American Historical Fiction discussion

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New England History

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message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melloveschallah) | 1 comments Does anyone have any suggestions for historical fiction novels about New England, taking place in any of those 6 states at any time?


message 2: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q (Jenny_Q) | 585 comments Mod
Hi Melanie! There are lots of novels about the American Revolution that take place in that area, so you may want to start by checking out that thread in the General Discussion section. (By the way, I'm going to move this topic to that section :) I'm trying to think if I've read any novels set in New England that didn't revolve around the Revolution...


message 3: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Anya Seton wrote The Winthrop Woman (awesome) as well as The Hearth and Eagle (good, but not great).


message 4: by Donna (new)

Donna | 11 comments Sally Gunning has written several good books sent in New England. I particularly liked The Widow's War.


message 5: by Phair (new)

Phair (SPhair) Margaret Lawrence's books starting with Hearts and Bones were pretty good- setting is post Revolution era Maine [still considered Massachusetts territory at the time if I recall correctly].

One I really enjoyed was The Blazing Tree an historical mystery set in a Shaker community in mid 19thc Massachusetts.

And Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer was an exhausting book to read but it touched on so many topics in New England history and social/literary history.


message 6: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q (Jenny_Q) | 585 comments Mod
Thanks for the recommendations, Sandra. I've got Ahab's Wife on my TBR shelf, picked it up at a library sale. I've got Lawrences's Roanoke: A Novel of Elizabethan Intrigue, but I couldn't get into it so I set it aside to try again later. All of your picks look good!


message 7: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Moran (JohannaMoran) | 12 comments What a wealth of information here. Any suggestions for 1870 or thereabouts Arkansas?


message 8: by Jaye (new)

Jaye Donna wrote: "Sally Gunning has written several good books sent in New England. I particularly liked The Widow's War."

thank you for introducing me to this author.
i am looking forward to many of her books.


message 9: by Julie (new)

Julie | 1 comments Hi. I know there are some great books out there about women working in the New England mills. I am searching for a great title for my town's group read, which is called One Book. Any suggestions?


message 10: by Phair (new)

Phair (SPhair) Julie wrote: "Hi. I know there are some great books out there about women working in the New England mills. I am searching for a great title for my town's group read, which is called One Book. Any suggestions?"

Don't overlook the childrens/young adult books on this topic. Our adult f2f group read Counting on Grace about a young girl working in a Vermont textile mill in 1910. We had tons to discuss- French Canadian mill worker culture, child labor, Lewis Hine- the famous photographer who documented child labor and mill conditions. Wonderful audio book is available as well. We were all so impressed with this book even though it was written for young readers.

I've also read Lyddie about an older girl who leaves her farm to work in the Lowell textile mills in 1840. This had more about the dormitory-style life of women mill workers.

If your town's One Book program includes involving the schools these would be accessible for all ages.


message 11: by Phair (new)

Phair (SPhair) Oh! I just remembered a good adult title featuring mill workers: The Passions of Emma. It is set in 1890s Bristol, RI and has a lot about mill worker conditions as well as a lot about women's rights and social position. It may not appeal to men with that title but it was great historical fiction as well as some realistic romance.


message 12: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Adair | 163 comments Thanks to feedback from my readers, I've added a semi-regular feature on my blog called "Relevant History." My guest author today is M. E. Kemp, who writes historical mysteries about Puritans in New England.

Here's the link to her post on my blog.

Stop by and leave a comment this week. You may win a copy of M. E. Kemp's latest book, Death of a Dancing Master.

About Relevant History: For many people, high school history was boring and extraneous. So my guests will show just how significant history is to people in the 21st century.

Suzanne Adair


message 13: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Vorenberg | 12 comments Wonderful blog post, Suzanne! I so enjoyed discovering M. E. Kemp . . . .

Kathy

Tierra Red


message 14: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 52 comments Suzanne wrote: About Relevant History: For many people, high school history was boring and extraneous. So my guests will show just how significant history is to people in the 21st century.

Fabulous idea, Suzanne. I enjoyed reading about Puritan-day fashion. I hope the lace makers were well paid.


message 15: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Adair | 163 comments Kathy and Jeanne, thanks very much for checking out Relevant History two weeks ago. I'm glad you discovered a new author! And today Relevant History is baaaaack.:-)

When the going gets tough, what do you do? The guest author on my blog today is Laura Vosika, who writes historical/paranormal fiction and adventure. In "Do We Make Our Circumstances, or Do They Make Us?" she describes what Robert the Bruce did when the going got tough for him.

