Category: Historical Fiction

All This By Chance – Vincent O’Sullivan

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS A moving multigenerational family saga about the legacy of the Holocaust and the burden of secrets never shared ⚑ “I was all in for I would say three-quarters of this novel but then as the characters we focused on… Continue Reading “All This By Chance – Vincent O’Sullivan”

This Mortal Boy – Fiona Kidman

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS The re-creation of one of the last executions in New Zealand leading to the abolition of capital punishment. ⚑ “Poor Albert Black. I appreciated the way this novel explored the impact on everyone involved in his trial and sentencing… Continue Reading “This Mortal Boy – Fiona Kidman”

Washington Black – Esi Edugyan

READ FOR BOOKERTHON An 11yo plantation slave becomes a personal servant to his master’s brother. ➽ “George Washington Black is the name of an 11yo plantation slave who is whisked out of his doomed life and given a fresh start as a personal servant… Continue Reading “Washington Black – Esi Edugyan”

The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters

READ FOR BOOKCLUB Chosen by Jo A love affair and a crime amongst landladies and their tenants, set in post-war Britain. ➽ SPOILER ALERT “Sarah Waters wonderfully sets the scene with her detailed and easy-to-absorb descriptions of the physical and social environment. I really felt as if… Continue Reading “The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters”

I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith

READ FOR BOOKCLUB Recommended by Sophia A coming-of-age novel written as diary entries by a 1930s teenage girl living in poverty in an English castle. ➽ “What at first appears as a simple coming-of-age story is actually a cross-genre mediation on the history of… Continue Reading “I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith”

The Wish Child – Catherine Chidgey

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS Two children watch as their parents become immersed in the puzzling mechanisms of power in 1939 Germany. ◉ “Personally, I love human stories set during the war. But sometimes you feel like you’re reading the same stuff over and… Continue Reading “The Wish Child – Catherine Chidgey”

As The Earth Turns Silver – Alison Wong

READ FOR BOOKCLUB Chosen by Jo The story and struggles of two entwined settler families in early 20th-Century NZ, one English, the other Chinese. ◉ “As The Earth Turns Silver has all the hallmarks of a classic Kiwi novel, yet it focuses on a… Continue Reading “As The Earth Turns Silver – Alison Wong”

Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien

READ FOR BOOKERTHON From inside an extended family in China, Do Not Say We Have Nothing examines two of the most important political moments of the past century. ➤ “This is historical fiction written authentically and beautifully, and as twee as it sounds I feel… Continue Reading “Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien”

Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel

READ FOR BOOKERTHON The sequel to Wolf Hall, charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, the powerful minister in the court of King Henry VIII. © “I must admit, due to my complete lack of interest in Wolf Hall, I found it impossible to… Continue Reading “Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel”

The Parihaka Woman – Witi Ihimaera

READ FOR BOOKCLUB A fictionalised account of the atrocities that occurred in Parihaka, Taranaki during the 1870s and one woman’s fight to save her husband. © “I am always gobsmacked that the Parihaka story does not have more recognition in NZ.  It is uplifting and devastating… Continue Reading “The Parihaka Woman – Witi Ihimaera”