“I’ve always been interested in history, particularly that of Rome and Greece. This series is fiction, however it is based off of true events and the main protagonist himself, Marcus Clodius Ballista, is based off an actual Roman general Ballista, also known as Callistus. A lot of the big plot points throughout the series (the assassination of the Roman Emperor Maximus Thrax) are actual events that did happen and if you’re familiar with the history of Rome you will recognize plenty of other names and places that appear throughout the series.” – Tony, Circulation
The series follows Ballista, an Anglo-Saxon turned Roman general as he attempts to navigate not only the bloodied battlefields of Rome but also the political turmoil of a Roman Empire on the brink of collapse.
“Captivating family saga featuring five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in Colorado. A must read for historical fiction readers!” – Kira, Access Services
Written in Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s singular voice, the wildly entertaining and complex lives of the Lopez family fill the pages of this multigenerational western saga. Woman of Light is a transfixing novel about survival, family secrets, and love—filled with an unforgettable cast of characters, all of whom are just as special, memorable, and complicated as our beloved heroine, Luz.
“Adriana Trigiani has this amazing writing ability that puts you right in the middle of her story, you feel like you are there. The locations and characters are so vivid, deep, and rich in detail.” – Lauren, IT
Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew. . . .
“Fowler has done her research, and Booth’s family comes alive with complex characterizations and uneasy truths that ring true two centuries later. No easy answers here, but beautiful writing, Americana setting, and complex motivations that give the reader a sense of peeking into one of the most infamous historic American families.” – ATS Staff
A fascinating fictionalized in-depth look at one of the most notorious murderers in American history: John Wilkes Booth. Karen Joy Fowler takes us into the curious and strange large Booth family that birthed him. Obsessed with the stage, his eccentric father and older brother, his reclusive and resentful sister, and how such a family produced such a narcissistic murderer obsessed with a perverse kind of nationalism. The best kind of historical fiction teaches us what history could have been like, with a good dose of truth weaved in.
“Myers is a debut author who understands the world of women. I was immediately drawn into her characters and motivations, Maddie is a spunky and believable heroine. It almost wrapped up too neatly into a bow at the end, but it was a very satisfying read. Great for both teens and adults to devour.” – Joy, Adult & Teen Services
Maddie is growing up in post World War II North Carolina, with a sparkling gift for sewing just like her famous aunt who sews gorgeous clothes for the so called wealthy “Tobacco Wives”, essentially the former plantation owner’s wives who run the local tobacco plants that employ entire towns. Seen through the eyes of an adolescent, Maddie is swept away into her aunt’s business after her mother foists her off to work for her. When Maddie is starting to realize that tobacco is causing alarming health issues among these same wives, she wants to sound the alarm, but the powers that be have other plans to silence any possible concerns.
“This is a classic and trailblazing book for a reason and I’m so glad I finally picked it up. What I found most powerful is that it feels both timeless and contemporary, despite being written in the 1970s.” – DG Library Staff
The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given…
“A great new addition to the historical mystery genre. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!” – Lora, Adult & Teen Services
It’s 1946 and journalist Billie Walker is back home in Sydney running her father’s private investigation agency. Most of Billie’s cases involve marital disputes, but client Mrs. Brown hires her to find her son, Adin, who is missing. Billie’s investigation leads her through both the upper and lower classes of society along with providing a great sense of place in post-war Sydney for the reader in addition to the fashions of the time.
“It was interesting to read this as they talk about what happened in Russia during WWII from two Russian children’s perspectives.” – Sandy R., Kids Room
Historical Fiction set in WWII, from two Russian children’s perspectives (B/G twins written as a diary entry). We are reading along with a Russian Officer (as he is making notes in the diary) who is deciding if the kids are innocent or guilty of war crimes.
