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. 

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Rhys Bowen
Description: "Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella's hand. It's an offer of employment in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, and everything the budding young chef desperately wants: an escape from the constrictions of her life as a lowly servant. In the stranger's stead, Bella can spread her wings. Arriving as Helen Barton from Yorkshire, she pursues her passion for creating culinary delights, served to the delighted Queen Victoria herself. Best of all, she's been chosen to accompany the queen to Nice. What fortune! Until the threat of blackmail shadows Bella to the Riviera, and a member of the queen's retinue falls ill and dies. Having prepared the royal guest's last meal, Bella is suspected of the poisonous crime. An investigation is sure to follow. Her charade will be over. And her new life will come crashing down - if it doesn't send her to the gallows"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Bow
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Stephanie Thornton
Description: Born into luxury and beauty, young Jacqueline Bouvier aspires to be more than the Debutante of the Year. A whirlwind courtship and fairy-tale wedding to war-hero John F. Kennedy propel her into a startling new world of power and politics. As Jackie learns to hone her survival skills, her grace and grit help catapult JFK from the Senate to the Oval Office. The country is awed by her elegance and poise even as Jackie is plagued by self-doubt. Accompanying JFK to Dallas, their thousand days of magic come to an abrupt and devastating end. Now Jackie is forced to pick up the ruined fragments of her life and forge a new identity. -- abridged from publisher info
Call Number: FIC Tho
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
TaraShea Nesbit
Description: Ten years after the Mayflower pilgrims arrived on rocky, unfamiliar soil, Plymouth is not the land its residents had imagined. Seemingly established on a dream of religious freedom, in reality the town is led by fervent puritans who prohibit the residents from living, trading, and worshipping as they choose. By the time an unfamiliar ship, bearing new colonists, appears on the horizon one summer morning, Anglican outsiders have had enough. TaraShea Nesbit reframes the story of the pilgrims in the previously unheard voices of two women of very different status and means. She evokes a vivid, ominous Plymouth, populated by famous and unknown characters alike, each with conflicting desires and questionable behavior. Beheld is about a murder and a trial, and the motivations-personal and political-that cause people to act in unsavory ways. It is also an intimate portrait of love, motherhood, and friendship that asks: Whose stories get told over time, who gets believed -- and subsequently, who gets punished? --Adapted from amazon.com
Call Number: FIC Nes
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Ariel Lawhon
Description: "A novel based on the real life story of socialite spy Nancy Wake, about the astonishing woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Law
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
James McBride
Description: "In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC McB
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Katy Simpson Smith
Description: "Spanning two thousand years, The Everlasting follows four characters whose struggles resonate across the centuries: an early Christian child martyr; a medieval monk on crypt duty in a church; a Medici princess of Moorish descent; and a contemporary field biologist conducting an illicit affair. Outsiders to a city layered and dense with history, this quartet separated by time grapple with the physicality of bodies, the necessity for sacrifice, and the power of love to sustain and challenge faith. Their small rebellions are witnessed and provoked by an omniscient, time-traveling Satan who, though incorporeal, nonetheless suffers from a heart in search of repair. As their dramas unfold amid the brick, marble, and ghosts of Rome, they each must decide what it means to be good. Twelve-year old Prisca defiles the scrolls of her father’s library. Felix, a holy man, watches his friend’s body decay and is reminded of the first boy he loved passionately. Giulia de’ Medici, a beauty with dark skin and limitless wealth, wants to deliver herself from her unborn child. Tom, an American biologist studying the lives of the smallest creatures, cannot pinpoint when his own marriage began to die. As each of these conflicted people struggles with forces they cannot control, their circumstances raise a profound and timeless question at the heart of faith: What is our duty to each other, and what will God forgive?"--Amazon.
Call Number: FIC Smi
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Barbara Hambly
Description: "April, 1840. Benjamin January knows no black person in their right mind would willingly go to the Republic of Texas but when his former pupil Selina Bellinger is kidnapped and enslaved, he has no choice. Once there he is saved from being hanged by Valentina Taggart, wife of the wealthy landowner of Rancho Perdition. After Valentina is accused of the murder of her husband, she in turn calls on Benjamin for help. To do so, he must abandon the safe haven of New Orleans, where people know he's a free man, to return to the self-proclaimed 'Slaveholders' Republic'. In a land still disputed between vengeful Comanche, disgruntled Mexican Tejanos, Americans who want to join the United States and those who want to keep Texas free, January must uncover what happened to Valentina's husband. Behind lies, betrayals and rising political tensions lies the answer ... but finding it could cost Ben his life."-- Publisher's description.
