Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jekylls and Hydes in the Stevenson Family

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

Fanny Osbourne is running away from America with her three children. She's had enough of her husband's cheating ways; surely Antwerp is far enough away. But when her youngest son falls ill and then dies, she's encouraged to recuperate in provincial France. There she meets Robert Louis Stevenson, who immediately falls in love with her. As he's several years her junior, she doesn't initially return his affections. But soon she's under his spell, and thus begins the whirlwind lifetime of land and sea, from frozen mountains to tropical rainforests, in sickness and health, for richer and poorer and until death did them part. This is Nancy Horan's "Under the Wide and Starry Sky."

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Draws and Drawbacks of Historical Fiction

Albert Camus once said “fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” If you ask me, historical fiction is the truth through which we tell lies. 

The Draws

There are lots of reasons to read historical fiction. Either you have an interest in a certain era or perhaps you hold a fascination about a personality that we either admired or despised. Usually, choosing to read about either of these via fiction is a way to investigate the subjects, without being subjected to tomes of facts that are often tediously detailed. This isn't to say that non-fiction can't be fascinating. However, for those of us who need a bit of fantasy mixed into our reality; historical fiction is the way to go.