Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New historical novels from small and independent presses, part 2

Here's the second half of this month's feature on recently published novels from small and independent presses. If you missed part 1, it can be found here.  Please leave your recommendations for other small press historicals in the comments!


Romance and adventure featuring a Italian female chef and a handsome rancher of Nez Perce descent, taking place amid the rustic environment of Yellowstone Park in 1925.  Part of the author's continuing Yellowstone series (the last of which was Lake of Fire [link goes to an older review of mine], set in 1900 and covering the previous generation).  Camel Press, an independent publisher of genre fiction (Mar '13, $15.95, trade pb, 358pp).



WWI-era biographical fiction with a literary bent, about English poet Edward Thomas, his devoted wife Helen, and his friendship with an American colleague, poet Robert Frost.  StreetBooks, a micro-publisher from west Oxfordshire, UK (Feb '13, £9.99, trade pb).



A reluctant nun in Yorkshire finds herself torn between her religion and her country's future after Henry VIII breaks with Rome.  Written by an English professor with a PhD in Renaissance literature.  Knox Robinson, a specialist publisher of historical fiction, historical romance, and fantasy (Mar '13, $27.99 or £19.99, hb, 238pp).



In 1897 Paris, Clarie Martin, wife of one of the city's magistrates, looks into the mysterious deaths of immigrant girls.  Part 3 of an ongoing series; the previous two books featured Clarie's husband, Bernard Martin, as investigator.  Pegasus, a NY-based independent press (Feb '13, $25.95, hb, 384pp).



This gentle romantic adventure set during the first years of Kentucky's settlement (1774-1781) was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize following its original 1930 publication.  This was the winner of the publisher's 2012 "Uncover a Classic" competition.  Hesperus Press, whose specialty is neglected English literary classics (Oct '12, £8.99, trade pb, 200pp, available in the US in June).



Turn of the Tide is another competition winner; it took the Historical Fiction prize in the 2011 Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People's Novelist Competition.  A man finds his actions restricted by ongoing clan wars in 16th-century Scotland.  Capercaillie Books, a small press from Edinburgh (Nov '12, £8.99, trade pb).



An exploration of survivor guilt and societal resentment that sweeps through a small Illinois town in 1925, following the worst tornado in American history.  Europa Editions, which publishes literary fiction, mystery, and narrative nonfiction from around the world (Mar '13, $16.00, pb, 272pp).



In 1691 Florence, a wax artist fascinated by the grotesque receives a lucrative commission that brings him into the circle of an apothecary's daughter with a shocking secret.  What a cover!  Granta, an independent UK press (Mar '13, £14.99, hb, 320pp).




A Jewish physician's daughter confronts religious turmoil after being forced to flee her home in the 9th-century Middle East, during Islam's Golden Age.  Yotzeret, an independent Jewish-focused publisher (Aug '12, $14.95, trade pb, 328pp).



Veteran historical novelist Wood returns to a subject that has long intrigued her, women in the medical arts, with this epic about a 19th-century Englishwoman who pursues her dream of becoming a midwife in Melbourne, Australia. Turner, a US-based independent (May '12, $19.95, trade pb, 464pp).

12 comments:

  1. Fabulous selection and spoiled for choice.

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    1. Very true - this isn't as diverse as the first list, geographically, but I won't be running out of potential reading material anytime soon.

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  2. I do so like your lists. Three of the authors (Kennedy, Pope and Thomson) have other works available here in the local library and I am definitely going to check them out.

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    1. That's great that your library has other books by them. The Kennedy is a debut novel, but I found her website, which lists some books of poetry she's written, too.

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  3. Thank you for a wonderful list. I purchased the Altarpiece recently and am looking forward to reading very soon

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    1. I actually bought a copy of it yesterday! Thanks, glad you liked this list.

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  4. Of these, I think the one I am most likely to read is The Great Meadow.

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    1. That one really caught my eye too. I love the colonial period, and the cover is beautiful.

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  5. Eddie's War by Carol Fisher Saller, published by namelos.

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    1. Thanks - I'll take a look.

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  6. Love the sound of This Golden Land. I can travel vicariously to Australia!

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    1. I always enjoy Barbara Wood's novels... they're very smoothly written, with lots of detail on the setting.

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