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Historical Fiction Sets

The Baker's Secret

By: Stephen P. Kiernan


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:10

 

From the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day.

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City Boy

By: Herman Wouk


Genre: historical fiction and realistic fiction Books in Set:8

‘City Boy’ spins a hilarious and often touching tale of an urban kid’s adventures and misadventures on the street, in school, in the countryside, always in pursuit of Lucille, a heartless redhead personifying all the girls who torment and fascinate pubescent lads of eleven.

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A Countess Below Stairs

By: Eva Ibbotson


Genre: historical fiction and romance Books in Set:10

After the Russian Revolution turns her world upside down, Anna, a young Russian countess, has no choice but to flee to England. Penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as a servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family. Anna is overwhelmed by her new duties, and her instant attraction to Rupert, the handsome Earl of Westerholme. To make matters worse, Rupert appears to be falling for her, too. Anna finds it increasingly difficult to keep her secrets from unraveling; and then there’s the small matter of Rupert’s fiancée.

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven

By: Chris Cleave


Genre: historical fiction and romance Books in Set:10

 

London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

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The Gilded Hour

By: Sara Donati


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:6

The year is 1883, and in New York City, it’s a time of dizzying splendor, crushing poverty, and tremendous change. With the gravity-defying Brooklyn Bridge nearly complete and New York in the grips of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie–both graduates of the Woman’s Medical School–treat the city’s most vulnerable, even if doing so may put everything they’ve strived for in jeopardy. Anna’s work has placed her in the path of four children who have lost everything, just as she herself once had. Faced with their helplessness, Anna must make an unexpected choice between holding on to the pain of her past and letting love into her life. For Sophie, an obstetrician and the orphaned daughter of free people of color, helping a desperate young mother forces her to grapple with the oath she took as a doctor–and thrusts her and Anna into the orbit of Anthony Comstock, a dangerous man who considers himself the enemy of everything indecent and of anyone who dares to defy him.

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Hattie Big Sky

By: Kirby Larson


Genre: classic and historical fiction Books in Set:9

Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle’s homesteading claim.

For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie’s been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle’s homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends–especially Charlie, fighting in France–through letters and articles for her hometown paper.

Her backbreaking quest for a home is lightened by her neighbors, the Muellers. But she feels threatened by pressure to be a “Loyal” American, forbidding friendships with folks of German descent. Despite everything, Hattie’s determined to stay until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home.

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The Invention of Wings

By: Sue Monk Kidd


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:10

The story follows Hetty “Handful” Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. “The Invention of Wings” follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined

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Life After Life

By: Kate Atkinson


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:10

 

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can – will she?

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Listening for Lions

By: Gloria Whelan


Genre: historical fiction and Teen Books in Set:9

Africa is the only home Rachel Sheridan has ever known. But when influenza strikes down her missionary parents, she is left vulnerable prey to her family’s wicked neighbors. Surrounded by greed and lies, Rachel is entangled in a criminal scheme and sent to England, where she is forced into a life of deception. Like the lion, she must be patient and strong, awaiting the moment when she can take control of her own fate—and find her way home again at last.

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Moon Over Manifest

By: Clare Vanderpool


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:8

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

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A Murder at Rosamund's Gate

By: Susana Calkins


Genre: historical fiction and mystery Books in Set:10

For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone she loves is wrongly arrested for the crime. In a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren’t permitted to defend their clients, and—if the plague doesn’t kill them first–public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never see this person alive again. Unless, that is, she can identify the true murderer.

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Navigating Early

By: Clare Vanderpool


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:10

When Jack Baker’s father sends him from his home in Kansas to attend a boys’ boarding school in Maine, Jack doesn’t know what to expect. Certainly not Early Auden, the strangest of boys. Early keeps to himself, reads the number pi as a story, and refuses to accept truths others take for granted. Jack, feeling lonely and out of place, connects with Early, and the two become friends.

During a break from school, the boys set out for the Appalachian Trail on a quest for a great black bear. As Jack and Early travel deeper into the mountains, they meet peculiar and dangerous characters, and they make some shocking discoveries. But their adventure is only just beginning. Will Jack’s and Early’s friendship last the journey? Can the boys make it home alive?

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Nobody's Princess

By: Esther Frienser


Genre: historical fiction and sci-fi fantasy Books in Set:10

She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more out of life. Not one to count on the gods—or her looks—to take care of her, Helen sets out to get what she wants with steely determination and a sassy attitude. That same attitude makes Helen a few enemies—such as the self-proclaimed “son of Zeus” Theseus—but it also intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi.

In Nobody’s Princess, author Esther Friesner deftly weaves together history and myth as she takes a new look at the girl who will become Helen of Troy. The resulting story offers up adventure, humor, and a fresh and engaging heroine you cannot help but root for.

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Rhett Butler's People

By: Donald McCaig


Genre: historical fiction and romance Books in Set:6

Rhett Butler’s People fulfills the dreams of those whose imaginations have been indelibly marked by America’s greatest novel, Gone With The Wind. Here you’ll meet Rhett as a boy, a free spirit who loved the marshes and tidewaters of the Low Country, and learn of the ruthlessness of Rhett’s father, whose desire for control resulted in unspeakable. Through Rhett’s eyes, you’ll encounter those who shaped him in other ways: the Overseer’s daughter, Belle Watling; Rosemary, Rhett’s brave and determined sister; Tunis Bonneau, the son of freed slaves who understood the young Rhett like no one else; and Jack Ravanel, whose name became inextricably linked to heartbreak. And then there’s Katie Scarlett O’Hara herself—the headstrong, passionate woman whose life is inextricably entwined with Rhett’s: more like him than she cares to admit; more in love with him than either of them will ever know…

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A River Runs Through It

By: Norman Maclean


Genre: classic and historical fiction Books in Set:7

 

Maclean writes “in my family, there is no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.” Nor is there a clear line between family and fly-fishing. It is the one activity where brother can connect with brother and father with son. In Maclean’s autobiographical novella, it is the river that makes them realize that life continues and all things are related.

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A Separate Peace

By: John Knowles


Genre: classic and historical fiction Books in Set:7

Gene Forrester looks back fifteen years to a World War II year in which he and his best friend Phineas were roommates in a New Hampshire boarding school. Their friendship is marred by Finny’s crippling fall, an event for which Gene is responsible and one that eventually leads to tragedy.

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Serena

By: Ron Rash


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:10

Traveling to the mountains of 1929 North Carolina to forge a timber business with her new husband, Serena Pemberton champions her mastery of harsh natural and working conditions but turns murderous when she learns she cannot bear children.

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Sinners and the Sea

By: Rebecca Kanner


Genre: historical fiction Books in Set:10

 

The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before. This story of Noah’s wife blends Biblical history, mythology, and the inimitable strength of women.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By: Betty Smith


Genre: classic and historical fiction Books in Set:9

Named one of the books of the century by the New York Public Library, this is the profoundly moving classic about a young girl coming of age at the turn of the century. Born in 1901 in the slums of Brooklyn, Francie Nolan has grown up under the burden of suffering that is the lot of the great city’s poor. Romantic like her father, an Irish singing waiter, yet pragmatic like her mother, a housecleaner and fierce survivor, Francie uses her imagination and tenacity to thrive in the world in spite of these harsh conditions.First published in 1943, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn created a stir in genteel society with its frank descriptions of poverty’s squalor. But the book’s rich humor and pathos and its wealth of unforgettable characters have ensured its place in American literature.

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Under the Wide and Starry Sky

By: Nancy Horan


Genre: historical fiction and romance Books in Set:8

Chronicles the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson, author of classics including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. They meet in rural France in 1875, when Fanny, having run away from her philandering husband back in California, takes refuge there with her children. Stevenson too is escaping from his life, running from family pressure to become a lawyer. And so begins a turbulent love affair that will last two decades and span the world.

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Yellow Star

By: Jennifer Roy


Genre: classic and historical fiction Books in Set:9

From 1939, when Syvia is four and a half years old, to 1945 when she has just turned ten, a Jewish girl and her family struggle to survive in Poland’s Lodz ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

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