Call Number: FIC Ham
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Mary-Rose MacColl
Description: "Australia, 1920. Seventeen-year-old Maddie Bright embarks on the voyage of a lifetime when she's chosen to serve on the cross-continent tour of His Royal Highness, the dashing Edward, Prince of Wales. Life on the royal train is luxurious beyond her dreams, and the glamorous, good-hearted friends she makes crack open her world. But glamour often hides all manner of sins. Decades later, Maddie lives alone in Brisbane, whiling away the days. When a London journalist struggling with her own romantic entanglements begins asking questions about the reclusive author M.A. Bright, Maddie is taken back to the dazzling days of the royal tour--and to the secrets she has kept for so long."--Back cover
Call Number: FIC Mac
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Sarah Jane Stratford
Description: "Nineteen-fifties America is bright and full of promise, and Phoebe Adler, a New Yorker brimming with talent and ambition, is forging her way as the rarest of things: a female television writer in Hollywood. But fears of a growing Red Menace cloud the optimism, egged on by the hate-mongering of Senator McCarthy. A blacklist is created to cast out communist sympathizers, smashing careers and ruining lives. When Phoebe finds herself caught in the hysteria's web, she flees to London. Though postwar London is struggling and work is precarious, Phoebe finds camaraderie with other Americans living in exile, including the restless and ambitious Hannah Wolfson. Determined to fight the injustices of the Red Scare, Hannah is a successful producer who hires blacklisted writers at great risk to her career and company. Together Phoebe and Hannah successfully fight unfair bias and sexism, but danger still looms in this supposed sanctuary. And when their families and friends--their very lives--are threatened, they will have to make impossible choices"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Str
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Alyssa Palombo
Description: "During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo's eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired. Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia's handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him. As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope's authority, Maddalena and Cesare's lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Pal
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Peg Kingman
Description: "What is your name? Where did you come from? And where are you going? In this immersive novel set in the 1840s Britain and France, these questions probe at the essence of what it means to be human. A wet nurse in a lively Scottish household goes by an assumed name but longs to know the identity of her father. A quarryman furtively extricates a remarkable fossil from an island on the Northumberland coast and promptly smuggles it abroad to Paris. A sensational bestselling book that shatters cherished notions about the universe and everything in it triggers widespread argument and speculation- but its author's name is a wellguarded secret. Another book, roundly ignored, neatly sets forth in an obscure appendix the principle that will become the centerpiece of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. All these threads- some historical, others fictional- converge and illuminate one another in unexpected ways in the climactic revelations of this brilliant story"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Kin
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Chris Nickson
Description: "Leeds, May 1822. Thief-taker Simon Westow owes Davey and Emily Ashton everything -- the siblings gave him sanctuary when he needed it most. So when Davey is arrested for sedition and Emily begs Simon for help, he starts asking questions, determined to clear his friend. Are the answers linked to rumours of a mysterious government spy in town? Davey's not the only one who needs Simon's help. Timber merchant George Ericsson has been 'hocussed' by a young woman who spiked his drink and stole his valuable ring and watch. Who is she, and how does she know one of Simon's assistant Jane's deepest secrets? The path to the truth is twisted and dangerous. Simon and Jane encounter murder, lies, betrayal and a government terrified of its own people as they attempt to save Davey and find the hocus girl."--Publisher.
Call Number: FIC Nic
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Arthur Phillips
Description: "The year is 1601. Queen Elizabeth I is dying, childless. Her nervous kingdom has no heir. It is a capital crime even to think that Elizabeth will ever die. Potential successors secretly maneuver to be in position when the inevitable occurs. The leading candidate is King James VI of Scotland, but there is a problem. The queen’s spymasters—hardened veterans of a long war on terror and religious extremism—fear that James is not what he appears. He has every reason to claim to be a Protestant, but if he secretly shares his family’s Catholicism, then forty years of religious war will have been for nothing, and a bloodbath will ensue. With time running out, London confronts a seemingly impossible question: What does James truly believe? It falls to Geoffrey Belloc, a secret warrior from the hottest days of England’s religious battles, to devise a test to discover the true nature of King James’s soul. Belloc enlists Mahmoud Ezzedine, a Muslim physician left behind by the last diplomatic visit from the Ottoman Empire, as his undercover agent. The perfect man for the job, Ezzedine is the ultimate outsider, stranded on this cold, wet, and primitive island. He will do almost anything to return home to his wife and son." -- amazon.com.
