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.


Sonia Velton
Description: Set in eighteenth-century Spitalfields, London, Blackberry and Wild Rose is the rich and atmospheric tale of a household of Huguenot silk weavers as the pursuit of the perfect silk design leads them all into ambition, love, and betrayal.
Call Number: FIC Vel
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Deb Spera
Description: "It's 1924 South Carolina and the region is still recovering from the infamous boll weevil infestation that devastated the land and the economy. Gertrude, a mother of four, must make an unconscionable decision to save her daughters from starvation or die at the hands of an abusive husband. Retta is navigating a harsh world as a first-generation freed slave, still employed by the Coles, influential plantation proprietors who once owned her family. Annie is the matriarch of the Coles family and must come to terms with the terrible truth that has ripped her family apart. These three women seemingly have nothing in common, yet as they unite to stand up to the terrible injustices that have long plagued the small town, they find strength in the bond that ties women together."--Publisher's description.
Call Number: FIC Spe
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Louis Bayard
Description: When sparky and independent Mary Todd arrives in Springfield, Illinois, in the 1840s to live with her sister, who is determined to find Mary a husband, she is astonished to find herself drawn to an awkward, melancholic lawyer with a gift for oratory. The two share ambition, an obsession with politics--and a need to be suitably married off. Always at Lincoln's side, however, is the charming Joshua Speed, a shopkeeper who became his mentor in society, loyal friend, roommate--and possible lover.
Call Number: FIC Bay
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Roxana Robinson
Description: "The story of Dawson, his wife, Sarah, and their family during the violent days following the Civil War. Dawson is the editor in chief of a newspaper in Charleston, SC, trying to bring a dose of humanity and justice to a tumultuous world struggling to right itself"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Rob
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Rachel Rhys
Description: "London 1948: Eve Forrester is stuck in a loveless marriage, isolated in her gray and gloomy house when out of the blue, she receives a letter. A wealthy stranger has left her a mysterious inheritance but in order to find out more, she must travel to the glittering French Riviera. There, Eve discovers she has been bequeathed an enchanting villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and suddenly, life could not be more glamorous. But while she rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, challengers to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge--challengers who would love to see Eve gone forever. Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest--before her unexpected twist of fate turns deadly." -- Back cover
Call Number: FIC Rhy
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Jing-Jing Lee
Description: "Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only two survivors and one tiny child. In a neighboring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is strapped into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel where she is forced into sexual slavery as a 'comfort woman.' After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced still haunts her. In the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is sitting beside his ailing grandmother when he overhears a mumbled confession. He sets out to discover the truth, wherever it might lead, setting in motion a chain of events he never could have foreseen. Weaving together two time lines and two very big secrets, this stunning debut opens a window on a little-known period of history, revealing the strength and bravery shown by numerous women in the face of terrible cruelty." -- Amazon.
Call Number: FIC Lee
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
De'Shawn Charles Winslow
Description: For readers of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie and The Turner House , an intimately told story about a woman living by her own rules and the rural community that struggles to understand her. Azalea "Knot" Centre is determined to live life as she pleases. Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbors' gossip won't keep Knot from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, Knot is starting to learn that her freedom comes at a high price. Alone in her one-room shack, ostracized from her relatives and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home. Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. After his failed attempt as a teenager to help his older sister, Otis Lee discovers a possible path to redemption in the chaos Knot brings to his doorstep. But while he's busy trying to fix Knot's life, Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light. Set in an African American community in rural North Carolina from 1941 to 1987, In West Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.
Call Number: FIC Win
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Liza Wieland
Description: "June 1937. Elizabeth Bishop, still only a young woman and not yet one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century, arrives in Paris with her college roommate. They are in search of an escape, and inspiration, far from the protective world of Vassar College where they are expected to find an impressive husband, a quiet life, and act accordingly. But the world is changing, and as they arrive in the City of Light, the larger veil of fascism and occupation are looming large. In Paris, they meet a community of upper crust ex-patriates, who not only bring them along on a life-changing adventure, but also into an underground world of rebellion that will alter the course of their lives forever."--Publisher.
Call Number: FIC Wie
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Christian Kiefer
Description: "A Vietnam vet still reeling from war, John Frazier finds himself an unwitting witness to a confrontation, decades in the making, between two steely matriarchs: his aunt, Evelyn Wilson, and her former neighbor, Kimiko Takahashi. John comes to learn that in the onslaught of World War II, the Takahashis had been displaced as once-beloved tenants of the Wilson orchard and sent to an internment camp. One question has always plagued both families: What happened to the Takahashi son, Ray, when he returned from service and found that Placer County was no longer home--that nowhere was home for a Japanese American? As layers of family secrets unravel, the harrowing truth forces John to examine his own guilt. In prose recalling Thomas Wolfe, Phantoms is a stunning exploration of the ghosts of American exceptionalism that haunt us today"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Kie
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Michael Parker
Description: "Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, Prairie Fever traces the dynamic between two sisters: the pragmatic Lorena and the chimerical Elise. Their connection to each other supersedes all else, until the arrival of a schoolteacher sunders the sisters' relationship as they both begin to fall for him.
