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My Favorite Historical Fiction Books

5 Books | by Lisa Wright

Orphan Train

Orphan Train

Books

From Christina Baker Kline comes a novel about two women: one about to age out of the foster care system, the other 90 years old and carrying both a tremendous secret and a story of a life formed by a part of American history almost entirely forgotten: the Orphan TrainsMolly Ayer has one last chance, and she knows it. Close to being kicked out of her foster home -- just months from turning 18 and “aging out” of the system -- Molly should be grateful that her boyfriend found her a community service project: helping an old lady clean out her home. Molly can’t help but think that the 50 hours will be tedious, but at least they’ll keep her out of juvie, and right now that’s all she cares about.Ninety-one-year-old Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine for decades. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are keys to a turbulent past. Molly is about to discover -- as she and Vivian unpack her possessions, and memories -- that Vivian’s story is a piece of America’s tumultuous history now largely forgotten: the tale of a young Irish immigrant, orphaned in New York City and put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other orphaned children whose destiny would be determined by luck and chance. As Molly digs deeper, she finds surprising parallels in her own experience as a Penobscot Indian and Vivian’s story -- and Molly realizes that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life.Rich in detail and epic in scope, THE TRAIN RIDER is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendships, and of the secrets we carry with us that keep us from finding out who we are.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Books

The New York Times bestselling novel by the author of A Single Thread and At the Edge of the OrchardTranslated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film, starring Scarlett Johanson and Colin FirthTracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly-imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings.History and fiction merge seamlessly in this luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of sixteen-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius . . . even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Books

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

The Alice Network

The Alice Network

Books

Featuring an exclusive excerpt from Kate Quinn's next incredible historical novel, THE HUNTRESS NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLER#1 GLOBE AND MAIL HISTORICAL FICTION BESTSELLEROne of NPR's Best Books of the Year!One of Bookbub's Biggest Historical Fiction Books of the Year!Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading Pick!The Girly Book Club Book of the Year!A Summer Book Pick from Good Housekeeping, Parade, Library Journal, Goodreads, Liz and Lisa, and BookBub In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption. 1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose. Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.“Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!”—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter

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