ROREY’S SECRET by Leisha Kelly

ROREY’S SECRET by Leisha Kelly, (c) 2005. This was a nice little historical family drama that takes place in 1938 on some Illinois farms. It’s about Christian families so if you don’t want any bible talk don’t read it., but I enjoyed the book, the plot was good and the writing style was very enjoyable.  The secret all started with Rorey and a boy she was meeting, and later about a fire.

THE TRAITOR’S WIFE by Kathleen Kent

THE TRAITOR’S WIFE by Kathleen Kent, (c) 2011. Kathleen Kent is one of my favorite historical writers. I absolutely loved THE HERETIC’S DAUGHTER which is a sequel to this book. This story preface starts out in 1649, London, England, and switches over to 1673 Ballerica, Massachusetts. This is the story of  a rather prickly spinster Marta Allen who works as a servant in her cousin’s household where she meets  a tall Welshman named Thomas Carrier and falls in love with him. As the story starts out some London hired assassins are sent to the new world to seek revenge for their boss. As usual I don’t want to give away too much of the story. Please read this if you love a historical novel. I take special interest in this novel since I may be a descendant of Sarah Carrier if I could only find the link. Even if I don’t I do LOVE this type of novel, and it is so well written too! You won’t be sorry if you read it.

GIRL WITH a PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier

GIRL WITH a PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier, (c) 1999. I watched art of the movie and have yet to watch the whole thing. I will someday.. after all I have ancestors from the Netherlands and I LOVE historical novels. This one takes place in 17th century Delft.  I am enjoying the book about a young 16 year old girl who is forced into service as a maid for a famous local painter named Vermeer. I love reading abut life in a city from 600 years in the past. Since I worked as a Home health Aid and had to clean for the elderly, I can relate to Griet’s duties as a maid. I highly recommend this book, but suspect many have already read it.

NOTE: I just finished the book, and I highly reccomend it! No hot sex, just one real sex scene. I can still remember Scarlet Johannson playing the lead role, nothing else about the movie!

KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER II- The Mistress of Husaby by Sigrid Undset

KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER II; The Mistress of Husaby by Sigrid Undset, (c) 1978, but first translated and printed in 1921 under the title HUSFRUE, (Much like the German word Hausfrau meaning Housewife). I admit to reading this 3 part book collection at least 20 years ago! Mom had the boxed set. I really enjoyed the first two books, this one being the second one, but the last one has Kristin joining a convent as an older woman and I didn’t like that idea! I never did finish that book! This is the story of KRISTIN the daughter of LAVRAN who is just 19 and wedded to Erlend Nikulausson. She was pregnant by her husband before the marriage and is fully ashamed by the whole situation. People are just finding out now on page 50 or so. I didn’t want to read this book with it’s very tiny type but here I am really enjoying rereading about life in medieval Norway.

This book is written in the ‘Old” style, which might throw some people off, and find it bogging down their reading flow.. I’m not sure I will finish the book at this time after all I did read it 20 or 30 years ago. I may set it aside to read some library books I borrowed Friday.

CALEB’S CROSSING by Geraldine Brooks

CALEB’S CROSSING by Geraldine Brooks, (c) 2012. I admit I am drawn to read stories that take place in colonial America. I am a descendant of more colonial families than I have researched. I especially love stories that take place where my own ancestors settled after crossing the ocean, such as New York City and other New York Counties, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the ones who came a little later in the 1700’s who settled in or migrated to several counties Pennsylvania.

CALEB’S CROSSING is a factual  historical novel filled with a lot of artistic license of one great writer, who  was born and raised in Australia and lives on Martha’s Vineyard where the story takes place.

Caleb is the young son of a Wampanoag chieftain and he befriends 12 year old Bethia Mayfield who is the daughter of a Purtian Calvinist minister. They forged a secret bond  that draws them into each others’ world. Bethia’s father tries to covert Caleb to Calvinism and eventually he becomes the first Native American graduate of Harvard. Hewas quite the scholar.

Bethia and her family are living on Martha’s Vineyard in the 1660’s where we are introduced to 15 year old Bethia as she is taking care of her baby sister since her mother died of child-bed fever. She also takes care of the hearth and home in her mother’s place. I do enjoy this book so far and hope you will also.


THE DAUGHTER’S WALK by Jane Kirkpatrick

THE DAUGHTER’S WALK  by Jane Kirkpatrick (c)1973, 1978, 1984, 2011. As you can see this is an old book. This is a true story about an immigrant Norwegian woman named Helga Estby who walked from Spokane Washington to New York City with her 19 year old daughter Clara in order to raise $10,000.00 to save their farm. Did they raise the money or not? I’m not going to tell you that, but this author has added to the story by having Clara Estby leaving her family to change her name and continue walking alone for 20 years. This all has something to do with women struggling for independence.

I just HAD to look up Helga and Clara Estby online. I was excited to see that Clara Estby and I share a No. 26th Birthday! She was born Nov. 26, 1876. I was born 110 years later! Here’s a photo of them in case you were wondering:

.Helga and Clara Estby

How could that woman have six or seven  children and still be that thin? No wonder why she wanted to walk away from them for a while. The youngest was 2 years old when left on their 7 month journey!

THE PASSION by Jeanette Winterson

THE PASSION by Jeanette Winterson, (1987).  This novel is about a “simple French soldier named Henri who follows Napoleon from the glory to Russian ruin.”, and also about Villanelle, the red haired, web-footed daughter of a Venetian boatman, whose husband had gambled away her heart.”  I’m only on page 7 and it seems little 120 pound Henri is working in Napoleon’s kitchen where he rings the necks of and most likely plucks and guts the chickens Napoleon seems to be obsessed with eating. He’s learning to be a cook and Napoleon has selected Henri to be his personal cook, to the old cook’s outrage.

NOTE: I’ll have to let you know what I think. If I like it, it won’t take me long to read it only has 160 pages.

NOTE: S0 little web-footed Villanelle is having a lesbian relationship in this story, and just got dumped by her. Then I got curious about the author. Turns our she comes from the UK and is also a lesbian (No surprise to me!). She is the partner of a woman named Susie Orbach, who wrote FAT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE and they recently married this year.  So does me being straight turn me off from reading about a gay relationship? Well not really but the subject matter (“Life during war times” in 1805 Venice–I know, I know it’s the name of a song! LOL) Well that turns me off a little. Well the next chapter is about our little friend Henri again. I’m half done with the book anyway.