Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book cover with woman at piano
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

I loved the setting for this story. The descriptions of NYC in the 1920s were wonderful and really helped to create the world and environment for the characters. The characters were people that I never really knew more about outside of their music, so I was really excited to learn more. I had no idea there was a decade long affair between Kay and George. It was surprising, and I enjoyed learning about it.

The musical references were an exciting portion of this book. I loved the way the author portrayed Kay and George’s love for music. As we jump through time, the thing I found most consistent about these two people was that while they both seemed to love each other, truly they were IN love with music, and that was the actual love story in this book.

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I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 by Lauren Tarshis

Book Genre Block - "Middle Grade"
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you have not yet discovered this fabulous historical fiction series for kids, then you are in for a treat! My son absolutely loves this series, and we excitedly await the release of new books!

I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 was originally written as book 9 in the I Survived series. This newly adapted version is in graphic novel format, which is really exciting. We own the original version of this book as well, and found that both formats are exciting, and a great way to tell an important story!

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The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and
Book cover flowers with corked bottle
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book phtoo

A woman helping women kill their husbands in the 1790s through her apothecary shop? That got my attention! I loved the way this story was told through present and past day! It was a beautifully written, gripping novel that I thoroughly enjoyed!

The two characters we are focused on are Nella in the 1790s and Caroline in the present day. Nella is using her apothecary shop to help women kill their husbands with poisons. She has very strict morals about this killing. It must always be men, never women. She will destroy potions and refuse service to any request that has the intent to harm another woman. I really enjoyed her character. She was smart and resourceful, but also emotionally wounded, creating a character that I was deeply invested in.

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Tag "Fantasy" with image of

Okay, this book is a beautiful, amazing, stunning journey that you MUST read! I was completely and utterly in love with Addie and her invisible life. I am now a complete V.E. Schwab fan and must go devour all of the other books by her!

Addie LaRue’s deal with the devil reduces her to a fleeting, forgotten memory to every single person she meets. She can’t die, but she can’t leave a mark on the world. I loved reading about her journey as she learns how to live with each stumbling block.

Just think about it, you can’t rent a room because the person will forget that you paid, you can’t start a relationship because you are forgotten the moment you use the restroom, your family doesn’t remember you, and you live forever…

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The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Cover

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a great book for historical fiction readers that enjoy the Tudor time-frame! It has wonderful characters and a story that draws you right in!

Juan is a Spanish Jew, but is hiding his religion by pretending to be a “New Christian”. His journey was filled with exciting situations and some great romance. I loved his character arc, and couldn’t stop thinking about what was happening while I wasn’t reading the story.

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From the Moon I Watched Her by Emily English Medley

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was a heavy, difficult read. I want to preface this review with a very strong content warning. This book will not be for everyone. Make sure to read the content warning before you decide if this is for you if you have sensitivities or triggers when reading.

Stephanie is our narrator and the main character in this book. We follow her as she ages, but her first narrative is at five-years-old. We find out that Stephanie’s father is the local preacher, extremely against the act of abortion, and yet, we soon discover that inside the preacher’s home and private life, things are disgusting, ugly, and awful.

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Beauty Among Ruins by J’nell Ciesielski

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was absolutely lovely! It’s a clean romance set in historical Scotland. The location of this story was amazing! I felt like I was right there, and I loved it! The descriptions were beautiful and perfect!

I loved that the main character is completely out of her element as she is sent from America to Scotland. I liked seeing her off-balance throughout this. It made her character journey so fulfilling! Her nursing position during the Great War made the historical aspect of this story wonderful. I liked the details and research that clearly went into making this feel so real.

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The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow, this was such an emotional journey! The children’s blizzard of 1888 is an event that I was aware of, but reading about it has brought on an entirely new view of the horrors and devastation brought on by this snowstorm.

This was a story that was based in fact on the blizzard alone. The characters and events that transpired are completely fictional, but the author used real events to inspire her story. It is a character-rich story and takes a bit to get to know each person and how they fit into the story.

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Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was everything I wanted it to be! It was well-researched, well-written, and utterly drew me in. I could NOT put this book down, and then I could wait to come write about it!

Pheby is a slave, but has been promised freedom on her 18th birthday by her father & master. When the master falls ill and her mother dies, Pheby is sold to traders and taken to a jail to be held for auction. After catching the eye of the owner of the jail, she is moved into his home and soon becomes his mistress. This story follows Pheby’s life as she navigates the horrors of the jail created by her husband, Rubin. She must keep her children safe, but also finds the atrocious actions by Rubin to be more than she can handle. How can she balance the life she now lives?

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News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was stunning! I read it in a day, less than a day, I mean hours. I couldn’t put it down! It is a historical fiction that brings a lovely story of a 71-year-old man and a 10-year-old forming a bond as they travel across Texas to return her to her family. This book is being made into a movie, and I cannot wait to watch it now!

If you are interested in any of the following, I think this is a book for you!
✔️ 1800’s historical fiction
✔️ Texan history
✔️ Western lawlessness
✔️ On-the-road adventures
✔️ Unlikely friendships

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The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B. Moore

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I first learned about paper wives and paper daughters in a different historical fiction story, and I knew it was a topic I wanted to know more about. When I came across this book, I knew this was what I had been searching for. This was a wonderful mix of fiction and real historic information. I felt like I was able to learn a lot and be swept away by a story.

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown focuses on Donaldina Cameron’s work at the Occidental Mission Home for Girls in San Francisco. We follow 15 years of her story in saving women and children from the clutches of opium dens and prostitution rings.

I loved the way the chapters flowed from one story to another. Sometimes the POV alternates between Donaldina and a young Chinese girl taken from her home and brought to San Francisco. Both perspectives are wonderful, and I loved the addition of the perspective from one of the girls.

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Crossings by Alex Landragin

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Copy of Science Fiction with pink background and oversized moon with reflection in water

Alright everyone…this was was something completely different, and it was wonderful! You get to choose which way you want to read this one. You can read it the regular old way, front to back…OR you can be adventurous and read it the Baronness’ sequence way. I chose adventure 😉, because seriously, I can read a book from front to back any old time, but bouncing around is something rare!

Crossings is a story about the journey of two souls through a multitude of bodies trying to right a wrong. If you read this the chronological way, it is a book broken into three separate stories. I did not choose to read it this way, so I don’t have a lot of information on the experience of reading it like this. I chose the Baronness’ sequence. Reading the story this way, at the end of a chapter, it will send you to a new page number. When that chapter is over, you jump to a new spot in the book, all the way through.

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