G’s Gift Guide 🎁 For The Historical Fiction Lover: The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
It took almost eight months into 2016 to find a historical fiction book that didn’t suck. My reader friends, it was a grim year for historical fiction, with the exceptions of Daisy Goodwin’s recent book Victoria, Phillipa Gregory’s latest, and Margaret Colin’s recently released book (which I reviewed here on Wednesday).I think historical fiction is undergoing a downturn in publisher cycles. This book? If not for Karen Peterik, wife of Ides of March rocker Jim Peterik, I wouldn’t have tried this. I have made it my mission to find the best historical fiction titles for her. This time she did me a solid and brought me this gem. NPR was all over this book also. Usually I shy away from critics’ favorites, but not this time.
New York in 1888 is powered by gas lamps, but the air is alight with the promise of electric power. A young lawyer named Paul, fresh behind the ears, gets a case that could turn the arrival of electric power on its ear. Paul’s client is a man named George Westinghouse, who is being sued by Thomas Edison over who really invented the light bulb and has the power to bring electricity to the country. Paul’s up against someone in Edison who has backing of the rich, the famous, and that megamillionaire J.P. Morgan. Yet he has an innate desire to win against Edison. How he is going to do it is another fascinating cornerstone of this book. Nikola Tesla enters the picture and may be able to help Paul and Westinghouse win their case, but with the entrance of a beautiful opera singer who takes Paul’s breath away, will he be so distracted he loses his focus? The cast of characters is superb and so is Moore’s writing. The plot and conclusion is as meticulous as the research that obviously went into the book. It’s a fantastic book, and definitely a great buy not only for your historical fiction fan, but also for that person who loves a tight, well narrated story with interesting characters who fight the daily nuances of human nature. Grab a copy. It may very well be my favorite book this year. You’ll have to see in my year ending best of the year list coming in a few weeks. 😃