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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Three 4 Thursday: 3 Historical Fiction books with memorable woman characters

Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres.  When I read these stories, I like to imagine how I could live in that time period.  I also think about how I would react to the different historical events and times presented in the book.  Here are three of my favorite Historical Fiction novels:

1.  The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

When I first read this novel, I didn't realize it was based on real people. Some of the characters seemed over the top.  But as the story progressed, I realized many of the plot points were based on historical events.  I believe some of the dates are off, but the story of the Empress of Austria and English Captain Bay Middleton is captivating.  It has some parallels to the saga of Princess Diana.   Sisi, the Empress, was considered the most fashionable and beautiful woman in Europe.  While her husband ruled the Hapsburg empire, Sisi sought excitement through Horses, and handsome men.  She may be royalty, but she is also a prisoner to etiquette and tradition.  When he captures her attention, Bay Middleton is excited, flattered, and also terrified that he will lose the respect of his peers.  He does not want to be a royal plaything, but can't resist Sisi's allure.  This book has many strong female characters besides Sisi, which make for a satisfying story.

2.  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I really liked the powerful women characters in this book.  Again, I didn't realize the story was based on real people until after I finished reading.  This book is about two sisters, living in the south before the civil war.  One of the girls receives a slave named Handful as a "gift" for her 11th birthday.   The other sister becomes a Quaker and a headstrong abolitionist.  The lives of the two sisters and Handful are fraught with difficult choices as they seek to live in a way that is true to their beliefs .  Handful finds ways to quietly rebel against her oppressors, while the sisters must overcome not only their family's disapproval, but also society's strict codes dictating ladies behavior.  
This book shows how the abolitionist campaign sowed the seeds of the early women's rights movement.  It shows women of that time making meaningful contributions to the greatest issues of the day through countless small acts of bravery.

3.  The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

This book takes place in the early 1920's and follows the young Louise Brooks and her chaperone Cora Carlisle, as they spend the summer in New York, far away from their Kansas home.  From her uninhibited ways, one can see how Louise will soon become one of the most iconic celebrities of the flapper era.  But for now, she is a rebellious teen, trying to ditch her chaperone at every turn.  Cora finds Louise's behavior alarming, yet is quietly rebelling in her own way, seeking to find her own origins in New York.  These two women are only a generation apart, yet one seeks out change while the other is confused by it.  This book reflects the rapidly changing American society of the post WWI era.  It shows the beginnings of the cultural obsession with youth and celebrity that have defined the 20th century.
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2017 Reading Challenge

MsArdychan has read 2 books toward her goal of 180 books.
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MsArdychan's bookshelf: read

The Hummingbird's Daughter
Joseph Anton: A Memoir
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
The Help
The Fry Chronicles
A Clash of Kings
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
A Game of Thrones
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay
The Giver
Savvy
The Red Pyramid
Anne of Green Gables
The Complete Novels
Slam!
Slam
Hatchet
Scorpions


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