Rich and immersive, transporting and informative, good historical fiction is a sumptuous treat. See the past re-written with our Historical Fiction collection. Here to take you to another time without the cost of building a time machine.
A big novel in every way, packed with action, in a time of huge social upheaval, for this is Boston 1918-1919. With strikes, poverty, racism, corruption, anarchist bombs, riots on the streets and the arrival of the world flu pandemic, the book builds to the most violent part of a violent book, the police strike. It’s terrific. Comparison: R J Ellory, Nelson DeMille, Mario Puzo.
February 2010 Debut of the Month. With any novel set in Salem, Massachusetts, you sort of know it is going to be haunted with the legacy of witchcraft and this one uses that knowledge with great skill. Uncertain of what is real and what is not, peopled with wonderful characters (living and dead) and carrying an air of excitement through to its cracking denouement, this is great stuff. Comparison: Audrey Niffenegger, Diane Setterfield, Will Davenport.
From the opening pages this book grips and unsettles the reader, beginning with the German authorities terrorising Jewish families in the middle of the night, rampaging through the streets burning homes and businesses. The reader is immediately drawn in to the terrifying circumstances that millions of innocent people found themselves in and we follow the story of one woman trying to protect her family from an ever increasing national hatred. Great historical detail and a thought provoking story.
Fast paced action adventure with a plane-load of enriched uranium disappearing in the Sahara and twenty years later being discovered in a sacred place. Its cargo must now be ‘hushed up’. This is a complex tale with plenty of twists and an excellent climax. Good escapist stuff. Comparison: Clive Cussler, Matthew Reilly, Wilbur Smith.
November 2009 Book of the Month. A mixture of love story and crime novel set against a beautifully evoked African backdrop. Mackenzie Ford is a talent to watch and this novel will keep you gripped from beginning to end.
1920’s London and Grace is a society girl who also writes a weekly gossip newspaper column which each chapter charmingly starts with. This is sister rivalry/husband seeking stuff with lots of period detail and nicely written. It is something to comfortably curl up with. Comparison: Emma Rice, Isabel Wolf (A Vintage Affair).
This is an unabridged audiobook title. Winner of the inaugural Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2010. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009. The subject of Henry VIII will always provide a rich source of historical, political and scandalous fodder and here Hilary Mantel concentrates on one of the most interesting times in his reign – the divorce of Catherine of Aragon and his split from the Church of Rome. Mantel breathes life in to every character and even if you feel you have heard this story a million times she brings an original and tantalising voice to the period. This is an Unabridged audiobook title, which includes every word that you would otherwise find in the printed edition. Don’t forget, if the story was meant to be shorter the author would have written less! Click here to take a peek at our selection of Unabridged audiobooks. You might be interested to know the abridged audiobook version runs to only 29% of the full length.
Shortlisted for the RNA People’s Choice Award 2010. As a new millennium dawns, only 100-year-old Selma Bartley knows the secret behind a Yorkshire village’s refusal to honour its war dead. A mesmerising tale from Avon, about how a landmark moment in history affected the lives of so many.
Another historical melodrama from this huge selling author. Set just before the First World War we have a hero fighting for good and falling in love with the wrong woman. Splendid stuff. A message from Joanna Lumley: “Anything that makes reading easier is to be applauded – a bright light, a quiet room, large clear print…what could be more enticing. Focus has all my support." Joanna Lumley
Shortlisted for the RNA Historical Novel of the Year 2011. In 1840’s Cornwall, 25-year-old Sarah Govier supports herself and her illegitimate son, Jory, on the income from Talvan, the granite quarry she inherited from her father. But businessman Kinser Landry has good reason for wanting Talvan and will stop at nothing to get it. Her problems mounting, Sarah turns in desperation to James Crago, a gunpowder manufacturer who owns land adjoining hers. After twenty years as soldier and diplomat in India, Crago, 37, returned home, his face horrifically scarred, a wound sustained during his attempt to help the girl he loved escape a despotic raja. Local reaction to his appearance has turned him into a recluse.
November 2011 Guest Editor Victoria Hislop selects Fatherland... Fatherland by Robert Harris is an amazing novel. In fact all his novels are great, but this just happens to be my favourite. Robert Harris always does extensive and exhaustive research into the history/ideas behind his novels but he then deftly puts it to one side and crafts his story. He does something that I greatly aspire to: he wears his research lightly so that we learn a lot while reading his books, but we are not being hit over the head with his knowledge though we know it is there. I admire him hugely and would like to achieve the same effect. The Lovereading view... It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler's 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin's most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 5 November 2009. This is quite different from Mosse’s previous books Labyrinth and Sepulchre. It started out as a short story for the 2009 Quick Reads but the author felt she wanted to expand it and the result is a beautiful and haunting book, a story sensitively and movingly told.
Once Upon a Time…
With authors like the two-time Man Booker Prize winning Hilary Mantel among its illuminati, it’s no wonder that Historical Fiction is arguably more popular than ever. Follow the lives, loves, betrayals, deaths, trials-and-tribulations of those that went before us.
Whether you follow Sebastian Faulks and P.S Duffy to the hell and displacement of the Front in WWI, Philippa Gregory to the intrigue, immorality and perils of the court of Henry VIII, or get rocked on the high seas of the King’s Navy in Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander, there is a wealth of exceptional storytelling to dive headfirst into. Where will you let our time machine take you today?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you’re never too far away from your next great read, great events, competitions and discounts? Sign up for our free emails and let the passion of our experts guide you to some wonderful new reading.
That book you loved has finally come to an end. Where do you go next? With our unique Author Like for Like tool, you’ll discover other authors guaranteed to be right up your street. Login, sit back, put your feet up and enjoy.
Reading Groups! Let us help you find your next hot topic. Visit our Special Section bursting with thought provoking titles and get an extra 5% discount if you buy 5 or more copies.
A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: