Category: Historical Fiction

All This By Chance – Vincent O’Sullivan

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS All This by Chance is 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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…