Simon & Schuster Canada is conducting a Timeless Tour with four historical romance fiction authors. To kick off this Timeless Tour, they have asked the bloggers participating to answer three questions about reading historical fiction. I hope you enjoy this Timeless Tour and the book reviews and Q&As with these authors.
Here are my answers to those three questions:
1. What do you love about historical fiction?
There are so many things I love about reading historical fiction. If I were to place the four books read for this Timeless Tour into this context of why I love historical fiction, it fits easily into my main reason and that is to be swept away into a grand and epic story and time. Certainly many of the books read for this Tour created that feeling for me, but that is only one reason for loving historical fiction. Other reasons are because I learn so many new things and again, if we use one of the Timeless Tour authors, Genevieve Graham, as an example, I learned much of Canadian history that I sadly never learned until I read her books! But truly, that sense of being swept away, immersed in a different time and the promise of an epic and multi-generational grand saga is what keeps me returning frequently to historical fiction. So many times however, reading about the past often shows that we have not really come too far and regularly repeat the past in our present days. Historical fiction is probably my #1 genre that I repeatedly reach for, it’s almost like a comforting blanket to wrap myself up in and lose myself in stories from the past.
2. If you could go back to any fictional historical time, when would it be and why?
Hmmm…good question. There are many pros and cons to every historical time, especially for women (that’s definitely something you learn after reading plenty of historical fiction). Perhaps though it would be sometime in the 1920’s – just for the fashion and fun! And the hats! I would love to be able to wear those hats! I think I would definitely go back to this time because it would remind me of Maisie Dobbs. And I think I see myself in 1920s Britain for some reason then. And Downton Abbey too.
It’s either that time period, or perhaps the 1940’s….there was a great sense of independence for women and their efforts in wartime allowed them to assert that independence. Again, I’m stuck in Britain and Foyle’s War comes to mind. 😉
If you could go back to any fictional historical time, which time would you choose and why?
3. If you could have dinner, brunch, or coffee with three historical fiction characters, who would they be?
Great question. There are so very many I would love to go back in time to and have a nice cup of tea, glass of wine, dinner with! I’m answering with the ones that immediately came to mind though – these are only a sample of whom I love to actually spend time with – so here they are:
- Twiss and Milly from The Bird Sisters. Oh, how I can see myself sitting on the porch with Twiss and Milly. I think it would just be something where I’m sitting near them, just quietly spending time with these two sisters that oh so broke my heart. After spending time reading The Bird Sisters, there was no doubt in my mind these would be two characters I would mention here. The Bird Sisters is a lovely gem of a novel about the life-long bond between two sisters and the consequences they faced arising from one summer in 1947. By the end, the story is told more from Twiss’ perspective and she heartbreakingly tells us of her devoted and unconditional love for her sister Milly:
“She’d grow up with Milly and grow old with her, and then one day, if time had any kindness, she’d die with her. Leaving Milly alone would’ve been like leaving an injured bird in the middle of a road.”
“She was the only one who scooped her up when she tumbled to the ground all those years ago, and she was the only one who saw Twiss fly to the moon. “I’ll be right in,” Twiss called back, and thought, We don’t need anyone but us.”
2. Everyone in The Summer Before the War. Honestly. This whole group of characters were ones I sorrowfully missed when the book ended. I never wanted my time in Rye to end. Beatrice, Aunt Agatha, Daniel and Hugh. Oh swoon. I definitely need to re-read, but truly if we COULD go back and have lunches and dinners and moments over a good cup of tea….oh how wonderful that would be with these characters.
3. Adam Raine from Simon Tolkien’s No Man’s Land for certain! I was completely consumed by this story and said that I wanted to marry Adam Raine! So definitely a no brainer to go back in time and have dinner with this most upstanding, emotional, courageous, dedicated and trusted man.
If you could have dinner with any historical fiction character, who would you choose?
Fun post, Penny!! I loved reading your answers — I am finding it so hard to answer them myself…. but I will try! 😊
When hisotrical fiction is done very well, I love its ability to transport a reader, and fullly offer a sense of time and place.
It’s tricky to think of a time to go back to, because the challenges for women would be so much more difficult. And, I feel like I would really struggle with the racial and social injustices. I agree that the 1920s holds some appeal. There was a slice of time – between the wars and before the stock market crash and global depression – that seemed so full of hope, life, and advancement. Plus.. the clothes!
One fictional character who would be interesting to meet for tea would be Shiela Fielding, created by Wayne Johnston in The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. I found her to be such a great character.
*historical* DOH! 😣
oh yes! Johnston’s Fielding would be the best! That’s a great answer Jennifer! So many wonderful people to choose from! It was a struggle to come up with an answer for the time I would go back to and you’ve pointed out many of those reasons – and they came to mind certainly because of reading the historical fiction that’s described this struggle and plight. But yes, I was thinking of the clothes! 😉 The 20s for sure there.
Great answers, Penny! I agree there are so many good reasons to love historical fiction!
And I think if you wanted to, you could totally rock some of the great hats from the 1920s! You could even make your own! I know someone who was in London recently and they went to London Hat Week so you could definitely bring back some of the great hats from then! 🙂
I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned in your brunch/dinner/coffee question, but they definitely all sound interesting!
London Hat Week sounds amazing!! That would be so much fun. Thanks Ambur – hope you’re having fun on the Tour! 😉