Lists and Suggestions
List: Historical Fiction
A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents... More
A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker's wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near. Less
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
In 1923, devout Eva English and her not-so-religious sister Lizzie embark on a journey to be mission... More
In 1923, devout Eva English and her not-so-religious sister Lizzie embark on a journey to be missionaries in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar. Less
The Book of Harlan
McFadden, Bernice L., author.
During World War II, two African American musicians, Harlan and Lizard, are captured by the Nazis in... More
During World War II, two African American musicians, Harlan and Lizard, are captured by the Nazis in Paris and imprisoned at Buchenwald concentration camp which changes the course of Harlan's life.-- Less
Eagle & Crane
Rindell, Suzanne, author.
"Louis Thorn and Haruto "Harry" Yamada--Eagle and Crane--are the star attractions of ... More
"Louis Thorn and Haruto "Harry" Yamada--Eagle and Crane--are the star attractions of Earl Shaw's Flying Circus, a daredevil (and not exactly legal) flying act that traverses Depression-era California. The young men have a complicated relationship, thanks to the Thorn family's belief that the Yamadas--Japanese immigrants--stole land that should have stayed in the Thorn family. When Louis and Harry become aerial stuntmen, performing death-defying tricks high above audiences, they're both drawn to Shaw's smart and appealing stepdaughter, Ava Brooks. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and one of Shaw's planes mysteriously crashes and two charred bodies are discovered in it, authorities conclude that the victims were Harry and his father, Kenichi, who had escaped from a Japanese internment camp they had been sent to by the federal government. To the local sheriff, the situation is open and shut. But to the lone FBI agent assigned to the case, the details don't add up. Thus begins an investigation into what really happened to cause the plane crash, who was in the plane when it fell from the sky, and why no one involved seems willing to tell the truth. By turns an absorbing mystery and a fascinating exploration of race, family and loyalty, Eagle and Crane is that rare novel that tells a gripping story as it explores a terrible era of American history"-- Less
The Gilded Years
Tanabe, Karin, author.
"Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country's most exclusive school ... More
"Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country's most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise "Lottie" Taylor, the scion of one of New York's most prominent families. Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie's sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends. Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it's like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman--the person everyone believes her to be--and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student. It's only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita's brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister's, that the situation becomes particularly perilous. And as Anita's college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret. Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Gilded Age, an era when old money traditions collided with modern ideas, Tanabe has written an unputdownable and emotionally compelling story of hope, sacrifice, and betrayal--and a gripping account of how one woman dared to risk everything for the chance at a better life."--Provided by publisher. Less
The Essex Serpent
Perry, Sarah, 1979- author.
When Cora Seaborne's domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as m... More
When Cora Seaborne's domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Seeking refuge, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her son, Francis, and the boy's nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend. Cora learns of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have taken the life of a young man on New Year's Eve. Certain that the "sea beast" may be a previously undiscovered species, Cora joins local vicar William Ransome in investigating the rumors. Less
The Good Lord Bird
McBride, James, 1957-
Fleeing his violent master at the side of abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debat... More
Fleeing his violent master at the side of abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debate in mid-nineteenth-century Kansas Territory, Henry pretends to be a girl to hide his identity throughout the raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859. Less
Moran, Michelle, author.
"When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a q... More
"When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest ... But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge. Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies--one male and one female--and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people. Although her soldiers may not appear at first to be formidable against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi refuses to back down from the empire determined to take away the land she loves"-- Less
Rees, Tracy, author.
It is 1831 when eight-year-old Aurelia Vennaway finds a naked baby girl abandoned in the snow on the... More
It is 1831 when eight-year-old Aurelia Vennaway finds a naked baby girl abandoned in the snow on the grounds of her aristocratic family's magnificent mansion. Her parents are horrified that she has brought a bastard foundling into the house, but Aurelia convinces them to keep the baby, whom she names Amy Snow. Amy is brought up as a second-class citizen, despised by Vennaways, but she and Aurelia are as close as sisters. When Aurelia dies at the age of twenty-three, she leaves Amy ten pounds, and the Vennaways immediately banish Amy from their home. But Aurelia left her much more. Amy soon receives a packet that contains a rich inheritance and a letter from Aurelia revealing she had kept secrets from Amy, secrets that she wants Amy to know. From the grave she sends Amy on a treasure hunt from one end of England to the other: a treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. Ultimately, a life-changing discovery awaits--if only Amy can unlock the secret. In the end, Amy escapes the Vennaways, finds true love, and learns her dearest friend's secret, a secret that she will protect for the rest of her life.--Amazon.com Less
The Confessions of Young Nero
George, Margaret, 1943- author.
"New York Times bestselling author Margaret George has brought history to vivid life with her c... More
"New York Times bestselling author Margaret George has brought history to vivid life with her chronicles of queens and kings. Now, she turns her gaze to an Emperor ... Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar's imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman--or child. As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son's inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead. While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina's machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero's determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become--an Emperor who became legendary. With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival."--Provided by publisher. Less
The Moon In the Palace
Randel, Weina Dai.