Call Number: FIC Par
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Martine Bailey
Description: During the midsummer of 1752, following a desperate summons from her mother, Tabitha Hart departs London for her home village of Netherlea - only to discover that her mother has drowned. Determined to discover the truth about the Widow Hart's death, Tabitha consults her almanack and uncovers a series of cryptic notes describing her mother's terror of someone she names only as 'D'. Teaming up with young writer Nat Starling, Tabitha begins a race against time to unmask 'D' before more deaths follow. But as the summer draws to a close and the snow sets in, cutting off Netherlea from the outside world, Tabitha and Nat are forced to face the darkest hours of their lives.
Call Number: FIC Bai
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Kate Mosse
Description: "Circe France, 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father's bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE. But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou's help if he is to stay alive."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Mos
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Sara Collins
Description: 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.
Call Number: FIC Col
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Timothy Mason
Description: "London, June 1860: When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments later—and only a block away—Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field quickly surmises that these crimes are connected to an even more sinister plot. Was Victoria really the assassin’s target? Are those closest to the Crown hiding something? And who is the shadowy figure witnesses describe as having lifeless, coal-black eyes? Soon, Field’s investigation exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin’s controversial On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and the pursuit of a madman named the Chorister. As the investigation takes Field from the dangerous alleyways of London to the hallowed halls of Oxford, the list of possible conspirators grows, and the body count escalates. And as he edges closer to the Chorister, he uncovers dark secrets that were meant to remain forever hidden." -- amazon.com
Call Number: FIC Mas
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Dominic Smith
Description: "Winding through the nascent days of cinema in Paris and Fort Lee, New Jersey, the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, and the faded Knickerbocker Hotel in 1960s Hollywood, The Electric Hotel follows the intertwined fates of the cinematographer Claude Ballard and his muse, Sabine Montrose."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Smi
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Julie Orringer
Description: "In 1940, Varian Fry--a Harvard educated American journalist--traveled to Marseille carrying three thousand dollars and a list of imperiled artists and writers he hoped to rescue within a few weeks. Instead, he ended up staying in France for thirteen months, working under the veil of a legitimate relief organization to procure false documents, amass emergency funds, and set up an underground railroad that led over the Pyrenees, into Spain, and finally to Lisbon, where the refugees embarked for safer ports. Among his many clients were Hannah Arendt, Franz Werfel, Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Orr
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Charlotte Hinger
Description: "Bethany Herbert, daughter of a legendary healer, leaves the South for the new black community of Nicodemus, Kansas. Despite the hardships, the community comes to love the prairie. Bethany's mother, Queen Bess, comes to Nicodemus, as does the handsome lawyer Jed Talbot, who galvanizes the settlers. Bethany resists the call of her heart because Queen Bess warns her the best healers are chaste and single. When the Herbert women's medical procedures are undermined, Bethany nearly succumbs to Queen Bess's call for total segregation from the whites Bess hates. Sinister forces come into play through white politicians seeking the black vote, and sabotage by a woman within Nicodemus who yearns for the old color hierarchy." -- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Hin
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Elizabeth Fremantle
Description: "In the autumn of 1615, scandal rocks the Jacobean court, when a celebrated couple, Robert and Frances Carr, are imprisoned on suspicion of murder. Frances is young, captivating, and from a notorious family. She has been rescued from an abusive marriage by Robert, and is determined to make a new life for herself. Whatever the price. Robert is one of the richest and most famous men in the kingdom. He has risen from nothing to become one of the country’s most powerful men. But to get to the top, you cannot help making enemies. Some believe she is innocent; others think her wicked or insane. He claims no knowledge of the murder. The king suspects them both, though it is his secret at stake. Now a man is dead. And someone must pay with their life." -- Jacket flap
Call Number: FIC Fre
Format: Book
Date Added: May 13, 2019
Edward Conlon
Description: "The Bronx, 1958. The Policewomen's Bureau isn't respected within the Department, even as it handles those cases only a woman's touch could solve. Marie Cirile, a young officer with the 44th Precinct, has joined the few women stepping away from the select matronly duties available to female officers to take up series cases. With courage and a stiff upper lip when undercover, Marie is dispatched to grim and scary situations, using her air of innocence and others' prejudice against her to take down degenerates and sex offenders. Despite the violence of her job, the sexism she faces daily, and a rocky marriage waiting for her at home, Marie is determined to make a name for herself within the NYPD and be the role model her young daughter deserves. With the support of the real Marie Cirile, author Ed Conlon combines the true events that filled her memoir with his author's flair and experience as a retired NYPD detective to create an exciting story, worthy of the best silver screen police movies"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Con
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
John Burnham Schwartz
Description: "In one of the most momentous events of the Cold War, Svetlana Allilyueva, the forty-one-year-old daughter of the notorious tyrannical leader of the USSR, abruptly abandoned her life in Moscow in 1967, arriving in New York to throngs of reporters and a nation hungry to hear her story. By her side is Peter Horvath, a lawyer in his mid-thirties who is sent by the CIA to escort Svetlana to America. Rootless, lonely, and bewildered by her adopted country's radically different society, Svetlana takes refuge in Arizona with the widow of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, makes a hasty marriage, and has a child. Floundering, she reaches out to Peter, her first connection in America and, it seems, the only person she can genuinely count on. When their relationship becomes more than just professional, it unfolds under the eyes of her CIA minders, and Svetlana and Peter's private lives are no longer their own."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Sch
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Elizabeth Cobbs
Description: Harriet Tubman was a scout for the union army and led a successful raid up the Combahee River in South Carolina that freed 750 men, women, and children. This is the historical novel of her heroic raid.
