Mara Bandy Fass

21 Articles

Last 30 days
Last 6 months
Last 12 months
Last 24 months
Specific Dates
PREMIUM

Midnight Train to Prague

In her second novel (following 1998’s Breathing Underwater and two story collections), Canadian writer Windley delivers well-researched descriptions of daily life in 1920s–40s Eastern Europe that will appeal to readers who enjoy immersive scene setting. The number of characters and the frequent jumps between them give the book a slightly crowded feel that is particularly noticeable in the first half, but the second half is more consistently engaging. Recommended for those readers who can’t get enough of World War II historical fiction, particularly for those interested in civilians’ experiences in Eastern Europe.
PREMIUM

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown

Some readers may be disappointed that the Chinese characters in the novel are not nearly as well developed as Dolly is and that the mission’s insistence that they give up their own culture to convert to Christianity is not questioned. However, many readers will find Dolly’s bravery and commitment to her faith inspirational, and Moore’s impressively detailed research makes this a good introduction to this often neglected chapter in American history.
PREMIUM

The Last Train to Key West

Cleeton should add to her growing fan base with this title, which is well suited for book clubs and for historical fiction fans of authors such as Renée Rosen and Susan Meissner.
PREMIUM

The First Actress: A Novel of Sarah Bernhardt

Parts of the plot feel a little rushed and more time might have been spent exploring some of Bernhardt’s choices, but overall Gortner has created a compelling portrait that will certainly whet readers’ appetites to learn more about this charismatic figure. Recommended for fans of Melanie Benjamin and Allison Pataki.
PREMIUM

The Land Beyond the Sea

Recommended for Penman’s many fans, and readers seeking out fascinating lesser-known figures not often covered in historical fiction.
PREMIUM

Red Letter Days

Recommended for fans of Fiona Davis and Renee Rosen and stories of young women fighting for professional success and personal happiness in a big-city setting.
PREMIUM

The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr

Readers misled by the title to expect a less disturbing love story will certainly be disappointed.
PREMIUM

The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel

Fans of Renée Rosen and Melanie Benjamin should enjoy this latest novel from Mackin (A Lady of Good Family). The designers' obsession with besting each other makes for fun, gossipy reading, while the tensions of prewar Paris and Lily's attempts to ease her grief through her art lend the narrative satisfying emotional depth. Recommended for fans of well-researched historical fiction with strong female characters.
PREMIUM

Lost Roses

Overall, this novel builds to an emotionally satisfying conclusion, and readers who loved Lilac Girls will likely be keen to learn more about the Ferridays. Also suggest to fans of recent Russian historical fiction hits such as Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow and C.W. Gortner's The Romanov Empress. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18; an editor's pick, LJ 2/19.]

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month