Time Was... New Historical Fiction

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We can't give you a time machine, but we can give you the next best thing - historical fiction. Explore the world's vast history with these gripping reads.


Rosemary Rowe
Description: "On a misty day in February, CE 194, Libertus, reluctant councillor and pavement maker by trade, is summoned to meet his patron at the local public baths. Marcus Aurelius is concerned because a distant cousin from Rome has announced his impending arrival and Marcus is convinced he is a spy for the Emperor Severus, despatched to Glevum to investigate reports of an 'act of treason.' Meanwhile, Libertus has concerns of his own. The local money-lender has been seeking his counsel, but before they can meet, a series of strange and fatal events takes place and before long Libertus finds himself fighting for his freedom amidst accusations of treason and murder."--Publisher.
Call Number: FIC Row
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Curdella Forbes
Description: "[This novel] tells the story of Moshe Fisher, a man who was "born without skin," so that no one is able to tell what race he belongs to; and Arrienne Christie, his quixotic soul mate who makes it her duty in life to protect Moshe from the social and emotional consequences of his strange appearance. The narrative begins with Moshe's birth in the late 1950s, four years before Jamaica's independence from colonial rule, and ends in the era of what Forbes calls "the fall of empire," the era of Brexit and Donald Trump. The historical trajectory layers but never overwhelms the scintillating love story as the pair fight to establish their own view of loving, against the moral force of the colonial "plantation" and its legacies that continue to affect their lives and the lives of those around them."--Publisher description.
Call Number: FIC For
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
John Farrow
Description: "Montreal, 1975. Detective Émile Cinq-Mars is transferring from the Night Patrol - the notoriously tough department of officers in charge of watching over the city as it sleeps - to the day shift. His old superior has seen to it that he's assigned to partner Yves Giroux, another ex-Night Patrol detective some say isn't on the 'up and up'. Getting in a house is easy for thief Quinn Tanner. The stress comes in getting out clean. On finding her getaway driver dead after her latest heist, she goes underground. For his first case on the day shift, Émile is sent to the property that Quinn has just visited, and their paths are set to cross. But has she stolen something more valuable than she realizes ... and who is hunting for her now?"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Far
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Dietrich Kalteis
Description: "Sonny and Clara Myers struggle on their Kansas farm in the late 1930s, a time the Lord gave up on: their land's gone dry, barren, and worthless; the bankers are greedy and hungry, trying to squeeze them and other farmers out of their homes; and, on top of that, their marriage is in trouble. The couple can struggle and wither along with the land or surrender to the bankers and hightail it to California like most of the others. Clara is all for leaving, but Sonny refuses to abandon the family farm. In a fit of temper, she takes off westward in their old battered truck. Alone on the farm and determined to get back Clara and the good old days, Sonny comes up with an idea, a way to keep his land and even prosper while giving the banks a taste of their own misery. He sets the scheme in motion under the cover of the commotion being caused by a rainmaker hired by the mayor to call down the thunder and wash away everyone's troubles."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Kal
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Elizabeth Hand
Description: "In the sweltering summer of 1915, Pin, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a carnival fortune-teller, dresses as a boy and joins a teenage gang that roams the famous Riverview amusement park, looking for trouble. Unbeknownst to the well-heeled city-dwellers and visitors who come to enjoy the midway, the park is also host to a ruthless killer who uses the shadows of the dark carnival attractions to conduct his crimes. When Pin sees a man enter the Hell Gate ride with a young girl, and emerge alone, she knows that something horrific has occurred. The crime will lead her to the iconic outsider artist Henry Darger, a brilliant but seemingly mad man. Together, the two navigate the seedy underbelly of a changing city to uncover a murderer few even know to look for.-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Han
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Martin Limón
Description: South Korea, 1970s: A rash of armed robberies at local Korean banks doesn't concern the American military--until a fatality occurs, and proof surfaces that US soldiers are behind the crimes. The case has been assigned to CID Agents Jake Burrows and Felix Slabem, but they certainly won't do anything that might make 8th United States Army look bad. So Sergeants George Sueño and Ernie Bascom have decided to step in and investigate the robberies--and murder--themselves. George and Ernie have their own problems to worry about, namely one Katie Byrd Worthington, a pesky reporter for the Overseas Observer--an unsanctioned English-language tabloid that has found strong roots in South Korea. Katie has published a story that implicates Army higher-ups in both sex trafficking and treason, and the pressure is on for the CID to disprove her claims. But what if they aren't false? As George and Ernie dig deeper into the case, they find themselves the targets of a very unflattering publicity campaign, but perhaps also something much more dangerous.
Call Number: FIC Lim
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
May McGoldrick
Description: A rebel at heart: Maisie Murray's sweet, docile exterior masks the courageous spirit of a firebrand determined to champion women's suffrage with like-minded friends. But fighting for her principles has swept her directly into harm's way--and into the arms of a man she cannot resist. A warrior by blood: A trained officer with the Royal Highland Regiment, Niall Campbell has spent his life serving the Crown. Battle-weary and searching for peace, he wants nothing to do with trouble--until he meets Maisie. But unless Niall and Maisie can find a way to stand up to the destructive forces that threaten to divide them, long-buried secrets and political schemes are destined to stand in the way of the glorious love they've found...
