The Historical Fiction Chronicles: March 2016 Releases

What will you be reading this March?  In case you haven’t heard, there are a bunch of interesting histfic reads being released in March.  And I can’t wait to get my hands on them.

Here’s a list of some that sound pretty promising (presented in order of release).

America's First Daughter

Hanging Mary

The Moon in the Palace

Mar. 1st – America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie; Hanging Mary by Susan Higginbotham; The Moon in the Palace (Empress of Bright Moon #1) by Weina Dai Randel

What first caught my attention with these historical fiction finds, other than their beautiful cover art, were their fascinating descriptions.  America’s First Daughter is the story of Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter–Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph–who, after her mother’s death, assists her father and later discovers his affair with Sally Hemings, his slave. One who happens to Patsy’s age.

Hanging Mary is a re-creation of the little known tale of Mary Suratt, a woman executed in connection with President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.  A woman who could have prevented it. And, to be frank, a woman I’d never even heard of before Higginbotham rescued this story from the obscure depths of history.

And, The Moon in the Palace, the narrative of Wu Mei (at birth, but later known as Wu Zetian), a concubine who wins the heart of an emperor with her intellect and becomes empress, casting herself amongst controversial female rulers many have sought to defame and eradicate from history. (I loved reading about Hatshepsut since I first learned of her in junior high, so The Moon in the Palace has definitely piqued my interest and is one book I’m sure to enjoy.)  The Moon in the Palace is a duology, but you won’t have to wait very long for the second installment in this series.  It is due to come out the following month, on April 5th, and is entitled The Empress of Bright Moon.  I’ll be sure to remind you.

I have yet to read these captivating beauties but I will.  And I’m sure they’ll make great additions to your TBR. But, you don’t have to just take my word for it.  Many Goodreaders have also found favor with these March releases (and those mentioned below), awarding them positive ratings and reviews. Some Book bloggers are receiving them favorably as well. Hanging Mary, however, appears to be flying under the radar for now, but hopefully that will change soon.

Sisi: Empress on Her Own

The Summer Before the War

Hard Red Spring

Mar. 8th – Sisi: Empress on Her Own (Sisi #2) by Allison Pataki

Mar. 22nd – The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Mar. 29th – Hard Red Spring by Kelly Kerney

Continuing on from the first installment of this series, The Accidental Empress (Sisi #1), Sisi: Empress on Her Own follows story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, warmly referred to as “Sisi,” wife of Emperor Franz Joseph.  It depicts the many struggles she endured concerning her marriage and family, her isolation, and her own survival.

Set in East Sussex during the summer of 1914, The Summer Before the War features the life of Beatrice Nash–an educated, independent woman and the newly appointed Latin instructor of a small school in Rye. During a time when women pursuing such professions grated against the confines of society.  But Nash’s clash with society pales in comparison to the social upheavals in store for England and the rest of world, with the beginning of the Great War looming in the not-too-distant future.

Hard Red Spring concerns the lives of four women connected by one event–when a young girl suddenly disappears. Leaping through the years 1902, 1954, 1983, and 1999, Hard Red Spring also depicts over 90 years of Guatemalan history in all its mercurial and tempestuous glory.  And, it happens to be among the books I’m currently reading.  Which I’m enjoying it so far. (You’d think I’d read these books in order of release.  But I’ve never read a historical fiction book set in Central America or about Mayans before, so I couldn’t help myself.)

Well, that’s part of my list.  (And I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there seems to be a red/purple theme going on.  Hmm. It’s nice to be color coordinated even when you’re not trying.)  But I may do a part two since there are some notable titles that I left out.  If you don’t know what those are right now, you will soon enough.

What March historical fiction releases are you looking forward to?

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