West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Historical Fiction

These novels interweave historical facts with fictional elements.

Memoirs of a geisha : a novel by Golden, Arthur

A fisherman's daughter in 1930s Japan rises to become a famous geisha. After training, Sayuri's virginity is sold to the highest bidder, then the school finds her a general for a patron. When he dies, she is reunited with the only man she loved

Girl with a pearl earring by Chevalier, Tracy

Through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Griet, the world of 1660s Holland comes dazzlingly alive in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings

The historian: by Kostova, Elizabeth

Discovering a medieval book and a cache of letters, a motherless American girl becomes the latest in a series of historians, including her late father, who investigate the possible surviving legacy of Vlad the Impaler

The color purple by Walker, Alice

The lives of two sisters--Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a southern woman married to a man she hates--are revealed in a series of letters exchanged over thirty years

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shaffer, Mary Ann

London, January 1946, emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. She finds it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island

Beloved by Morrison, Toni

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. After the Civil War ends, Sethe longingly recalls the two-year-old daughter whom she killed when threatened with recapture after escaping from slavery 18 years before

All the light we cannot see : a novel by Doerr, Anthony

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

The English patient : a novel by Ondaatje, Michael

Three individuals--nurse Hana, thief Caravaggio, and Kip--are brought together in an abandoned Italian villa at the end of World War II by a nameless and hideously burned English patient

Love in the time of cholera by García Márquez, Gabriel

Set on the Caribbean coast of South America, this love story brings together Fermina Daza, her distinguished husband, and a man who has secretly loved her for more than fifty years

The thirteenth tale : a novel by Setterfield, Diane

When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales

One thousand white women : the journals of May Dodd by Fergus, Jim

Follows May Dodd as she travels to the Cheyenne, becomes the bride of Little Wolf, chief of that tribe, and struggles with living in and being loyal to two different worlds

The kite runner by Hosseini, Khaled

Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara--a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him

The nightingale : a novel by Hannah, Kristin

Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong

Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet : a novel by Ford, Jamie

When artifacts from Japanese families sent to internment camps during World War II are uncovered during renovations at a Seattle hotel, Henry Lee embarks on a quest that leads to memories of growing up Chinese in a city rife with anti-Japanese sentiment

Water for elephants by Gruen, Sara

A novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932. When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her

The lady and the unicorn by Chevalier, Tracy

Interweaves historical fact with fiction to explore the mystery behind the creation of the remarkable Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, woven at the end of the fifteenth century, which today hang in the Cluny Museum in Paris

Atonement : a novel by McEwan, Ian

In the summer of 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis wildly misinterprets the relationship between her sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, childhood friends home from Cambridge. So when her young cousin is assaulted, Briony gives in to her hyperactive imagination and blames the atrocity on Robbie. It is a terrible decision that alters lives and fills Briony with an everlasting sense of guilt
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