Friday, November 29, 2013

Pseudonym surprises


Historical fiction, with the history easily digested into a good story, is one of my favorite genres.  So when I grabbed Sara Donati’s “The Endless Forest” off the New Books shelf after work, all I knew about the book was the enticing cover. Much to my chagrin, when I got home, settled into my reading chair and opened it up, it was the sixth book in a series! Oh well, I read it anyway (it was a rewarding tale) then immediately tracked down the first book in the Bonner family saga, Into the Wilderness.

Reading all the books in the series found me engrossed in the ups and downs of the Bonners and their lives in upstate New York from 1790 to 1824. Wars, love, hate, sex, adventure, intrigue, pirates and fluid storytelling made me very happy I’d found Donati’s books. Then the series ended! And she hasn’t written other books.

But wait. She has, only they are published under her real name, Rosini Lippi. Sarah Donati is the pseudonym Lippi uses when writing historical fiction. Lippi is an academic linguist, editor, researcher and former university professor. All of which explains her delicious attention to linguistic and historical detail. She does dialects very well as evidenced by her Scots dialect in book 3 of her Bonner family series, Dawn on a Distant Shore. Finding this on her blog led me to her literary novel, Homestead, a saga of the villagers in the Austrian village of Rosenau. Told as interconnected stories of women living in the village over the course of decades, Lippi’s attention to detail and language found me lingering over the words and images they evoked. This, her first novel, was awarded the PEN/Hemingway award. Now I’m on to the rest of her backlist.

I highly recommend the “Wilderness Novels” for fans of Diana Gabaldon’s historical fiction.

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