Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Keeners

For the past few months, I've been thinking that I would like to read historical fiction.  All my life I've read fantasy, and the main thing that I like about it is that it takes place in a less modern time.  I like the fantasy novels that are mostly about that, that aren't heavy on the magic, dragons, and unicorns.  I've looked around trying to find some good historical fiction, but have not really found it.  There are mysteries and romances but they seem to be focused more on being mysteries or romances.

Last weekend I went to the library and wandered randomly in the fiction section and pulled a book off the shelf.  It was the Keeners by Maura D. Shaw.  It turned out to be the kind of historical novel I was dreaming of.  It is very much rooted in history.  It's not just a story that takes place in the past.  It's a story in which the author did thorough research to find what life was like in two particular places at particular times, and used the story to bring to life the reality of day to day existence in those places and times.  It is a story that told me, "This is what life was like for your ancestors."

I don't have stories from those ancestors.  They were 4-5 generations ago, and they are forgotten.  So we turn to books to learn what our own ancestors went through.

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