Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I feel like I run with the cool kids...

... and by the cool kids, I mean the other amazing Lucky Press authors. Every time I read another Lucky Press author, I am struck by how lucky (pun intended) I am to be a part of this group.

I just finished Norah, a work of historical fiction by Cynthia Neale. By all counts, I shouldn't have liked it. I don't read historical fiction, I typically shy away from third person books, American history is far less intriguing to me than European, etc.... Everything about Norah said "not my style."

Nonetheless, Neale pulled me in and kept me enthralled with her story for more than 200 pages!

Norah McCabe is an Irish woman living in a New York city slum in the mid 1800's. Having fled Ireland, and the Great Hunger, with her family, Norah isn't like other women. She doesn't want to get married and give away her heart. She wants to have a rich, full life of her own. This is a book about a true feminist pioneer, but, as with everything about Neale's style, her portrayal of feminism in the time is masterful, muted, and beautifully written.

Neale clearly demonstrates passion for her story, and Norah is as real to me as if she lived next door. Other characters in the story come to life as well, but none so vividly as New York City. The backdrop of the city breathes in this book, becoming a character all its own and is, in fact, one of the richest elements of the novel.

While I found the pacing of the book to be a bit uneven in a few spots, I promise if you read Norah, you will have moments where you look up from its pages and find yourself surprised to be in 2011, and not 1850. It is very worth a read, and your time! Surf over to Amazon and check it out!

1 comment:

  1. I've ordered this. I can't wait to read it! I've only read one historical fiction novel. I generally shy away from them too, but the one I read was amazing. It was The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund. You should check it out. I was so hooked I read it in two days.