© 2022 90.5 WESA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WESA's radio signal is down in New Baltimore. We are working on a fix.

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Illustration: Castle made of books
Harriet Russell

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion — volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

But if I'm really going to make a meal out of a book, to be nourished and satisfied by it, I crave something more — not just the general excitement of an ancient tale, but a specific time so perfectly evoked that I breathe the straw dust and smell the rough bread baking. I want the men and women who surround me to be complex and of their time, but never to let me forget that it might be me instead.

The books that follow have it all. Consider them a banquet: There's dessert, yes, but also a full and satisfying palate created by five masters of their craft. I savored them, and hope you will too.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller