Historical Fiction

The mercies : a novel book cover

The mercies : a novel

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

FICTION Hargrave Kiran
Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+

Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Forty fishermen, including Maren Magnusdatter's brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. The women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves. Three years later Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. His young Norwegian wife, Ursa, sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil. Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, but Absalom's iron rule threatening Vardø's very existence. -- adapted from jacket

Becky's picture

“The Mercies” is a stimulating account of life in a small Norwegian fishing village in the early 1600's. Kiran Hargrave cleverly weaves together historical elements of gender roles, religion, and witchcraft with a narrative strongly rooted in its setting and characters. -Becky

Boy, snow, bird book cover

Boy, snow, bird

Helen Oyeyemi

FICTION Oyeyemi Helen
Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

"A reimagining of the Snow White story set in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s"--

Anne M's picture

Set in the 1950's, Boy flees her abusive home in New York City to a bucolic town in Massachusetts, settles in, and eventually marries into a well-established, respected family. The birth of Boy's daughter threatens this stability. Her husband's family was "passing" as white since they moved to the town from the South. Oyeyemi skillfully shows the surrealism of a society that determines who you are by what you look like. -Anne M

Three hours in Paris book cover

Three hours in Paris

Cara Black

FICTION Black, Cara
Fiction, Adventure, Historical Fiction

"Three Hours in Paris is the story of Kate Rees, the young American markswoman who has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris on the dangerous business of trying to assassinate the Fuhrer. A country girl from rural Oregon - a grieving widow with no spy training but a vendetta and a lot of gumption - now has the state of the entire war in her hands. When the hit goes badly wrong, Kate is on the run for her life - all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up."--Provided by publisher.

Anne M's picture

If you are looking for that fast-paced, keeps-your-attention, end-of-summer read, consider "Three Hours in Paris." Cara Black, stepping away from her usual mystery genre, takes on the World War II spy thriller. -Anne M

Bud, not Buddy book cover

Bud, not Buddy

Christopher Paul Curtis

Black Lives Matter, Read Woke, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Classics

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

Casey's picture

This won the Newbery Award when I was about the same age as Bud. It's just as meaningful now as I remember it being at 11. -Casey

One crazy summer book cover

One crazy summer

Rita Williams-Garcia

Black Lives Matter, Read Woke, Historical Fiction

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Casey's picture

Added by Casey

The Watsons go to Birmingham-- 1963 book cover

The Watsons go to Birmingham-- 1963

Christopher Paul Curtis

Black Lives Matter, Black History, Historical Fiction, Classics

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Casey's picture

Added by Casey

Inside out & back again book cover

Inside out & back again

Thanhha Lai

Read Woke, Poetry, Diverse Characters, Historical Fiction

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

Casey's picture

Achingly beautiful poetry combined with a powerful immigration story make this a Middle Grade novel not to miss. Great for reading aloud as a family as well. -Casey

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street : a novel book cover

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street : a novel

Susan Jane Gilman

FICTION Gilman Susan
Fiction, Historical Fiction

In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street. Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality. Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.

Amanda's picture

Loved this book! Highly entertaining story surrounding a highly entertaining lady. She's like a more endearing Scarlett O'Hara of the 20th century. We follow her rags-to-riches story, learn of her scrapes and sorrows, her triumphs and bouts of luck. This woman has chutzpah and I love it. She's an antihero, but entirely loveable. Plus, it's shades of Forrest Gump, as this woman claims her touch on many small points of American history. Definitely give it a whirl! -Amanda

The animals at Lockwood Manor book cover

The animals at Lockwood Manor

Jane Healey

FICTION Healey Jane
Historical Fiction, Suspense

"A debut novel for fans of Sarah Perry and Kate Morton: when a young woman is tasked with safeguarding a natural history collection as it is spirited out of London during World War II, she discovers her new manor home is a place of secrets and terror instead of protection"--

Anne M's picture

Set during World War II, Hetty Cartwright works for a natural history museum in London and is tasked to oversee the move and storage of the mammal collection (and some birds) to a country manor house. The house is as those houses were during the middle of the 20th century. It is in disrepair and has a limited number of servants trying to keep up the property as best they can. There is the lord of the manor, Major Lockwood, who is a little mean and scary and used to getting his way. Although he signs up to house the collection, he isn't happy having his space invaded and overseen by a woman. There is also Major Lockwood's daughter, who is beautiful and kind. She captivates Hetty's imagination. The house has secrets. At least something isn't right. Hetty tries to ignore it until it starts affecting her work--and herself. If you liked "Jane Eyre" or "The Little Stranger" or "Rebecca," this would be a good summer read for you. -Anne M

A wedding in December : a novel book cover

A wedding in December : a novel

Anita Shreve

FICTION Shreve, Anita
Historical Fiction

Stacey's picture

Added by Stacey