That Historical Fiction


Have you been seeing as many raves about this book as I have? It seems to be all over the place lately. Just today I received an email from one of the other libraries in our system, featuring up and coming fiction, and guess what popped up?

Yep, Deanna Raybourn’s book, yet again.

I requested this book via interlibrary loan a week or so ago, back when I was bemoaning the fact so much historical fiction is pure tripe. If you’ve been hanging out here very much you may even remember that post. It was long-winded and kind of whiny, and, well, not really that distinct from my other posts, when you think about it. But my main point was, there’s so much out there that’s in the historical fiction vein, but I’ve had such rotten luck with a lot of it. I start it with high hopes, then get bogged down, eventually tossing the books aside as not worth expending that much of my precious reading time.

Anyway, I started Silent in the Grave yesterday afternoon, while waiting for my sons to get out of school. Deanna Raybourn had me laughing literally from page one. She’s such a witty writer, and very smart, too. Her charm really jumps off the page at you. The way this one’s shaping up it seems like it’ll wind up being of the smarter romance variety, at least if I can judge from roughly the middle of chapter one. I’d also venture to guess it’s the sort of book that’ll keep you flipping the pages, laughing yourself silly all the way through.

Well, that’s fine. That’s the mark of a really good book in this genre, but the thing is I’m not very much in the mood for lighter fare. I’ve been reading Flannery O’Connor lately, and Tillie Olsen, two heavy-hitting literary writers. Deanna Raybourn, charming as she is, just isn’t fitting my reading bill right now. Will she ever may be the question, and I’m not so sure about that. But a good writer, yes she’s that.

Ultimately, I’ll most likely part ways with Silent in the Grave, not in a “throw it aside with great force” way, but in a “I’m really wanting to read much heavier stuff” style. Since that is the case, I don’t now how much historical fiction of this lighter, more funny variety will really fit the bill for me at all. We’ll see, but for now I think I’ll go ahead and just cross this genre off my list, until the time I find myself really in the mood for it.  If I do.

But, to clarify, I’m not putting down Deanna Raybourn.  She’s smart and funny, but just a little too light for me at this point in time. It’s not her, it’s me. She writes just fine. Don’t let me put you off reading this if it seems like something you’d like, and if you do like it write and let me know. I’d be pleased to hear about it.

For right now I think I’ll head back South and catch up with Flannery. She’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

4 thoughts on “That Historical Fiction

  1. Hope you enjoy it, Sheri. I really wish I could have gotten along better with it. Very often I will start something I can see is well-written, but I just don’t want to read it at that time. Sometimes I make a note to read the book later, but sometimes I throw up my hands.
    I do think Silent in the Grave will turn out to be a very good book. At least that’s my hunch. Would love to know your reaction if you do wind up reading it.


  2. I keep coming across this book in the bookstore, but then always put it aside. I was afraid it would be a bit too romancey. But if her writing is good, then perhaps I’ll check it out of the library when I am in need of lighter fare.


  3. Ex Libris, I was surprised how romancey it was and how immediately, too. It’s not that there really were any love scenes, either. I’ve just read enough of that genre to know one when I see one. That’s all it took to convince me.


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