Historical fiction is one of my favorite forms of escapism. As a reader, I love traveling to a different time and place. I love it so much, in fact, that I wrote a historical novel, placing my characters in an underground speakeasy in the middle of a fox-trot during the Roaring Twenties. These 7 novels span more than 100 years—from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries—and they capture the tremendous social, economic, and political transformations that occurred during those years.
The Civil War Era
Inspired by the real life of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective, GIRL IN DISGUISE portrays a fierce, independent woman who makes her mark during a time of turmoil and unrest in our country. As Kate says, “I’d already applied to every possible position appropriate for a lady. Only the inappropriate ones remained.”
The Gilded Age
A story of the powerful love a mother has for her child. When a young Quaker schoolteacher becomes pregnant, she is abandoned by both her family and her fiancé. In an era of unabashed wealth and materialism, Lilli is told to give up her daughter to avoid lifelong poverty and shame. But instead, she defies convention and chooses to keep her.
Maggie Murphy leaves Ireland and boards the RMS Titanic’s third class. Like many others during this time period, Maggie is in search of a better life in America. But disaster strikes, and while Maggie survives, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that terrible night again.
Step into 1920s France in this coming-of-age novel and meet Margie, a young woman who defies her strict, traditional family and runs off to Jazz Age Paris to live on her own. An exhilarating novel of self-discovery during an era of newfound independence.
The Great Depression
Published in 1939, this classic novel chronicles an Oklahoma farming family’s struggle for survival during the Great Depression, as they travel from one sordid camp to the next, looking vainly for work and to find food, and trying desperately to hold their family together. A haunting, honest look at the 1930s.
Tulsa, OK: You may want to spend more time in Oklahoma than the Joads, who were driven from their homestead during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s. Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of the American classics.
World War II
Inspired by real people and events, THE ORPHAN’S TALE unravels the survival story of two young women, Noa and Astrid, who seek refuge and are trained as performers in a German traveling circus during the Second World War. An emotional, memorable wartime tale.
The Golden Age
A novel that peeks behind the curtain of one of America’s most extravagant eras, THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE features Truman Capote, the real-life author, and the Swans, New York’s best-known socialites. Babe Paley was one such lady, forming a close relationship with Capote and often confiding in him. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller—even when the stories aren’t Capote’s to tell.
A gossipy, completely addictive novel about New York’s 1950s elite—known as “Swans”—and the scandalous friendship between socialite Babe Paley and literary legend Truman Capote. Rich in the glamour of the era and with characters pulled from reality, this story will draw you into the scandal of the beautiful, preening birds living life without consequence—until they’re betrayed, that is.