Monday, September 8, 2008

Book Recommendations

Lately I've been reading historical fiction. Something about the early 20th century has enthralled me and it seems every book I read and every movie I check out from Netflix is from that period in history.

There are two books I've read recently that I immediately reread. The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield and The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton. Diane Setterfield's tale is a cross between Rebecca and Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, about an antiquarian bookseller's daughter and biographer who is asked by a reclusive, terminally-ill author to write the author's true life story--something she's lied about until now. If you like eery, family saga/tragedy, this is for you.

The House at Riverton is a cross between Elizabeth Jane Howard's, The Light Years, and Susan Minot's Evening. A convoluted family history, including two sisters, Hannah and Emmaline (curiously, The Thirteenth Tale also has a character named Emmaline), torn by their love of the same man, told from the perspective of Hannah's ladies maid. This book is so well-crafted that when I read it the second time, I gasped at how brilliantly she weaved the story.

Anyone else have any must-reads?