If you’re searching for your next read, each month I’ll be highlighting my favorite titles. Usually this will be historical fiction – it is my genre after all! – but I also like to read around. So don’t be surprised if a fantasy, contemporary romance, or non-fiction shows up just to keep things interesting!
Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
Historical Fiction (1936-1938 France and Germany, 1966 America)
In a nutshell: Piper, secretly pregnant by a famous politician in the 1960’s and trying to escape her past, sells her car to Annabelle, who claims the vehicle saved her from Nazi Germany. Over the next 400 pages, the author weaves an intricate tale between the lives of Annabelle, her Jewish lover, and her Nazi husband, revealing how sometimes incorrect assumptions are more damaging than awful truth. And how people do not always act how we expect them to in the end.
My take: Dual period historical fiction pieces seem to be all the rage right now. For those who are not familiar with this style of writing, it simply means that chapters alternate between two different stories set in two different time periods. I’ve read several of these books over the last year, and Along the Infinite Sea was easily my favorite so far. It was refreshing to read a World War II novel that did not take place either in the heart of the fighting or completely within a concentration camp. While those books are definitely needed, and I could recommend many, it’s also interesting to read about more unfamiliar events of a familiar time period. The writing flowed well, the romantic aspects felt relatable without being explicit, and I loved the complicated dynamic between the three main characters. Although this is my first read by Ms. Williams, I can tell it won’t be my last adventure with her.
For more information visit: beatrizwilliams.com
Swept to Sea by Heather Manning
Christian Historical Fiction (17th Century England and the middle of the Atlantic)
In a nutshell: Lady Eden Trenton is engaged to a man that by all outward appearances is a fine match, and in private is an abusive horror. Determined not to succumb to such a life, she stows away on a privateer ship bound for the Caribbean. Being lousy at hiding, she is quickly discovered by Caspian Archer, a sea captain bent on revenge against the pirate who killed his wife and left him with a five-year old son to care for. While both parties have vowed never to lose their hearts to another, as any good romance goes, they quickly discover that there could be much more to their relationship than mere passenger and sea captain.
My take: This novel was such a delightful read. I found Heather Manning on Hometown Reads, a fabulous little site that helps readers find local authors in their hometown. She was 16 at the time that she wrote this novel, and, while some aspects in characterization and dialogue showed her youth, the novel as a whole easily compared to many other Christian fiction novels on the market. The author incorporated the religious aspects well, highlighting the faith of the characters without force-feeding it to the reader. Historically, she seemed to have all her facts in place with one exception; the difference between a pirate and a privateer was not explained until nearly 100 pages in. At its most basic, a privateer is legal and a pirate is not (The Mariners’ Museum and Park gives a good explanation here). If I did not have this advance knowledge, I would have viewed Caspian’s character quite differently. All in all though, this book made for a light, fun, weekend read. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this author.
For more information visit: heathermauthor.blogspot.com
Now it’s your turn!
Read a good book lately? Think others would enjoy it too? Submit your suggestions on the comment page and I just may highlight them in a future post. And don’t forget to leave a review on your favorite book’s site!