This month we asked our librarians “What are your favorite historical fiction books?” Check out their answers here:
Fever by Mary Beth Keane: The main character of this book is Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary, one of the first known carriers of typhus (she didn’t suffer from the disease). Keane does an incredible job imagining Mary’s life and how it changes as she is told she must give up her work as a cook because she’s infecting the people she works for. Keane brings 1900s-era New York to life in great detail.
Another novel set in New York, a few decades later, is Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility, which has another wonderfully strong main character, Katey Kontent. Rules of Civility is a character-driven novel that makes 1930s-era New York feel utterly real.
Staying in New York but moving into the 1940s, Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls is so much fun, even as its main character makes an unforgivable mistake – and spends the rest of her life changed.
Swallow’s Dance by Wendy Orr
The Hired Girl by Laura Ann Schlitz
The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
The Jem Flockhart historical murder mysteries: Beloved Poison, Dark Asylum, and The Blood by E. S. Thomson
The War That Saved My Life & The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Bradley
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Hild by Nicola Griffith
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Moloka’i by Alan Brennart
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
What are your favorite historical fiction novels? Let us know in the comments below!