Historical Fiction

08/14/2017 - 11:21am
Books to the Big Screen: Fall & Winter 2017

This spring and summer, plenty of books have come to life on the big screen with phenomenal results. To wrap up the end of 2017, Hollywood is releasing even more "book to movie" productions that are sure to have viewers talking.

10/02/2017 - 1:42pm
The Shadow Land: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova

In 2008, a young woman from the Blue Ridge Mountains, who loves poetry and literature, arrives in Bulgaria. She’s been hired to teach English but has a month to explore on her own. Jet-lagged, at the wrong hotel and in need of rest and a shower, it’s not surprising Alexandra makes a terrible mistake while simply trying to help a family with their luggage. It’s not the first awful mistake she’s made, either.

In the late 1930s, a 20-something violin virtuoso, who has everything in the world to look forward to, slips back to his Bulgarian hometown on the eve of World War II. When the conflict is over, Stoyan Lazarov has very good reason to believe his talent will grant him fame. So what if he has to play second chair for now in a provincial orchestra? He has the love of his life, brilliant talent and enough patience. But musical genius though he may be, he has not factored in the crushing power of the political police.

In 2008, Alexandra’s and Stoyan’s paths will cross, and their separate, shameful secrets will be laid bare. Elizabeth Kostova’s The Shadow Land is at once a historical mystery and a modern thriller. There is true bravery and true love in this page-turner that spans decades, even as it illuminates an ancient country’s marvels and sorrows.

10/09/2017 - 9:28pm
Jamie Ford

Fredericksburg Branch, Tuesday, October 10, 7:00–8:30

Join us as we hear bestselling author Jamie Ford discuss his work. His novels include Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Songs of Willow Frost, and his new Love and Other Consolation Prizes. A question & answer session and book signing will follow. Copies of Love and Other Consolation Prizes will be sold for cash or check payment. Refreshments served. Sponsored by UMW Libraries. 

About the Author:

Jamie Ford has worked themes from his Asian-American heritage into his books. Ford may not sound like an Asian name, but it was adopted by Jamie Ford's great-grandfather, Min Chung, who emigrated from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco in 1865. Taking the European name William Ford, Min Chung became a miner in Nevada. 

Min Chung/William Ford's great-grandson Jamie Ford earned a degree in design from the Art Institute of Seattle and also attended Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts. He worked in advertising, first as an art director and later as a copywriter. On his own, he submitted short stories to writing contests and small literary venues and spent many of his vacations at writing conferences. In an interview on WordLily, Jamie explained that he began writing about Asian-American characters after his father died when he found he wanted to reconnect with his Chinese heritage.

Mr. Ford grew up in Oregon as well as in Washington State, a setting he would revisit in his works. Jamie Ford's first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times' bestseller list, winning many awards, while it received much praise from both general readers and professional reviewers.

Mr. Ford shares some thoughts about his history, inspiration, and personal recommendations in our Guest Picks column. 

10/02/2017 - 1:44pm
Cover to A Perilous Undertaking

When promising artist Artemisia is found with a slit throat, her married lover is sentenced to be executed for the murder. But Lady Sundridge is convinced that Miles Ramsforth, patron of the arts, is innocent of killing his comely protégé—who also happened to be pregnant with his first child. On the advice of a shadowy figure, Lady Sundridge enlists the expertise of amateur sleuths Veronica Speedwell and her partner Revelstoke “Stoker” Templeton-Vane.

The pressure’s on for the detectives as the execution is scheduled in seven days. The biggest problem hinges on the existence of any number of suspects who had good reason to frame Ramsforth for the violent crime. And, to introduce several more intriguing wrinkles, Lady Sundridge is not who she claims to be. When their lives are threatened, Veronica and Stoker are certain they’re getting closer to solving the case.

A Perilous Undertaking, by Virginia’s own Deanna Raybourn, is the second in the Veronica Speedwell series. If you haven’t already read the first book, I would definitely recommend starting with A Curious Beginning. Despite the book’s setting of late 1800s England, Veronica is quite the modern woman. She travels the world solo, capturing exotic butterflies to sell to any number of wealthy collectors.

10/02/2017 - 1:49pm
Cover to The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Li Lan, a lovely but unassuming girl from a scholarly family fallen on hard times, is rather taken aback when her father casually asks her one night if she would like to become a ghost bride.

Her nursemaid is furious. Even suggesting such a thing is unlucky, although Li Lan would be living with a rich family, and it’s probable that all of her family’s debts would be taken care of.

Ghost brides were an old tradition brought to Malaya (colonial Malaysia) from China, where a young man who had died might still be given the precious gift of a wife to honor his memory.

But who is Li Lan's ghost groom? The only son of a wealthy family who was odious in his manner and appearance, whining and fat. He saw Li Lan just once when he was alive, but so entranced was he by her beauty that he is still pressuring his family to make a match. Yes, still. He thinks he has everything she might want in the land of the dead, and he isn’t giving up, although Li Lan is equally determined to resist him—especially after she meets a young man who she believes suits her far better and is very much alive.

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Memphis, 1939

Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty. Georgia Tann, the Baby Snatcher of Tennessee
Aiken, South Carolina, present day
Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiance, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead eitherto devastation or to redemption. Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate's riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong. (catalog summary)
 

10/02/2017 - 1:53pm
If you like Melanie Dickerson Titles

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.

Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning Historical Romance author for both adults and teens. She has written the ever-popular Hagenheim, or Fairytale Romance and Thornbeck, Medieval Fairtale Romance for teens; as well as the Regency Spies of London series for adults. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.
 

Hagenheim, or the Fairytale Romance Series In Order . . . (Teen)
The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie DickersonThe Merchant's Daughter by Melanie DickersonThe Fairest Beauty by Melanie DickersonThe Captive Maiden by Melanie DickersonThe Princess Spy by Melanie DickersonThe Golden Braid by Melanie DickersonThe Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson
 

10/02/2017 - 1:53pm
If you like Alice and Wonderland (And You're an Adult)

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.

You want adult books that have the same feeling as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. You like the nonsensical bits, the otherworldly settings, and Alice with her curiosity and sense of adventure.

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