Friday, January 7, 2011

My Binge on Historical Novels

For a while, beginning shortly after the release of my historical novel, The Tapestry Shop, I was busy with promotion. That, along with finishing another manuscript, kept me going at full speed. Finally, over the holidays, I took time to do some serious reading, and this time it wasn’t for research, but for pure enjoyment.

For anyone who enjoys biographical fiction, be sure to pick up a copy of Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet, by Stephanie Cowell. Monet’s life and times come alive in her skillful use of visualization, and I learned a lot about him and the artists whose names we now associate with Impressionism.

Mistress Anne was the first Carolly Erickson novel I read, and I was hooked. I had been longing to read another two of hers: The Tsarina’s Daughter and The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette. Erickson’s books just keep getting better. These last two were a real treat. I kept turning the pages, dreading the end when I would have to leave the Romanov family behind at the end of The Tsarina’s Daughter. The Hidden Diaries left me wishing there were a few more pages. This book shows us another portrait of Marie Antoinette and a different look at the world and people around her. The reader is almost blinded by the gold reflection from the chandeliers at Versailles, and the vivid imagery makes you want to put on your dancing shoes and join the crowd in the glittering ballroom, even though you know the music has to end.

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