What we're about

This is a book club for fans of Historical Fiction. We meet once a month at the historic Sorrento Hotel to discuss the month's book, and it's era.

What do we consider Historical Fiction?
We categorize Historical Fiction as a fiction novel written by a contemporary but taking place in the past.

What are meetings like? Do you actually discuss the book?
There is no formal format for the meetings and type of discussion varies book by book. Many of our regular attendees enjoy learning about history through novels. So though our meetings start with discussing the book, the conversations usually diverge into talking about that era. A lot of "fact checking" happens by our members when reading so there are always fun history facts thrown around! You can also expect an anthropological conversation or two, especially when life for those in the book's time period is drastically different than ours. And sometimes, the conversation will end up somewhere else, but it's typically related to history and arrived there organically!

When do we meet?
We will meet last Monday of every month at 7pm in the Sorrento Hotel's Fireside Room. If an event is going on in the Fireside room, we meet in the bar. You pay for what you order. Though no orders are required, the Sorrento Hotel allows us to meet for free without a minimum order, so it's recommended to order at least one drink :)

How strict are you on RSVPs?
After 3 no-shows without notification, you will be removed from the group. Accurate RSVPs help us prepare for meeting space size.

If you are interested in past books, check out our Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/185193... (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/185193-historical-fiction-book-club)

Upcoming events (5+)

April: The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel

A sweeping historical novel about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers. When 11-year-old Ren's master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. Ren has 49 days, or else his master's soul will roam the earth, unable to rest in peace. Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. Secretly, though, Ji Lin also moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her beloved mother's Mahjong debts. One night, Ji Lin's dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. Convinced the finger is bad luck, Ji Lin enlists the help of her erstwhile stepbrother to return it to its rightful owner. As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren's lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.

St. Mary's Book Club: #4 A Trail Through Time

Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel

This a sub-book club of the Historical Fiction book club dedicated to reading the Chronicles of St Mary's by Jodi Taylor series. Note: This is a science fiction series that time travels to the past ***************************************************************** St Mary’s is back and is facing a battle to survive in this, the fourth installment of the Chronicles. Max and Leon are re-united and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. But, sadly, they don’t even make it to lunchtime. The action races from 17th century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to 14th century Southwark as they’re pursued up and down the timeline, playing a perilous game of hide and seek until they’re finally forced to take refuge at St Mary’s – where new dangers await them. As usual, there are plenty of moments of humor, but the final, desperate, Battle of St Mary’s is in grim earnest. Overwhelmed and outnumbered and with the building crashing down around them, how can St Mary’s possibly survive? So, make sure the tea’s good and strong…

May: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel

May's Book Club will happen on Tuesday May 28th due to the last Monday (May 27th) being Memorial day. The New York Times bestselling author of Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, and The Poisonwood Bible and recipient of numerous literary awards—including the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Orange Prize—returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval. Willa Knox has always prided herself on being the embodiment of responsibility for her family. Which is why it’s so unnerving that she’s arrived at middle age with nothing to show for her hard work and dedication but a stack of unpaid bills and an inherited brick home in Vineland, New Jersey, that is literally falling apart. The magazine where she worked has folded, and the college where her husband had tenure has closed. The dilapidated house is also home to her ailing and cantankerous Greek father-in-law and her two grown children: her stubborn, free-spirited daughter, Tig, and her dutiful debt-ridden, ivy educated son, Zeke, who has arrived with his unplanned baby in the wake of a life-shattering development. In an act of desperation, Willa begins to investigate the history of her home, hoping that the local historical preservation society might take an interest and provide funding for its direly needed repairs. Through her research into Vineland’s past and its creation as a Utopian community, she discovers a kindred spirit from the 1880s, Thatcher Greenwood. A science teacher with a lifelong passion for honest investigation, Thatcher finds himself under siege in his community for telling the truth: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting new theory recently published by Charles Darwin. Thatcher’s friendships with a brilliant woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor draw him into a vendetta with the town’s most powerful men. At home, his new wife and status-conscious mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his financial worries and the news that their elegant house is structurally unsound. Brilliantly executed and compulsively readable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerizing story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realize that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred—whether family or friends—and in the strength of the human spirit.

Ken Follett's Century Trilogy Book Club: #2 Winter of the World

If the guest list is full and you want to attend, please reach out to me directly. I will manually move you to going :) This a sub-book club of the Historical Fiction book club dedicated to reading the The Century Trilogy by Ken Follet. Book 1 - WWI Book 2 - WWII (current) Book 3 - The Cold War For book two we are going to meet at a German beer hall since we met at a British pub for book 1. ***************************************************************** Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come. These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity. *****************************************************************

Past events (66)

St. Mary's Book Club: #3 A Second Chance

The Crumpet Shop

Photos (69)