Call Number: FIC Cob
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Christopher Tilghman
Description: "Thomas Bayly and his wife, Beal, have run away to France, escaping the laws and prejudices of post-Reconstruction America. The drama in this richly textured novel proceeds in two settings: first in Paris, and then in the Languedoc, where Thomas and Beal begin a new life as winemakers. Beal, indelible, beautiful, and poised, enchants everyone she meets in this strange new land, including a gaggle of artists in the Latin Quarter when they first arrive in Paris. Later, when they’ve moved to the beautiful and rugged Languedoc, she is torn between the freedoms she experienced in Paris and the return to the farm life she thought she had left behind in America. A moving and delicate portrait of a highly unusual marriage, Thomas and Beal in the Midi is a radiant work of deep insight and peerless imagination about the central dilemma of American history―the legacy of slavery and the Civil War." -- Amazon.com
Call Number: FIC Til
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Jennifer Cody Epstein
Description: "East Village, 1989. Things had never been easy between Ava Fisher and her estranged mother Ilse. Too many questions hovered between them: Who was Ava's father? Where had Ilse been during the war? Why had she left her only child in a German orphanage during the war's final months? But now Ilse's ashes have arrived from Germany, and with them, a trove of unsent letters addressed to someone else unknown to Ava: Renate Bauer, a childhood friend. As her mother's letters unfurl a dark past, Ava spirals deep into the shocking history of a woman she never truly knew. Berlin, 1933. As the Nazi party tightens its grip on the city, Ilse and Renate find their friendship under siege--and Ilse's increasing involvement in the Hitler Youth movement leaves them on opposing sides of the gathering storm. Then the Nuremburg Laws force Renate to confront a long-buried past, and a catastrophic betrayal is set in motion..."--Publisher description.
Call Number: FIC Eps
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 15, 2019
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: Time Was... New Historical Fiction
Blackberry & Wild Rose
Sonia Velton
FIC Vel
The Confessions Of Frannie Langton : A Novel
Sara Collins
FIC Col
Call Your Daughter Home
Deb Spera
FIC Spe
The Darwin Affair : A Novel
Timothy Mason
FIC Mas
Courting Mr. Lincoln : A Novel
Louis Bayard
FIC Bay
The Electric Hotel
Dominic Smith
FIC Smi
Dawson's Fall
Roxana Robinson
FIC Rob
The Flight Portfolio
Julie Orringer
FIC Orr
Fatal Inheritance : A Novel
Rachel Rhys
FIC Rhy
The Healer's Daughter
Charlotte Hinger
FIC Hin
How We Disappeared : A Novel
Jing-Jing Lee
FIC Lee
The Poison Bed
Elizabeth Fremantle
FIC Fre
In West Mills
De'Shawn Charles Winslow
FIC Win
The Policewoman's Bureau : A Novel
Edward Conlon
FIC Con
Paris, 7 A.m.
Liza Wieland
FIC Wie
The Red Daughter : A Novel
John Burnham Schwartz
FIC Sch
Phantoms : A Novel
Christian Kiefer
FIC Kie
The Tubman Command : A Novel
Elizabeth Cobbs
FIC Cob
Prairie Fever
Michael Parker
FIC Par
Thomas And Beal In The Midi
Christopher Tilghman
FIC Til
The Almanack
Martine Bailey
FIC Bai
Wunderland : A Novel
Jennifer Cody Epstein
FIC Eps
The Burning Chambers
Kate Mosse
FIC Mos