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, over a dozen 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, Choice, 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 do a lot of 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

Book review and giveaway: Kamila Shamsie's A God in Every Stone

Themes of imperialism, gender restrictions, and loyalty to country and self reverberate through Shamsie’s atmospheric novel, set amid international conflicts of the early twentieth century but with strong echoes of the distant past.At its center are two people setting aside their old lives and beginning anew. Vivian Rose Spencer—a young…

Book review: Evergreen, by Rebecca Rasmussen

Rasmussen has been steadily crafting a unique brand of midwestern literature that combines offbeat characters and timeless rhythms reminiscent of folk tales with touching story lines about the pain and hard-won joys of real life. As with her debut, The Bird Sisters (2011), in her new book, she shows her…

Theresa Tomlinson's The Tribute Bride, an exciting novel about a 7th-century royal woman

Acha of Deira, who lived during the early 7th century in what is now the north-east of England, received only scant mention in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, her status shown only in relation to the men around her. So has been the case with many women throughout time. Through historical fiction,…

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