Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

I like Alice Hoffman books, with their subtle magic, darkness and everyday lives. I had forgotten that she also wrote young adult fiction, so when I ordered this one, it looked more like a novella. It’s a sad book, the story of a 15 year old girl, whose parents and sister head into the city…

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Everything is covered in cold, white snow in this novel of family trauma and intrigue in 1908 Wisconsin. Goolrick was inspired to write this book after coming across Michael Lesy’s Wisconsin Death Trip, a photographic collection of residents of this area in the early 1900’s with stories from records and newspapers of the subject’s stories.…

The Somnambulist by Essie Fox

Written by blogger The Virtual Victorian, this book tells the story of a 17 year old girl, Phoebe, coming of age caught between her strictly religious mother and beloved opera performer aunt. When her aunt kills herself after seeing a man from her past at a performance, family secrets start to emerge. Based in the…

The Seance by John Harwood

A girl with a tragic pastΒ inherits a crumbling house whose previous owners have all disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The Victorian era saw a mania for Spiritualism, a practice in which people would consult a medium during group sessions, and attempt to contact their departed loved ones. The tricks and practices that mediums undertook to dupe…

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White

A snappy, romantic tale of family secrets and restoring houses, this book is about a pretty realtor, Melanie, who inherits a crumbling mansion in Charleston from an old man she only met once. The house seems full of mysteries and secrets, but then, so is Melanie: ever since she was a little girl, she’s been…

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

As my more regular readers will be aware, this year I set myself the goal of reading all the novels of Charles Dickens novels that I had not already read. When Hard Times arrived, the third to last volume on the list, I was surprised by how thin it was, Dickens books tend to be…

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

A seven year old girl from Ireland lands on US soil in 1791 as an indentured servant. Taken to a plantation in Virginia, she is cared for by the owners illegitimate daughter by a slave girl, called Belle, and slowly builds a home and a life amongst the black slaves. But as she grows up,…