Call Number: FIC McG
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Jon Clinch
Description: From the author of Finn comes a masterful re-imagining of Charles Dickens's classic, A Christmas Carol, in this darkly entertaining and moving exploration of the twisted relationship between Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley.
Call Number: FIC Cli
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Shannon Pufahl
Description: "Muriel is newly married and restless, transplanted from her rural Kansas hometown to life in a dusty bungalow in San Diego. The air is rich with the tang of salt and citrus, but the limits of her new life seem to be closing in: She misses her freethinking mother, dead before Muriel's nineteenth birthday, and her sly, itinerant brother-in-law, Julius, who made the world feel bigger than she had imagined. And so she begins slipping off to the Del Mar racetrack to bet and eavesdrop, learning the language of horses and risk. Meanwhile, Julius is testing his fate in Las Vegas, working at a local casino where tourists watch atomic tests from the roof, and falling in love with Henry, a young card cheat. When Henry is eventually discovered and run out of town, Julius takes off to search for him in the plazas and dives of Tijuana, trading one city of dangerous illusions and indiscretions for another." -- Amazon
Call Number: FIC Puf
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Allison Pataki, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Croghan Kamoie, Sophie Perinot
Description: "Six award-winning authors bring to life an epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers -- six unforgettable women whose paths cross during one of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the French Revolution. In late 18th-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise -- upending a world order that has long oppressed them. Blue-blooded Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy, education, and equal rights for women and marries the only man in Paris who agrees. Emboldened to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI, Sophie aims to prove that an educated populace can govern itself -- but one of her students, fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and vengeance than learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a women's march to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not without a fight. The king's pious sister, Princess Elisabeth, takes a stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old order, even at the risk of her head. But when fanatics use the newspapers to twist the revolution's ideals into a new tyranny, even the women who toppled the monarchy are threatened by the guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant political wife Manon Roland tries to write a way out of France's blood-soaked Reign of Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and steely Charlotte Corday embrace violence as the only way to save the nation. With justice corrupted by revenge, all the women must make impossible choices to survive -- unless unlikely heroine and courtesan's daughter Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man who controls France's fate: the fearsome Robespierre."--provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Rib
Format: Book
Date Added: Oct 14, 2019
James L. Haley
Description: In this third volume of the Bliven Putnam Naval Adventure series, Captain Putnam returns, venturing into the Pacific to fight pirates in Malaya and match wits with the royals in Hawaii.
Call Number: FIC Hal
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Susan Higginbotham
Description: A Union's First Lady-- As the Civil War cracks the country in two, Mary Lincoln stands beside her husband praying for a swift Northern victory. But as the body count rises, Mary can't help but fear each bloody gain. Because her beloved sister Emily is across party lines, fighting for the South, and Mary is at risk of losing both her country and her family in the tides of a brutal war. A Confederate Rebel's Wife-- Emily Todd Helm has married the love of her life. But when her husband's Southern ties pull them into a war neither want to join, she must make a choice. Abandon the family she has built in the South or fight against the sister she has always loved best. With a country's legacy at stake, how will two sisters shape history?
Call Number: FIC Hig
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Michael Crummey
Description: "A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scarcity. Still children with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family's boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father to keep them. Muddling though the severe round of the seasons, through years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested. The Innocents is richly imagined and compulsively readable, a riveting story of hardship and survival, and an unflinching exploration of the bond between brother and sister. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves."-- amazon.com
Call Number: FIC Cru
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Georgie Blalock
Description: The unconventional life of Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister, is told through the eyes of her loyal lady-in-waiting -- adapted from cover description.Springing into post-World War II society, and quite naughty and haughty, Princess Margaret lived in a whirlwind of fame and notoriety. She sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set, but can she be a dutiful princess while still dazzling the world on her own terms? The Honorable Vera Strathmore dreams of living and working in New York until a chance meeting with the Princess changes her life. In the privileged position of second lady-in-waiting to the Princess, Vera watches the princess's love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl. -- adapted from back cover
Call Number: FIC Bla
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Caroline Scott
