From 1940s Madrid to 1870s New Orleans, these historical fiction stories will take you away from the current moment and pull you back in history. Open these books to add time travel to your summer plans.
This book is inspired by a true, incredible story of censorship, espionage, and a once-in-a-lifetime love. Two entrancing women are plucked from their entry-level jobs and tagged by the CIA to smuggle the Doctor Zhivago manuscript out of the USSR and get it into readers’ hands around the world. An inspiring and daring look at the power of art to change hearts and minds.
Elizabeth Gilbert transports us to the 1940’s New York theater scene, with all its glamour, promiscuity, and memorable characters. Vivian Morris moves in with her aunt, who owns a midtown theater, and is introduced to a new world of unconventional and charismatic friends. However, a scandal turns her world upside down, the effects of which will take her years to understand.
Call us biased, but we love a book about books. Five women join forces to bring books to rural areas in Depression-era Kentucky. Full of pluck and a sense of justice, these horseback librarians (yes, you read that right) change the lives of the readers they meet along the way. And don’t worry, fans of Me Before You, there’s a healthy dose of romance too.
The Book of Longings centers around an audacious storyline: a young woman named Ana who becomes the wife of Jesus. Though a work of fiction, this novel is grounded in meticulous research. Sue Monk Kidd asks us to imagine if such a woman could have been written out of history and focuses her mesmerizing story on giving voice to a woman set during a time when women were often silenced.
Go back in time to a murder set in 1969 Brooklyn, when an old church deacon shoots a drug dealer at point-blank range. While this doesn’t sound comical, James McBride shares a story that is both funny and poignant, as he unpacks the reason for the shooting and provides vivid descriptions of the various people affected by it.
Warning: You may need some time alone after finishing this book. Travel back to 1950’s Spain and get sucked into an unforgettable love story. Eighteen-year-old Daniel arrives in Madrid to connect with his mother’s country, but beneath the veneer of sun and tourism, the wounds of the Spanish Civil War still linger. There, he meets someone whose family’s history points to the power and danger of silence.
Set before and immediately after the Civil War, Conjure Women follows the lives of three women, a wise healing woman, her daughter, and their master’s daughter. Their many secrets haunt the pages of this book and will have you immersed in this historical fiction masterpiece.
This novel will have you reaching for your nearest tissue box. Avery seems to have it all, but a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions about her family’s past. This heart-wrenching yet hopeful tale follows two timelines, in 1939 and the present day, to uncover a dark secret based on a real-life notorious scandal.
Historical fiction at its finest, this uplifting story follows the friendship and experiences of three women spanning from St. Petersburg to Paris during World War I. Eliza travels to St. Petersburg with Sofya, a cousin of the Romanovs. But when the war breaks out, Eliza escapes back to America. In need of domestic help, Sofya hires the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka. When Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, Eliza fears the worst.