25 February 2011

Genre at a Glance: Historical Fiction

First of all, I would like to say 'thank you' to everyone who sent along book suggestions for my first summary for this blog. I would have liked to have started with a William Hoffman novel, The Trumpet Unblown (my brother's suggestion), but the library at UNC did not have it. Instead, I read a book that my sister suggested: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. You can read my summary here.

Second, my timing reading The Kitchen House coincided perfectly with my schedule in my Seminar in Popular Materials. Last week we read historical fiction novels, and I learned a lot about the genre that I would like to share with you.

Kathleen Grissom. The Kitchen House. New York: Touchstone, 2010.

Lavinia, an Irish girl orphaned on her family’s voyage to America, is taken in as an indentured servant at Tall Oaks, a plantation in Southside Virginia, in 1791. With no memory of her previous life, Lavinia becomes attached to the plantation’s slaves, making them her makeshift family. Over the next few years, Lavinia witnesses the injustices the slaves endure, and they enrage her. She has no real concept of plantation society, although she understands that she is afforded more opportunities, such as learning how to read, because she is white.

14 February 2011

What should I read first?

Here is a list of books I am considering reading this week. What do you think would be a great first book to blog about?


This blog has been created as part of a field experience at the Charlotte County Library in Charlotte Court House, Virginia. Books that are set in Southside Virginia or are by authors connected to the area will be reviewed. For this blog, "Southside Virginia" will include the counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Franklin, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, and Sussex. These are the counties designated as "Southside Virginia" by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.

You are invited to make comments and suggestions for novels to be included on this blog. Please provide feedback!