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.


Heather Redmond
Description: With the help of his boss' attractive, vivacious daughter, young journalist Charles Dickens investigates the death of a young woman that bears unsettling similarities to a murder that occurred a year ago to the day.
Call Number: FIC Red
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Marcos Aguinis
Description: "Born in sixteenth-century Argentina, Francisco Maldonado da Silva is nine years old when he sees his father, Don Diego, arrested one harrowing afternoon because of his beliefs. Raised in a family practicing its Jewish faith in secret under the condemning eyes of the Spanish Inquisition, Francisco embarks on a personal quest that will challenge, enlighten, and forever change him. He completes his education in a monastery; he reads the Bible; he dreams of reparation; he dedicates his life to science, developing a humanistic approach and becoming one of the first accredited medical doctors in Latin America; and most of all, he longs to reconnect with his father in Lima, Perú, the City of Kings. So begins Francisco's epic journey to fight for his true faith, to embrace his past, and to draw from his father's indomitable strength in the face of unimaginable persecution. But the arm of the Holy Inquisition is an intractable one. As it reaches for Francisco, he sheds his mask to defend his freedom. Against seemingly insurmountable odds, he will prove that while the body can be broken, the spirit fights back, endures, and survives."--Amazon.com.
Call Number: FIC Agu
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Nuala O'Connor
Description: In 1887, Isabel Bilton is the eldest of three daughters of a middle-class military family, growing up in a small garrison town. By 1891 she is the Countess of Clancarty, dubbed "the peasant countess" by the press, and a member of the Irish aristocracy. Becoming Belle is the story of the four years in between, of Belle's rapid ascent and the people that tried to tear her down. With only her talent, charm, and determination, Isabel moves to London alone at age nineteen, changes her name to Belle, and takes the city by storm, facing unthinkable hardships as she rises to fame. A true bohemian and the star of a dancing double act she performs with her sister, she reigns over The Empire Theatre and The Corinthian Club, where only select society entertains. It is there she falls passionately in love with William, Viscount Dunlo, a young aristocrat. For Belle, her marriage to William is a dream come true, but his ruthless father makes clear he'll stop at nothing to keep her in her place.
Call Number: FIC OCo
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Sarah Bird
Description: Missouri, 1864 Powerful, epic, and compelling, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen shines light on a nearly forgotten figure in history. Cathy Williams was born and lived a slave until the Union army comes and destroys the only world she's known. Separated from her family, she makes the impossible decision, to fight in the army disguised as a man with the Buffalo Soldiers. With courage and wit, Cathy must not only fight for her survival and freedom in the ultimate man's world, but never give up on her mission to find her family, and the man she loves. Beautiful, strong, and impactful, Cathy's story is one that illustrates the force of hidden history come to light, the strength of women, and the power of love.
Call Number: FIC Bir
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 6, 2018
Suzanne Rindell
Description: "Louis Thorn and Haruto "Harry" Yamada--Eagle and Crane--are the star attractions of Earl Shaw's Flying Circus, a daredevil (and not exactly legal) flying act that traverses Depression-era California. The young men have a complicated relationship, thanks to the Thorn family's belief that the Yamadas--Japanese immigrants--stole land that should have stayed in the Thorn family. When Louis and Harry become aerial stuntmen, performing death-defying tricks high above audiences, they're both drawn to Shaw's smart and appealing stepdaughter, Ava Brooks. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and one of Shaw's planes mysteriously crashes and two charred bodies are discovered in it, authorities conclude that the victims were Harry and his father, Kenichi, who had escaped from a Japanese internment camp they had been sent to by the federal government. To the local sheriff, the situation is open and shut. But to the lone FBI agent assigned to the case, the details don't add up. Thus begins an investigation into what really happened to cause the plane crash, who was in the plane when it fell from the sky, and why no one involved seems willing to tell the truth."-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Rin
Format: Book
Date Added: Jul 25, 2018
Crystal Hana Kim
Description: When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family's makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan. Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn't realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi, and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come.
