Lovers of historical fiction know that one of the magical secrets of the genre is its ability to allow readers to walk through the doors of time. In rediscovering and reimagining worlds of past eras, we get to be witnesses to history through the eyes, the ears and the hearts of protagonists whose narratives shed new light on stories we may think we already know.
Whether it looks at the past through the scope of a notorious character, event or place, historical fiction transports us directly back to a time where one more story must be told. Sometimes the story inhabits an altogether unexpected point of view, as in Damian Dibben’s new Tomorrow, where the eponymous protagonist is a 217-year-old-dog searching for his master on a centuries-long journey through significant eras in European history. The heartfelt tale illustrates everything historical fiction lovers know to be true: the past still harbors secrets to be revealed, stories to be told and surprises to uncover, and we will never tire of stepping through the doors that lead us back there.
Pass through these doors to discover six additional new and upcoming tales of sweeping historical fiction:
The Soul of a Thief by Steven Hartov
In occupied France during World War II, a young SS soldier is trying to survive both the battles and the danger of having his true identity revealed, while also working to thwart the plans of his commanding officer and navigating the unsteady waters of young, beautifully distracting love.
Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
After a voyage across the Atlantic in 1860, a young Irish woman takes up a position as lady’s maid in the expansive Carnegie household, becoming embroiled in the business, passions and secrets of the industrial-age baron. A fascinating look at one of the most powerful families in Pittsburg and, eventually, the United States.
Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman
Another tale of life during World War II, this one is set in Hawaii after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As a woman struggles to deal with the aftermath of the attack, as well as the disappearance of her husband and the feeling that her daughter knows more about that event than she is telling, she immerses herself in their new normal, amidst secrets, friendship, intrigue and intimacies.
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
In 1921 Bombay, Perveen Misty is a young woman who has just joined her father’s law firm with the modern goal of championing women’s rights in colonial India. Her new career begins with handling the will of a wealthy man whose three widows have puzzlingly signed over their inheritances to live in seclusion and poverty. As Perveen investigates the circumstances, she realizes that all is not what it seems, leading her deep into an unfolding mystery.
Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown
A bootlegger returned from the Korean War with a wooden leg, the daughter of a snake-charming preacher and an old granny whose secrets run as deep as the mountain valleys are connected as closely to the dense woods on their North Carolina mountain as they are to each other in this Southern Gothic tale set in in a place that seems wholly separate from the rest of the modern, atomic age of the United States in the 1950s.
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley
In the aftermath of World War I, Nur, a young Turkish woman, must cope with the reality that everything she once knew has been transformed, including her own childhood home on the shores of the Bosphorus, which is now a hospital. But when a medical emergency sends her to the hospital for treatment, the lines between ally and enemy begin to blur, and Nur must decide how she will adapt to the new world she finds herself inhabiting.
Which of these historical fiction reads is at the top of your TBR list? Let us know in the comments!