A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor's att... More
A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor's attention. Many paint their faces white and style their hair attractively, hoping to lure in theOne Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest. Young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the Emperor a gift he can never forget. Mei's intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the Emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive. In the breakthrough first volume in the Empress of Bright Moon duology, Weina Dai Randel paints a vibrant portrait of ancient China--where love, ambition, and loyalty can spell life or death--and the woman who came to rule it all. Less
Earling, Debra Magpie.
Louise White Elk dreams of both belonging and escape, and of discovering love and freedom on her own... More
Louise White Elk dreams of both belonging and escape, and of discovering love and freedom on her own terms. But she is a red-haired, tough, and beautiful temptation, and at least three men, each more dangerous than the other, want to control and possess her: Police Officer Charlie Kicking Woman, who struggles between worlds; charismatic but scary Baptiste, who refuses to yield to anyone; and Harvey Stoner, who owns nearly everything. On the reservation, danger looms everywhere, rising out of fear and anger, deprivation, hunger, and poverty. But just as often for Louise, and for those she loves, danger arises from longing and desire. And from making a choice. Perma Red is a love-crossed saga about a young woman coming of age under perilous circumstances, and about the consequences of her often contradictory desires. In this breathtaking tale of the American West, a tragic love story unfolds against a classic clash of cultures. In the tradition of Michael Dorris's Yellow Raft in Blue Water and the novels of Louise Erdrich, Perma Red is an enthralling, devastating debut by a commanding new voice. Less
Lico Albanese, Laurie, 1959- author.
"From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating n... More
"From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and brings to life the true story behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt's most remarkable paintings. In the dazzling glitter of 1900 Vienna, Adele Bloch-Bauer--young, beautiful, brilliant, and Jewish--meets painter Gustav Klimt. Wealthy in everything but freedom, Adele embraces Klimt's renegade genius as the two awaken to the erotic possibilities on the canvas and beyond. Though they enjoy a life where sex and art are just beginning to break through the facade of conventional society, the city is also exhibiting a disturbing increase in anti-Semitism, as political hatred foments in the shadows of Adele's coffee house afternoons and cultural salons. Nearly forty years later, Adele's niece Maria Altmann is a newlywed when the Nazis invade Austria--and overnight, her beloved Vienna becomes a war zone. When her husband is arrested and her family is forced out of their home, Maria must summon the courage and resilience that is her aunt's legacy if she is to survive and keep her family--and their history--alive".--From publisher's description. Less
The Daughters of Ireland
Montefiore, Santa, 1970- author.
In the green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill has burned to the ground. But young Celia ... More
In the green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill has burned to the ground. But young Celia Deverill is determined to see her ruined ancestral home restored to its former glory -- to the years when Celia ran through its vast halls with her cousin Kitty and their childhood friend Bridie Doyle. Kitty herself is raising a young family, but she longs for Jack O'Leary -- the long-ago sweetheart she cannot have. And soon Kitty must make a heartbreaking decision, one that could destroy everything she holds dear. Bridie, once a cook's daughter in Castle Deverill, is now a well-heeled New York City socialite. Yet her celebrity can't erase a past act that haunts her still. Nor can it keep her from seeking revenge upon the woman who wronged her all those years ago. As these three daughters of Ireland seek to make their way in a world once again beset by dark forces, Santa Montefiore shows us once more why she is one of the best-loved storytellers at work today. Less
The Hidden Light of Northern Fires
Wang, Daren, 1965- author.
Rooted in the history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line, Daren Wang's... More
Rooted in the history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line, Daren Wang's The Hidden Light of Northern Fires tells a story of redemption amidst a war that tore families and the country apart. Mary Willis has always been an outcast, an abolitionist in a town of bounty hunters and anti-Union farmers. After college, she dreams of exploring the country, but is obligated to take over the household duties and management of her family's farm, while her brother Leander avoids his own responsibilities. Helping runaways is the only thing that makes her life in Town Line bearable. When escaped slave Joe Bell collapses in her father's barn, Mary is determined to help him cross to freedom in nearby Canada. But the wounded fugitive is haunted by his vengeful owner, who relentlessly hunts him up and down the country, and his sister, still trapped as a slave in the South. As the countryside is riled by the drumbeat of civil war, rebels and soldiers from both sides bring intrigue and violence of the brutal war to the town and the farm, and threaten to destroy all that Mary loves. Less
Andrews, Mesu, 1963- author.
"In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken i... More
"In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah's household rises to capture the heart of the future king. Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only one who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation. "Andrews (The Pharaoh's Daughter) offers her unique brand of in-depth Bible knowledge and storytelling flair... [she] is gifted at bringing the past to life..."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"-- Less
Doctorow, E. L., 1931-2015.