Call Number: FIC Phi
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Sharon Kay Penman
Description: The Kingdom of Jerusalem was baptized in blood when the men of the First Crusade captured it from the Saracens in the early twelfth century. A land of blazing heat and a medley of cultures, it is a place where enemies were neighbors and neighbors became enemies. Baldwin IV, an intelligent and courageous boy committed to the welfare and protection of his people, is afflicted with leprosy. The threats against his power and his health nearly outweigh the risk of battle. The Muslim army-- led by the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, Saladin-- is never far from the kingdom's doorstep, and there are only a handful Baldwin can trust, including the archbishop William of Tyre and Lord Balian d'Ibelin, a charismatic leader who has been one of the few able to maintain the peace. -- adapted from jacket
Call Number: FIC Pen
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Paul Wolfe
Description: Georgetown socialite Mary Pinchot Meyer lived by her own rules--and paid the ultimate price for her independence. Her murder a year after JFK's assassination was never solved. Her diary was never found--until now. Secret lover of JFK; ex-wife of a CIA chief; sexual adventurer; LSD explorer and early feminist--it's all in her diary. And now it's in your hands. -- adapted from jacket
Call Number: FIC Wol
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
C. M Wendelboe
Description: "U.S. marshal Nelson Lane has more than his fair share of unlikely allies: This time it's a tabloid reporter-who turns up missing after he tries to sneak into the Mystical Mountain hunting lodge. Nestled in the rugged and scenic Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, there's more than mere hunting going on there. Nelson sends his deputy, Maris Red Hat, as an undercover courtesan to find out what's up with the wild parties for politicians, celebrities, and gangsters. Even as the lodge caretaker appears to cooperate with the investigation, the women entertaining the guests keep winding up dead. Every time Nelson closes in on the truth, he is ambushed and left for dead. Finally, he sneaks into the resort, only to be saved by an old foe he's been hunting for years. When at last Nelson discovers the dark secret of the lodge, the Mystical Mountain may claim yet another victim. 2"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Wen
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Hilary Mantel
Description: "England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith's son from Putney emerges from the spring's bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves. Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry's regime to the breaking point, Cromwell's robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him? With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man's vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion, and courage"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Man
Format: Book
Date Added: Nov 8, 2019
Phan Qué Mai Nguyẽn
Description: "The Mountains Sing tells the multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart. The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope" -- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Ngu
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Louise Erdrich
Description: "It is 1953. Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the first factory to open near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an 'emancipation' bill; but it isn't about freedom -- it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal? Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Pixie -- 'Patrice' -- Paranteau has no desire to wear herself down on a husband and kids. She works at the factory, earning barely enough to support her mother and brother, let alone her alcoholic father who sometimes returns home to bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny if she's ever going to get to Minnesota to find her missing sister Vera. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn’t been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life." --Publisher description.
Call Number: FIC Erd
Format: Book
Date Added: Nov 1, 2019
Jennifer Rosner
Description: "After the Jews in their town are rounded up, Róza and her daughter, Shira, spend day and night hidden in a farmer's barn. Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses inside her. To pass the time, Róza tells Shira a story: There is a little girl who, with the help of her yellow bird, tends an enchanted garden. The garden must be kept completely silent-only the bird can sing the girl's musical compositions-and together the girl and her bird avert many threats. Thus Róza manages to soothe Shira and shield her from the horrors around them. But then the day comes when their haven is no longer safe and Róza must face an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side, or give her the chance to survive apart."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Ros
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Cora Harrison
Description: "November, 1853. Inspector Field has summoned his friends Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins to examine a body found in an attic studio, its throat cut. Around the body lie the lacerated fragments of canvas of a painting titled A Winter of Despair. On closer examination, Wilkie realizes he recognizes the victim, for he had been due to dine with him that very evening. The dead man is Edwin Milton-Hayes, one of Wilkie's brother Charley's artist friends. But what is the significance of the strange series of faceless paintings Milton-Hayes had been worked on when he died? And why is Charley acting so strangely? With his own brother under suspicion of murder, Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens set out to uncover the truth. What secrets lie among the close-knit group of Pre-Raphaelite painters who were the dead man's friends? And who is the killer in their midst?"--Publisher.
Call Number: FIC Har
Format: Book
Date Added: May 28, 2020
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: Time Was... New Historical Fiction
Above The Bay Of Angels : A Novel
Rhys Bowen
FIC Bow
The Hocus Girl
Chris Nickson
FIC Nic
And They Called It Camelot : A Novel Of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
Stephanie Thornton
FIC Tho
The King At The Edge Of The World : A Novel
Arthur Phillips
FIC Phi
Beheld : A Novel
TaraShea Nesbit
FIC Nes
The Land Beyond The Sea
Sharon Kay Penman
FIC Pen
Code Name Hélène : A Novel
Ariel Lawhon
FIC Law
The Lost Diary Of M : A Novel
Paul Wolfe
FIC Wol
Deacon King Kong
James McBride
FIC McB
The Marshal And The Mystical Mountain
C. M Wendelboe
FIC Wen
Everlasting
Katy Simpson Smith
FIC Smi
The Mirror & The Light
Hilary Mantel
FIC Man
Lady Of Perdition
Barbara Hambly
FIC Ham
The Mountains Sing : A Novel
Phan Qué Mai Nguyẽn
FIC Ngu
Lost Autumn
Mary-Rose MacColl
FIC Mac
The Night Watchman
Louise Erdrich
FIC Erd
Red Letter Days
Sarah Jane Stratford
FIC Str
The Yellow Bird Sings
Jennifer Rosner
FIC Ros
The Borgia Confessions
Alyssa Palombo
FIC Pal
Winter Of Despair
Cora Harrison
FIC Har
The Great Unknown
Peg Kingman
FIC Kin