It is highly probable that Mary Jo's Scottish ancestors and mine fought beside Robert Bruce at Bannockburn. She is certainly in the front lines of the culture war today. Her book would also make great summer reading. Especially if one plans to conjure up any lively debates with one's left-wing relatives, while visiting on the porch, drinking margaritas, then have the book on hand (or better yet, commit it to memory!) Seriously, this is a summer before a general election. Now's the day and now's the hour.
Trianon: A Novel of Royal France, written by Elena Maria Vidal, sweeps one into the streets of Revolutionary France. This sympathetic portrayal of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI has been meticulously researched, yet its history is offered as lightly as a one of Proust's Madeleines. Marie and Louis lean on their faith, grow in courage, and provide images of love and hope in a time of unremitting horror. This historical novel is suitable for older teens, too.
There are some novels and biographies which I am looking forward to dipping into this summer for the first time, including Ron Hansen's Exiles, Regina Doman's The Midnight Dancers, C. W. Gortner's The Last Queen, and Alison Weir's The Children of Henry VIII.
Currently I am plowing through The Fate of the Romanovs by Greg King and Penny Wilson. Anyone interested in the controversial end of the last Tsar and his family should read it. Even if one does not agree with all the authors' views and conclusions, their research is highly compelling and sheds light on the humanity of the most enigmatic and tragic of royals. The book should convince once and for all that snippets in the mainstream press are no place for gaining reliable information about the circumstances of the infamous murder. Many facts have been romanticized and glossed over throughout the years so that few media representations about the case are reliable.
If anyone has other books to recommend that would be good for reading on vacation, let me know. Share