David McCullough once told me that he was both annoyed and mystified about why history wasn't enjoyed by more people. “I don't understand,” he said. “It's just stories about people.” Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore's wondrous new period novel, Blindspot by a Gentleman in Exile and a Lady in Disguise [Spiegel & Grau, Dec.], is populated by fascinating people and offers a rich and satisfying read. The intersection of history and ordinary lives is often difficult to describe for even the finest historians. The gifts of imagination and storytelling can bridge the gap. Lepore and Kamensky use those gifts and skills brilliantly in giving us intersecting stories about love, liberty and community that stay focused on individuals living their lives as well as possible during the turbulent 18th century. This is a sweeping, romantic, outrageously funny novel filled with romance, political intrigue and even a murder mystery. I loved Blindspot.
Volume 255 Issue 44 11/03/2008