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Need a cheery read!

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Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Need a cheery read!

Post by Lisa » Sun November 4th, 2012, 9:17 pm

I just finished The Reckoning by Sharon Penman, and although I knew what was coming, it has just left me feeling totally down! I think the fact that I've had a particularly stressful week hasn't helped, and it is surely proof of SKP's amazing writing skills that ended up crying on and off all day about it, but honestly I'm not usually like this!

Anyway, does anyone have any ideas for HF that might cheer me up? I want to start a new book but just can't face any more tragedy at the moment. I'm thinking something along the lines of Elizabeth Chadwick's The Marsh King's Daughter - obviously HF (or any book) is never going to be totally happy or conflict free, but I loved the heroine in that book, she was so strong throughout and got her happy ending. I usually read Britain 11th-17th centuries, but am willing to consider anything, even if it's not particularly believable! And if something is too hard to get hold of next-day from Amazon or from the local bookshop I'll probably hunt it down anyway for the next time a sad story makes me fall to pieces... I really do feel silly just now :(

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Brenna
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Joined: June 2010
Location: Delaware

Post by Brenna » Sun November 4th, 2012, 9:31 pm

Don't feel silly-I did the exact same thing. If you are very familiar with the War of the Roses, then Brian Wainwright's Alianore Audley's books is funny. For something a little lighter but oh so good, Deborah Harkness has a historical fantasy series with vampires and witches (not your Twilight/Harry Potter type) "Discovery of Witches" and "Shadow of Darkness."
Brenna

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Susan
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Posts: 3746
Joined: August 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA

Post by Susan » Sun November 4th, 2012, 10:25 pm

[quote=""Brenna""]For something a little lighter but oh so good, Deborah Harkness has a historical fantasy series with vampires and witches (not your Twilight/Harry Potter type) "Discovery of Witches" and "Shadow of Darkness."[/quote]

Just a minor correction...Shadow of Night

And I agree with all three of Brenna's recommendations!

I just made a response post about a book I recently read which was a cheery, charming read for me. See http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/ ... post105824
Last edited by Susan on Sun November 4th, 2012, 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~Susan~
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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Mon November 5th, 2012, 12:31 am

Don't feel silly at all, The Reckoning carries a powerful couple of punches to the gut. How about some historical mysteries? I haven't read many of the medieval ones, but the India Black books are good fun.

If you haven't tried Elizabeth Loupas yet, you might enjoy her two books, The Second Duchess and The Flower Reader.

I'll pop back in if my feeble brain remembers anymore.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

annis
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Post by annis » Mon November 5th, 2012, 5:14 am

I'll second The Flower Reader which I've just finished and loved- it's not all sweetness and light but is engrossing and the ending is as it should be :)

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Justin Swanton
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Joined: February 2012
Location: Durban, South Africa
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Post by Justin Swanton » Mon November 5th, 2012, 5:50 am

Diary of a Nobody. Despite the title, it is a very funny, lighthearted book, that gives a true-to-life view of late Victorian middle-class society. All ends happily though the son, Lupin, still deserves a good kick in the pants.
Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus.

Author of Centurion's Daughter

Come visit my blog

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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5716
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "The Lantern Men" by Elly Griffiths
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Mon November 5th, 2012, 9:51 am

I liked Tracy Chevalier's "The Lady and the Unicorn" - an imagined story of how the famous tapestry series of the same name might have come about. The hero is a likeable rogue, there's a strong heroine (I refuse to use the word feisty as I hate it!) and the ending left me smiling.
Currently reading: "The Lantern Men" by Elly Griffiths

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Brenna
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Joined: June 2010
Location: Delaware

Post by Brenna » Mon November 5th, 2012, 1:45 pm

[quote=""Susan""]Just a minor correction...Shadow of Night

And I agree with all three of Brenna's recommendations!

I just made a response post about a book I recently read which was a cheery, charming read for me. See http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/ ... post105824[/quote]

Thank you Susan-I don't know why I continue to say the Shadow of Darkness!!
Brenna

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Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Mon November 5th, 2012, 2:53 pm

Thanks everyone! Looks like some good suggestions, I haven't actually read any of these. I think some will be easier to get hold of than others though (e.g. The Flower Reader doesn't seem to be out yet in the UK, and the US edition on Amazon is a bit pricey). A Kindle is definitely at the top of my Christmas list this year.

In the meantime, I was browsing the book section of a charity shop at lunchtime and found a Georgette Heyer mystery, A Blunt Instrument. I've never read any of her regency novels but I've heard they're quite funny, so this short mystery should do the trick until I track down some of the other books mentioned. A few cheerful reads in a row should have me feeling better :)
Last edited by Lisa on Mon November 5th, 2012, 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

annis
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Post by annis » Mon November 5th, 2012, 6:40 pm

Is that the marker stone for the Battle of Harlaw there, Lady of B? Do you live nearby?

And yes, Georgette Heyer is the perfect antidote - should have thought of that one myself because I've often used her regencies in the same way after lots of heavy reading :)
Last edited by annis on Mon November 5th, 2012, 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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