According to my Goodreads profile, I’ve finished reading 36 books so far this year. 36?! I only review books I love (and usually don’t actually finish books I don’t love – I stop reading about page 50) so everything has at least 3 stars.
There are 11 books that I gave 5 stars to. 5 stars usually means I got to the end of the book and had a real ‘Oh wow, that was just incredible’ moment.
This year, instead of writing one post about all my favourite books, I’ve decided to write THREE posts – one for each genre.
I’m starting with historical fiction. Here are my 5 favourite historical fiction novels that I read in 2017, in no particular order.
1. Birdcage Walk
Time period: 1792, Bristol, England
About: Follows Lizzie’s life as it slowly unravels after she marries John Tredevant. A murder mystery with the French revolution looming large in the background.
Best to read: In the evening, curled up on the lounge with a glass of wine.
2. The Last Hours
Time period: 1348, rural England
About: Tiny village of serfs quarantines themselves after the Black Death comes knocking at their door.
Best to read: While the kids are arguing over who gets the last purple icy-pole or who destroyed whose castle in Minecraft first.
3. Bitter Greens
Time period: 16th century Italy and 17th century France
About: 17th century French lady locked up in strict nunnery for displeasing the king; older nun tells her a magical story of a young woman locked in a tower by an evil witch in 16th century Italy.
Best to read: While eating cheese and looking over a vineyard in France (or at least that’s where I read it… ooh-la-la!).
4. The Magician’s Lie
Time period: 1905 in a small town called Janesville, USA.
About: Female illusionist captured on suspicion of murdering her ex-husband. Her life depends on convincing the police officer that her fantastical tale is true, and that she’s innocent.
Best to read: When you can’t sleep at night because it’s too hot (or too cold, if you’re reading this in winter). Chocolate may also be appropriate.
5. The Light Between Oceans
Time period: 1926, tiny island off the remote south-west coast of Western Australia.
About: Lighthouse keeper and his wife find a baby washed up on the shore of their island and decide to pass it off as their own. Eventually their lies catch up with them.
Best to read: This is absolutely brilliant and I can’t recommend it highly enough BUT this is best to read when your base mood is reasonably cheery and you can afford to feel mildly traumatised for days afterwards. Stock up on tissues.
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