General Fiction Booklists

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Unearthing the Past: Historical Fiction

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Death of Kings
by Bernard Cornwell Details
The fate of a young nation rests in the hands of a reluctant warrior. This epic saga of England is a gripping tale of divided loyalties and mounting chaos. At a crucial moment in time, as Alfred the Great lays dying, the fate of all--Angles, Saxons, and Vikings alike--hangs desperately in the balance.
Series -
Saxon Tales
Illuminations : a novel of Hildegard von Bingen
by Mary Sharratt Details
A novel based on the true story of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), who was offered by her parents as a tithe to the Church as a young child and who triumphed to become a powerful abbess, composer, prophet and polymath.
Mr. Churchill's Secretary
by Susan Elia MacNeal Details
London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. Maggie Hope graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Yet Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also exposes Maggie to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.
Series -
Maggie Hope
Partitions
by Amit Majmudar Details
As India is rent into two nations, communal violence breaks out on both sides of the new border and streaming hordes of refugees flee from blood and chaos. At an overrun train station, Shankar and Keshav, twin Hindu boys, lose sight of their mother and join the human mass to go in search of her. A young Sikh girl, Simran Kaur, has run away from her father, who would rather poison his daughter than see her defiled. And Ibrahim Masud, an elderly Muslim doctor driven from the town of his birth, limps toward the new Muslim state of Pakistan, rediscovering on the way his role as a healer. As the displaced face a variety of horrors, this unlikely quartet comes together, defying every rule of self-preservation to forge a future of hope.
People of the Book
by Geraldine Brooks Details
In 1996, Hanna Heath, a young Australian book conservator is called to analyze the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a priceless six-hundred-year-old Jewish prayer book that has been salvaged from a destroyed Bosnian library. When Hanna discovers a series of ancient artifacts, she unwittingly exposes an international cover up.
River of Smoke
by Amitav Ghosh Details
Amid a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, three vessels, and the diverse occupants within, converge on Canton's Fanqui-Town, or Foreign Enclave, which is a powder keg awaiting a spark to ignite the Opium Wars. Sequel to Sea of Poppies.
The Black Tower
by Louis Bayard Details
Having used his mastery of disguise and surveillance to nab some of France's most notorious criminals, early nineteenth-century detective Vidocq teams up with obscure medical student Hector to track down the most challenging adversary of his career, as well as a case with ties to the missing son of Marie Antoinette.
The Buddha in the Attic
by Julie Otsuka Details
2011 National Book Award for Fiction Finalist. This finely crafted novel presents the stories of six Japanese mail-order brides whose new lives in early twentieth-century San Francisco are marked by backbreaking migrant work, cultural struggles, children who reject their heritage, and the prospect of wartime internment.
The Coral Thief
by Rebecca Stott Details
Paris, 1815. Napoleon is on his way to the island of St. Helena to begin his exile. Daniel Connor, a young medical student from Edinburgh, has just arrived in Paris to study anatomy at the Jardin des Plantes-only to realize that his letters of introduction and a gift of precious coral specimens, on which his tenure with the legendary Dr. Cuvier depends, have been stolen by the beautiful woman with whom he shared a stagecoach. In trying to recover his lost valuables, Daniel discovers that his beautiful adversary is in fact a philosopher-thief who lives in a shadowy world of outlaws and émigrés. Daniel is drawn into an audacious plot that will leave him with a future very different from the one he has envisioned.
The Crown
by Nancy Bilyeau Details
In this debut historical thriller, an aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father's life and preserve all she holds dear from Cromwell's ruthless terror.
Series -
Joanna Stafford
The Light Between Oceans
by M. L. Stedman Details
A novel set on a remote Australian island, where a childless couple live quietly running a lighthouse, until a boat carrying a baby washes ashore.
The Map of Lost Memories
by Kim Fay Details
It's 1925 and the treasure-hunting scene is a man's world. Irene Blum is passed over for the curator position at a Seattle museum but is not willing to accept defeat. Irene comes into possession of a map believed to lead to a set of copper scrolls that tell the lost history of Cambodia's ancient Khmer civilization. Irene travels from Seattle to Shanghai to the Cambodian jungles in search of the lost scrolls and encounters several other adventurers along the way.
The Orphan Master
by Jean Zimmerman Details
It is 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine van Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.
The Queen's Vow
by C.W. Gortner Details
Isabella of Castile begins this historical novel as a mere pawn in the decadent court of her weak older brother. When controversy arises over the legitimacy of her brother's heir, Isabella's tenacity and ruthlessness allow her to seize the throne with the help of her beloved Ferdinand of Aragon. After she is crowned, however, Isabella faces continued threats to the security of the realm not only from outside sources but also from Ferdinand's own pride and arrogance.
The Second Empress
by Michelle Moran Details
1809. The French Revolution is over, but the bloodshed in Paris may continue under the rule of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Based entirely on primary resources, this re-creation details Napoleon Bonaparte's wildly promiscuous court and the women who tried to tame it.
The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton Details
During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.
The Shoemaker's Wife
by Adriana Trigiani Details
Set during the years preceding and during World War I, this novel follows the lives of two star-crossed lovers, Enzo and Ciro, who meet and separate, until finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.
The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
by Enid Shomer Details
A tale inspired by their 1850 journey up the Nile imagines shared encounters between Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert, during which they overcame considerable differences to forge a bond of intelligence, humor, and passion.
The Winter Palace
by Eva Stachniak Details
An imaginative retelling of Catherine the Great's improbable rise to power as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.
Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel Details
Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell, a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, astute in reading people. He is also a consummate politician. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?
Updated 05/02/2013
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