Historical Fiction

The Dressmaker

By Kate Alcott

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A spirited woman survives the sinking of the Titanic only to find herself embroiled in the tumultuous aftermath of that great tragedy. Tess is one of the last people to escape into a lifeboat. When an enterprising reporter turns her employer, Lady Duff Gordon, into an object of scorn, Tess is torn between loyalty and the truth.
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That Camden Summer

By LaVyrle Spencer

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In 1916, Roberta Jewett and her three daughters return to her family home in Camden, Maine. Because she has divorced her husband, the townsfolk quickly reject Roberta. Her outspoken manner adds further fuel to their disapproval, and when she develops a close friendship with Gabe, a widowed contractor, the people of Camden are outraged.

Also available on audio.

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Between Shades of Gray

By Ruta Sepetys

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In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note.

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Black Gold by Marguerite Henry

Black Gold by Marguerite Henry

“A haunt in the wind”

That’s how Al Hoots described the small, thin filly named U-See-It who happily crunched his peppermints in the saddling shed before her big race. Al picked up such talk from his wife, Rosa, of the Osage tribe. In the newly-minted state of Oklahoma, the spring weather of 1909 saw most everybody who lived near the Chisholm Trail come out to watch the match race between little U-See-It and a big-striding mare from Missouri named Belle Thompson.  Soon enough Al Hoots had traded 80 acres of land for the little filly, and she began winning races for him. That’s just the beginning of the story Black Gold, by Marguerite Henry.

Longing

By J.D. Landis

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The Romantic era was the cradle for artists who lived life to the fullest and loved without restraint, and Robert Schumann and his wife, Clara, were the epitome of this unbounded period. Robert shocked and confused listeners with music that heralded the beginning of the modern era while he drove both his mind and his body to their limit. Clara was the most acclaimed female pianist of her time--a time that included Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and later, Brahms, whom Clara and Robert loved more than any other man. With characters of surpassing vitality, Longing delineates the most intimate details of the relationships between men and women with a surpassing precision, sympathy, and wisdom.

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Marrying Mozart

By Stephanie Cowell

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"Amadeus meets Little Women in this irresistibly delightful historical novel by award-winning author Stephanie Cowell. The year is 1777 and the four Weber sisters, daughters of a musical family, share a crowded, artistic life in a ramshackle house. While their father scrapes by as a music copyist and their mother secretly draws up a list of prospective suitors in the kitchen, the sisters struggle with their futures, both marital and musical - until twenty-one-year-old Wolfgang Mozart walks into their lives. Bringing eighteenth-century Europe to life with unforgiving winters, yawning princes, scheming parents, and the enduring passions of young talent, Stephanie Cowell s richly textured tale captures a remarkable historical figure - and the four young women who engage his passion, his music, and his heart."

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If you like A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

This readalike is in response to a patron'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.

A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks: "This gripping historical novel is based on the true story of Eyam, the "Plague Village", in the rugged mountain spine of England. In 1666, a tainted bolt of cloth from London carries bubonic infection to this isolated settlement of shepherds and lead miners. A visionary young preacher convinces the villagers to seal themselves off in a deadly quarantine to prevent the spread of disease. The story is told through the eyes of eighteen-year-old Anna Frith, the vicar's maid, as she confronts the loss of her family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. As the death toll rises and people turn from prayers and herbal cures to sorcery and murderous witch-hunting, Anna emerges as an unlikely and courageous heroine in the village's desperate fight to save itself."

If you like A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, you may like these books as well:

Divining Women by Kaye Gibbons
In this enveloping tale of marital strife and female resilience, Gibbons considers conflicts between blacks and whites and men and women within the context of the First World War and the Spanish influenza epidemic. (Booklist)
 


 

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Kivrin, a history student at Oxford in 2048, travels back in time to a 14th-century English village, despite a host of misgivings on the part of her unofficial tutor. When the technician responsible for the procedure falls prey to a 21st-century epidemic, he accidentally sends Kivrin back not to 1320 but to 1348--right into the path of the Black Death. (Publisher's Weekly)

 

Witness in Heaven

By Gilbert Morris

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The tenth book in Gilbert Morris's sweeping and personal history of the Civil War, "A Witness in Heaven" retells the classic Pygmalion tale--set against the gold fields in Colorado and the war-ravaged landscape around Richmond.

Part of his Appomattox Saga.

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Nowhere Else on Earth

By Josephine Humphreys

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"In the summer of 1864, the citizens of Robeson County on the banks of the Lumbee River in North Carolina have become pawns in the devastation created by the Civil War. The Indian community, loosely known as Scuffletown, lives in fear of the marauding Union Army but is also hectored by the desperate Home Guard, hell-bent on conscripting the youth into deadly forced labor in the forts and salt works of the Confederacy.

"These are the circumstances under which we meet sixteen-year-old Rhoda Strong, the daughter of a sweetly morose Scotsman and his formidable Lumbee wife. Rhoda is fiercely loyal to her family but is also fiercely in love with young Henry Berry Lowrie, who, although being hunted as an outlaw, is cut of heroic cloth and is, finally, a man whose moral fiber dictates his every move."

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The Price of a Child

By Lorene Cary

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Philadelphia: 1855
A Virginia planter is on his way to assume a diplomatic post in Nicaragua, accompanied by his cook, Ginnie, and two of her children (one of whom is his). Temporarily stranded when they miss their steamboat, Ginnie makes a thrilling leap of the imagination: it is the moment she has been desperately waiting for, the moment she decides to be free. In broad daylight, under the furious gaze of her master, she walks straight out of slavery into a new life -- and into a whole new set of compromising positions. We follow Ginnie as she settles with a respectable and rambunctious black family, as she reinvents herself, christens herself Mercer Gray, dodges slave catchers, lectures far and wide in the cause of abolition, and falls in love with a man whose own ties are a formidable barrier to their happiness.

 

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