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Historical Fiction

Cave dwellers : a novel Richard Grant – A gripping novel of historical espionage, about an eleventh-hour attempt by members of the German elite to unseat Adolf Hitler, and its endlessly complex consequences.

The day of atonement : a novel David Liss – Returning to mid-eighteenth-century Lisbon to avenge the death of his father, Sebastian Foxx, the protâegâe of bounty hunter Benjamin Weaver, stealthily collects funds and identifies friends and allies among Inquisition spies.

The Flight Portfolio / Julie Orringer – The long-awaited new work from the best-selling author of The Invisible Bridge takes us back to occupied Europe in this gripping historical novel based on the true story of Varian Fry’s extraordinary attempt to save the work, and the lives, of Jewish artists fleeing the Holocaust In 1940. The novel opens at the Chagalls’ ancient stone house in Gordes, France, as Fry desperately tries to persuade them of the barbarism and tragedy descending on Europe. Masterfully crafted, exquisitely written, impossible to put down, this is historical fiction of the very first order, and resounding confirmation of Orringer’s gifts as a novelist.

The Irishman’s daughter : a novel / V.S. Alexander – Ireland, 1845. To Briana Walsh, no place on earth is more beautiful than Carrowteige, County Mayo, with its sloping fields and rocky cliffs perched above the wild Atlantic. The small farms that surround the centuries-old Lear House are managed by her father, agent to the wealthy, reckless Sir Thomas Blakely. Tenant farmers sell the oats and rye they grow to pay rent to Sir Thomas, surviving on the potatoes that flourish in the remaining scraps of land. But when thepotato crop falls prey to a devastating blight, families Briana has known all her life are left with no food, no resources, and no mercy from the English landowner, who seems indifferent to everything except profit. Rory Caulfield, the hard-working young farmer Briana hopes to marry, shares the locals’ despair— and their anger. There’s talk of violent reprisals against the callous gentry and their agents. Briana’s studious older sister, Lucinda, dreams of a future far beyond Mayo. But even as hunger and disease settle over the country, killing and displacing millions, Briana knows she must find a way to guide her family through one of Ireland’s darkest hours— toward hope, love, and a new beginning.

Life Class series: Life Class, Toby’s Room, & Noonday / Pat Barker –  A powerful and unforgettable story of art and war Spring, 1914. The students at the Slade School of Art gather in Henry Tonks’s studio for his life-drawing class. But for Paul Tarrant the class is troubling, underscoring his own uncertainty about making a mark on the world. When war breaks out and the army won’t take Paul, he enlists in the Belgian Red Cross just as he and fellow student Elinor Brooke admit their feelings for one another. Amidst the devastation in Ypres, Paul comes to see the world anew – but have his experiences changed him completely?

Return to paradise James A. Michener – James A. Michener, the master of historical fiction, revisits the scenes of his first great work, Tales of the South Pacific, the Pulitzer Prize winner that brought him international acclaim. In this sequel collection, Michener once again evokes the magic of the extraordinary isles in the Pacific–from Fiji and Gaudalcanal to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea–through stories that burst with adventure, charm, and local color.

The revolution of Marina M/ Janet Fitch – Marina Makarova is a woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life. Swept up on the tides of the Russian Revolution, Marina joins the marches for workers’ rights, falls in love with a radical young poet, and betrays everything she holds dear, before being betrayed in turn. As her country goes through tremendous upheaval, Marina’s own coming-of-age unfolds, marked by deep passion, devastating loss, and the private heroism ofan ordinary woman living through extraordinary times.

The saint of wolves and butchers / Alex Grecian – Travis Roan and his dog Bear are hunters: they travel the world pursuing evildoers in order to bring them to justice. They have now come to Kansas on the trail of Rudolph Bormann, a Nazi doctor and concentration camp administrator who snuck into the US under the name Rudy Goodman in the 1950s and has at last been identified. Travis quickly learns that Goodman has powerful friends who will go to any length to protect the Nazi; what he doesn’t know is that Goodman has furtively continued his diabolical work, amassing a congregation of followers who believe he possesses God-like powers. Caught between these men is Kansas State Trooper Skottie Foster, an African American woman and a good cop who must find a way to keep peace in her district–until she realizes the struggle between Roan and Bormann will put her and her family in grave peril.

Scandalmonger / William Safire – In this gripping and timely work, William Safire unveils the story behind the nation’s first great political scandals. James Thomson Callender, the “scandalmonger” of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon. After carefully damaging Alexander Hamilton’s reputation, thereby paving the way for Jefferson’s success, Callender is shunned by the very politicians on whose behalf he was jailed for sedition. Broke and betrayed, Callender seeks revenge by exposing an illicit affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings, an accusation that ultimately cost Callender his career and would not be authenticated for two centuries.

By using actual letters, records, and notes to re-create dialogue and events, Scandalmonger embodies historical fiction at its best, politics at its most intriguing, and our Founding Fathers at their most notorious. For those who think that Washington sex scandals and lurid journalism are recent developments, this novel will be a revelation, for Safire shows how media intrusiveness into private lives-and politicians’ cool manipulation of the press-are practices as old as the Constitution.

A shout in the ruins : a novel / Kevin Powers – When war arrives, the master of Beauvais, Anthony Levallios, foresees that mastery in a new America will be measured not in acres of tobacco under cultivation by his slaves, but in industry and capital. A grievously wounded Confederate veteran loses his grip on a world he no longer understands, and his daughter finds herself married to Levallois, an arrangement that feels little better than imprisonment. And two people enslaved at Beauvais plantation, Nurse and Rawls, overcome impossible odds to be together, only to find that the promise of coming freedom may not be something they will live to see.

The Song of the Jade Lily / Kirsty Manning – In 2016, fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm, when her grandfather is dying. With only weeks left together, her grandparents begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century.

Warlight / Michael Ondaatje – 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.

White houses : a novel / Amy Bloom – Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America, Hick, as she’s known to her friends and admirers, is not quite instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. But then, as her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as first friend is an open secret, as are FDR’s own lovers. 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 acomplicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death. Through it all, even as Hick’s bond with Eleanor is tested by forces both extraordinary and common, and as she grows as a woman and awriter, she never loses sight of the love of her life.

White rose black forest / Eoin Dempsey – After finding an unconscious airman lying in the snow, Franka Gerber takes him to her family’s cabin, where she learns that he is not who he seems.

The winter soldier / Daniel Mason – Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, he discovers a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon’s scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever.

The Woman in the White Kimono: a novel / Ana Johns – Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.
America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

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