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Is This Novel Historical Fiction?

Trying to remember a title or an author? Want to know who or what a particular novel is about? Want a recommendation for books about a particular person or period? Post here!
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Margaret
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Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Is This Novel Historical Fiction?

Post by Margaret » Mon September 20th, 2010, 1:23 am

Has anyone read Juliet by Anne Fortier? It's about a young woman who travels to Italy and discovers she may be descended from the Juliet of Shakespeare's play. I'm trying to figure out whether to add it to my website, but I can't find any clear information on whether there are scenes actually set in the past, or whether it's all present-day people learning about the past (as in The Da Vinci Code, for example, which I do not consider to be historical fiction, because it has no scenes set in the past, even though it obviously does have a historical angle).
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
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Post by annis » Mon September 20th, 2010, 6:52 am

I was glancing at this in a bookshop the other day, and got the impression that it was along Barbara Erskine lines, with two connected Juliets, one from the past, one in the present, and this review seems to confirm it.

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Vanessa
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Posts: 4226
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Mon September 20th, 2010, 8:16 am

I have this one on my TBR pile. It's a dual time novel, I believe.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Mon September 20th, 2010, 9:48 am

I recently read it for Amazon Vine. It has two stories running parallel, one in modern day, one in 1340. Think Labyrinth in execution.
I found it to be silly fluff and not particularly well written. It has excellent pace and page turning quality, so it's good as a beach read, but it's not the kind of book for the keeper shelf. Buy it at the airport, leave it behind when you finish your hols. There are some very daft but dramatic set piece scenes that lead me to think it might end up being a film. The lead characters are not particularly nice or three dimensional, but they work as heavily-signalled stereotypes. Basically it's an easy page turner but a bit empty in the experience department, although there are some rather evocative descriptions of Siena.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Mon September 20th, 2010, 1:19 pm

I've just bought this, and would say from what I know about it that it's a dual-time novel, ie set in two different periods.

I had a suspicion that it was the sort of book that EC described above, not normally my sort of thing but I must admit that it was the Siena setting that swung it for me, I'm a sucker for most things Italian!
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Mon September 20th, 2010, 1:42 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]I've just bought this, and would say from what I know about it that it's a dual-time novel, ie set in two different periods.

I had a suspicion that it was the sort of book that EC described above, not normally my sort of thing but I must admit that it was the Siena setting that swung it for me, I'm a sucker for most things Italian![/quote]

The Italian experience is one of the stronger parts of the novel. The writing also reminded me slightly of the author Santa Montefiore. I've only read The Last Voyage of the Valentina of hers, but Juliet has the same sort of feel re the author's voice.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Post by Margaret » Mon September 20th, 2010, 5:39 pm

Thanks, everyone! Clearly not a novel I will rush out to read, but it also clearly fits within the guidelines of my website, so I will add a listing. Annis, thanks for the link to the review - it gives me what I need to write a thumbnail synopsis. You'd think publishers would be more specific in their publicity copy, but no.....
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Mon September 20th, 2010, 5:56 pm

[QUOTE=Madeleine;69915)
I had a suspicion that it was the sort of book that EC described above, not normally my sort of thing but I must admit that it was the Siena setting that swung it for me, I'm a sucker for most things Italian![/QUOTE]

Yes, I ordered it from the library because the Siena setting appealed. I visited Siena on holiday several years ago and have strong memories of it, especially the black and white cathedral.

Image

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Ariadne
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Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Post by Ariadne » Mon September 20th, 2010, 11:06 pm

This seemed exactly like the type of book I'd normally go for, but (sigh) I only made it to p.100. Parts required too much suspension of disbelief - I wanted to shake the modern-day heroine for being so naive! - and I'm afraid the descriptions of Siena, while gorgeous, weren't enough to carry the book for me. I so wanted to like it and keep thinking I may pick it up again at a later time, when I'm looking for a light read.

annis
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Post by annis » Mon September 20th, 2010, 11:46 pm

That cathedral interior is fabulous! It has a distinctly Eastern or Byzantine look about it.

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