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The Known World for Edward P. Jones

Recommended by Colleen in Outreach Services… Colleen’s synopsis: This is a novel about free blacks who own slaves in Virginia just before the Civil War. The book deals with blacks who have bought their freedom from their white owners and then buy other slaves from the same plantation. There are very intricate, detailed relationships among the blacks and whites, slaves and free. She says: This novel is a Pulitzer Prize winner – but don’t let that stop you from reading it! Although there are a lot of characters to keep track of, this is a very interesting book. It is at times an uncomfortable look into the lives of blacks in the south before the war – both free and slave. I really enjoyed this...

Katherine the Virgin Widow by Jean Plaidy

Recommended by Tuki in Adult Services… Tuki’s synopsis: The period setting is the late 15th to early 16th century. This is the story of Katherine of Aragon and her marriage to Arthur, the Prince of Wales who subsequently dies of poor health. Because of their youth there was a question as to whether their marriage was ever consummated. Following Arthur’s death, there was a period of time when Katherine’s position and status was in limbo. But as history tells us Katherine goes on to marry Henry V111 and assumes the title of the Queen of England. She says: Very interesting to read about the machinations of the royal families in England and Spain during that period of time and how marriage alliances were made to secure political...

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Recommended by Colleen in Outreach Services… Her synopsis: Two stories woven together — one is set in modern day Utah and deals with the murder of a polygamist man.  The second addresses the story of one of Brigham Young’s wives, who sued him for divorce. She says: This book was interesting and thought-provoking.  Many of the events of 1880 were reflected in this modern day “cult” of polygamists.  The author also weaves in a pretty good mystery into the...

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

Recommended by Colleen in Outreach Services… Colleen’s synopsis: Historical Fiction about a woman who disguises herself as a man in the 9th century in order to get an education and ends up becoming a priest and then Pope. She says: The story is based on the myth that there was a female Pope in the late 9th century. The characters in the book are all well developed and believable. It is an entertaining book that held my...