As someone who loves reading historical fiction and is fascinated by the Dionne Quintuplets (the first identical quintuplets to survive babyhood) I had to read this fictional story, The Quintland Sisters, about them as told by midwife in training Emma who is there when they are born and then spends several years with them as their nurse. Emma thus has an inside look at the feud between the Dionne parents and the Quintuplet’s doctor and guardian Dr. Dafoe. As the years go by she is torn between loving the little girls as individuals and the circus surrounding them as they are put on display for visitors to gawk at. As Emma grows both emotionally and mentally she slowly comes to realize the part she plays in their exploitation, the same kind of exploitation that the Quintuplets were taken away from their parents in the first place to avoid. The exploitation that would change the lives of the Quintuplets for the worse as they and their parents and other siblings would never be able to bridge the gap left from those years of separation. Even though I already knew the story of the Dionne Quintuplets from biographies (like The Dionnes by Ellie Tesher and The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama by Pierre Berton) and their autobiographies it was fascinating to read a fictionalized version of their story which is as much about Emma’s journey in life as it is about the Quintuplets.
See also this post: The Dionnes by Ellie Tescher.
Have you ever wondered what the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, from the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott would be like if they were transported to another time and place. The Spring Girls by Anna Todd is one author’s answer to that. The four Spring sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy live on an army base in the United States in the twenty-first century. Like the first part of Little Women, this book chronicles a year in the life of the sisters, relating their changes in growing up, their relationships with each other and their parents, as well as friends and crushes. The characters are true to the original characters, Jo aspires to be an author, Meg wants popularity and to get married, Beth is a homebody and Amy is a self centered bratty little girl. I must admit that some swearing and few sexual situations felt a little out of character to me but they would be appropriate with the sisters lives in this modern time and place. Even so I enjoyed the book and so I’m recommended it here. If you read it do let me know what you think.
As a history buff one of the things I like best is historical mysteries and one of the best fictional books on one famous mystery is The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey (1951). Scotland Yard inspector Alan Grant is laid up after an accident and after coming across a picture of Richard III, King of England from 1483 to 1485, he becomes intrigued by Richard’s face and wonders if this is the face of a murderer. He becomes interested in figuring out the mystery if Richard killed his nephews, the princes in the tower and heirs to the throne. After doing research from books and getting help from friends and acquaintances Alan and his new friend and researcher Brent come to the belief the belief that Richard being the murderer was Tudor propaganda and the more likely killer was the next king, King Henry VII. It’s a good mystery and put me firmly in the Richard is innocent camp. This is a timely story since the body of Richard III was discovered in 2012 after more than 500 years of not knowing where he was buried, and was reburied last year in Leicester Cathedral.