May 16 2022
S2 E10: We read historical fiction and love it
This week the gang reads historical fiction. Alisa and Aileen are old pros at this sub-genre while Josie and Lauren are more like dabblers. Ironically, almost all of the picks were in the WW2 category while Josie was the odd duck who traveled back to medieval Europe.Aileen read Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. She’s been trying for years to read this book but every time she picked it up, she’d put it back down after asking herself, “do I really want to read about a leper colony?” Well, she finally read it and she’s so glad she did. It was uplifting and inspiring and not at all the bummer she imagined it be at the outset. Thanks to her friend Pam for suggesting it!It took Lauren a moment to spit out the title, but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Schaffer was a huge hit for her. This book took her a beat to get into but once she did, she never wanted it to end. Set during the German occupation of Guernsey during WW2, this epistolary-style book was a great yarn. As always, Lauren doesn’t suggest books unless she loves the characters, and this book she highly recommends.Alisa found a real gem in The Only Woman in the Room by Heather Terrel. Set mostly during WW2 as well, this story is about Hettie Lamar’s life, loves and her inventions. The gang was just floored to learn about this multi-faceted, self-taught woman whose mind was even more stunning than her famous face. There were some real mind blowers in this one, and the gang was just spellbound by Alisa’s description.Josie went to the way-way back with Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. It was murderous monks galore in this runaway bestselling book that was not only inspired by a medieval manuscript, it’s also about one, hidden deep within a library that also a labyrinth. There are so many twists and turns, both metaphorically and in the plot, it will have your head spinning. But don’t let the Latin freak you out. This is a real page turner as well as being a meditation on one of the biggest theological debates in Catholicism. Josie loved it.