Sometimes, a novel will surprise you. That in and of itself isn’t really a surprise. What is a surprise is how the novel surprises you. Do you hate it when you thought you’d love it? Was it not as wonderful as you heard? Or was it better than your friends told you it was?
And, sometimes, the surprise is that it’s so much more than you ever anticipated.
When I requested an ARC of Miranda Emerson’s Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars, about 85% of the thought process that went into that decision was based on the over. I mean, look at it – it’s lovely!
The other 15% percent was the synopsis – it seemed like it’d be a fun romp. I only expected what I was promised – a group of people, lead by the titular Anna Treadway traipsing around London, investigating the disappearance of an actress, Iolanthe Green, who may or may not wish to be found. What I found within the pages was much more than this.
I recently read Natasha Lester’s A Kiss for Mr. Fitzgerald and I thought it was a pretty is fun, frothy ride. Yes, it so very, very soap opera-ish, but damn if it wasn’t a great soap opera.
I feel glad, I guess to have read A Kiss for Mr. Fitzgerald as it brought me some fun when I needed it. This was a easy, breezy read that I still found pretty engaging despite the genre not really being my speed.
This book is, I think, marketed as Historical Fiction, but in my opinion, it doesn’t really fit that into that genre nicely. When I think of historical fiction, I think of works where the setting completely informs everything about the world and story – the language, the plot, the characterization, the very fiber of the threats of the story. The book is seeped in its time and can’t truly be separated from it. It’s not possible to have that book without that time. Continue reading
Confession time: I’m tired of books and films that deal with World War II and the Holocaust. I tend to actively avoid them.
I know. I know.
I’m terrible, right?
It’s not that I avoid them because I don’t think the period is important. There’s other reasons: 1) I feel that we tend to completely ignore other wars and genocides of the 20th century & 2) often, the period is used cheaply.
Let me explain:. The events of World War II and the Holocaust are extremely important and ought not be forgotten. However, in the US, we tend to be taught about this period in school from elementary school on down while so many other important wars and genocides are never even touched. With so many books and films that center on or use WWII as its setting, we neglect the other wars/genocides and their horrors fade away. If we don’t at times focus on, say, the Yugoslav Wars, the Armenian genocide, the Ottoman Greek genocide, the reign of the Khmer Rouge or the Sierra Leone Civil War, just to name a few, we run the risk of forgetting about them. Think about those conflicts I named. How much do you know about them? Exactly. It’s only been 20 years since the start of the Yugoslav Wars and I am constantly shocked at how little my fellow countrymen know about the wars or the aftermath.