Abigail Cramer is the Librarian/Archivist at Historic New England, a member of the REPS steering committee, and a member of a handful of NEA Program Committees. Abby received her MLIS from Simmons College in 2012 and has a B.A. in English. She loves reading, loves being an archivist, and especially loves it when the two overlap.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Yes, The Historian is about Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula), and no, Dracula is not an archivist. You caught me.
BUT, this book does involve the main character doing historical research, and the descriptions of the libraries and archives she visits are swoon-worthy. This book does a great job of utterly transporting the reader to each place the narrator describes, including Turkey, Hungary, and other parts of eastern Europe, and I found the descriptions of ancient texts really appealing. It made me want to hop on a plane to Turkey immediately, completely regardless of the plot. The plot itself is also engaging, following a young woman in search of her father who has disappeared while researching myths about Vlad the Impaler. The story follows multiple timelines, one which follows the young woman’s journey, the other which retells her father’s research. Interestingly, you never learn the name of the young woman who narrates the 900 page book. The Historian‘s focus on vampire lore may not suit everyone, but it’s a great piece of historical fiction with all the mystery, suspense, and archival research a girl like me could want.
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Explore other REPS Recommendations. Interested in recommending something? Contact Abby (abigail.cramer[at]gmail.com).