Today, we’ve decided to travel back to the past. We’ve gathered our favorite historical fiction novels that represent a vast number of periods and places throughout history. So take a dive back into history with us.
America in the 1920s
The Rich Are Different
When the clever and sexy Dinah Slade insinuates herself into Paul’s life in the 1920s, the banker’s marriage and career are threatened—and Dinah demonstrates her disruptive power again when she seduces Paul’s right-hand man. Based on historical figure Cleopatra, Howatch brings ancient history to the 1920s and 1930s in New York and London, The Rich Are Different marries imperial ambition to the American dream, and offers a cast of characters glittering with sophistication and style.
England in the 1700s
In 18th-century England, life begins somewhat ignobly for Fanny Hackabout-Jones. Abandoned as an infant on the doorstep of Lord and Lady Bellars’s grand Wiltshire manor, she contemplates the literary life as she grows to ripe young womanhood in the Bellars’s care. Fanny chooses, however, to pursue a very different future when she is forced to flee to London to escape the overly amorous attentions of her adoptive father. There, on the road, her real life truly begins.
America in the 1960s
Home in the Morning
Jackson Sassaport is a man who often finds himself in the middle. Whether torn between Stella, his beloved and opinionated Yankee wife, and Katherine Marie, the African American girl who first stole his teenage heart; or between standing up for his beliefs and acquiescing to his prominent Jewish family’s imperative to not stand out in the segregated South, Jackson must learn to balance the secrets and deceptions of those around him. But one fateful night in 1960 will make the man in the middle reconsider his obligations to propriety and family, and will start a chain of events that will change his life and the lives of those around him forever.
In 1778 Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby left County Kilkenny for Wales to live together as a married couple. Both well born, highly educated Irish women, the Ladies of Llangollen, as they came to be known, defied all 18th-century social convention and spent half a century together in a loving relationship. In an imagined account, Doris Grumbach brings this gripping chronicle to new audiences.
1920s Russia and America
Beyond the Pale
Set in Russia and New York during the early twentieth century, Beyond the Pale follows the lives of two women born in a Russian-Jewish settlement who immigrate to New York’s Lower East Side. Gutke Gurvich is a midwife who travels to America with her partner, a woman passing as a man. Their story crosses with that of Chava Meyer, a girl who was attended by Gutke at her birth and was later orphaned during the Kishinev pogrom of 1903. Chava immigrates with the family of her cousin Rose, and the two girls begin working at 14 as they live through the oppression and tragedies of their time. They grow to become lovers, which leads them to search for a community they can truly call their own.
Ruler of the Sky
In 1167, in the harsh homeland of Mongol tribes, a child was born who was to change the course of human history. His father named him Temujin, but the world knows him as Genghis Khan. Set amid the barbaric splendor of the Mongol hordes, Ruler of the Sky tells the tale of the warrior who forged one of the greatest and most terrifying armies the world had ever seen, and conquered the world from Peking to Persia.
1900s China and America
This deeply felt novel tells the story of William Lane and Clem Miller, Americans who meet in China as youths at the end of the 19th century. Separated by the Boxer Rebellion, they’re destined to travel wildly different courses in life. From a background of wealth and privilege, William becomes a power-hungry and controlling media magnate. By contrast, Clem, whose family survived on charity growing up, is engrossed by a project—which he works on ceaselessly, perhaps naively, together with his chemist wife—to eliminate world poverty. The two wind up in America and meet again, each successful in his own area, and as similar in their intensity as they are different in their values.
1940s and 1950s America
Seasons of the Heart
In 1941, with America at war, Ann Pollock falls in love. Handsome, charming attorney Phillip Coulter is everything she could want in a man and mate. But soon after they marry, Phillip leaves to fight for his country. When he comes home, he’s a stranger, his body and spirit broken in a Japanese POW camp. It is only Ann’s indomitable will and determination to succeed against all odds that keeps her family together.
The Dancer and the Raja
On January 28, 1908, a young Spanish woman sitting astride a luxuriously bejeweled elephant enters a small city in northern India. The streets are packed with curious locals who are anxious to pay homage to their new princess, with skin as white as the snows of the Himalayas. This is the beginning of the story, based on real events, of the wedding of Anita Delgado and the maharaja of Kapurthala. It is a grand story of love and betrayal that took place over almost two decades in the heart of an India that was on the verge of disappearing.
From Everlasting to Everlasting
As a young Mormon girl of 15, Ellen Randall has little conception of the trouble she and her fellow Mormons will face when they set out with a wagon train bound for Utah. This historical novel follows real life events. The Mormon wagon train held hope and dreams for the travelers, Mormon settlers who had given up everything to make their home in Utah. Ellen Randall is orphaned at an early age and adopted by Elder Zachary and his wife, Sara. Ellen matures from child to adult as she sees and experiences the trials, tribulations, and hardships the Mormons experience as members of a persecuted religion.