the latest book from one of North Carolina’s finest novelists, Ron Rash. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer THE CARETAKER. By Ron Rash. Doubleday. 252 pages. $28. Ron Rash populates his North Carolina mountains with some of the meanest people you never want to meet. Serena, the woman featured in his best-selling novel,…

  • This rich history falls short as fiction

    Bob Moyer thinks that Jerome Charyn takes on more history and weaves more tangled webs than he can handle in his latest novel. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer RAVAGE & SON. By Jerome Charyn. Bellevue Literary Press. 288 pages. $17.99. The lower east side of New York City has a heap of Jewish history, and…

  • Seeking the truth about City 40

    Paul O’Connor reviews a novel set in the 1950s in the Soviet Union, based on a real-life nuclear disaster, and finds it surprisingly entertaining. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE HALF LIFE OF VALERY K. By Natasha Pulley. Bloomsbury Publishing. 370 pages. $28, hardcover. Fans of historical fiction get an extra discipline in The Half…

  • The questions that haunt us

    Paul O’Connor reviews a historical novel that tells a good story while examining questions that are still with Americans today. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor BLACK CLOUD RISING. By David Wright Falade’. Atlantic Monthly Press`. 290 pages, hardcover. $27. In late fall 1863, the Union Army’s African Brigade marched southward from its Fortress Freedom encampment…

  • Courage and care under fire

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson ANGELS OF THE PACIFIC. By Elise Hooper. William Morrow. 358 pages. $16.99, paperback. Maybe it’s just coincidence, or maybe there’s renewed interest among Americans in World War II. Whatever the reason, this is the second historical novel about Americans in World War II that I’ve read in as many months.…

  • Lost Generation, lost opportunity

    Paul O’Connor, esteemed newspaperman and professor, makes it a practice not to review – or even to finish reading – books he really doesn’t like. Keep that in mind as you read his take on a historical novel about books and authors in Paris a century ago. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE PARIS BOOKSELLER. By Kerri…

  • Life and love amid the chaos

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA. By Isabel Allende. Random House Audio. Read by Edoardo Ballerini. 10 hours; 8 CDs. $40. Also available in print from Ballantine Books. A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabel Allende’s new novel, is historical fiction at its best. It tells a remarkable story that…

  • A fitting farewell

    Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer I love it when Bob Moyer is in reading/reviewing mode. So many books to add to my list…. METROPOLIS. By Philip Kerr. Putnam. 381 pages. $28. In 13 books, Philip Kerr established detective Bernie Gunther as a German noir  detective equivalent to Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe. He also established himself as not just…

  • An American in Paris – surrounded by Nazis

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson MISTRESS OF THE RITZ. By Melanie Benjamin. Random House Audio. 12 hours; 10 CDs. Read by Barbara Rosenblat. $45. Also available in print from Delacorte Press. Melanie Benjamin’s trademark gift is to take real historical people and events and carefully translate them into well-crafted fiction that comes alive with dialogue…