Thursday, April 28, 2011

Daughters of Summer

Or, a visual preview of the spring/summer season, part one...

This debut romantic novel set in Restoration London, a glorious city about to be invaded by the plague, stars Susannah Leyton, daughter of a Fleet Street apothecary. A surprising marriage proposal rescues her from an unpleasant family situation but causes other problems.  Piatkus (UK), August.

Does 1968 count as historical for you?  I wasn't around then, so it does for me.  This debut novel by a prizewinning short story writer takes place at a New England prep school which, through a clerical mistake, enrolls its first female student - a brilliant black teenager. Knopf, June.

The title of Dennis's 18th-century romantic adventure derives from Alfred Noyes's poem "The Highwayman," and the plot retells the story in epic fashion.  The heroine, Elizabeth "Bess" Wyndham, is a writer of Gothic novels who meets a man remarkably like one of her books' characters.  First pb release of a novel previously published for the library market. Sourcebooks, August.

This debut novel by a Midwestern academic takes me back to my old stomping grounds of southern New England.  In Warwick, Rhode Island, in the summer of 1934, Anne Dodge comes face to face with her Portuguese heritage and the truth about her parents' marriage.  Overlook, July.

This lengthy saga is the product of AmazonEncore, a bookseller imprint specializing in identifying highly-rated self-published works and reissuing them for a wider market.  It spans four generations of Vietnamese women - a royal concubine and her descendants - throughout the 20th century.  A copy arrived in my mail last week. AmazonEncore, April.

Fiorato writes lyrical historical fiction about strong women from Italian history.  Her latest takes place (per the title) in Siena in the early 18th century, at the time of the Palio - the city's famous horse race.  Can I just say I want this gown for myself (the color is perfect) and the book itself is gorgeous - it's on my pile to review. St. Martin's Griffin, May.

Green's Daughters of War is first in a new trilogy about nurses during WWI; in the Balkans, two young women render aid on the battlefield and discover unexpected romance.  Severn House, August.

From the title, you'll have guessed this YA historical novel centers around witches. In 16th-century Somerset, a servant girl at Montacute House is accused of witchcraft following the disappearance of several boys from her village.  Hyperion, April.

The story of Abigail Lovell, a young woman in Revolutionary-era Boston, who goes to great lengths (even defying her Loyalist father) to aid the American rebellion.  The blurb compares it to Sally Gunning's Bound, which is enough to get me to pay attention.  Pegasus, September.

The girl in the green dress is Bertha, orphaned daughter of Emma Bovary, who leaves her grandmother's farm in the French countryside to make a new life for herself in high-society Paris, as the apprentice to fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth.  Bantam, August.


  1. Thanks for this post, Sarah. There are several books on the list that will be going on my wish list.

  2. Some interesting reads here - thanks for the tip off. I've been looking for a good restoration historical!

  3. What a great collection of books. Thanks for the update.

  4. Great post.
    Going to check some of these out right now.



  5. This post's theme of titles containing "daughter/s" -- confirms my personal desire that this word too be forbidden use in titling anything any longer, along with 'the --- blues.' :)

    Love, C.

  6. Some interesting titles, I'll check out a few. But I'll also be sure never to title anything I write with "daughter" - just a little overdone.

  7. The daughter titles are everywhere but they sell books. At least two of these novels were originally called something else!

  8. Looks like a good collection of books.

  9. Oh, there are many I want to read. I got an ARC of Daughter of Sienna, and I have to say I'm not a fan. I like dialogue in my books, this one has hardly any. :(

  10. I was going to post a comment on this earlier, but blogger wouldn't let me.

    Just to add, it's fun to see a themed post like this. "Wife" is almost as much used as "daughter"--interestingly, "Son" and "husband" are not, which seems to indicate where the targeted market is.

    And of course, we probably won't be seeing "The Mortician's Cousin by His Mother's Sister's Second Marriage" anytime soon *grin* so maybe titles with Daughter aren't so bad.

  11. Right - you don't see many with "King" in the title either. "Queen," on the other hand...

    The Daughter titles work so well for historicals because they can lend an old-fashioned quality to the book, like something you'd find in a folk tale. "The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter," a phrase from an early 20th-c poem that takes place in Georgian times, is the perfect example.

  12. Interesting looking lot here. I'm especially taken with the one set in Vietnam as there's not a huge amount of HF with this setting (in English, anyway)

    I've read a couple of Marina Fiorato's books and found them a bit limp, so might not be so excited about "Daughter of Siena".

    Hasn't The Highwayman" been rendered into a novel before? I remember now - it's "Watch by Moonlight", by Kate Hawks (a pseudonym for Parke Godwin), and not too bad either.

  13. I'm in love with that cover for Daughter of Providence. So arresting!

  14. Annis, you're right about the Vietnamese setting being uncommon. You probably already know Kien Nguyen's Le Colonial (18th c) and The Tapestries, though no others come to mind immediately.

    I've read Fiorato's Madonna of the Almonds and The Glassblower of Murano. Enjoyed both as light reads. The characterization had improved by the 2nd book.

    I read Watch By Moonlight some time ago and remember little about it - it'd be a good candidate to read again.

    Julie, I agree on the Daughter of Providence cover. Between that and the setting, I'll have to read it!

  15. Anonymous3:54 PM

    OK, after 17th century settings, I also like WWI (and in Eastern Europe too)! So I will look for DAUGHTERS OF WAR.

    Sarah Other Librarian