Call Number: FIC Kim
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Tania Bayard
Description: "Paris, 1393. Scribe Christine de Pizan dreads going to the palace to work, where people believe the mad king can be cured with magic. But a certain spell book leaves murdered bodies in its wake. Then Hugues de Precy is murdered and his wife, Alix, is blamed. Can Christine prove Alix's innocence and save her from being burned at the stake?"--Publisher's description.
Call Number: FIC Bay
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Simone van der Vlugt
Description: "Amsterdam 1654: against the backdrop of Holland's Golden Age, a dangerous secret threatens to destroy a young widow's new life."--Back cover.
Call Number: FIC Vlu
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Alyssa Maxwell
Description: After a disappointing year in New York City, Emma Cross has returned to Newport, Rhode Island, determined to report on hard news. For now she's covering the social event of the season at Ochre Court, a coming-out ball designed to showcase Cleo Cooper-Smith, who will be on display as Cleopatra in an elaborate tableau vivant. As Cleo ascends to her throne the recently installed modern electricity goes out, plunging into room into darkness. When the lights come back on, Cleo is dead-- electrocuted. The array of eligible suspects could fill another ballroom, and Emma puts her own life at risk to shine a light on a merciless murder.
Call Number: FIC Max
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Rupert Thomson
Description: In the years preceding World War I, two young women meet, by chance, in a provincial town in France. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy seventeen-year-old with a talent for drawing, is completely entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, who comes from a family of wealthy Jewish intellectuals. They embark on a clandestine love affair, terrified they will be discovered, but then, in an astonishing twist of fate, the mother of one marries the father of the other. As "sisters" they are finally free of suspicion, and, hungry for a more stimulating milieu, they move to Paris at a moment when art, literature, and politics blend in an explosive cocktail. Having reinvented themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, they move in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dalí to André Breton, and produce provocative photographs that still seem avant-garde today. In the 1930s, with the rise of anti-Semitism and threat of fascism, they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is on this idyllic island that they confront their destiny, creating a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces that will put their lives in jeopardy.
Call Number: FIC Tho
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 22, 2018
Dinah Jefferies
Description: Louisa Reeve, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill-seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Except what they long for more than anything: a child. While Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot's shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa has only Leo to turn to.
Call Number: FIC Jef
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Louis De Bernières
Description: They were inseparable childhood friends. Some were lost to the war. The others' lives were unimaginably upended, and now, postwar, they've scattered: to Ceylon and India, France and Germany (and, inevitably, back to Britain)--each of them trying to answer the question that fuels this sweeping novel: "If you have been embroiled in a war... what were you supposed to do with so much life unexpectedly left over?" As the narrative unfolds in brief, dramatic chapters we follow the old friends as their paths re-cross or their ties fray, as they test loyalties and love, face survivor's grief and guilt, adjust in profound and quotidian ways to this newest modern world. And at their center: Daniel (an RAF flying ace) and Rosie (a war-time nurse), their marriage slowly revealed to be built on lies, Daniel finding solace--and, sometimes, family--with other women, Rosie drawing her religion around herself like a carapace. Here too are Rosie's sisters--a "bohemian," a minister's wife, and a spinster; Daniel's despairing brother; Rosie's "increasingly peculiar" mother and her genial, secretive father. And as peace once more gives way to war, we see it begin to reshape, yet again, the lives of these beautifully drawn women and men.
Call Number: FIC De B
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 21, 2018
Victoria Glendinning
Description: "In 1535, England is hardly a wellspring of gender equality; it is a grim and oppressive age where women--even the privileged few who can read and write--have little independence. In The Butcher's Daughter, it is this milieu that mandates Agnes Peppin, daughter of a simple country butcher, to leave her family home in disgrace and live out her days cloistered behind the walls of the Shaftesbury Abbey. But with her great intellect, she becomes the assistant to the Abbess and as a result integrates herself into the unstable royal landscape of King Henry VIII. As Agnes grapples with the complex rules and hierarchies of her new life, King Henry VIII has proclaimed himself the new head of the Church. Religious houses are being formally subjugated and monasteries dissolved, and the great Abbey is no exception to the purge. The cosseted world in which Agnes has carved out for herself a sliver of liberty is shattered. Now, free at last to be the master of her own fate, she descends into a world she knows little about, using her wits and testing her moral convictions against her need to survive by any means necessary."-- Book jacket.
