Sarah Johnson

About me

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, nearly 18 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. My published books include Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre (2005) and Historical Fiction II (2009). I’ve also written for Bookmarks Magazine and Canada’s Globe & Mail. For my full-time job, I’m a reference librarian and professor at Eastern Illinois University, where I answer research questions, teach workshops, and administer 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 Silver Well by Kate Forsyth and Kim Wilkins, linked stories about a Dorset village's ancient, mystical history

Many of the world’s mystical places have remained so for centuries, even millennia. In this absorbing collection, the authors present seven stories, all linked through their setting of Cerne Abbas, a village in Dorset, which is home to an ancient wishing well and a giant (and well-endowed) hill-figure sculpted into…

Book review: The Secret Life of Mrs. London, by Rebecca Rosenberg

Historical fiction readers know it’s no picnic being a famous author’s wife. These admirable women have endured their husbands’ egos, partying, and infidelity, supported them through illness, and sacrificed their own writing ambitions in their favor.All of these were true of Jack London’s second wife, Charmian Kittredge London, yet she…

White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht, an unflinching saga of family and the Korean "comfort women"

“Comfort women” is a euphemism for the girls and women forced to serve as prostitutes by Imperial Japanese forces during WWII—perhaps 200,000 in all. Official recognition of their plight was long in coming, and even today, statues commemorating them are controversial; the issue remains a sticking point in Japanese-South Korean…

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