If you love to explore historical eras through fiction, then you’ll want to make sure you add these must-read fiction titles to your TBR list! From the American South to 1920s Ireland, Barbados to war-torn Europe, here are five excellent historical fiction titles that will send you back in time, make your pulse race, break your heart, and showcase the resilience of the human spirit!
Chosen as Oprah's Book Club Pick, The Sweetness of Water is set in the days following the Civil War and boasts a large cast of characters that centers on brothers Prentiss and Landry. They have been recently freed following the Emancipation Proclamation and are in search of jobs when they find themselves on the homestead of George and Isabelle Walker, a couple grieving the loss of their son who offer them jobs. Meanwhile, two former Confederate soldiers find themselves in love and unable to reveal their secret. They meet in the woods for trysts, but when they're discovered, the consequences will have a ripple effect into the wider community, changing everyone's lives forever.
Travel back to 1939 Paris, where Éliane works in the Louvre Museum, pretending not to listen to the German conversations around her. The German officers are talking about stealing priceless art and artifacts, and Éliane doesn't intend to let them get away with it. She passes on what knowledge she gleans to the resistance, and she decodes their notes left sitting about, hoping to save as much artwork as she can. But then a trip to a house on the Riviera puts Éliane in mortal danger. Meanwhile, in the present day, Remy has recently inherited a house on the Riviera and while poking about she discovers a list of artwork, which includes a priceless painting she recognizes from her childhood bedroom. How and why does her family possess that art...and who are they, really?
by Cherie Jones
Set in Barbados in the second half of the 20th century, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House centers on Baxter's Beach and a young woman named Lala. As a child, Lala's grandmother told her warning tales of what happens when girls go venturing into the Baxter Tunnels. As an adult, Lala finds herself married to a petty criminal and trapped in a tangled web of shocking consequences when one of her husband's robberies at a gorgeous beachside mansion goes horrifically wrong. This is a complex and beautifully told book about a wide cast of characters united by a violent act in a resort town.
Inspired by real people and true events, The Glorious Guinness Girls takes place in London and Ireland and stars Felicity, a young woman who was sent to live with the wealthy Guinness family as a girl because her mother could no longer care for her. Raised as not quite a member of the family, but more than a servant, Felicity grew up as a companion alongside the three Guinness sisters and witnessed firsthand how the glamour, pressure, and expectations of their wealth and the legacy fo the family business affect the three sisters. And then one evening, a shocking and tragic event at a party changes all of their lives forever.
by Ruth Druart
Alternating between 1944 and 1953, While Paris Slept spans continents to tell the story of Jean-Luc, a French man who bears a scar on his face and is running from his painful past in France ten years earlier, where he barely survived the Nazi occupation. He should be happy now in California, with a new life and his family. But he's shocked when the past comes knocking on his door. In 1944, Sarah is onboard a train heading for "resettlement," but as a Jewish woman, she knows that she might not survive. Desperate, she hands her baby to a rail worker when the train breaks down, hoping to ensure his survival. But when she manages to survive Auschwitz and the war, she goes looking for her son.
No matter what time period you might like to visit, we hope you find a historical fiction title that will sweep you away for a little while!