Historical Fiction

Alias Grace book cover

Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood

FICTION Atwood, Margaret
Historical Fiction

"It's 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Captivating and disturbing, Alias Grace showcases bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood at the peak of her powers." (Amazon Summary)

Becky's picture

In Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood delivers a fascinating account of the life of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant who settled in Canada as a young child. My initial perception of Grace's character is immediately put into question as the story builds around her possible involvement in the horrific murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his mistress. Based on a true story from the 1840's, Atwood excels in historical storytelling. By weaving in period appropriate views of religion, science and mental illness along with the memories shared by Grace Marks and actual accounts written about the trial, you are constantly left wondering: victim or villain? -Becky

Becoming Mrs. Lewis : a novel : the improbable love story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis book cover

Becoming Mrs. Lewis : a novel : the improbable love story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis

Patti Callahan Henry

FICTION Henry Patti
Historical Fiction

"The love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife, Helen Joy Davidman Gresham, was improbable--and seemingly impossible. Their Eros-story led to some of Lewis's greatest works, yet Joy is most commonly known for how she died. Becoming Mrs. Lewis allows us to see how this brilliant and passionate woman lived--and why she stole Jack's heart"--

Kara's picture

I love books by C.S. Lewis. This book brought back some nostalgia from my childhood and helped me learn more about someone I admire. -Kara

The Chelsea girls : a novel book cover

The Chelsea girls : a novel

Fiona Davis

FICTION Davis Fiona
Historical Fiction

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City's creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home-a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine's Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.

Kara's picture

1950's New York comes alive at the Chelsea Hotel when two friends, playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead, try to put on a show on Broadway. They learn their skills and determination are challenged by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare witch hunt for communists. A great book! -Kara

The orphan's tale book cover

The orphan's tale

Pam Jenoff

FICTION Jenoff Pam
Historical Fiction

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

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All the light we cannot see : a novel book cover

All the light we cannot see : a novel

Anthony Doerr

FICTION Doerr Anthony
Historical Fiction

"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work"--

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Daisy Jones & the Six : a novel book cover

Daisy Jones & the Six : a novel

Taylor Jenkins Reid

FICTION Reid Taylor
Historical Fiction

"Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it's the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she's twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she's pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice"--

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

The Tattooist of Auschwitz : a novel book cover

The Tattooist of Auschwitz : a novel

Heather (Screenwriter) Morris

FICTION Morris Heather
Fiction, Historical Fiction

"In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism--but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive. One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her"--Dust jacket flap.

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Queen of the sea book cover

Queen of the sea

Dylan Meconis

jGRAPHIC NOVEL Meconis
Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Kids

"When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island's sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor's life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself."--Provided by publisher.

Casey's picture

Inspired by Queen Elizabeth I's time in exile, Queen of the Sea is beautiful and fun! Don't miss out on this fantastic piece of historical fiction. -Casey

The bell rang book cover

The bell rang

James Ransome

jE Ransome
Kids, Historical Fiction

A slave family is distressed when they discover their son Ben has run away.

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Added by Casey

The lost girls of Paris book cover

The lost girls of Paris

Pam Jenoff

FICTION ON DISC Jenoff, Pam
Historical Fiction

Inspired by true events, this novel tells a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female secret agents during World War II.

Kara's picture

This is a wonderful book for summer listening based on true events. Eleanor Trigg recruits, trains and deploys a group of female secret agents during WWII to help with the French Resistance. The story is engaging, the plot moves quickly and there's excellent character development. Plus the narration is very good. It reminded me of The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. -Kara