Hello Everyone! Welcome back to another #FiveOnFriday. This week I’ll be writing about five of my favorite historical fictions. Let’s get to it!
First, I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I talked about this book in my #FiveOnFriday favorite audiobooks edition. (https://starvinforbooks.com/2019/03/22/fiveonfriday-2/)
Monique Grant, an unknown magazine reporter is chosen by the notorious Evelyn Hugo to write her biography. Evelyn invites Monique into her home to share her life story and takes all of along her journey. The audio book was spectacular and I highly recommend it. We alternate between Monique and Evelyn speaking in the present tense and Evelyn relaying her story. I think why this book is such a delight is because the title hints that the book is likely about a typical American actress, her privileged life, and her experiences with seven different husbands. The husbands are mentioned and parts of their stories told, but there is so much more to Evelyn and this story than we expected.
Next, I loved Moloka’i by Alan Brennert.
In this book, we follow Rachel at a young age, to her diagnosis of leprosy, to her life on the Hawaiian island of Moloka’i that became a leper colony in the late 1800’s. I spent an entire day reading this book from start to finish and it was absolutely beautiful. I felt so many emotions reading Rachel’s experiences, growing up and eventually living her life away from her family and eventually finding new people to call family. All the ups and downs and challenges she faced living with this disease. Any time someone asks for a recommendation for historical fiction, I recommend this book.
Another book I loved was Circe by Madeline Miller. When I finished this book, I instantly became a fan.
I’m not completely familiar with the original myth of Circe, so I’m not sure of any similarities or differences. What I do know is this book was beautifully written. Circe is banished to a deserted island by Zeus who is threatened by her power. She tells her story as we meet other famous figures of mythology, such as, Icarus, Odysseus, the Minotaur, and others. Greek mythology has always been one of my favorite topics and this has become one of my favorite books.
I also really enjoyed The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict. This is a novel loosely based on Albert Einstein’s first wife Mileva Maric.
I had previously not known about Mileva Maric Einstein. There was a special TV event about Einstein’s life that I had watched and instantly became fascinated with this woman. There is quite a bit of speculation, in this book and other sources, that Mileva helped Einstein with his discoveries and his science research. She was never credited in his papers as a co-author even though she contributed much of her time and research to help Albert. This book takes us on a journey to her early life, to when they first meet, to their divorce and their relationship afterwards.
Last, one of my favorites is Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler.
In this book we follow Zelda Fitzgerald nee Sayre, to a novelization of her early life, to her introduction to famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald, and continues through their tumultuous marriage, and continuing on to their deaths. This was a very entertaining novel. I am curious how it compares to their real lives and marriage. I liked Zelda’s character and there was enough drama throughout the book to keep the reader engaged. If you are interested in high society life in the early 1900’s and the ostentatious marriage of F Scott and Zelda, I recommend this book.
Thanks for reading!