Here's the link to her post on my blog.

Stop by and leave a comment this week. You may win a copy of her latest book, Blue Bells of Scotland: Book One of the Blue Bells Trilogy.

Suzanne Adair


message 16: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Vorenberg | 12 comments Excellent blog post, Suzanne!

Kathy

Tierra Red


message 17: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Adair | 163 comments Thanks, Kathy. I have more Relevant History lined up for the coming weeks -- the Molly Maguires, white supremacists in post-Civil War Kentucky, and so forth. I'll post a link to it on Goodreads.

Suzanne Adair


message 18: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn | 1 comments Donna wrote: "Sally Gunning has written several good books sent in New England. I particularly liked The Widow's War."

Actually all three of Sally Gunnings pre-revolutionary war novels were great


message 19: by Sandy (last edited Mar 02, 2011 07:43PM) (new)

Sandy | 1 comments Great Category! - I look forward to seeking out more American Historical fiction books - A truly excellent YA one I read several times as a YA was "Across Five Aprils" about a young boy in the years of the Civil War. Really good. Across Five Aprils  by Irene Hunt. Then there is this one... The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin by Robert J. Begiebing an interesting murder mystery which takes place about '12 miles from Boston', but zillions of miles from habitation as it takes place in about 1600. I'll keep adding to my list here books I've already read and I'd love to hear more titles from all of you!


message 20: by Betty Jo (new)

Betty Jo (BettyJo) | 5 comments another more recent YA book set during the Revolutionary War is Woods runner by Gary Paulsen


message 21: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Valentine I absolutely LOVED Ahab's Wife! I was sad to see it end it was such a beautifully written book but, of course, I love both Nantucket and New Bedford. Another book I highly recommend is Susannah Morrow which is another book about the Salem Witch Trials but I thought it was particularly well done.

If you are interested in non-fiction I highly, highly recommend Fire and Roses which is set in Boston in the 1830s.

Since I am also a writer I'll just mention my book Each Angel Burns which is set in an old abandoned convent on the coast in Maine.


message 22: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMD) | 7 comments Betty Jo wrote: "another more recent YA book set during the Revolutionary War is Woods runner by Gary Paulsen"

I just picked this up at my son's school book fair. It looks interesting.


message 23: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMD) | 7 comments Great topic! I'd add The Last Days of Dogtown to the list. A charming read about a settlement on Cape Ann during the 1800s. There are only a few residents left, and Diamant tells each of their stories with humor and sadness. I was surprised by how much I liked this book.


message 24: by Barb (new)

Barb Kathleen wrote: "I absolutely LOVED Ahab's Wife! I was sad to see it end it was such a beautifully written book but, of course, I love both Nantucket and New Bedford. Another book I highly recommend is ..."

Kathleen,
I also loved Susannah Morrow by Megan Chance.


message 25: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Valentine Chris wrote: "Great topic! I'd add The Last Days of Dogtown to the list. A charming read about a settlement on Cape Ann during the 1800s. There are only a few residents left, and Diamant tells each ..."
I didn't particularly like that book. I live in Gloucester less than a mile from Dogtown and I thought her story was rather shallow. A better book on Dogtown, in my opinion, is Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town.


message 26: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Valentine Barb wrote: "Kathleen wrote: "I absolutely LOVED Ahab's Wife! I was sad to see it end it was such a beautifully written book but, of course, I love both Nantucket and New Bedford. Another book I hig..."

I thought Susannah Morrow was beautifully written and quite a different take on a story that has been told so many times.


message 27: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Apr 06, 2011 09:55AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 102 comments I see that Geraldine Brooks is coming out with a historical novel about the first Indian graduate of Harvard, set in the 1660s. I think it's called Caleb's Crossing: A Novel.

Also, a children's book set in New England that I grew up with is Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, which I recommend.


message 28: by Katie (new)

Katie (ScoutKatie) | 2 comments I read a historical fiction book about working in textile mills in New England in the mid 1980s. I can't recall the name of this book nor the author, and I'm hoping someone can help me figure it out as I'd like to read the book again as I have a renewed interest in the topic. When I read it long ago I believe it was an older book already - I recall borrowing an older hardback copy of the book from a friend. Anyone have any thoughts as to what the book might be?


message 29: by Barb (new)

Barb I'm doubt that this is it since it was published in 1997, but you might enjoy reading this anyway, it has the ingredidents you mentioned and I thought it was well done.

