Historical Fiction

The masterpiece : a novel book cover

The masterpiece : a novel

Fiona Davis

FICTION Davis Fiona
Historical Fiction

"For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different. For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public's disdain for a "woman artist." Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded--even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter--Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they'll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay's life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort"--

Kara's picture

I've always been fascinated by Grand Central Station in New York City. I've enjoyed Fiona Davis' other books so I'm looking forward to this Historical Fiction novel with Grand Central Station as the backdrop. -Kara

The girls in the picture : a novel book cover

The girls in the picture : a novel

Melanie Benjamin

FICTION Benjamin Melanie
Historical Fiction

A fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood's earliest female legends--screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford--from the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator's Wife It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone's lips these days is "flickers"--the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you'll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all. In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have given her the title of America's Sweetheart. The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution. But their ambitions are challenged both by the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender--and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world's highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered. With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin perfectly captures the dawn of a glittering new era--its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.

Kara's picture

I loved Melanie Benjamin's books "The Swans of Fifth Avenue" and "The Aviator's Wife." Her newest book is a coming-of-age Biographical Fiction about two female pioneers in the film industry - Frances Marion and Mary Pickford. I'm listening to the book and Kimberly Farr's narration is very good. -Kara

White houses : a novel book cover

White houses : a novel

Amy Bloom

FICTION Bloom Amy
Historical Fiction

Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt's first presidential campaign. She is not instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. As their connection deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, promoting and protecting both Roosevelts, she comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death.

Kara's picture

I'm just finishing listening to this wonderful book about Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt. Tonya Cornelisse's narration is excellent. -Kara

My dear Hamilton : a novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton book cover

My dear Hamilton : a novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton

Stephanie Dray

FICTION Dray Stephani
Historical Fiction

"A general's daughter… Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington's penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she's captivated by the young officer's charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton's bastard birth and the uncertainties of war. A Founding Father's wife... But the union they create--in their marriage and the new nation--is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all--including the political treachery of America's first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness. The last surviving light of the Revolution… When a duel destroys Eliza's hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband's enemies to preserve Alexander's legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she's left with one last battle--to understand the flawed man she married and the imperfect union he could never have created without her…"--Dust jcket.

Kara's picture

I really enjoy Biographical Fiction. I'm looking forward to reading this story about Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, a "founding mother" and wife of Alexander Hamilton. -Kara

The last hours book cover

The last hours

Minette Walters

FICTION Walters Minette
Historical Fiction

When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorseteshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and religious fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness. But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from Develish when news of this pestilence reaches her, she takes the decision to look for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. Well-versed in the importance of isolating the sick from the well, she withdraws her people inside the moat that surrounds her manor house and refuses entry even to her husband. She makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband's steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs ... until food stocks run low and the nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat?

Anne M's picture

This is a quick read. For a novel about the plague, 14th Century England, and manor living, it is actually pretty fun and pretty light--I say this even though such a book comes with discussions and descriptions of some pretty gory and unsettling situations (Walters is a murder mystery writer). If anything, I wish the characters were a little more complicated. Lady Anne is so good and kind--and so righteous; the villains terrible through and through. I personally prefer that characters achieve some growth. -Anne M

Beyond the bright sea book cover

Beyond the bright sea

Lauren Wolk

jFICTION Wolk Lauren
Historical Fiction, Kids

Set adrift on the ocean in a small skiff as a newborn, twelve-year-old Crow embarks on a quest to find the missing pieces of her history.

Anne M's picture

This is the perfect book for an end of summer read. -Anne M

White Houses book cover

White Houses

Amy Bloom


Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+

Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt's first presidential campaign. She is not instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. As their connection deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, promoting and protecting both Roosevelts, she comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death.

Angela's picture

This was a beautifully written story of the love that Lorena Hickok had for Eleanor Roosevelt. -Angela

The Hamilton affair : a novel book cover

The Hamilton affair : a novel

Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman

FICTION Cobbshof Elizabet
Historical Fiction, Romance

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.

Angela's picture

This is for fans of Hamilton-the-Musical or a solid historical narrative focusing on female characters or historical romance. -Angela

Washington Black : a novel book cover

Washington Black : a novel

Esi Edugyan

FICTION Edugyan Esi
Fiction, Historical Fiction

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life.

Jason's picture

Added by Jason

Warlight book cover

Warlight

Michael Ondaatje

FICTION Ondaatje Michael
Fiction, Historical Fiction

Decades after World War II, Nathaniel Williams reflects on his experiences in 1945, when his parents left him and his sister in the care of a mysterious neighbor.

Jason's picture

Added by Jason