10 historical novels I’ve read this year:
So Worthy My Love by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Arguably my first romantic historical, and my favorite Woodiwiss book – when she died, I had to re-read it.
Dark Angels by Karleen Koen. I’d always wanted to read her Through a Glass Darkly, but never got around to it. When this prequel came out recently, I jumped at the chance. It’s not so much a romance, but the depictions of Charles II’s court are outstanding – intrigue, politics, backstabbing, and more.
In the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Set in Barcelona during the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, this is a mystery, a so-called coming of age, romance, tragedy, and pretty much anything else you can think of. There were some clichés I could have skipped, but overall the descriptions were vivid and the plot compelling.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence. Not exactly what I thought it’d be, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The rigid social and moral codes of post World War I are strong and confining here, as are Lady Chatterley’s attempts to circumvent them.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Tragic and moving, it’s the epitome of Russian literature. There are no happy endings in Russian literature, of course.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It’s Heathcliff. That’s all I can really say about it. Heathcliff. I was reading Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series and had to re-read this one afterwards.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. Granted, I loved the movie more, and the book was really a short story, but it was wonderful. The imagery, the angst, the pain. I loved it all.
A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follet. Rebelling against authority while seeking justice, with a (slightly unbelievable) romance thrown in.
A Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follet. Late Victorian bankers, it’s all trashy and scandalous, how could you not love it?
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. 12-century England and a fictional cathedral, there are ambitions, politics, 40 years of all sorts of upheaval, and that precarious balance that holds everything together. It was great. And I hear there’s a sequel.
What have you read this year?