Call Number: FIC Gle
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Kyŏng-suk Sin
Description: When a novice French diplomat arrives for an audience with the Emperor, he is enraptured by the Joseon Dynasty's magnificent culture, then at its zenith. But all fades away when he sees Yi Jin perform the delicate traditional Dance of the Spring Oriole. Though well aware that women of the court belong to the palace, the young diplomat confesses his love to the Emperor, and gains permission for Yi Jin to accompany him back to France. A world away in Belle Epoque Paris, Yi Jin lives a free, independent life, away from the gilded cage of the court, and begins translating and publishing Joseon literature into French with another Korean student. But even in this new world, great sorrow awaits her. Yi Jin's grieving and suffering is only amplified by homesickness and a longing for her oldest friend. But her homecoming was not a happy one. Betrayal, jealousy, and intrigue abound, culminating with the tragic assassination of the last Joseon empress--and the poisoned pages of a book.
Call Number: FIC Sin
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 21, 2018
Tracy Borman
Description: In March of 1603, as she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth of England, Frances Gorges dreams of her parents' country estate, where she learned to use flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. When King James of Scotland succeeds to the throne Frances is only too happy to stay at home. His court may be shockingly decadent, but his intolerant Puritanism see witchcraft in many of the old customs -- punishable by death. Yet when her ambitious uncle forces Frances to return to the royal palace, having bought her a position as a lady in the bedchamber of the young Princess Elizabeth, she becomes a ready target for the twisted scheming of the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil. As a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament gathers pace, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Frances is surrounded by danger, finding happiness only with the King's precocious young daughter and with Tom Wintour, the one courtier she feels she can trust. But Wintour has a secret that, when revealed, places Frances in conflict with her royal charge and in fear for her own family.
Call Number: FIC Bor
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
C. W. Gortner
Description: Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage. She is brought to Russia, and marries the Romanov heir, Alexander. Once he ascends the throne, she becomes empress Maria. When their son, Nicholas, inherits the throne he is the inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable opposition from Nicholas's wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has led her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. -- adapted from jacket.
Call Number: FIC Gor
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Benet Brandreth
Description: Seeking his fortune in sixteenth-century London, young wordsmith William Shakespeare joins a band of players before he is dispatched to Venice on an assignment that renders him the target of Catholic assassins and a shadowy killer.
Call Number: FIC Bra
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 21, 2018
M. J. Rose
Description: "New York, 1924. Twenty-four-year-old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany's prestigious artists' colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall. But Jenny's past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada's notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny's thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany's charismatic grandson. As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany's New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny's childhood trauma to expose her. Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny's past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Ros
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
John Larison
Description: In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest lands her in the employ of the territory's violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah--dead or alive. Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right.
Call Number: FIC Lar
Format: Book
Date Added: Sep 17, 2018
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: Time Was... New Historical Fiction
A Tale Of Two Murders
Heather Redmond
FIC Red
Sapphire Widow : A Novel
Dinah Jefferies
FIC Jef
Against The Inquisition
Marcos Aguinis
FIC Agu
So Much Life Left Over : A Novel
Louis De Bernières
FIC De B
Becoming Belle
Nuala O'Connor
FIC OCo
The Butcher's Daughter
Victoria Glendinning
FIC Gle
Daughter Of A Daughter Of A Queen
Sarah Bird
FIC Bir
The Court Dancer
Kyŏng-suk Sin
FIC Sin
Eagle And Crane
Suzanne Rindell
FIC Rin
The King's Witch : A Novel
Tracy Borman
FIC Bor
If You Leave Me : A Novel
Crystal Hana Kim
FIC Kim
The Romanov Empress : A Novel Of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna
C. W. Gortner
FIC Gor
In The Presence Of Evil
Tania Bayard
FIC Bay
The Spy Of Venice
Benet Brandreth
FIC Bra
Midnight Blue
Simone van der Vlugt
FIC Vlu
Tiffany Blues : A Novel
M. J. Rose
FIC Ros
Murder At Ochre Court
Alyssa Maxwell
FIC Max
Whiskey When We're Dry
John Larison
FIC Lar
Never Anyone But You
Rupert Thomson
FIC Tho