Popular Historical Fiction Books for Adults
Hundreds of books are added to the Library's collection each month. Here are the most popular Historical Fiction books for adults.
The Bass Rock
"The lives of three women weave together across centuries in the dazzling new book from the Granta Best of Young British Novelist, author of All the Birds, Singing. Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has always borne witness to the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries, the fates of three women are inextricably linked to this place and to each other. Sarah, accused of being a witch, is fleeing for her life. Ruth, in the aftermath of the Second World War, is navigating a new marriage and the strange waters of the local community. Six decades later, Viv, still mourning the death of her father, is cataloguing Ruth's belongings in the now-empty house. As each woman's story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that their choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men who seek to control them. But in sisterhood there is also the possibility of survival and a new way of life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with love and fury--a devastating indictment of violence against women, and an empowering portrait of their resilience through the ages"--
Format: Book - 2020View The Bass Rock
One Fatal Flaw
"When a desperate woman comes to Daniel seeking a lawyer for her boyfriend, Rob Adwell, Daniel is convinced of the young man's innocence. Adwell has been accused of murder and setting a fire to conceal the body, but Daniel is sure that science can absolve him--and the brilliant Miriam fford Croft is the best scientist Daniel knows. Working together with Miriam, Daniel reveals Adwell's innocence by showing that an accidental fire caused the victim's death. But it's not long before Adwell is killed in the same fiery fashion. If these deaths are, in fact, murders, what could Miriam have missed? As the evidence begins to contradict itself, Adwell's girlfriend comes into question--and so do the methods Miriam has been using. Soon Miriam's career hangs in the balance, and what started as an accidental fire seems to be part of a larger plot of revenge, with victims accumulating in its wake. Now Miriam and Daniel must uncover who or what is stoking these recurring flames--before they, too, find themselves burned"--
Format: Book - 2020View One Fatal Flaw
The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel
"From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours comes a new novel inspired by little-known historical events: a dramatic story of three young women on a journey in search of family amidst the destruction of the post-Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who rediscovers their story and its vital connection to her own students' lives. In her distinctive voice, Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual "Lost Friends" advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold off. Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now-destitute plantation; Juneau Jane, her illegitimate free-born Creole half-sister; and Hannie, Lavinia's former slave. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following dangerous roads rife with ruthless vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and eight siblings before slavery's end, the pilgrimage westward reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the seemingly limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope. Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt--until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, seems suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lies the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything"--
Format: Book - 2020View The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel
These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
"Abel and Vera Paisley are a working-class Jamaican couple, striving to build a better life for their children. Abel travels to London in the early 1960s in search of fortune. Instead, he sees an opportunity to escape the drudgery of his life by faking his death and assuming a new identity. Vera, now a widow, is racked with guilt over her husband's "death" and takes out her grief on her children, Irene and Vincent. The effects of Abel's decision reverberate across generations. ...Over time and across continents, ...they wrestle with the burdens of family lore and struggle to forge independent identities. Despite everything, Abel finds a second chance at love. Vincent follows his dream to move to New York. Irene also moves to New York but realizes you can never fully leave the past behind."--
Format: Book - 2020View These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel
Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. After the Civil War ends, Sethe longingly recalls the two-year-old daughter whom she killed when threatened with recapture after escaping from slavery 18 years before.
Format: Book - 2004View Beloved
The Murmur of Bees
"From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can -- visions of all that's yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats -- both human and those of nature -- Simonopio's purpose in Linares will in time, be divined." -- from book jacket
Format: Book - 2019View The Murmur of Bees
City of Girls
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time," she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is."
Format: Book - 2019View City of Girls
The Fountains of Silence: A Novel
At the Castellana Hilton in 1957 Madrid, eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson connects with Ana Moreno through photography and fate as Daniel discovers the incredibly dark side of the city under Generalissimo Franco's rule.
Format: Book - 2019View The Fountains of Silence: A Novel
Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life.
Format: Book - 2018View Washington Black
The Confessions of Frannie Langton: A Novel
A servant and former slave is accused of murdering her employer and his wife in this astonishing historical thriller that moves from a Jamaican sugar plantation to the fetid streets of Georgian London.
Format: Book - 2019View The Confessions of Frannie Langton: A Novel