Historical Fiction


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The Cartographer of No Man's Land: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871407771
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Liveright - June 2nd, 2014

Set in a quiet Nova Scotia village and in the bloody trenches of World War I, this debut novel follows Angus MacGrath as he tries to find his brother in law, missing on the Front. It also charts the coming of age of his son, Simon Peter, who must reconcile his grandfather’s pacifism and the mounting horrors of war with his own belief in the supremacy of Allies and in his father’s ability to navigate life as successfully as he navigates the sea.

Porter Square Book Club



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Wars of the Roses: Stormbird Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425275443
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 5th, 2015

Go back 50 years from Hilary Mantel's Henry VIII trilogy and you are in a very different time Henry VI and the Wars of the Roses. Like much great historical fiction, this novel reads more like fiction than history, with rich, fully drawn characters, intricate plots and vivid scenery. It is the first of three (the second is due out in June, and the author will be here at PSB) as an added bonus, if you want to see the Bard's version on stage, Actor's Shakespeare Project is performing Henry VI, Part 2 from May 13 through June 7.



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The Last Bookaneer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594204920
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: Penguin Press - April 28th, 2015

Pearl's specialty is along with great plots and characters the inclusion and portrayal of actual 19th century authors. The Last Bookaneer features Robert Louis Stevenson in the South Seas in a most satisfying tale indeed. One of this author's best.



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Stay Where You Are And Then Leave Cover Image
By John Boyne, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781627790314
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 25th, 2014

As with all John Boyne’s writing, I was quite taken with this book. He tells good stories of historical circumstances and through the perspective of his characters provides an intimate look of the times. This story is a good introduction to the First World War, of how the war affects a soldier, his loved ones, conscientious objectors, and of the public’s dawning recognition of what then was called “shell shock.”



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Under a Painted Sky Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399168031
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - March 17th, 2015

Missouri, 1849. Here you'll find horses, lassos, the gold rush...and a Chinese musician fleeing town with a runaway slave. The only catch, they're both girls. To keep safe on the Oregon Trail, Samantha and Annamae disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy and join up with a band of cowboys. The cowboys become unexpected allies, but the girls soon find that even with friends, it's difficult to hide on the open trail.



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The Absolutist: A Novel by the Author of The Heart's Invisible Furies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590515525
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Other Press - July 10th, 2012

It is 1919, nine months after the end of WWI. Tristan Sadler is traveling from London by train to meet the sister of his dead comrade. He bears her letters to her brother and a secret he will carry throughout his life.


The War That Saved My Life

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The War that Saved My Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803740815
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Dial Books - January 8th, 2015

This is a most remarkable story, and though a middle grade book I would recommend to any reader. World War II historical fiction, it tells of two children sent from London to the countryside to spend the duration of the war with a single woman living on the outskirts of town. Sound predicable? With Bradley’s storytelling of great nuance, it is anything but.



Death Coming Up the Hill

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Death Coming Up the Hill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544302150
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 7th, 2014

Ashe has plans for 1968--in particular, going to college so he doesn't get drafted and sent to Vietnam. I'm not a fan of novels-in-verse, but this time it works: the book is written in a series of haikus, and the number of syllables in each chapter represents the number of casualties each month.


Magnolia City

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Magnolia City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780758292759
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - April 1st, 2014

The glittering world of high-society Houston in the 20s is brought to life through Hetty Allen in this evocative debut novel. Caught up in a rivalry between two men that is not only for her affections, but in business as well, Hetty's world is made real through intense, clearly-researched details and a gripping plot in which its romance is interwoven with an frenetic oil drama that's nearly impossible to put down.


The Devil in the Marshalsea

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The Devil in the Marshalsea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544176676
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Mariner Books - June 10th, 2014

Listed as one of the best crime novels of the year by The Guardian (UK), this is historical fiction at its best. So thoroughly researched and evocatively written you can feel and smell London - in particular the Marshalsea debtors' prison - of 1727. This rip roaring tale does not give us the sentimental Marshalsea of Dickens' Little Dorit but something entirely more brutal, corrupt and festering in its insidious detail. Any fans of David Liss' Benjamin Weaver series will love this.

Susannah V.


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