Tag Archives: historical fiction

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini (post no. 1)

We read A Thousand Splendid Suns in two days while on a mini vacation. We had anticipated a grim story, and our expectations were fulfilled. But we stayed glued to the book, in part because of Hosseini’s gripping story telling and in part because, judging from the conclusion of The Kite Runner, we anticipated a glimmer of light at some point. It finally dawned, but it was a long time coming.

Due to the length of our review, we thought it best to avoid overtaxing our readers and discuss Hosseini’s latest release in two separate posts. This post is concerned primarily with the content and story of A Thousand Splendid Suns, while the next one will address stylistic matters. (Warning: plot revelations ahead.) Continue reading


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The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason

We were hooked after reading the first chapter of The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason during a one-night getaway to a B&B near Jacksonville, Oregon. We immediately put the book on reserve at the library, and once it came, Mason’s intriguing plot, tantalizing imagery, and mesmerizing style kept us turning the pages late into several nights. Ultimately, though, the book left us unsatisfied (warning: plot revelation ahead). Continue reading


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I was unfamiliar with Edward Rutherford until I stumbled across Russka earlier this year. Based on our reading of Russka and what I know if his other novels, he can be succinctly described as Britain’s James Michener. Russka opens with a “primitive” settlement and traces the descendents of this community down to the 20th century. In the process, Rutherford hits some of the high points (or call them low points, if you like) of Russian history. Rutherford appears to write from a markedly Anglophile point of view, particularly in his presentation of Russia’s “backwardness” and perhaps also in his choice of historical scenarios. I would be interested in hearing a Russian reader’s response to Russka. Continue reading

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