Articles · Challenges

On the Fence Try a Chapter 2: Historical Fiction Kindle Edition

Back in March, I decided to sort through my Kindle library and weed out some books that I was on the fence about. I read the first chapter of three eBooks and got rid of those that didn’t catch my interest.

Click here to see that post and to recap, my results were as follows:

Book: Snowfall and Secrets (Omega Mu Alpha Brothers, 1) by Kimberly Loth
Verdict: Keep
Status: Read & Reviewed
Rating: 2.5/5

Book: Bundle of Trouble (Maternal Instincts Mystery, 1) by Diana Orgain
Verdict: Keep
Status: Read and Reviewed
Rating: 2.5/5

Book: Murder on the SS Rosa (Ginger Rose Mysteries 1) by Lee Strauss
Verdict: Toss
Status: Deleted

Although both of the books I decided to keep had their positive points, they both didn’t garner a very high rating. Hopefully this second round of On the Fence, Try a Chapter will uncover some more enjoyable stories.

For this edition I will be sampling historical fiction books from my Kindle library. Here are the three books I considered:

The Engagement Party
By: Kimberly Freeman



Flora Honeychurch-Black awakens on the day of her engagement party excited yet somehow unsettled. Throughout the day, despite the well-meaning attention of her friend Liberty and the distraction of the household’s many preparations for the night’s celebration, Flora’s unease grows. Her much-loved, erratic brother Sam unwittingly adds to the tension, behaving oddly and drawing mirth from her suave fiance Tony and derision from some of his sophisticated coterie of friends.
As the storm clouds gather outside and the engagement party begins, Flora realises that something is amiss. Where is Sam? What secret is he hiding? The answers may be more than Flora – and her new relationships and loyalties – can bear.

Source: Goodreads

First Impression

This short story opens on the day of our main character Flora’s engagement party. I like that this is set in a country I haven’t read a lot from (Australia) and the 1920s time period.

Keep or Toss?

Keep! Although this short story isn’t highly rated, I think it will be a good introduction to Kimberly Freeman’s writing. I am interested in learning how all the details in the synopsis will fit into just 36 pages.

Waiting for Summer’s Return (Heart of the Prairie)
By: Kim Vogel Sawyer

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All alone on the Kansas prairie, Summer Steadman has few options. With her husband and children lost to illness, she has no desire to continue on farther west to where she and her husband planned to build their future. Instead, she seeks employment in a small Mennonite community in order to be near the graves of her family.
Widower Peter Ollenburger, the local gristmill owner, needs someone to teach his young son. When he hears of a “learned woman” in town, he believes she is the answer to his prayers. He soon discovers, however, that helping this outsider may have troublesome consequences.
There is little this father will not do for his son, but as the boy begins to look at Summer as more than a teacher, Peter must make a choice. Does he marry this woman to give his son a new mother, or does he marry only for love?Will Summer’s broken heart ever be able to love again?

Soource: Goodreads

First Impression

In the first chapter we are introduced to a woman named Sumer who has recently lost her husband and four children. She is stranded in an unfamiliar town and seeking employment. Readers are also introduced to a widower name Peter, who is in search for a tutor for his son. Both of these characters have seen tragedy in their lives and I anticipate this novel will be their heartwarming love story. This chapter, although long was interesting and so it didn’t take long to fly through.

Keep or Toss?

Definitely keep! The first chapter has made me really eager to bump this up on my TBR.

All My Love, Detrick
By: Roberta Kagan

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True love is difficult to come by. What would you sacrifice for love? Your home? Your material possessions? Your family and friends? Your principles? Your life?
Detrick, a seven-year-old Aryan boy, with blonde hair that shines like the rays of the sun rides his brand new bicycle down a main street of Berlin in 1923. Young and carefree, he’s fully experiencing freedom for the first time. It is mid-day and the street is filled with humanity. Vendors hawk their wares and haggle with potential shoppers, while a few of the new inventions called automoblies honk as make their way through the crowded roads. There is so much to look at, to smell, and to take in, the fresh baked bread, the chocolate candy, the fresh fruit. Detrick is swept away by all of the activities surrounding him, so he is not paying attention when suddenly a horse drawn cart appears causing him to fall. Embarrassed and upset he decides to walk his damaged bicycle home by a different path, one where he is unlikely to be forced to face his friends. A path through the Jewish sector of town. It is here that he meets Jacob Abdenstern, a lovable Jewish bicycle repair man who offers to help the little boy. Detrick having an alcoholic, anti-Semitic father finds a friend and much-needed paternal figure in Jacob. A relationship flourishes between the two of them that will alter both of their lives forever.

Source: Goodreads

First Impression

Whew another long first chapter, or in this case prologue. We are introduced to a young boy named Detrick who befriends a Jewish bicycle salesman. Beginning in Berlin 1923, I anticipate this will be a heartbreaking story.

Keep or Toss?

Keep. In the past I read a fair bit of historical fiction centered around the Holocaust, but it has been quite a while since I’ve visited that time period. It is a topic that I have to be in the mood for. I’ve decided to save this book for another time.

So that makes for 3 books that I will be keeping on my TBR. Two of these titles I hope to read in the near future.


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