These are books that I read in 2013, but they were not necessarily published in 2013. (Which will be obvious for some of these titles.) The quote are from my reviews, which are linked to the titles.
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin: “Melanie Benjamin is a master of historical fiction, and she will remain on my list of must-read authors. I am very much looking forward to experiencing many more amazing women through the magic of her pen.”
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner: “Stegner can write like nobody’s business. In some ways, he reminds me of one of my all-time favorite authors, Wendell Berry.”
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: “This is one of the most authentic books of historical fiction I’ve read in a while; Smith places you right into Francie’s shoes, living in Francie’s apartment, walking the streets of Brooklyn alongside her and her brother Neeley. She doesn’t romanticize anything, and so this is a very gritty book, full of the stark reality of poverty at the turn of the century.”
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: “Wilkie Collins is a contemporary of Dickens, and although I have enjoyed a couple of Dickens’ works, I prefer Collins’ writing style. It is less rambling, less florid. The characters seem more fully rounded and less like caricatures. I can’t wait to read more of his books, starting with The Moonstone.”
Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford: “I unreservedly recommend Songs of Willow Frost to lovers of historical fiction and literary fiction. I only hope that we don’t have to wait as long for Jamie Ford’s third book.”
Middlemarch by George Eliot: “George Eliot wrote beautifully. Her description of setting is flawless, and I can still picture the different places in my head. She also had a unique insight into human personality and I absolutely fell in love with her characters.”