The Passions of Emma by Penelope Williamson


http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10...


message 30: by Katie (new)

Katie (ScoutKatie) | 2 comments Thanks for the recommendation, Barb, and I may read this as well, but you're right, it's not the book. Another book I'm going to read (but which is also not the one I'm looking for) is:

Call the Darkness Light by Nancy Zaroulis, originally published in 1979

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49...


message 31: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 46 comments Although I'm a Texan, I have enormous respect for New England. A recent book I read that was very enlightening was titled, I think, War on Words, and it was about how New England writers were discouraged from addressing slavery and post-slavery in their writing. There was a conspiracy of silence.

Shelley
Rain: A Dust Bowl Story
http://dustbowlpoetry.wordpress.com


message 32: by Mary Lynne (new)

Mary Lynne | 6 comments Katie wrote: "I read a historical fiction book about working in textile mills in New England in the mid 1980s. I can't recall the name of this book nor the author, and I'm hoping someone can help me figure it o..."
Katie, I'm interested in finding out what the book you're looking for as well. I'm writing a historical fiction book now where one of the main characters is a mill owner in Massachusetts, and I'd love to read another's take on working in a mill. I haven't found alot out there about that.


message 33: by Meg (new)

Meg Mims (httpwwwgoodreadscommegmims) | 6 comments Katie wrote: "I read a historical fiction book about working in textile mills in New England in the mid 1980s. I can't recall the name of this book nor the author, and I'm hoping someone can help ..."

Don't know if this is the book, but P.B.Ryan wrote a historical mystery set in Boston and it had to do with women working in textile mills. Darned if I can remember the title, but she's a great author.

Meg Mims
Double Crossing, now available!
Astraea Press, Amazon, B&N


message 34: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q (Jenny_Q) | 585 comments Mod
I haven't read her yet, but she's on my list to try. I've heard great things. Here's the link to her Goodreads page where there should be a list of books: P.B. Ryan


message 35: by Erin (new)

Erin Germain (Demiguise) | 11 comments Two of the books from Angela Elwell Hunt's series Keepers of the Ring take place in New England - Hartford and Rehoboth. Not a bad series.

Also, seconding The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton. Love that book!


message 36: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Gray (grayarmybrat) | 78 comments She's an older author but Frances Parkinson Keyes wrote a number of novels set in New England. OLD GRAY HOMESTEAD might be a good starting place.


message 37: by Patricia (new)

Patricia O'Sullivan | 20 comments All the Sally Gunning books are great. The best is The Widow's War. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Witch Of Blackbird Pond
The Sign of the Beaver
The Ransom of Mercy Carter

Here are a couple I liked less, but are still good reads:

The Heretic's Daughter
Caleb's Crossing


message 38: by Kristin (new)

Kristin Gleeson | 31 comments Ah and don't forget Any Seton's 'The Winthrop Woman.'


message 39: by Liz (new)

Liz V. | 33 comments Kristin, good reminder of Misfit's & Erin's mentions of Anya Seton, who also wrote My Theodosia and Dragonwyck, among others.


message 40: by Christy (last edited May 05, 2012 08:06AM) (new)

Christy Robinson (Editornado) | 3 comments I'm writing a biographical novel set in England and New England, 1630-1660, on William and Mary Barrett Dyer. My research of the people and culture of that period is found on my blog, http://marybarrettdyer.blogspot.com (By the way, I have a "17th-century bookshelf" Goodreads widget in the left margin of the blog.)

What are my recommendations of 17th-century American colonial?

Rebel Puritan: A Scandalous Life, by Jo Ann Butler (Goodreads author)

Two books by Kathleen Kent: The Wolves of Andover, and The Heretic's Daughter.

The Vanishing Point by Mary Sharratt.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Widow's War (other topics)
Hearts and Bones (other topics)
Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer (other topics)
The Blazing Tree (other topics)
Roanoke: A Novel of Elizabethan Intrigue (other topics)
More...

Authors mentioned in this topic

Sally Cabot Gunning (other topics)
M.E. Kemp (other topics)
Laura Vosika (other topics)
Patricia Ryan (other topics)
Angela Elwell Hunt (other topics)
More...