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Search tags: historical-fiction-y
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text 2018-01-18 14:03
Reading progress update: I've read 365 out of 858 pages.
Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry

I just finished my weekly page count and after a slow start this book is getting better and better. By now we have been introduced to two different sets of characters, who I´m sure are going to cross paths along the way. 

 

My favorite character so far is Gus, who I suspect of having a heart of gold, even though he can be annoying. And I have a soft spot for Roscoe. His storyline is so much fun and he is so clueless about women and life in general.

 

Every now and then there are racist and misogynistic remarks, but I expected this before starting this novel (it is set in late 19th century Texas and it has a very male-centric narrative). But that doesn´t mean that the few female characters are weak, quite the contrary. I really like Lorena, who doesn´t accept the BS from Jake, the pathetic whimp.

 

 

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url 2018-01-17 10:36
Ama Historical Fiction Free on Amazon this weekend
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma: Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Ama Historical Fiction Free on Amazon this weekend.

Ama Alchemy of Love Book Quote by Nataša Pantović Nuit

 

Spiritual Historical Novel. A-Ma is a historical spiritual novel set in the 17th century (Age of Enlightenment) Macao that follows lives and spiritual insights of settlers of this little peninsula in the middle of China. A-Ma main protagonist is Ama, an African alchemist, Goddess, a guru, a lover, a story-teller that inspires and gathers artists, preachers, priests, philosophers...

"Deep profound reading. Fallowing a very interesting story set in the 16th century of Alchemy, magic, Chinese I Jing. The dance of Yin and Yang, rational and intuitive is very obvious within the chapters of the book. A female dreamy approach to life versus a male, an energetic and scientific approach. Ama lives during the scientific revolution of Age of Reason, during the time when missionaries tried to convert Chinese to Christianity finding a rich, advanced, intriguing culture, and philosophical..."

https://www.amazon.com/Ma-Alchemy-Love-Nataša-Pantović-ebook/dp/B06X6GQHTZ

Source: www.amazon.com/Ma-Alchemy-Love-Nataša-Pantović-ebook/dp/B06X6GQHTZ
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review 2018-01-16 19:33
Review: Under A Prairie Moon
Under a Prairie Moon - Madeline Baker

3.5 Stars.

 

This was not at all what I expected.  I was in the mood for a historical Indian romance, but I never expected ghosts, curses and time travel!  I just opened up a book with a title that sounded interesting and this is what I got.  The story was surprisingly interesting.  A man is betrayed and killed for a crime he didn't commit so he put a curse on the people who killed him and their land.  And boy did the curse ever stick!  Fast-forward 125 years to a woman who was recently widowed by a descendant of the cursed family, and she has now come into ownership of the very cursed ranch.

 

Somehow, after having haunted the place since his death 125 years prior, he finally meets someone who can see him.  After accepting the fact that she has a ghosting haunting her ranch, the two become friends.  She, Kathy, convinces him, Dalton, to tell her about his life so that she can write it all down.  Between spending time doing that and rebuilding the ranch, they fall in love and inexplicably get sent back to his time to right the wrongs done him and to take care of unfinished business.

 

I enjoyed the story even with all the modern-day mixed into it.  I never thought I would enjoy a time travel historical romance, but this pleasantly surprised me.  It was a sweet tale with a happy ending.

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review 2018-01-16 04:47
Trope soup, and not in an entertaining way.
Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) - Mary Balogh

I finally hit my DNF point about 60% through when I realised that I was never going to reconcile myself to the fact that the hero, an English duke raised in England, was secretly a king fu master. My level of BUT WHY!? was too high for anything but the most riveting of adventures to keep me going, and nothing else in this book was that. (But why is: when he was studying at... Harrow or somewhere... he met a Chinese martial arts master by chance and he taught him the secrets of kung fu. The book answered none of the questions I had about that, most of which revolved around why it was a plot point at all).

 

The rest of the hero's (non kung fu related) persona revolved around being very rich, very fashionable and very bored. I feel like the author maybe watched the  Anthony Andrews version of The Scarlet Pimpernel one too many times (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

 

Meanwhile the heroine was raised in one of those Quaker Anarchist orphanages that don't teach you about the class system, so she hits finding out that she's the legitimate daughter of an Earl with zero knowledge of anything, and proceeds to insist on being simple and true to herself and as good as anyone and hiring all her friends as maids. ("A Quaker Anarchist is guided through London society by a Kung Fu master," quoth a friend, "that sounds pretty good, actually." YOU WOULD THINK SO! Alas, the author doesn't lean into it.)

 

One would think that the 1810s would be a perfect time to declare war on ruffles, given the neoclassical turn in women's fashion around then, but the author disagrees, and claims that All The Other Girls dressed in an overly fussy manner (I was pretty confused about the period generally. Queen Charlotte is on the throne, and they're at war in France, but it's all ruffled dresses and dancing the waltz. WHEN IS THIS SET!?).

 

I may be obsessing over details? It may be because I don't care about the plot? Since there's literally no conflict and next to no romantic tension between the main characters? This underlined by all scenes being told and retold two or three times. In any case, enough is enough.

 

WHY WAS HE A KUNG FU MASTER? WHY!?

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review 2018-01-15 21:36
The Women in the Castle
The Women in the Castle - Jessica Shattuck

Three women are bound together by fate and their husbands choices made during World War II.  The husbands of Marianne von Lingenfels, Benita Fledermann and Ania Grabarek were all involved in the failed plot to assassinate Hitler in July of 1944.  Appointed "the Commander of Wives and Children" by her husband, Marrianne takes her duties seriously and decides to round up those she can find in the aftermath of the War in the relative safety of her family castle, Burg Lingenfels.  While Marianne succeeds at the impossible task of finding the dispersed  women and children, her harsh steadfastness combined with Benita's gentle inward intuitiveness, Ania's survival drive and the children's collective shock makes for a difficult group to have under one roof.   The secrets that each woman must keep combined with their sense of camaraderie creates  a very different post war experience for Marianne, Benita and Ania.


The Women in the Castle is an epic story that creates a great range of feelings and complicated and scenarios.   It also shines a light on the role of women and children before and after the war, but more importantly, the resistors.  In thinking of the heroes of World War II, I don't often think of the Germans who were strong enough to resist Hitler's pull, even in little ways.  All of the women's characters were strongly developed and I enjoyed that they showed their strength in different ways.  At first, I was pulled toward Marianne's conviction and dedication to her task, but as each woman's story unfolded and the layers peeled away, I felt more and more connected to their stories and understood their reasoning.  The writing does jump back and forth through time and each woman's perspective.  Keeping track of the time jumps and point of view can become a bit confusing; however, you do learn things at appropriate times instead of being bombarded with too much information at once.  There are many, many more things I could say about this book, but most importantly, it provides a different perspective of World War II, and comments on the importance of friendship, compassion and resistance.

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