Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two historical fiction books to read

Family life in 13th century Europe comes to life in this beautifully written book by author Michelle Cameron. Jewish customs, tradition, and daily routines are shared along with the daily tribulation of life in a world filled with suspicion over heresy and an increasingly intolerant Catholic church. You'll appreciate the title character and her life's journey from cherished daughter through her marriage and then motherhood. Based on Cameron's own relative it is a fascinating look at a time period that is often shrouded more in myth than in history. Great read.

Edward Rutherfurd's saga of New York from the Dutch founding of New Amsterdam on the site of an Indian fishing village, through  9/11. It may begin with Dutch but the book spends time sharing the story of the British during the Revolutionary War of American Independence as well as the upstart American patriots, it proceeds through through the Civil War and the slavery issue to the industrial revolution, the influx of immigrants, New York's constantly changing population, Tammany Hall politics, and an ebb and flow that shows how repetitive history can be  and how patterns are there for students to see if they just happen to pay attention!
The tragedy of 9/11 and the evolving stories of families in their daily struggle to find hope, happiness , love and success in New York are just part of Rutherfurd's latest sweeping tale of a city that never sleeps and a place that has become famous for bright lights, Broadway and plenty of characters many of whom you will find between the pages of this tome. As with any book of this nature the complaint is that you want more information about some of the characters (both real and imagined) but unless volumes are added it would be impossible for the author to do this - the book is big enough as is - unless you put it on your KINDLE!)