My Original Strong Woman
Ever since reading Anya Seton’s The Turquoise, I became hooked on historical fiction at the age of twelve. After reading every book that Seton wrote, I turned to other authors who wrote about strong women in different historical eras. Now I write for the Historical Novels Review four times a year. What follows on this page are snapshots of books I have particularly enjoyed reading. This list will change monthly.
macy*s: The Store. The Star. The Story. (2009) by Robert M. Grippo. I started riding the train into New York City with my mother when I was eight years old. Our destination was 34th Street, the location of Macy’s Department Store. For me, Macy’s has always been the true definition of a department store. This book is a wonderful tribute to the founders of the legendary store, plus contains a wealth of period photos and a running timeline throughout the book sharing with the reader what was happening in America during the decades discussed. Not just a tribute, but a glimpse into the phenomena of how this store has catapulted the shopping habits of generations.
The Art of Racing in the Rain (2008) by Garth Stein. This heart-touching novel is told from the dog’s point of view and tells of how humans take a long time to learn life’s lessons, while dogs know their time is shorter and so their wisdom comes more quickly. I thought the racing in the rain would be the dog, but it is the dog’s owner who is a race car driver and how he learns to navigate through the tender and tragic events of his life. Could not put this down, and had tissues at my side.
The Zookeepers Wife (2007) by Diane Ackerman. This story is actually written as narrative non-fiction because the story is true, although told via narration. It is the story of the owners of the Warsaw Zoo when the Nazis took over Poland. As the zoo gets bombed and the animals begin to leave, the couple decides to hide Jews within the underground cages of the zoo and eventually arrange for their safe departure from Warsaw. Very well written with information about Hitler I did not know. The story was gripping.
Understanding Conflict (2017) by Janice Hardy. Ok, now I get it. I always thought conflict in a novel were the obstacles thrown in the protagonist’s path to thwart the goal seeking. Actually not! Conflict involves much more. This book belongs on every writer’s book shelf, because then…they will get conflict at it’s inner core.