I’m beginning to come down with a cold (thanks, Matt!) and to make me feel better I’m going to be talking about my all-time favorite genre: historical fiction.
The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey | February 7, 2017
May 1959, an island off the coast of Ireland where superstitions are alive and well and, though the mountains of the mainland can be seen, the island itself has changed little since its first settlers arrived centuries ago. No electricity, entirely dependent on the sea, there’s not even a harbor – not that many outsiders even know about the place. That is, until the day an American appears, claiming an inherited cottage. But that’s not all Brigid is after. No, she’s also seeking a rumored holy well that can grant miracles. This book is “steeped in Irish history and lore” and I’m giddy!
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham | February 21, 2017
Seventeen-year-old Rowan discovers a skeleton on her family’s property and, in investigating the century-old murder, makes some painful discoveries about the past. Jim Crown South, the 1921 Tulsa race riot, racial tensions that are still prevalent today. Definitely interested in this one!
If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide | February 28, 2017
The Nightingale meets Anna Karenina, TELL ME MORE! Julia is living a highly privileged life in England. She has a handsome husband, a young son, a housekeeper, and a very comfortable home. Everything changes when a film crew arrives in town…and she falls in love. Now penniless and cut off from her little boy, Julia is left to travel around war-torn London with her lover as the German invasion looms ever closer. Y’all know I am a HUGE fan of WWII fiction and this one sounds like it would be right up my alley.
The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman | March 14, 2017
This one is being compared to From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and my ears are perked! Four 13-year-olds are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the day Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. The museum’s curator just so happens to be looking for four brave souls to help track down an ancient Arthurian manuscript – one that could hold the key to preventing a second attack. This one seems to be full of magic and mythology – a total Leah read!
Beyond the Wild River by Sarah Maine | April 18, 2017
If you tell me a book is for fans of Kate Morton and Beatriz Williams (look a little further down in this list!), chances are I will be ALL over it! Set in the 1890s, Beyond the Wild River is about a Scottish heiress who unexpectedly runs into a childhood friend in North America…five years after he disappeared from her family’s estate the night a brutal double murder took place. That high pitched squealing you hear? Yeah, that’s me flailing HARD. As if that wasn’t intriguing enough, this novel also features the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago which was home to H. H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer. It’s like Sarah wrote this book just for me.
Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh | May 9, 2017
Yep, that Bonnie. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel – Adult or YA – that was a take on Bonnie and Clyde!
From Duke till Dawn by Eva Leigh | May 30, 2017
After falling in love with historical romance back in October I have been on a huge kick and I don’t think 2017 will be any different! This novel, the first in the London Underground series, is about a duke who fell in love with a woman…only to have her vanish after a passionate night together. As it turns out, the woman wasn’t the destitute widow she claimed to be. She’s a swindler and managing a gambling hall. When she falls victim to her own tricks (her business partner turned and fled, taking all of their earnings), she finds herself seeking help from the man she had once betrayed.
The Scandal of it All by Sophie Jordan | July 25, 2017
The Scandal of it all is the second book in Sophie’s Rogue Files series. The first, While the Duke was Sleeping was one of my VERY few 5-star reads of 2016. I loved it. A lot. And I’m ecstatic that book two is going to be here in a few months! This one features two characters who were in the first book and I’m so excited to see how their story plays out!
The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase | July 25, 2017
TECHNICALLY these posts were only supposed to cover the first half of 2017 (January – June), BUT I had to make an exception for Sophie and Eve. Eve’s debut, Black Rabbit Hall, was not only my most anticipated read of 2016, but it ended up being my top read of 2016. I loved it SO much. I even dedicated a GoodReads Recommends post to it! Seriously, Black Rabbit Hall is a FANTASTIC book and one I desperately want to reread (my copy has been making the rounds through family and friends). Since finishing I’ve been dying for a new book and Eve has delivered. I didn’t even care what it was about, I knew I was going to read it. As it turns out, The Wildling sisters is about four sisters, an English manor, the summer of 1959, and the dark secret that they share. That heart-eyes emoji is basically me.
Because I love historical fiction so much I wanted to share six more novels – these are ones I already have.
The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams | January 17, 2017
I discovered Beatriz a little late, but oh man I am SO glad I did. 2015’s Along the Infinite Sea was not only my introduction to her work, but it also ended up being my top read of the year. This latest novel bounces between the present day and 1924 – and you all know dual era novels are my favorite. The Jazz Age, speakeasies, bootleggers, and a wealthy Princetonian family. There’s even a hint of something else as, in the present day, Ella is warned to stay away from her apartment building’s basement. Back in the 20s it was a legendary speakeasy and, though it’s been empty for decades, tenants report mysterious noises, clinking of glasses, even a piano.
A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner | March 14, 2017
World War Two has finally ended, but the troubles are just beginning for a German ballerina and the daughter of a French resistance spy. The two woman board the RMS Queen Mary along with hundreds of other war brides where they’ll cross the Atlantic and reunite with their husbands in America. Only, when they arrive, one of the women never disembarks. In the present day, a woman visits the supposedly haunted ship and uncovers a 70-year-old tragedy. WWII, mysteries, tragedies, haunted ships. This has my name all over it.
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck | March 28, 2017
The end of WWII, a crumbling Bavarian castle, a group of widows of the resistance come together to create a makeshift family. Not much to go on, I know, but several people I know who have already read this one have said it’s absolutely heartbreaking and emotional and I’m looking forward to this tough read.
The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson | April 4, 2017
I probably should have made a separate list for the WWII books ha! Alice-Ann is 16 years old in 1941 and is hopelessly in love with her brother’s best friend. Though there’s a five-year gap in their ages, Alice-Ann knows Mack is the man she wants to spend her life with. Then word of Pearl Harbor spreads throughout the country and Mack makes the decision to enlist. For the next three years the two keep up a steady stream of letters and are drawn closer until the day Mack’s letters abruptly stop. Fearing the worst, Alice-Ann eases her worried mind by focusing on filling her days with work and caring for her best friend’s injured brother. But as their friendship deepens, Alice-Ann wonders if she should finally say good-bye to the hope of Mack returning and move on with her life. Another emotional war novel!
The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo | April 25, 2017
Alyssa’s debut novel, last year’s The Violinist of Venice, was our very first #BookClubFix pick and Alyssa has been a regular at our #HistoricalFix chats! She’s an absolute doll and one hell of a writer. The Violinist of Venice was fantastic and I’m thrilled to be able to dive right in to her next one! Florence takes place in 15th century Italy where the Medici family is in full power. Simonetta Cattaneo is a beautiful, educated, talented young woman who draws the attention of some of the most powerful men in the city (including a Medici), but it’s a young painter named Sandro Botticelli who makes her heart race. He invites her to pose for one of his paintings, a painting that will immortalize her: The Birth of Venus. Honestly, Alyssa could write a phone book and I’d be beside myself with delight.
The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable | May 9, 2017
Michelle is also an author #HistoricalFix chatters will recognize! Her first two books, A Paris Apartment and I’ll See You in Paris, were phenomenal and feature real figures and events in history. Her upcoming novel is looking to be magnificent as well: a once grand home on Nantucket has now fallen to ruin, causing Bess to return to the island and finally convince her stubborn mother to pack up and leave. There are secrets Cliff House is holding onto and Bess slowly unravels them. Not to be left out, this book ALSO features WWII! We have another dual era novel here as the perspective switches to Bess’s grandmother, a newlywed just as the war is beginning.