Best Books 2011: Historical Fiction

ljx111201webBBhisFic2 Best Books 2011: Historical Fiction

Selected by Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK

Brooks, Geraldine. Caleb’s Crossing. Viking. ISBN 9780670021048. $26.95.
Caleb, the first Native American graduate of Harvard College (class of 1665), struggles to find his place in diametrically opposed cultures. His story is dramatically narrated by the daughter of a Calvinist minister, who is also fighting puritanical strictures. (LJ 3/15/11)

Deutermann, P.T. Pacific Glory. St. Martin’s. ISBN 9780312599447. $25.99.
The opening scene of the Japanese sinking of U.S. ships at the Battle of Savo Island in 1942 draws readers into a gripping epic of danger, valor, and romance. An outstanding tribute to the men who fought in the Pacific during World War II. (LJ 12/10)

Goodwin, Daisy. The American Heiress. St. Martin’s. ISBN 9780312658656. $25.99.
An American debutant of 1893 who has everything money can buy lands an impoverished English lord. Sadly, the gilt of a fairy tale wedding wears off quickly for Cora Cash in this modern nod to Edith Wharton. (LJ 4/1/11)

Hodgkinson, Amanda. 22 Britannia Road. Pamela Dorman: Viking. ISBN 9780670022632. $25.95.
Forced apart by the events of World War II, a Polish family reunites in a refugee camp from which they travel to England and attempt to rebuild their lives. Love, hope, and the will to survive drive this heartbreaking novel. (LJ 4/15/11)

Koen, Karleen. Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV. Crown. ISBN 9780307716576. $26.
King Louis XIV was 22 years old when he ascended the French throne. Koen explores the early months of his monarchy before he becomes known as the Sun King. Lush prose illuminates one of the most powerful and glittering courts in European history. (LJ 4/1/11)

Moran, Michelle. Madame Tussaud. Crown. ISBN 9780307588654. $25.
Marie Grosholtz, better known as Madame Tussaud, was introduced to the wealthy and powerful through her wax sculpting and used her talent and wit to straddle both worlds and survive the Reign of Terror. Elegant and empathetic. (LJ Xpress Reviews, 1/14/11)

Rubenfeld, Jed. The Death Instinct. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). ISBN 9781594487828. $26.95.
Rubenfeld’s action-packed novel of psychological suspense explores the aftermath of the 1920 Wall Street bombing, which wounded or killed more than 400 people. Witty prose and appealing characters make for a compelling read. (LJ 11/15/10)

Weir, Ian. Daniel O’Thunder. Douglas & McIntyre, dist. by PGW. ISBN 9781553655640. pap. $16.95.
Daniel O’Thunder, a pugilist-evangelist in the slums of Victorian England, is hell-bent on defeating the devil in the boxing ring. The ancient battle between evil and good plays out in a debut novel both outrageously funny and bizarrely creepy. (LJ 3/15/11)

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Comments

  1. Alice Lemos says:

    Why isn’t the publisher of Karleen Koen’s new book, Before Versailles, publicizing it? She has a devoted following of many readers, none of whom have heard that her latest book is out.

  2. doreen says:

    I have read all of Karleen Koen’s books and they are amazingly riveting.

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