Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday Threads - Expectations of Historical Fiction

I have been doing some genealogical research and subsequent reading about India during the period of 1790 - 1830. I have just finished reading The Fishing Fleet by Anne de Courcy and it wasn't what I was expecting, but not in a negative way. A review up soon....I promise!

So this week's question is -

What Historical Fiction book have your read that didn't quite fit your expectations of it?

13 comments:

  1. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker was not what I was expecting. I was hoping for more of a compelling and engrossing story. Instead I felt it was very much a history lesson, and because of that it really dragged for me.

    I felt really bad about not liking it, but I know that not every book fits every reader.

    Great question.

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    1. I agree. Mrs.Lincoln's Dressmaker was a huge disappointment for me, too, one of the reasons being that the novel read too much like a history text.

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    2. I have to say I feel the same. I was really looking forward to the book, I didn't mind the history lession, but it was not what I was expecting.

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  2. My expectations were met as I was reading and finishing up The Cousin's War Series by Phillipa Gregory last week. What was unsuspected was the news of the discovery of Richard III's remains and identification! It was an incredible coincidence to have that happen at the same time that I was reading about Richard III.

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    1. That happened to me also with Pope Joan. I was reading it this week when the Pope resigned.

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  3. In response to Kathy, as I try to take my 30 odd years of genealogy research and turn it into a HF book that spans 6 generations and one hundred years of middle eastern Europe, I'm finding that the hardest thing is to not revert back into a history teacher. Keeping in the vein of a story teller, keeping the reader connected to characters and events without backsliding into a lot of historical detail is very difficult for someone who loves the research and the detail. I have learned to admire Philipa Gregory and other authors so much more, now that I've started to write.

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    1. Speaking as one who loves lots of historical detail I think the best historical fiction authors are those who manage to weave this detail seamlessly into the narrative. The detail then feels an important part of the story rather than just an information dump. In my experience the best authors in this regard are Sharon Kay Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick.

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  4. In Pursuit of the Green Lion by Judith Merkle Riley. It was the 2nd book in the trilogy I read the first Vision of Light and loved the book! Then read In Pursuit of the Green Lion and it was a total failure to me, so I have the 3rd book The Water Devil but have yet to read it.

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  5. Steve Saylor's books seem more history than fiction and I just cannot get motivated to read anything written by him. I could not finish Roman Blood.

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  6. Steve Saylor's books seem more history than fiction and I just cannot get motivated to read anything written by him. I could not finish Roman Blood.

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  7. Steve Saylor's books seem more history than fiction and I just cannot get motivated to read anything written by him. I could not finish Roman Blood.

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