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The Hoosierist: Five Romance Novels with Indiana Ties

Like the pickle atop a tenderloin sandwich, these occasional briefs from The Hoosierist make a good thing (his monthly Q&A column) better.

When Knighthood Was In Flower

Historical romances pretty much have their own bookstore section these days, but this 1898 novel by Indianapolis native Charles Major helped launch the genre. His tale of romance during the reign of King Henry VIII became a huge international bestseller, blazing a florid, overheated path for millions of bodice-rippers to come. Though it’s aged about as well as that bowl of hard candy on Grandma’s coffee table, it’s still fun to explore.

Freckles

A 1904 Gene Stratton-Porter love-in-the-swamp story, this novel follows the aforementioned Freckles (a one-handed Irish orphan) as he falls in love with a rich girl who saves him from a murdering gang of tree-rustlers. Yes, they try to kill Freckles over possession of a tree. Because swamp people don’t mess around.

A Girl of the Limberlost

Another Gene Stratton-Porter classic, this one features 100 percent fewer murdering tree-rustlers and about 80 percent more swamp. Oh, and a love triangle featuring a country gal competing with a snooty townie for the affections of a visiting beefcake. Also, someone drowns in quicksand.

The Fault in Our Stars

Apparently, John Green’s bestselling novel about two star-crossed lovers is really, really good. The Hoosierist, who can only read a couple of pages before crying, won’t know firsthand until he finishes it—sometime in 2016.

Indiana Cousins Trilogy

These three books written by Wanda E. Brunstetter chronicle love and romance (and corn-husking and butter-churning) among Indiana’s Amish. The Hoosierist suspects there’s probably a barn-raising and a quilting bee in there too, because you can’t write about the Amish without at least one of those.


Have a question about anything Indiana-related? Send it to hoosierist@indianapolismonthly.com.