Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Reading Radar 3/21/2015

Last week, one of my favorite blogs shared a post of upcoming historical novels featuring strong women... I am excited about some of the titles I found there and encourage you to look at her post for yourself and see the rest.

The Gilded HourThe Gilded Hour by Sara Donati. The international bestselling author of Into the Wildernessmakes her highly anticipated return with a magnificent epic about the transcendent power of courage in 19th-century New York…

The year is 1883, and although young surgeon Anna Savard and her cousin, Sophie, have become successful physicians, they never recovered from the losses they suffered as children. So when Anna encounters a child who’s lost nearly everything, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the past and let love into her life. Meanwhile, Sophie’s memories of being left alone in the world propel the young obstetrician to help a desperate mother—and catapult her into the orbit of a very dangerous man.

Vividly drawing on historical events, Sara Donati has written a captivating, emotionally gripping novel that proves she is an author at the height of her powers.


The Tide Watchers by Lisa Chaplin.

The Tide WatchersIn the tradition of Jennifer Robson, comes this compelling debut that weaves the fascinating story of a young woman who must risk her life as a spy to help stop Napoleon's invasion of Great Britain in the winter of 1803.

Though the daughter of an English baronet, Lisbeth has defied convention by eloping to France with her new husband. But when he breaks her heart by abandoning her, she has nowhere to turn and must work in a local tavern. Her only hope for the future is to be reunited with her young son who is being raised by her mother-in law.

A seasoned spy known by his operatives as Tidewatcher, Duncan apprenticed under Lisbeth's father and pledged to watch over his mentor's only daughter while he searches the Channel region for evidence that Bonaparte has built a fleet to invade Britain. But unpredictable Lisbeth challenges his lifelong habit of distance.

Eccentric, brilliant American inventor Robert Fulton is working on David Bushnell's "turtle"--the first fully submersible ship--when he creates brand-new torpedo technology, which he plans to sell to the French Navy. But when his relationship with Bonaparte sours, he accepts Tidewatcher's help to relocate to the French side of the Channel, but he refuses to share his invention. With an entire army encamped in the region, blocking off all access, Tidewatcher must get that submersible, along with someone who knows how to use it, to uncover Bonaparte's great secret.

When Lisbeth is asked to pose as a housekeeper and charm Fulton so she can learn to use the submersible before the invasion fleet sails, she will be forced to sacrifice herself for her country--but is she willing to sacrifice her heart when she's already lost it to another...?


Spotted on a new-for-me blog called The History Girls that I found from a twitter recommendation. This is releasing this year and is on my wishlist. The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson.

The Curious Tale of the Lady CarabooSet in the early nineteenth century, this is incredible story of the ultimate historical hustle, based on the true story of Mary Willcox. After a harrowing street attack, Mary makes a life-changing decision: to become Princess Caraboo. Speaking a language of her own devising, she manages to convince the respected Worrall family that she is just what she claims to be. Language professors, journalists and artists are captivated by Caraboo's beauty and the story that surrounds her. But as her lies get bigger, so too does the risk involved in her deception, and when she begins to fall in love with seventeen-year-old Fred Worrall, Mary realizes that she can't keep up her con forever, and that some stories can be very dangerous indeed...


And this one, spotted on the same blog, caught my eye: Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman.
Buffalo Soldier
What kind of a girl steals the clothes from a dead man's back and runs off to join the army?

A desperate one, that's who.

World been turned on its head by that big old war, and the army seemed like the safest place to be, until we was sent off to fight them Indians. And then? Heck! When Death's so close you can smell his breath, ain't nothing makes you feel more alive.


From the same blog a few days later--check out this aviation post!--I discovered what may be a new author for me and Variable Stars by Christina Koning hit the wishlist.
Variable Stars
This is a story of love and astronomy; music and silence; secrets and truth-telling; of world-changing discoveries, and unrequited desire. Moving from York in the 1780s to Regency Bath, and then to Hanover in the 1840s, it concerns the lives of three people-all astronomers. There is Caroline, torn between her passion for music and her passion for the stars; John, deaf from childhood, whose extraordinary mathematical gifts afford him perspectives not available to others; and Edward, friend and mentor to Caroline and to John, who must conceal his innermost feelings from them both. All three find fulfilment in the heavens for the set- backs and disappointments they encounter on earth. All three, in time, come to know the truth about variable stars.


  1. Thanks for the shout-out! Variable Stars sounds especially interesting - it appears to be based on the Herschel family, who have always interested me since they were so accomplished. On Lady Caraboo, there was a movie some time ago called Princess Caraboo, based on the same story (I didn't know at the time that it was historically based - I should make a point of seeing it). One of those almost-stranger-than-fiction stories from history.

  2. Meant to ask you, have you come across this one yet? Aviation in the 1920s.

    1. I have not, but it's on my wishlist now. I'll put it on next week's radar.

      I'm going to look for the Caraboo movie. I had never heard of the situation until I read that author's blog post. Cool. Thank you.