Can you believe it’s already March? Thanks to snowy days that leave me wanting to do nothing other than curl up with a good book, I’ve been reading like a fiend lately.
I’ve always loved historical fiction set in NYC and this book was no exception. The story compares the struggles of a modern woman with a woman in the midst of modernization and is the perfect story to visit during Women’s History Month. I love that it includes photographs from turn of the century New York and gives details on how some of today’s city landmarks have changed over time. While the storyline of the modern main character got a bit annoying at times, I think this quick read was a worthy one.
Another bit of historical fiction (I must warn you that this may turn into a kick) set in Italy, Manhattan and Minnesota this time spanning the two World Wars. This is a love story about Italian immigrants when Ellis Island was at her peak and and I fell in LOVE with Adriana Trigiani’s writing style. It was so vivid that (even without photographs) I literally got lost in the story, at times surprised not to wake up in Little Italy or suddenly hear Caruso belting out from the phonograph. I laughed, I cried, I craved homemade gnocchi and I will definitely be checking out another book by Ms. Trigiana.
This novel hasn’t actually come out yet but I was able to read an advance copy as a member of the From Left to Write book club. You can read a description of the story here and then be sure to come back next week on March 18th (the day the novel is released) to read the post that it inspired me to write.
It’s been awhile since I read a good novel set during the Civil War, but this one was phenomenal. Set in Richmond and Philadelphia, it’s based on the true story of Mary Bowser, a free woman who posed as a slave to work as a Union spy during the War. Lois Leveen does a phenomenal job creating characters with depth and exploring the various tensions of that era without falling back on cliches. It’s clear that she did her research on the time period in order to get as detailed as possible (she includes photographs and recipes from the era at the end) and I respect her commitment to telling the story of what life might have been like for Mary and others like her.
What did you read last month? What are you reading now?