Historical Fiction

Sweep : the story of a girl and her monster book cover

Sweep : the story of a girl and her monster

Jonathan Auxier

jFICTION Auxier Jonathan
Kids, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

In nineteenth-century England, after her father's disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a "climbing boy," aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem.--

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Once upon a river : a novel book cover

Once upon a river : a novel

Diane Setterfield

FICTION Setterfield, Diane
Fiction, Suspense, Historical Fiction

On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, a wounded stranger carries in the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later the girl stirs, and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Magic? As the days pass the child remains mute and unable to answer questions. Three families are keen to claim her: the wealthy mother of a kidnapped daughter missing for two years; a farming family sure it is their son's secret daughter; a parson's housekeeper, reminded of her younger sister. Each family has secrets, must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known. -- adapted from jacket

Anne M's picture

I loved this book! It has everything I want in a good read: great writing, a crescendo of narrative, interesting characters with intertwined lives, a sense of place, and an absorbing mystery--all wrapped up in historical fiction. This is a story about storytelling--the characters tell stories, the narrator tells stories, so if you like feeling very much the reader--feeling like you are listening to someone tell you a story, this is a good pick for you. It will get you through the last few weeks of winter. -Anne M

The Paragon Hotel book cover

The Paragon Hotel

Lyndsay Faye

FICTION Faye Lyndsay
Historical Fiction

Fleeing to Oregon from New York City in 1921, Alice James takes refuge in the city's only black hotel and helps new friends search for a missing child, hide from KKK violence, and navigate painful secrets.

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Lyndsay Faye writes some really good, suspenseful historical fiction and The Paragon Hotel is no exception. Set during Prohibition, Faye really captures the city of Portland in the early 1920's, the unease of the post-war years, and vividly brings a variety of characters to life. -Anne M

The winter soldier book cover

The winter soldier

Daniel (Daniel Philippe) Mason

FICTION Mason Daniel
Historical Fiction, Fiction

"Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives--at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains--he discovers a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon's scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever"--Provided by publisher.

Anne M's picture

Someone told me to read this book several times and I am glad I listened to them. For a 300 page book, Mason really threads this story together with well-executed plot and thorough character development, as well as an ending that is fitting, yet surprising. If you like historical fiction, really exploring a place and time, I highly recommend "The Winter Soldier." -Anne M

The journey of little Charlie book cover

The journey of little Charlie

Christopher Paul Curtis

jFICTION Curtis, Christoper
Kids, Fiction, Historical Fiction

When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap'n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him; Cap'n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father's debt will be cleared when the fugitives are captured, which seems like a good deal until Little Charlie comes face-to-face with the people he is chasing.

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This historical novel explores themes of justice and doing the right thing, even when it is difficult. Little Charlie is a sympathetic protagonist, who is quickly learning about the harshness of the world. His perspective on the commonly visited story of the evils of slavery is uncommon and will help readers find their own consciences. -Morgan

The book of Boy book cover

The book of Boy

Catherine Gilbert Murdock

jFICTION Murdock Catherin
Kids, Fiction, Historical Fiction

In 1350, a boy with a large hump on his back becomes the servant of a shadowy pilgrim on his way to Rome, who pulls the boy into a dangerous expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter.--Provided by Publisher.

Morgan's picture

Acceptance and truth are key components in this Medieval quest story. Hunchbacked Boy seeks acceptance for his appearance and enigmatic Secundus seeks acceptance into Heaven. They both reject and hide the truth of their natures, Boy is an angel hiding his wings as a hunchback and Secundus is a condemned father escaped from Hell pretending to be a religious pilgrim. It is only after they each embrace their true selves that they find what they are looking for. -Morgan

The air you breathe book cover

The air you breathe

Frances de Pontes Peebles

FICTION Peebles Frances
Fiction, Historical Fiction

An orphan, Dores is working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation in 1930s Brazil when she meets Graça, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron. Born to wildly different worlds, the girls quickly bond over shared mischief, and then, on a deeper level, over music. One has a voice like a songbird; the other feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will become the only way out of the life to which each was born... but only one is destined to be a star. -- adapted from jacket.

Anne M's picture

"When Sofia Salvador finished a show, applause wasn't an obligation, but a release. Without even realizing it, you'd held your breath and tensed your body while she sang, as if you were afraid that even the smallest movement would startle her away. But as soon as she bowed and thanked you, every emotion she'd dredged up inside you was suddenly clamoring to be let loose. How could you not clap, howl, whistle, and call for one more? One more! Please, just one more? And of course, Sofia Salvador always relented." If you are in the mood for something lyrical that provides a great sense of place with a focus on character development and friendship, look no further than Frances de Pontes Peebles' The Air You Breathe. Set in Brazil, this is a story of two women, Dores and Graca, who are from very different backgrounds (yet from the same plantation) who love samba. They run away to Lapa and develop an act, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is Graca (as the stage name Sofia Salvador) that everyone wants to hear. The story is told from Dores' point of view as she struggles with being forced in the shadow of Graca's fame, while trying to find her own voice. I alternated between the print and the audiobook. Rebecca Mozo's reading of the book is fantastic. -Anne M

Loving Frank book cover

Loving Frank

Nancy Horan

FICTION Horan, Nancy
Historical Fiction

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The evolution of Calpurnia Tate book cover

The evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Jacqueline Kelly

jFICTION Kelly, Jacqueline
Historical Fiction

In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.

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Undiscovered country : a novel inspired by the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok book cover

Undiscovered country : a novel inspired by the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Kelly O'Connor McNees

FICTION Mcnees Kelly
Historical Fiction

"In 1932, New York City, top reporter Lorena "Hick" Hickok starts each day with a front page byline--and finishes it swigging bourbon and planning her next big scoop. But an assignment to cover FDR's campaign--and write a feature on his wife, Eleanor--turns Hick's hard-won independent life on its ear. Soon her work, and the secret entanglement with the new first lady, will take her from New York and Washington to Scotts Run, West Virginia, where impoverished coal miners' families wait in fear that the New Deal's promised hope will pass them by. Together, Eleanor and Hick imagine how the new town of Arthurdale could change the fate of hundreds of lives. But doing what is right does not come cheap, and Hick will pay in ways she never could have imagined. Undiscovered Country artfully mixes fact and fiction to portray the intense relationship between this unlikely pair. Inspired by the historical record, including the more than three thousand letters Hick and Eleanor exchanged over a span of thirty years, McNees tells this story through Hick's tough, tender, and unforgettable voice. A remarkable portrait of Depression-era America, this novel tells the poignant story of how a love that was forced to remain hidden nevertheless changed history"--Dust jacket.

Kara's picture

Another recent Biographical Fiction novel featuring Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt. -Kara