Sarah Johnson

About me

Librarian, HNS book review editor, readers’ advisor, author of Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre and Historical Fiction II. I first joined the HNS in 1998 after seeing Richard Lee’s post about the Society on a Usenet group. Shortly thereafter I signed on as a US-based reviews editor and got the word out about the magazine to American readers and publishers. Now, 15 years later, I serve as the overall book review editor for the Historical Novels Review. I’ve been reading and collecting historical novels for many years and also review for Booklist and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. I’ve also written for Bookmarks Magazine and Canada’s Globe & Mail. For my full-time job, I work as a reference and electronic resources librarian at Eastern Illinois University, which means I answer research questions, teach workshops, and work with electronic journals and e-books. My husband and I share our home in rural Illinois with too many cats and about 10,000 books.

From my website

The Blue Mile by Kim Kelly: Love and social change in Depression-era Sydney

The third novel from Australian writer Kelly (aka book editor Kim Swivel), set in Depression-era Sydney, excels at depicting the era’s social conditions and the swoony exuberance and thorny complications of cross-class romance. The story unfolds through the internal musings of Irish-born Catholic Eoghan O’Keenan, recently let go from his…

A gallery of new & upcoming historical novels from Canada

This latest gallery (see the tag Visual Previews for more) covers a dozen new and upcoming historical novels from Canadian publishers. The novels themselves are set all over the place: Canada, certainly, in the 19th and 20th centuries, but also 16th-century Istanbul, medieval Scotland, WWII France, and colonial America.As an…

Dissolution, faith, and love: Roses in the Tempest by Jeri Westerson

Isabella Launder is a yeoman farmer's daughter living in a Staffordshire village in 1515. A tall, plain woman who strikes up a close friendship with Thomas Giffard, the son of her father's overlord, Isabella makes the surprising decision to join a nunnery rather than be forced to marry someone else. …

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