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5 Books | by Sarah Frichette

Mostly feminist historical fiction

Snow

Snow

Books

Snow White, Rose RedIn a tiny Welsh estate, a duke and duchess lived happily, lacking only a child -- or, more importantly, a son and heir to the estate. Childbirth ultimately proved fatal for the young duchess. After she died, the duke was dismayed to discover that he was not only a widower, but also father to a tiny baby girl. He vowed to begin afresh with a new wife, abandoning his daughter in search of elusive contentment. Independent -- virtually ignored -- and finding only little animals and a lonely servant boy as her companions, Jessica is pale, lonely and headstrong...and quick to learn that she has an enemy in her stepmother. "Snow," as she comes to be known, flees the estate to London and finds herself embraced by a band of urban outcasts. But her stepmother isn't finished with her, and if Jessica doesn't take control of her destiny, the wicked witch will certainly harness her youth -- and threaten her very life....

Becoming Jane Eyre

Becoming Jane Eyre

Books

A beautifully imagined tale of the Brontë sisters and the writing of Jane Eyre.  Sheila Kohler's memoir Once We Were Sisters is now available. The year is 1846. In a cold parsonage on the gloomy Yorkshire moors, a family seems cursed with disaster. A mother and two children dead. A father sick, without fortune, and hardened by the loss of his two most beloved family members. A son destroyed by alcohol and opiates. And three strong, intelligent young women, reduced to poverty and spinsterhood, with nothing to save them from their fate. Nothing, that is, except their remarkable literary talent. So unfolds the story of the Brontë sisters. At its center are Charlotte and the writing of Jane Eyre. Delicately unraveling the connections between one of fiction's most indelible heroines and the remarkable woman who created her, Sheila Kohler's Becoming Jane Eyre will appeal to fans of historical fiction and, of course, the millions of readers who adore Jane Eyre, as well as biographies about the Brontës like Claire Harman’s Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart.

The Company Daughters

The Company Daughters

Books

‘Blew my mind… so magically written and most of all that it is based on true events… a hard-hitting, soul-crushing book… I loved every moment of it… immersive, heart-wrenching, I feel emotional writing this review.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars Wanted: Company Daughters. Virtuous young ladies to become the brides of industrious settlers in a foreign land. The Company will pay the cost of the lady’s dowry and travel. Returns not permitted, orphans preferred. Amsterdam, 1620. Jana Beil has learned that life rarely provides moments of joy. Having run away from a violent father, her days are spent searching for work in an effort to stay out of the city brothels, where desperate women trade their bodies for a mouthful of bread. But when Jana is hired as a servant for the wealthy and kind Master Reynst and his beautiful daughter Sontje, Jana’s future begins to look brighter. Then Master Reynst loses his fortune on a bad investment, and everything changes. The house is sold to creditors, leaving Jana back on the street and Sontje without a future. With no other choice, Jana and Sontje are forced to sign with the East India Company as Company Daughters: sailing to a colonial Dutch outpost to become the brides of male settlers they know nothing about. With fear in their hearts, the girls begin their journey – but what awaits them on the other side of the world is nothing like what they’ve been promised…Based on true history, this is a gripping and unputdownable historical novel, perfect for fans of Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Miniaturist and The Indigo Girl.WINNER OF THE 2021 GOLDEN CROWN LITERARY SOCIETY AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTION.FINALIST FOR THE 2021 BISEXUAL BOOK AWARDS.LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 HWA DEBUT CROWN AWARD. What readers are saying about The Company Daughters:‘Blew my mind… a book I've told so many people about purely because I'm still in disbelief that it exists, that it's so magically written and most of all that it is based on true events… a hard-hitting, soul-crushing book of a woman's struggle to survive… I loved every moment of it. Breathlessly, and in a way that took up my entire brain… immersive, heart-wrenching, and I feel emotional writing this review.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars ‘From the moment I started reading The Company Daughters, I was captivated by this historical tale. Although it does contain a love story, it's not a romance…This was a gripping read.’ Goodreads reviewer ‘This book is so stunningly tender and beautiful, all mixed in with some seriously tragic and heart-wrenching events… Rajaram is an extremely skilled writer, and I love her writing style… The themes of sisterhood and female love were so present in this book and I found it very moving.’ Goodreads reviewer ‘I was enchanted by this book! It’s a delightful read that will have your emotions all over the place.’ Goodreads reviewer ‘I love historical fiction, and this book touched on a topic and time I knew nearly nothing about…There’s love, there’s loss, there’s surviving, there’s thriving… It was a very beautiful book.’ Goodreads reviewer  ‘The Company Daughters is a beautifully written love story… a perfect example of the power of human will and the endurance and hope that love can give a person.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars ‘This book has a beauty and grace to it. The author’s writing just flows off the page, and although there are struggles and upsets by the time you close the book over you are filled with a warm glow.’ Goodreads reviewer ‘A powerful and insightful read. I look forward to reading more historical work by Samantha Rajaram!’ Goodreads reviewer ‘Heartbreaking… a moving book… vivid, with amazing characters… This is a great read.’ Goodreads reviewer

The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist

Books

Sold in over thirty territories, this evocative debut in the tradition of Sarah Dunant, Tracey Chevalier and Emma Donoghue is set among a wealthy, dysfunctional family living in Amsterdam in 1686 during the decline of the Dutch Golden Age"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . ."On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of the illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . .Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

Books

New York Times Bestseller and winner of the Carnegie Medal! "Masterfully crafted"—The Wall Street JournalFor readers of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.Told in alternating points of view and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff—the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity and love can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.Praise for Salt to the Sea:Featured on NPR's Morning Edition  ♦  "Superlative...masterfully crafted...[a] powerful work of historical fiction."—The Wall Street Journal  ♦  "[Sepetys is] a master of YA fiction…she once again anchors a panoramic view of epic tragedy in perspectives that feel deeply textured and immediate."—Entertainment Weekly  ♦  "Riveting...powerful...haunting."—The Washington Post  ♦ "Compelling for both adult and teenage readers."—New York Times Book Review  ♦  "Intimate, extraordinary, artfully crafted...brilliant."—Shelf Awareness  ♦  "Historical fiction at its very, very best."—The Globe and Mail  ♦  "[H]aunting, heartbreaking, hopeful and altogether gorgeous...one of the best young-adult novels to appear in a very long time."—Salt Lake Tribune  ♦  *"This haunting gem of a novel begs to be remembered."—Booklist  ♦  *"Artfully told and sensitively crafted...will leave readers weeping."—School Library Journal  ♦  A PW and SLJ 2016 Book of the YearPraise for Between Shades of Gray:A New York Times Notable Book  ♦  A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book  ♦  A PW, SLJ, Booklist, and Kirkus Best Book  ♦  iTunes 2011 Rewind Best Teen Novel  ♦  A Carnegie Medal and William C. Morris Finalist  ♦  A New York Times and International Bestseller  ♦  "Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both."—The Washington Post  ♦  *"[A]n important book that deserves the widest possible readership."—Booklist

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