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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wish List 5: Colonial/Revolutionary America

Once a month I am planning on sharing with you all 5 of my biggest wish list books broken up by theme. I know that you all need more on your TBR!!! This month I’m featuring those set in colonial or revolutionary America.

Martha Peake by Patrick McGrath

Master storyteller Patrick McGrath -- author of the critically acclaimed novel Asylum and a finalist for England's prestigious Whitbread Prize for fiction -- once again spins a hypnotic tale of psychological suspense and haunting beauty. Set among the teeming streets and desolate wharves of Hogarth's London, then shifting to the powder-keg colony of Massachusetts Bay, Martha Peake envelops the reader in a world on the brink of revolution, and introduces us to a flame-haired heroine who will live in the imagination long after the last page is turned.

Settled with our narrator beside a crackling fire, we hear of the poet and smuggler Harry Peake -- how Harry lost his wife, Grace, in a tragic fire that left him horribly disfigured; how he made a living displaying his deformed spine in the alehouses of eighteenth-century London; and how his only solace was his devoted daughter, Martha, who inherited all of his fire but none of his passion for cheap gin. As the drink eats away at Harry's soul, it opens ancient wounds; when he commits one final act of unspeakable brutality, Martha, fearing for her life, must flee for the American colonies. Once safely on America's shores, Martha immerses herself in the passions of smoldering rebellion. But even in this land of new beginnings, she is unable to escape the past. Caught up in a web of betrayals, she redeems herself with one final, unforgettable act of courage.

Superbly plotted and wholly absorbing, Martha Peake is an edge-of-your-seat shocker that is crafted with the psychological precision Patrick McGrath's fans have come to expect. Martha Peake is the poignant, often disturbing tale of a child fighting free of a father's twisted love, and of the colonists' struggle to free themselves from a smothering homeland. It is Patrick McGrath's finest novel yet.

Flight of the Sparrow by Anne Belding Brown

She suspects that she has changed too much to ever fit easily into English society again. The wilderness has now become her home. She can interpret the cries of birds. She has seen vistas that have stolen away her breath. She has learned to live in a new, free way.... 

Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1676. Even before Mary Rowlandson is captured by Indians on a winter day of violence and terror, she sometimes found herself in conflict with her rigid Puritan community. Now, her home destroyed, her children lost to her, she has been sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, made a pawn in the on-going bloody struggle between English settlers and native people. Battling cold, hunger, and exhaustion, Mary witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. To her confused surprise, she is drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life, a feeling further complicated by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native known as James Printer. All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she begins to question the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom the natives have shown her.

Based on the compelling true narrative of Mary Rowlandson,Flight of the Sparrow is an evocative tale that transports the reader to a little-known time in early America and explores the real meaning of freedom, faith, and acceptance.

Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard by Sally Cabot

Benjamin Franklin's Bastard by Sally Cabot is an absorbing and compelling work of literary historical fiction that brings to life a little-known chapter of the American Revolution -- the story of Benjamin Franklin and his bastard son, and the women who loved them both.

William Franklin, the son of Benjamin and his favorite mistress, Anne, is raised by Deborah, Benjamin's wife. A steadfast loyalist, he and his father cannot reconcile their wildly disparate views, causing a rift in the bond both thought unbreakable.

Fascinating and heartbreaking, Benjamin Franklin's Bastard is a gripping tale of family, love, and war, set against one of America's most fascinating periods of history.

Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell

It is autumn 1777, and the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia, has fallen to the British. Yet the true battle has only just begun.

On both sides, loyalties are tested and families torn asunder. The young Redcoat Sam Gilpin has seen his brother die. Now he must choose between duty to a distant king and the call of his own conscience. And for the men and women of the prosperous Becket family, the Revolution brings bitter conflict between those loyal to the crown and those with dreams of liberty.

Soon, across the fields of ice and blood in a place called Valley Forge, history will be rewritten, changing the lives and fortunes of these men and women forever.

My Name is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner

The year is 1729, and Resolute Talbot and her siblings are captured by pirates, taken from their family in Jamaica, and brought to the New World. Resolute and her sister are sold into slavery in colonial New England and taught the trade of spinning and weaving. When Resolute finds herself alone in Lexington, Massachusetts, she struggles to find her way in a society that is quick to judge a young woman without a family. As the seeds of rebellion against England grow, Resolute is torn between following the rules and breaking free. Resolute’s talent at the loom places her at the center of an incredible web of secrecy that helped drive the American Revolution.

Have you read any of these? Any other colonial/revolutionary novels you would add to this list?

Looking for some Colonial/Revolutionary America books I have read and reviewed?  Give these a try!

   The Turning of Anne Merrick          The Turncoat                    The Traitor's Wife         
★★★★½☆                  ★★★★½☆                  ★★★★☆   

Here are some of the wishlists from a few of my friends this month:

Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Oh boy, just what I need. MORE books to add to my TBR! LOL! Seriously, I remember seeing 'Sparrow' when it was released and thinking it sounded good. I think I'll formally add it to my list! Thx!

    1. I know right?!! Going back through this list made me seriously want to get them now!

  2. Awesome selection of books!!! I have just put each and every one of them on my to buy list!! Thank you!

  3. Resolute has been on my WL for some time now; just added Martha Peake. I've read the other three. Two favorite Revolutionary era novels involve the heroines in spy activities: Shadow Patriots (Lucia St.Clair Robson) and The Tory Widow (Christine Blevins). Both books are very good, recommended.

    1. I have The Tory Widow, just haven't had the chance to read it yet. I read Blevins other novel, The Turning of Anne Merick and enjoyed that one alot. Hadn't heard of Shadow Patriots before, will have to look it up! Thanks.


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