History will repeat itself if we don’t educate ourselves about the past. That’s why we keep telling stories about times long ago. These ten novels feature characters who have lived through some rough patches in our world’s history, so read up and learn from the mistakes they’ve made so you don’t have to. Click on the titles to read the full reviews, also featured in our Fall 2014 print edition.
Buying Louisiana: An Eyewitness’s Account of the Louisiana Purchase by Josée Clerens (Foley Square Books)
A fictionalized account of the Louisiana Purchase helps us visualize an interesting and complex time in history.
City of Whores by Mark B. Perry (Starboard Home Press)
This unpredictable story is an entertaining fictional view of old Hollywood, full of public glamor and private scandal.
Living Treasures by Yang Huang (Harvard Square Editions)
Huang offers a subtly powerful portrait of a confused Chinese girl’s growth through tragedy and conflict into a strong young woman.
Red Mansions by Cynthia Drew (Fithian Press)
Drew takes the reader on a harrowing but highly readable trip from a Russian shtetl to the Garment District in New York.
Shall We Not Revenge by D. M. Pirrone (Allium Press)
A meticulously penned historical mystery, Shall We Not Revenge weaves complex characters into an intriguing plot.
The Clever Mill Horse by Jodi Lew-Smith (Caspian Press)
Filled with danger, science, and suspense, this story rings true with historical and natural detail.
The Drum Tower by Farnoosh Moshiri (Black Heron Press)
Death, resurrection, and change are woven into the narrative of Talkhoon’s personal experiences during her country’s upheaval.
The Paris Herald by James Oliver Goldsborough (Prospecta Press)
Goldsborough excels in describing the excessive behavior of his characters and the intoxicating ambiance of Parisian life.
With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House)
Dedication and sacrifice bring former academic rivals together in this medical drama set in an 1891 Washington, DC, hospital.
Tangled Roots by Marianne K. Martin (Bywater Books)
Childhood companions in the early 20th century grow to love each other amid the turmoil of racist upheaval and sexist restrictions in a touching story of abiding loyalty.