Wish-List 5: 20th Century

me-iiI missed posting my March wish-list 5 and I was not happy about that. I dislike letting my readers down. However, I have started back up and have searched for stories to add to my list that take place in the 20th Century. There are a few books here that actually constitute as historical fiction. My hope is that when you see the books I selected, you will find something of interest to you. Happy reading!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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The Girl at the Lion d'OrThe Girl at the Lion d’Or (French Trilogy #1) by Sebastian Faulks

From the author of the international bestseller Birdsong, comes a haunting historical novel of passion, loss, and courage set in France between the two world wars. This Vintage Original edition marks its first appearance in the United States.

On a rainy night in the 1930s, Anne Louvet appears at the run-down Hotel du Lion d’Or in the village of Janvilliers.  She is seeking a job and a new life, one far removed from the awful injustices of her past. As Anne embarks on a torrential love affair with a married veteran of the Great War, The Girl at the Lion d’Or fashions an unbreakable spell of narrative and atmosphere that evokes French masters from Flaubert to Renoir.

Where My Heart Used to BeatWhere My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks  

London, 1980. Robert Hendricks, an established psychiatrist and author, has so bottled up memories of his own wartime past that he is nearly sunk into a life of aloneness and depression. Out of the blue, a baffling letter arrives from one Dr. Alexander Pereira, a neurologist and a World War I veteran who claims to be an admirer of Robert’s published work. The letter brings Robert to the older man’s home on a rocky, secluded island off the south of France, and into tempests of memories–his childhood as a fatherless English boy, the carnage he witnessed and the wound he can’t remember receiving as a young officer in World War II, and, above all, the great, devastating love of his life, an Italian woman, “L,” whom he met during the war. As Robert’s recollections pour forth, he’s unsure whether they will lead to psychosis–or redemption. But Dr. Pereira knows. Profoundly affecting and masterfully told, Where My Heart Used to Beat sweeps through the 20th century, brilliantly interrogating the darkest corners of the human mind and bearing tender witness to the abiding strength of love.

The Daughters of MarsThe Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

In 1915, two spirited Australian sisters join the war effort as nurses, escaping the confines of their father’s farm and carrying a guilty secret with them. Used to tending the sick as they are, nothing could have prepared them for what they confront, first near Gallipoli, then on the Western Front.

Yet amid the carnage, Naomi and Sally Durance become the friends they never were at home and find themselves courageous in the face of extreme danger, as well as the hostility they encounter from some on their own side. There is great bravery, humor, and compassion, too, and the inspiring example of the remarkable women they serve alongside. In France, where Naomi nurses in a hospital set up by the eccentric Lady Tarlton while Sally works in a casualty clearing station, each meets an exceptional man: the kind of men for whom they might give up some of their precious independence — if only they all survive.

At once vast in scope and extraordinarily intimate, The Daughters of Mars brings World War I to vivid, concrete life from an unusual perspective. A searing and profoundly moving tale, it pays tribute to men and women of extraordinary moral resilience, even in the face of the incomprehensible horrors of modern war.

The Wolf of SarajevoThe Wolf of Sarajevo by Matthew Palmer

A riveting novel of international suspense from acclaimed author and veteran diplomat Matthew Palmer.

Twenty years after the Srebrenica massacre that claimed the life of his friend and colleague, Eric Petrosian is back in Sarajevo at the American embassy, and the specter of war once again hangs over the Balkans. The Bosnian Serb leader, who had for a time been seeking a stable peace, has turned back to his nationalist roots and is threatening to pull Bosnia apart in a bloody struggle for control . . . and behind him is a shadowy mafia figure pulling the strings. As Eric is dragged deeper into the political maelstrom and uncovers a plot of blackmail and ruthless ambitions, Eric is faced with an impossible choice: use the information he’s uncovered to achieve atonement for the past or use it to shape the future.

The Arrow CatcherThe Arrow Catcher (The Arrow Catcher #1) by Jim Mather

In 1948 Young Jonathan Lusk’s life was perfect. Big Boston house. Swimming pool. Summers on the Cape. His father a Nobel Prize winning Harvard professor; his mother the beautiful only child of Boston socialites. When his parents get caught between rival Arab and Jewish faculty over the creation of the State of Israel, Jonathan’s life is turned upside down. He soon finds himself in Japan, living with his grandfather, former American Ambassador and a judge on the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals. American opulence and comfort is abruptly replaced by subtle Japanese elegance and traditional austerity. The boy is thrust into a life among strangers and forced to navigate his way through a new country, foreign customs, unfamiliar language, and ultimately political intrigue that will threaten his life. This suspenseful story, one of personal survival, is a testament to a young boy’s perseverance and to human courage and loyalty that are sometimes found in unexpected places.

Here are some of the wish lists from a few of my friends this month:

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court-Coming soon

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired

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