Historical Fiction

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.

Angie's picture

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

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.

Angie's picture

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

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

The Verdun affair : a novel book cover

The Verdun affair : a novel

Nick Dybek

FICTION Dybek Nick
Historical Fiction, Fiction

"A sweeping, romantic, and profoundly moving novel, set in Europe in the aftermath of World War I and Los Angeles in the 1950s, about a lonely young man, a beautiful widow, and the amnesiac soldier whose puzzling case binds them together even as it tears them apart. In 1921, two young Americans meet in Verdun, the city in France where one of the most devastating battles of the war was waged. Tom is an orphan from Chicago, a former ambulance driver now gathering bones from the battlefield; Sarah is an expatriate from Boston searching for the husband who wandered off from his division and hasn't been seen since. Quickly, the two fall into a complicated affair against the ghostly backdrop of the ruined city. Months later, Sarah and Tom meet again at the psychiatric ward of an Italian hospital, drawn there by the appearance of a mysterious patient the doctors call Douglas Fairbanks (after the silent film actor)--a shell-shocked soldier with no memory of who he is. At the hospital, Tom and Sarah are joined by Paul, an Austrian journalist with his own interest in the amnesiac. Each is keeping a secret; each has been shaken by the horrors of war. Decades later, Tom, now a successful screenwriter, encounters Paul by chance in LA, still grappling with the questions raised by this gorgeous and incisive novel: How to begin again after unfathomable trauma? How to love after so much loss? And who, in the end, was Douglas Fairbanks? From the bone-strewn fields of Verdun to the bombed-out cafes of Paris, from the riot-torn streets of Bologna to the riotous parties of 1950s Hollywood, The Verdun Affair is a riveting tale of romance, grief, and the far-reaching consequences of a single lie"--

Anne M's picture

This novel seems like an ode to Hemingway--and not because of the obvious World War I, ambulance driver, fascism details. It is something in the characters, their interactions with one another, a love story gone wrong. -Anne M

An extraordinary union book cover

An extraordinary union

Alyssa Cole

FICTION Cole Alyssa
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

Amanda's picture

This book is fantastic! Elle is a free black woman, serving as a Union spy during the Civil War. She clashes with another spy while they're both undercover, and sparks fly! -Amanda

Maisie Dobbs book cover

Maisie Dobbs

Jacqueline Winspear

MYSTERY Winspear, Jacqueline
Historical Fiction

Kara's picture

The Maisie Dobbs books by Jacqueline Winspear feature a strong female lead character and many memorable support characters. Maisie is independent, determined, and skilled at sleuthing. -Kara

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book cover

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer

FICTION Shaffer, Mary Ann
Historical Fiction

In 1946, as London emerges from the shadow of World War II, author Juliet Ashton is having a terrible time finding inspiration for her next book. Then she receives a letter from Guernsey Island, and learns of a unique book club formed on the spur of the moment as an alibi to protect its members from arrest by the occupying Germans during the war. Captivated, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her life forever.

Kara's picture

I spent a wonderful afternoon about 10 years ago reading this book. Recently I saw Netflix is releasing a movie in August based on this book. Actually, I thought the movie was out, and, when I discovered it won't be released until August, I decided to re-read the book by listening to the eAudio version. It was just as funny as I remembered and the characters came alive in a different way through the excellent narration. If you're looking for a great summer read/listen, this is a great book! I'm excited to watch the movie in August! -Kara

I'll be seeing you book cover

I'll be seeing you

Suzanne Hayes

FICTION Hayes Suzanne
Historical Fiction

Kara's picture

This is a wonderful epistolary historical fiction story that evolves through letters written by two women whose husbands are soldiers in WWII. Rita lives in Iowa City and Glory lives in New England. Although each woman is different, they share the reality of trying to put on a positive front while struggling with the gut-wrenching fear that comes with a loved one serving in a war. Through letters they share happiness and sorrow, exchange recipes, and help one another come to terms with how they have been changed by war. I listened to the book and Tavia Gilbert's narration is excellent. Note: The book is an imprint of Harlequin Mira. Don't let the word Harlequin scare you. Harlequin Mira is a Harlequin imprint that focuses on mainstream fiction and not romance. This book is not a romance. I discovered it through searching in the eAudio Libby App and was pleasantly surprised to find Iowa City and many local references in the novel. -Kara

The book thief book cover

The book thief

Markus Zusak

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Zusak, Markus
Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Amanda's picture

This gorgeous, heartbreaking book is literally told from the perspective of Death, and is set during the Holocaust. It's so beautiful and haunting--once you read it, you'll never forget it. -Amanda