Description: "1921. Survivors of the Great War are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis is still missing. Francis is presumed to have been killed in action, but Edie knows he is alive. Harry, Francis’s brother, was there the day Francis went missing in Ypres. And like Edie, he’s hopeful Francis is living somewhere in France, lost and confused. Hired by grieving families in need of closure, Harry returns to the Western Front to photograph soldiers’ graves. As he travels through France gathering news for British wives and mothers, he searches for evidence his own brother is still alive. When Edie receives a mysterious photograph that she believes was taken by Francis, she is more certain than ever he isn’t dead. Edie embarks on her own journey in the hope of finding some trace of her husband. Is he truly gone, or could he still be alive? And if he is, why hasn’t he come home? As Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to the truth about Francis and, as they do, are soon faced with the life-changing impact of the answers they discover. An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history—those years after the war that were filled with the unknown—The Poppy Wife tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins in battle-scarred France; and the even greater number of men and women hoping to find them again."-- amazon.com
Call Number: FIC Sco
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Susan Holloway Scott
Description: Aaron Burr was a hero of the Revolution, a brilliant politician, lawyer, and very nearly president; a skillful survivor in a raw new country filled with constantly shifting loyalties. But there were dark whispers about him: that he was untrustworthy, a libertine, a man unafraid of claiming whatever he believed should be his. Sold into slavery as a child in India, Mary Emmons was brought to an America torn by war. Toughened by the experiences of her young life, Mary is intelligent, resourceful, and strong. She quickly gains the trust of her new mistress, Theodosia Prevost, and becomes indispensable--especially after the widowed Theodosia marries Colonel Aaron Burr. As Theodosia sickens with the fatal disease that will finally kill her, Mary and Burr are drawn together into a private world of power and passion, and a secret, tangled union that would have shocked the nation. -- adapted from back cover
Call Number: FIC Sco
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Maaza Mengiste
Description: With the threat of Mussolini's army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid to Kidane and his wife Aster. Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie's army, rushes to mobilize his strongest men before the Italians invade. His initial kindness to Hirut shifts into cruelty when she resists his advances, and Hirut finds herself tumbling into a new world of thefts and violations, of betrayals and rage. As the war begins in earnest, the Emperor goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope. Hirut helps disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor and soon becomes his guard, inspiring other women to take up arms against the Italians. -- adapted from jacket
Call Number: FIC Men
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Karen Campbell
Description: "Trapped in Tuscany as war rages along the Gothic Line, Vittoria Guidi doesn't understand where her allegiances should lie. With her Scots-Italian father or Fascist mother? With Mussolini, or her King? With the life she wants, or is told to live? As Germans occupy the mountains surrounding Barga and American Buffalo soldiers draw near, loyalties are tested and families torn apart. Frank Chapel, a young, black soldier fighting for a country that refuses him the vote, is unlike anyone Vita has ever met before. In the chaos, they find each other - but can their growing love defy prejudice and war?"--Publisher.
Call Number: FIC Cam
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Chi-min Yi, Chi-Young Kim
Description: American movie star Marilyn Monroe will be visiting Korea on a four-day USO tour, and Alice has been chosen as her translator. Though intrigued, Alice has few expectations of the job--what could she and a beautiful actress at the peak of her fame possibly have to talk about? Yet the Marilyn she meets, while just as dazzling and sensual as Alice expected, is also surprisingly approachable. As Marilyn's visit unfolds, Alice is forced into a reckoning with her own painful past.
Call Number: FIC Yi
Format: Book
Date Added: Dec 9, 2019
Mark Barr
Description: Amidst construction of a federal dam in rural Tennessee, Nathan, an engineer hiding from his past, meets Claire, a small-town housewife struggling to find her footing in the newly-electrified, job-hungry, post-Depression South. As Nathan wrestles with the burdens of a secret guilt and tangled love, Claire struggles to balance motherhood and a newfound freedom that awakens ambitions and a sexuality she hadn't known she possessed. The arrival of electricity in the rural community, where prostitution and dog-fighting are commonplace, thrusts together modern and backcountry values. In an evocative feat of storytelling in the vein of Kent Haruf's Plainsong, and Ron Rash's Serena, Watershed delivers a gripping story of characters whose ambitions and yearnings threaten to overflow the banks of their time and place. As the townspeople embark on a biblical undertaking to harness elemental forces, Nathan and Claire are left to wonder what their lives will look like when the lights come on.
Call Number: FIC Bar
Format: Book
Date Added: Nov 12, 2019
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: Time Was... New Historical Fiction
A Prisoner Of Privilege
Rosemary Rowe
FIC Row
The Devil In Paradise : Captain Putnam In Hawaii
James L. Haley
FIC Hal
A Tall History Of Sugar
Curdella Forbes
FIC For
The First Lady And The Rebel
Susan Higginbotham
FIC Hig
Ball Park
John Farrow
FIC Far
The Innocents
Michael Crummey
FIC Cru
Call Down The Thunder : A Crime Novel
Dietrich Kalteis
FIC Kal
The Other Windsor Girl : A Novel Of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel
Georgie Blalock
FIC Bla
Curious Toys : A Novel
Elizabeth Hand
FIC Han
The Poppy Wife : A Novel Of The Great War
Caroline Scott
FIC Sco
G.I. Confidential
Martin Limón
FIC Lim
The Secret Wife Of Aaron Burr
Susan Holloway Scott
FIC Sco
Highland Jewel
May McGoldrick
FIC McG
The Shadow King : A Novel
Maaza Mengiste
FIC Men
Marley : A Novel
Jon Clinch
FIC Cli
The Sound Of The Hours
Karen Campbell
FIC Cam
On Swift Horses
Shannon Pufahl
FIC Puf
The Starlet And The Spy : A Novel
Chi-min Yi, Chi-Young Kim
FIC Yi
Ribbons Of Scarlet : A Novel Of The French Revolution's Women
Allison Pataki, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Croghan Kamoie, Sophie Perinot
FIC Rib
Watershed : A Novel
Mark Barr
FIC Bar