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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

TBR Explosion!! (part 3: Historical Fiction)

In December and January there were SO many posts, YouTube and Bookstagram posts about favorite books and strong recommendations that my own list just blew up! Like many of you, I love a good recommendation and when you find a reviewer whose opinion you trust, it's golden! Because I ended up with SO many new books, I decided to break it up into bite sized pieces and share by genre. Today it's all about historical fiction.

Here's what's new on my list in General Fiction and Fantasy - check them out too and see what catches your eye.

Address Unknown by Katherine Kressman Taylor

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 1938, 64 pages

Added because: found on a book blog post and it sounded interesting

Synopsis: epistolary novel of letters between a Jewish man in San Francisco and his friend and partner, a German, who returns to Germany with his family at the rise of Hitler.

**ED: I read this gem of a book this afternoon and am so impressed by how impactful a very few letters can be - the way the friendship is described, the tragedy that breaks it, and the resolution are just heartbreaking. Stunning writing, sad story, a situation applicable to much of today.

The Girl You Left Behind #1 by Jojo Moyes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 2012, 480 pages

Added because: recommended by YouTuber Katie

Synopsis: WWII Paris and a woman hotel owner is forced to serve Nazis while her husband is at war. The Nazis notice and take a piece of art. In the second timeline, a piece of art is given as a wedding gift in London but when its provenance is discovered, trouble ensues.

The Alchemy Thief by R. A. Denny

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published July 2021, 474 pages

Added because: an author solicitation and it's not set in WWII

Synopsis: told in two timelines, current and the 1600s as a modern terrorist time travels back to 1600s and becomes a powerful pirate. A modern young woman discovers the plot and fears for the lives of her loved ones so must travel back in time to thwart the pirate.

**ED: finished this book and it wasn't one of my favorites; didn't care for the writing or the characters

Mistress of Rome #1 by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 2010, 470 pages

Added because: my sister, Donna, loved it and recommended it

Synopsis: the story follows the path of a slave girl through her life and loves as she loves and loses a famous gladiator but then comes to the attention of the emperor where she battles for her soul and her sanity.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 2017. 352 pages

Added because: another recommend by Donna and I always enjoy stories about artists

Synopsis: a woman with a debilitating disease becomes muse for painter Andrew Wyeth. Though the historical details are fascinating, Donna warned that the muse isn't very likeable.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 2019, 330 pages

Added because: YouTuber Jack in the Books (Jack Edwards) raved about it

Synopsis: a man and his blind wife flee the tragedy of war in Syria and try to find their way through a broken and dangerous world to the UK and back to each other. A good depiction of a refugee experience.

Emily's House by Amy Belding Brown

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published August 2021, 384 pages

Added because: another recommendation from my sister, Donna

Synopsis: in 1869 a young woman takes a temporary job as a maid in the Dickinson household, never expecting that she'd stay 30 years and form a friendship with the eccentric Miss Emily. Emily's confidante and the woman who would change literary history.

A Woman of Endurance by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

Genre: Historical Fiction

To be published April 2022, 352 pages

Added because: recommended list of new releases by BookBub

Synopsis: an African slave woman is brought to Puerto Rico as a breeder of more slaves where she loses her faith as she battles for survival. A story of the many facets of love and triumph of human spirit.

The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 2014, 944 pages

Added because: a fave read of 2021 by Anne at What Should I Read Next podcast

Synopsis: a family saga covering 100 years of Russian history from the revolution to present day - tied together by a secret family chocolate recipe handed down thru generations with both good and bad results.

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 2020, 348 pages

Added because: found on Bookstagram

Synopsis: an epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail - a family and their unlikely protector find their way through peril, uncertainty, and loss.

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 1996, 304 pages

Added because: found it on a "best 50 books" list somewhere

Synopsis: a Jewish boy is saved from the Holocaust and becomes an artist

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published January 2022, 376 pages

Added because: found it on the BookBub list of notable new releases

Synopsis: the story of Sylvia Beach, the founder of Shakespeare and Co bookstore in Paris in the 1900s. Though I missed seeing the store when in Paris, I'm fascinated by the back story of this iconic bookstore.

Reviewed here.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published 2016, 391 pages

Added because: recommended by Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy

Synopsis: based on true, this is the story of the worst maritime disaster as a Russian submarine sank an overcrowded German passenger ship and over 9,000 people died; told in four different voices (Anne recommends audio).

Does one of the books from this baker's dozen collection interest you? As you can see, I've got some major diving into history ahead of me!

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