The central characters in these novels are based on the lives of real people. “The Courtesan” by Alexandra Gambrill Curry is based on the life and times of Sai Jinhua (1872–1936), a courtesan during the reign of China’s last emperor. this book got a big thumbs up from its first reader. “Flight of the Sparrow” by Amy Belding Brown is a story about Mary Rolandson (1637–1711), who was taken in an Indian raid. This story was was recently chosen by a local book group. “Villa America” by Liza Klaussmann, which is based on the lives of American ex-pats who lived in Europe during the 1920s, just got a rave review from one of our readers.