Reading List ~ February and March 2018

  ** I am still reading the Right to be Cold and Beyond Words (half done). The links to those blog posts will become active as soon as those are done and posted, so if you’re reading this in early … Continue reading

Dragon Springs Road – Janie Chang

29938354.jpgSet in 1908 to about 1925, Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang is about a young girl, Jailing, whose mother unexpectedly abandoned her on the estate of the family she worked for. She was taken in by that family and eventually educated in a mission school. She has a friend, or spirit guide of sorts, Fox, who is a fox spirit. Because Jailing is mixed race, she is considered an outsider by both the Chinese and Europeans, to the point that it makes it hard for her to find work despite her intelligence. She accidentally finds herself swept up in a political issue while she tries to find her mom and understand why she was abandoned.

I really enjoyed Dragon Springs Road. I was looking for a book that was written by an Asian author set in Asia and encompassing Asian culture. Check, check, and check. The fantastic elements found within the part of the story involving Fox were mixed nicely with the parts that thought about the tumultuous time in China as the country transition from being ruled by an emperor to a military government to something else (it’s communist now so…). The perception of Jailing being mixed race added another element worth some thought, especially since this novel is set at the end of the imperial time for England and other colonial forces, so the relationship between China + Chinese and British folks seemed plausible; the Brits seemed to be given a certain level of prestige that I don’t think would be granted today (not that it was deserved at the time).

Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say about Dragon Springs Road. It is one of those books that I really enjoyed and it fit a certain interest that I was looking to read about. I loved the fantasy with Fox, I loved the struggles that Jailing went through due to being mixed race and how she felt like she had to manipulate a man in order to get by only to later be accepted and fall in love honestly and earnestly with another man (she lives happily ever after), I loved the exposure to some of China’s political turmoil during the transition from empire to another government, and I liked the range of characters in the book.

I would definitely recommend the book, regardless of my wish to have some long winded thoughts not come through.

 

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory is one of the few novel she’s written that I haven’t read yet. The novel features Margaret Beaufort as the protagonist. Margaret Beaufort is the mother of King Henry VII (Tudor, father of the … Continue reading

The Last Tudor – Philippa Gregory

The Last Tudor is Philippa Gregory’s latest book published in 2017. Many of you will know who Jane Grey is; she was the granddaughter of Mary Tudor, one of Henry Tudor’s (King Henry VIII) sisters. Mary Tudor was queen of … Continue reading

The Hamilton Affair ~ Elizabeth Cobbs

The Hamilton Affair is a historical fiction novel written by Elizabeth Cobbs (P.S. she’s a historian). I managed to snag it while it was on sale and it was a rather pleasant read. My American history is kind of shoddy; … Continue reading

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

The White Queen by Philipa Gregory follows Elizabeth Woodville who married King Edward Let me just say right off the bat that this book is situated during the last chunk of the War of the Roses. You practically need a … Continue reading

The Birth House by Ami McKay

The Birth House by Ami McKay was recommended to me at a local bookstore. I can’t remember what the conversation was, but I think the extent of it was “historical fiction” “female protagonist” “thanks”. It was an amazing read and … Continue reading

The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies Choir is a historical fiction novel by Jennifer Ryan. Set toward the beginning of the war, the women in the community of Chilbury are devastated that their choir is being shut down due to all the men … Continue reading

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

The Lady of the Rivers by Phillipa Gregory  is about a woman named Jacquetta. She’s somone I’ve never heard of before I read the book. Jaquetta is a predecessor to most of the women centred around the Tudor era that … Continue reading

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier 

Set in 1660’s Holland, Girl with a Pearl Earring is a fictionalized account of the creation of Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting. Girl with a Pearl Earring is a oil painting by Vermeer that many believe was painted around 1665 – 1667. … Continue reading

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

The Boleyn Inheritance came recommended to me from The History Chicks, which is one of my favourite podcasts. In The Boleyn Inheritance, Katherine of Aragorn is dead (from neglect and heartbreak they say), Anne Boleyn has been executed, and Jane Seymour … Continue reading

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

Three Sisters, Three Queens is Phillipa Gregory’s most recent historical fiction novel. Set during the Tudor era, Phillipa presents Mary in a much fairer light than history generally paints her, something she admits to doing on the basis that she … Continue reading

The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory 

Set during the reign of Queen Mary I (Mary Tudor) in the mid-1500’s, The Queen’s Fool by Phillipa Gregory melds history with Mary Tudor and her fool, Hannah Green. Hannah Green wasn’t technically a real person. She was based on … Continue reading

The Translation of Love by Lynn Kutsukake

The Translation of Love by Lynn Kutsukake is a moving story set in post-war Japan. 13-year-old Aya, one of the the main POV characters, has recently moved from Canada to Japan with her father. After spending years in interment camps … Continue reading

Review: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory 

Many of you may remember The Other Boleyn Girl from the movie adaptation which was released in 2008, featuring Natalie Portman (Anne Boleyn), Scarlett Johansson (Mary Boleyn) and Eric Bana (King Henry). The book that the movie was based on was originally … Continue reading

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

Drums of Autumn is the 3rd book in a series by Diana Gabaldon’s, following the bestselling novel, Outlander, which is now a TV show. In Drums of Autumn, Jamie and Claire are reunited and living in North Carolina in the … Continue reading

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory 

The Taming of the Queen is Phillipa Gregory’s newest historical fictional novel about the Tudor era. Published in August, 2015, Gregory’s newest novel is told from the point of view of Kateryn Parr, King Henry VIII’s last wife, the only … Continue reading