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Jeanne Mackin / Anna MacLean Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Frenchwoman (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Queen's War (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dreams Of Empire (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sweet By and By (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beautiful American (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Lady of Good Family (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Collection (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Picasso's Lovers (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of A Louisa May Alcott Mystery Books

as Anna Maclean
Louisa and the Missing Heiress (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Louisa and the Country Bachelor (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Louisa and the Crystal Gazer (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jeanne Mackin is a historical fiction writer best known for her detailed and captivating historical novels. Aside from writing, MacKin has worked as a journalist and as a university researcher and science writer. Jeanne writes Louisa May Alcott Mystery series under the pen name Anna Maclean. She lives upstate New York with her husband, Steve Poleski.

The Frenchman

The Frenchman is the first novel by Jean MacKin. The historical piece traces Julienne Forge’s journey from Paris all the way to Pennsylvania, where she seeks asylum after a streak of unfortunate events. Julienne is a seamstress with a painful past and a desire to succeed. The Frenchman covers details from Julienne’s childhood to adulthood while highlighting the key events that characterize her rather colorful life.

Julienne grew up in the slums where life was tough, and there was little chance of success. She grew among prostitutes, and the environment causes many traumatic events that remain in her mind way after she leaves the slum. When a scabrous baker rapes her, and her grandmother forces her to marry the violator, Julienne runs away and land smack in Marie Antoinette’s carriage.

Julienne is getting a break and good things begin to happen to her. For one, the Queen takes a liking for Julienne, and she not only gives her a salon but also entrusts a diamond to her care. Despite her disadvantaged childhood, Julienne goes to become a competent seamstress working for Marie Antoinette. The fact that she is assigned to keep a diamond goes to show just how strong a bond Julienne had with the Queen.

The diamond becomes her undoing when Duc d’Orleans approaches Julienne to spy on the Queen. When Julianne refuses to obey Duc d’Orleans, he not only demands the diamond, but he also accuses Julianne of being a whore. Luck is not on Julienne’s side as her aristocratic husband is beheaded soon after. Julie decides to leave for America and seek asylum in the émigré colony of Azilum.

In Azilum, a group of French Royalists is building a refuge for Marie Antoinette. Even though the Queen never shows up, this small village in Pennsylvania offers Julienne a new life. Julienne falls in love here and goes to have a successful and happy love life. The village also acts as the safe place Julienne needs to heal the wounds of her past and create a better future for herself and her loved ones.

This is a story about a young girl and the hardships that she has to deal with during the French revolution. The story is beautifully written, and it is easy to identify with Julienne’s struggles through life. The fact that the author is able to include historical events into the story seamlessly shows just how talented she is. The historical facts give this book quite an edge, and it is fun to relate to Julienne’s life and events that took place in the past. If you are a fan of historical books, this piece will not disappoint you. You will be transported to the 1700s, where the struggle for power was real, and the people went to great lengths to please the powers that be. The pace in the story is just right, the flow is perfect, and the characters are nothing but lovable.

The Queens War

The Queens War is a tale about Henry, the king of England, and his wife, Eleanor. The historical story covers a time when Eleanor of Aquitaine lived in Poitiers. During this period, Eleanor is involved in a political and personal struggle with Henry II, her estranged husband. In 1173, Henry II sons revolted against him, and it turns out that Eleanor was the mastermind after she heard that Henry was planning to divorce her. Her son’s revolting against their father leaves quite a mark in history.

Eleanor of Aquitaine was a prize first for Lois VII and later for Henry II. These men of considerable means not only found her strikingly beautiful, but Eleanor was also respected for her vast land holdings, her brains, and her wit. While Lois bored Eleanor to death, Henry turned out to be her soul mate. Their feelings for each other were life, and for a while, these two shared a happy life. While there was no doubt that Eleanor and Henry loved each other, their quarrels were as intense as the feelings they had for each other. Eleanor is not one to be undermined, and at a time in history when women were prevented from even appearing in the theater, it is fascinating that this woman would engage in an argument with her husband. It is the sons of Eleanor and Henry that bring the much-needed change to the face of England.

The book also highlights the adventures of Sophia, a smart woman who acts as Eleanor’s astrologer and Lucie, a young woman working at Eleanor’s court. Through this story, readers are also introduced to Geoffrey, Lucie’s lover, Richard, the beloved son of Eleanor, who is crowned king after his father’s death, and Macklin, to mention but a few. The cast is quite exciting, and all the characters help in bringing out how life was throughout this critical time in history.
MacKin weaves different storylines perfectly to create this masterpiece. Despite having different storylines, the entire tale is quite straightforward, and Jeanne Mackin’s writing paints a clear picture of the complicated relationship between Henry and Eleanor. Reading the Queens War, it is clear that Jeanne MacKin has done her homework. All the historical facts included in this book are accurate and depict the world as it was during that time. The descriptions are detailed, while the words are nothing but lyrical.

Do you want to travel back in time and get a feel of how life was in Victorian England? The Queens War will offer that and so much more. This story is captivating enough to hook you from the start to the end. The pace is just right, not too slow or fast, and the story is beautifully written, making this a fun read with a lot of historical truths in it.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jeanne Mackin / Anna MacLean

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