“Under the Wide and Starry Sky”: No Sophomore Slump for Nancy Horan

NancyHoranBookCover-CindyFazzipicBook Review: “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” by Nancy Horan, published by Ballantine Books, 2014

Robert Louis Stevenson, author of “Treasure Island” and “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” is the star of this historical novel. But it was his wife, Fanny Osbourne, and their adventurous life together that kept me reading until the last page. (more…)

“Revolutionary” Features a Strong Heroine Who Defies Gender Roles

Alex Myers' Revolutionary

(Book cover image courtesy of Alex Myers)

Book Review: “Revolutionary” by Alex Myers, published by Simon & Schuster, 2014

In 1782, it was illegal for a woman to dress as a man in Massachusetts. Deborah Samson, the 22-year-old heroine of Alex Myers’s literary novel, not only dresses as a man but fights as a soldier during the American Revolutionary War. (more…)

Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 12 Historical Novels

“Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier, a Civil War-era odyssey, is a best-selling and award-winning historical novel.

“Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier, a Civil War-era odyssey, is a best-selling and award-winning historical novel.

Historical fiction, the vast territory where history meets fiction, can be a story about prehistoric times or the Elizabethan era or the American Civil War. It can be a sweeping epic or a thriller or a bodice ripper. What is historical fiction? What makes for a good historical novel? (more…)

Christina Baker Kline’s “Orphan Train”: An Emotional Journey Worth Sharing

Orphan Train Cover-Cindy Fazzi PhotoBook Review: “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2013

At first glance, 90-year-old Vivian has nothing in common with Molly, a troubled teen-ager. Vivian is well-off and white, originally from Ireland, while Molly is poor and half-Penobscot Indian. When Molly is caught stealing a copy of “Jayne Eyre” at the public library, she must either perform community service by helping Vivian clean her attic, or go to a juvenile center. She chooses the former, bringing the two together. (more…)

Book Review: Love in the Time of a Great Hurricane

The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

Book Review: The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

I don’t know much about Galveston Island or Texas. But after reading The Promise by Ann Weisgarber, it’s almost as if I’ve been to Galveston—with the added bonus of being dramatically swept back in time. (more…)

Debut Author Alex Myers: Don’t Be Afraid to Set a Draft Aside

Alex Myers' Revolutionary

Alex Myers admits he’s lucky—he wrote a novel, got an agent, and published his book successfully. But he adds: “I was persistent, patient, and flexible. That might have helped.” (more…)