Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Reading Ahead: September 2014, part 4

Historical fiction fans, rejoice! September is teeming with great new titles for you, across a variety of time periods and locales.  Take a look.

Edge of Eternity, by Ken Follett. Follett is back with the final installment of his Century trilogy (the first two being Fall of Giants and  Winter of the World). Here, readers pick up with the five intertwined families (American, German, Russian, English and Welsh) through the tumultuous period between the 1960s through the 1980s, including assassinations, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile crisis, and more. Follett is a master of the epic saga--fans of Jeffrey Archer's Clifton Chronicles (Only Time Will Tell, etc.) might do well to check this out.

The King’s Curse, by Philippa Gregory. Following the long line of Cousins' War novels that have come before (starting with The White Princess), The King's Curse follows the rapid rise to power of Henry VIII in Tudor England, told from the unique perspective of lady in waiting Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (the White Princess). Initially part of the court of Henry's older brother, Prince Arthur and his wife, Katherine of Aragon, Margaret finds herself staying with Katherine through the death of Arthur and Katherine's subsequent marriage to Henry. It is when Anne Boleyn comes into the picture that Margaret finds her loyalty tested--does she stay by the side of her disgraced queen, or support her tyrannical king? Gregory is at her best, in my opinion, when she considers familiar events through less familiar characters. If that holds true, this should be excellent.

Blood on the Water, by Anne Perry. In her twentieth William Monk mystery, Perry's detective, now Commander of the River Police, moves between the grand Mayfair mansions of London and the teeming shores of the Thames, where Monk finds himself witness to the explosion of the pleasure boat Princess Mary, resulting in the deaths of nearly two hundred revelers. The tragedy is no accident, and it is up to Commander Monk to unravel the motive and find the culprit, before Monk himself becomes a target. 

An Italian Wife, by Ann Hood. Hood has a beautiful way of writing about ordinary people in such a way as the reader finds them extraordinary, and has built herself quite a fan base as a result. This latest is a compilation of vignettes more than a novel, which follow Italian immigrant Josephine Rimaldi throughout the long century of her life, seeing her joy and sorrows, watching her family grow and flourish. Fans of Hood's other work (The Red Thread, The Obituary Writer) will definitely not want to miss this.

September has lots more to offer readers, so I'll be back on Thursday to wrap up the Reading Ahead posts for the month. In the meantime, happy reading!

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