Recounts the interrelated early twentieth-century lives of the families of a New Rochelle manufactur... More
Recounts the interrelated early twentieth-century lives of the families of a New Rochelle manufacturer, an immigrant socialist, and a Harlem musician and their involvement with Evelyn Nesbit, Henry Ford, Houdini, Morgan, Freud, Zapata, and other period notables. Less
After gentle Henry VI takes the throne and is promised a royal bride from France, the rival royal li... More
After gentle Henry VI takes the throne and is promised a royal bride from France, the rival royal line, the House of York, begins their quest to oust him. Less
The Agincourt Bride
Her beauty fuelled a war. Her courage captured a king. Her passion would launch the Tudor dyna... More
Her beauty fuelled a war. Her courage captured a king. Her passion would launch the Tudor dynasty. When her own first child is tragically still-born, the young Mette is pressed into service as a wet-nurse at the court of the mad king, Charles VI of France. Her young charge is the princess, Catherine de Valois, caught up in the turbulence and chaos of life at court. Mette and the child forge a bond, one that transcends Mette's lowly position. But as Catherine approaches womanhood, her unique position seals her fate as a pawn between two powerful dynasties. Her brother, The Dauphin and the dark and sinister, Duke of Burgundy will both use Catherine to further the cause of France. Catherine is powerless to stop them, but with the French defeat at the Battle of Agincourt, the tables turn and suddenly her currency has never been higher. But can Mette protect Catherine from forces at court who seek to harm her or will her loyalty to Catherine place her in even greater danger? Less
Girl in Disguise
Macallister, Greer, author.
Widowed and in need of a job, Kate Warne convinces Allan Pinkerton that a female detective can go pl... More
Widowed and in need of a job, Kate Warne convinces Allan Pinkerton that a female detective can go places and do things a male detective cannot. Once hired, Kate becomes skilled at lock picking and surveillance, but she is best in disguise--as a prostitute, rich matron, spinster, clerk, Southern belle--an expert liar, playing a role. She investigates burglaries, bank robberies, embezzlement, counterfeiting, blackmail, and murder. Eventually earning the respect of her fellow detectives, Kate comes up with an ingenious plan to protect President Lincoln from a Southern assassination plot. During the Civil War, she must fight against a formidable adversary--notorious Southern spy Mrs. Rose Greenhow. Well-told and loaded with suspense and action, this historical novel about Kate Warne, the first female detective in 1850s Chicago, is superb.--Adapted from book review. Less
The Translation of Love
Kutsukake, Lynne, author.
An emotionally gripping portrait of post-war Japan, where a newly repatriated girl must help a class... More
An emotionally gripping portrait of post-war Japan, where a newly repatriated girl must help a classmate find her missing sister. Less
The Watery Part of the World
Parker, Michael, 1959-
Set along the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the 1800's and the 1970s, the novel follows Theo... More
Set along the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the 1800's and the 1970s, the novel follows Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr, who by many accounts was captured by pirates and lived out the rest of her life on a remote island, and the island's descendants hundreds of years later. Less
Once More Unto the Breach
Holloway, Meghan, author.
"Rhys Gravenor, Great War veteran-turned-farmer, arrives in Paris in the midst of the city'... More
"Rhys Gravenor, Great War veteran-turned-farmer, arrives in Paris in the midst of the city's liberation with a worn letter in his pocket that may have arrived years too late. As he follows the footsteps of his missing son across an unfamiliar, war-torn country, he struggles to come to terms with the incident that drove a wedge between the two of them. Joined by Charlotte Dubois, an American ambulance driver with secrets of her own. Rhys is haunted by memories of previous battles and hampered at every turn by danger and betrayal. In a race against time and the war, Rhys follows his son's trail from Paris to the perilous streets of Vichy to the starving mobs in Lyon to the treacherous Alps. But Rhys is not the only one searching for his son. A relentless enemy stalks him across the country and will stop at nothing to find the young man first. Rhys must unravel the mystery of his son's wartime actions in the desperate hope of finding him before it's too late to mend the frayed bond between them. Too late to beg his forgiveness. Too late to bring him home alive."-- Less
Tipping the Velvet
Waters, Sarah, 1966-
Nancy Astley, a fishmonger in Whitstable, becomes smitten by male impersonator Kitty Butler and atte... More
Nancy Astley, a fishmonger in Whitstable, becomes smitten by male impersonator Kitty Butler and attends shows until the star notices her, which leads to the two becoming partners in romance and performance until societal pressures drive the two into situations that embrace the ambiguity of sexual preference and gender roles. Less
Edugyan, Esi, author.
Eleven-year-old George Washington Black - or Wash - a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is... More
Eleven-year-old George Washington Black - or Wash - a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is intially terrified when he is chosen to be the manservant of his master's brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is intiated into a world where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. Less
Silko, Leslie Marmon, 1948- author.
Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the hor... More
Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution. Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. Less
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a c... More
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Less