Linda Sullivan recommends Reader Trip 2024 books

Susan EspirituOur Town Readers

Linda Sullivan, our Book Whisperer, is preparing for the Book Whisperer Book Reader Trip by reading books about the area around the Danube River. She has read and recommends two this week: Code Name HÉLÈNE and The Accidental Empress.

Code Name HÉLÈNE is written by Ariel Lawhon, a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. Lawhon lives outside Nashville with her husband and four sons, purportedly splitting her time between the grocery store and the baseball field like most parents of four boys.

Linda previews this novel, “Nancy Wake: We should know her name and the sacrifices she made as part of the French Resistance during WWII. The leaders of Nazi Germany and Vichy France were searching for Lucienne Carlier, The White Mouse, HÉLÈNE and Madam Andre, not realizing they were one and the same. Immerse yourself in this historical novel to learn more about resolve and perseverance.”

Linda’s second recommendation, The Accidental Empress, is written by Allison Pataki, daughter of George Pataki, the former New York governor and 2016 presidential candidate. This New York Times bestseller is inspired by Pataki’s Hungarian family roots.

Of The Accidental Empress, Linda says, “Are you a Princess Diana fan? Empress Sisi was the Princess Di of her time. In 1853, the 15-year-old Bavarian Duchess Sisi travels to Austria with her sister who is betrothed to Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. He is immediately enamored with Sisi, and they marry.

“According to Pataki’s novel, they were very much in love, but they faced many obstacles inside and outside the Hapsburg Court. The story Pataki pens about Empress Sisi is fascinating, and I’ve finished wanting to know more about her and the Hapsburgs.”

As Linda continues on the reading journey towards the Reader Trip 2024, we can build our own reading list of fascinating historical fiction as well.

Remember: Knox County Online Library to search for Linda’s recommendations each week.

Don’t forget Reader Trip 2024 with Book Whisperer on the Danube: see story Reader Trip 2024 Story.


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