Last month for my prompt I had a book in mind so I just grabbed it and started reading and there was no agonizing over a book choice. This month I have a few books in mind for my 'long ago and far away' prompt, which essentially means a good story of historical fiction, but then as I was searching them out on my shelves (still a few didn't make it into the pile) I find other books that would work as well. So now my choice has become just a bit more complicated.
My only 'restriction' of choosing is that it is a story set prior to the twentieth century, since I tend to pick up stories set in modern times more often than not. And it would be preferable to pick something from my own book collection rather than borrowing from the library, but if a story calls out to be so strongly I can't ignore it . . . My choices this month-
Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss - Set in 19th-century Manchester. I think this is the first of three books. Leaning heavily towards this one.
The White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge - Set in 17th-century England. The English Civil War is not my favorite subject to read about (hence being stuck in Restoration England in the Morland Saga of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles), but this has gotten so many stellar reviews.
Purity of Blood by Arturo Pérez-Reverte - Swashbuckling story set in 17th-century Spain. I read the first Alatriste novel ages and ages ago. Bonus-translated from Spanish.
She Rises by Kate Worsley - Set in 18th-century England as well as at sea.
The Diary of Emily Dickinson by Jamie Fuller - Set in Amherst between 1867-1868. Bonus-not only diary format but includes some of her poetry.
Rebel Princess by Judith Koll Healey - Set in 13th-century France. This is the sequel to The Canterbury Papers, which I reread a few years back.
Witch Child by Celia Rees - Set in New England in 1659. Bonus-this YA novel is written in diary format.
And a few I didn't immediately find in my piles-
Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark - Set in London 1887
The Revolution of the Moon by Andrea Camilleri - Set in 17th-century Sicily. Bonus-translated from the Italian.
Ophelia by Lisa Klein - 17th-century retelling of Hamlet. Bonus-this has been adapted to film, and I hope to see it when it comes out. Unfortunately have not been able to locate my copy.
If I want to muddy the waters even more I can (continue) looking through the archives of the Women's Prize for Fiction at the longlist titles, of which there are many excellent novels of historical fiction. Bonus-can keep ticking off books from that mental wishlist to read. I have so many good books to choose from and more than one is calling out to me very strongly. I am hoping that if I choose carefully (historical fiction can be quite lengthy at times), I might be able to read two books this month.
Do you have a favorite novel of historical fiction (pre-20th-century)? Just curious . . .