“Mr. Shaara’s main interest is in the people involved in the battle and the effect it has on their lives. His cast of characters includes the general officers commanding, a common soldier, a female resident of Vicksburg, and a former journalist – now government employee – sent to check on rumors of Grant’s drinking. He crafts a story from multiple view points which is broad enough in scope to attract and hold the attention of the casual, curious reader who knows little about the Civil War while at the same time presenting a story robust enough to hold the interest of readers who are Civil War buffs.” – Karen, Circulation
A Chain of Thunder is the second in a series of four standalone books on battles in the Western Theater written for the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War by Jeff Shaara, a three-time W. Y. Boyd Award winner for excellence in military historical fiction. The Vicksburg campaign ran through the spring and summer of 1863 as Union general Ulysses S. Grant sought the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi, the last major Confederate fortress on the Mississippi River. A siege was not Grant’s first choice but became necessary as various other stratagems, including digging a ditch to change the course of the river, went awry. Following weeks of the city’s garrison and civilians living on starvation rations in holes dug in the bluffs due to constant shelling of the town by Union gunboats, Confederate General John Pemberton surrendered the city on July 4, 1863, just one day after the massive battle of Gettysburg back East in Pennsylvania. Being further from the national capital in Washington, D.C., the union victory at Vicksburg has always been overshadowed by Gettysburg even though it could be argued that the fall of Vicksburg had a greater effect on the outcome of the war.
“Very well written and researched, non-judgmental” – Kelly P., Kids Room
The Donner Party like you’ve never heard about it before, told from multiple points of view, including Hunger and the oxen, in addition to the people who suffered through the trip.
“I enjoy all things royal, so this book was perfect for me. I loved reading about the secrecy surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown, the exquisite embroidery covering the dress, the excitement surrounding the royal wedding, and life in post-war London. I also enjoyed the personal story of Ann and Miriam, the two lead embroiderers on the dress, and the story of their friendship and lives. This is a feel-good, easy to read book that is perfect for historical fiction fans.” – Nancy, Adult & Teen Services
The Gown is a historical novel about two women, Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, who embroidered Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown for her 1947 wedding. Ann is a Londoner who has lost most of her family and Miriam is a Holocaust survivor who has moved from France to London after the war. The novel provides fascinating detail about the making of the royal wedding gown and also insight into life in post-war London.
“I’m a married woman in my 30s, and my husband and I (like Nate and Elena) often wonder whether life is merely a series of bills to be paid. Uncharted 4 resonated with me on so many levels. The globe-trotting is thrilling, the scenery is gorgeous, the puzzles and secret passages are atmospheric. There are car chases, cliff-scaling, (non-gore-y) gunfights, consistently funny quips and banter, bro-time with the guys, and romance. It’s Indiana Jones + Tomb Raider + Jason Bourne + Pirates of the Caribbean (the 1st one, of course!) all rolled into one. But more than that, it’s a cinematic story about being yourself while accepting new phases of your life.” – Kelly, Circulation
Nathan Drake is an ex-treasure-hunter who’s been out of the game for years. Though his marriage to journalist Elena is a happy one, the tedium of staying in one place is wearing him down. He eagerly throws himself back into an adventure to help someone from his past… even if that means lying to his wife and putting himself and (fan-favorite) Victor “Sully” Sullivan back into bad guys’ cross-hairs.
“I enjoy family fiction, and this is one of the best I have read in some time. I was hooked after a few pages! The story is told from multiple viewpoints, and the characters in the book really come alive. I felt like I knew the characters, warts and all. The Adler family’s love for one another as they grieve the loss of Florence shines through. The setting, Atlantic City in 1934, and the family’s efforts to help family friends get out of Germany as Hitler rises to power add interest to the story.” – Nancy, Adult & Teen Services
It’s 1934 in Atlantic City, NJ. Florence Adler, a star swimmer, drowns while training to swim the English Channel. Her Jewish family goes to great lengths to hide Florence’s death from her sister, Fannie, for fear Fannie will lose her baby. The book focuses on the aftermath of the tragedy and shows how love helps a family heal.
“Medieval Juvenile historic fiction rarely leaves England. I knew very little about the plight of Sephardic Jews and the Inquisition. Gail Carson Levine explores a story that is close to her family’s history and I found it hard to put down.” – Sharon, Kids Room
Paloma, a Sephardic Jew lives Alcala de Henares, Spain in the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Loma is very smart, and her grandfather (Belo) is Don Joseph Cantala, a businessman who is respected by both Jews and Catholics. Loma travels with Belo and learns the art of trading. She also meets Christopher Columbus and Princess Isabella who tries to convert Loma to Catholicism. Loma is clever and loyal and she helps lead her people out of Spain when Jews had three options: leave Spain, convert, or be killed. Ceiling Made of Eggshells is an excellent historical novel.