History is not always kind to women, but these five fictitious works give famous and even some forgotten figures their due, while giving readers a glimpse into the intimate circumstances under which these women thrived—sometimes, when it was difficult just to survive. From the notorious to the overlooked, all of these figures represent triumph in a time that was often pretty miserable for women.
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
Based on the true story of the Pendle Hill Witch Trials, a midwife in 1612 stands accused of witchcraft putting her life, and that of her patient, noblewoman Fleetwood Shuttleworth, in jeopardy. Fleetwood has received a letter that predicts she will not live through another birth, and with midwife Alice Grey the only woman that can help, they must both work to reduce the charge against Alice before it is too late for both of them.
The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer
In 1929, Vogue model Lee Miller arrived in Paris where she immediately became immersed in the rich, radical art scene. She soon met the enigmatic Surrealist painter, Man Ray and convinced him to teach her how to take photos. What unfolds is a bohemian dream based on actual events but delving deep into the character of both artist and muse as they evolve, together and separately, over two intense decades.
The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
Inspired by true events, Grace Healy, a war widow, discovers an abandoned suitcase filled with photographs of different women. She soon learns that the suitcase belonged to Eleanor Trigg, the leader of a ring of World War II female secret agents who never returned home. Grace becomes determined to find out the fates of the women and uncovers a story of sisterhood, courage and betrayal.
American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter was not one for traditions and expectations—especially the expectations cast upon her as the president’s daughter. From smoking and carousing with a playboy congressman to living through two world wars and a battle with her famous cousins, this novel of Alice Roosevelt’s surprising life will fascinate even those not familiar with her.
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
This prequel to Lilac Girls introduces us to Eliza Ferriday, the mother of real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday and the harsh realities of life during World War I. It’s 1914 and Eliza is traveling to St. Petersburg to visit her friend Sofya, a cousin to the Romanovs. When war is declared, Eliza quickly returns to America while Sofya escapes to the countryside. She hires a fortuneteller’s daughter to go with them and as war rages on, the lives of the three women become forever intertwined.