Archive for the ‘Historical Fiction’ Category
Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Uncategorized, tagged african american characters, antebellum period, historical fiction, john brown, national book award winner, slavery on February 24, 2014| Leave a Comment »
As his father dies, Henry is freed by abolitionist John Brown, a Christian man determined to rid the United States of the evil practice of slavery. After accidentally eating John Brown’s good luck charm, Henry becomes Henrietta–or Onion–and Brown’s good luck charm. Caught up in Brown’s schemes, Henry rides all over Kansas and eastern United States with John Brown and his band of outlaw abolitionists in his quest to abolish slavery.
I greatly enjoyed this book. Onion is a superbly crafted narrator, and his pointed observations and personal struggles carry the book, which otherwise may have taken too long to get to the main goal of the story, John Brown’s ultimate plan to overthrow slavery. I was enthralled by the contrast between Henry’s personal reluctance and others’ reactions to his actions. These contrasts and Onion’s observations about the other characters also bring life to this story.
McBride’s vivid descriptions and language also make this book engaging. Henry’s narrative voice–an unpolished way of speaking– was well-done and helped to draw me into the story. When I put down the book to do other things, my inner dialogue would often sound like the unpolished diction in the story. Because of that, I could not wait to get back to the book.
In short, you do not want to miss this book.
During World War II, the Rosati family, a well-off Tuscan family, struggled to maintain a semblance of normalcy as the Nazis struggle out the last days of their reign. The Rosati family is caught in that final firefight and fall from glory, their estate in flames. In 1955, someone has begun to kill off the remainder of the family. Detective Serafina, who has scars of her own, is assigned to protect the remaining Rosatis and catch the murderer before he finishes off the entire family.
Bohjalian’s novel is an exciting foray into life in Italy during the second World War II. Like in Sandcastle Girls, Bohjalian brings to life a unique perspective on a significant piece of history. Bohjalian is skilled at creating sympathetic characters, and this book was no different. The murder mystery added an extra dollop of excitement. This book was a treat to read, and I highly recommend it for mystery lovers and historical aficionados alike.