Share Behind Every Great Man: 4 Historical Novels About Influential Women

Behind Every Great Man: 4 Historical Novels About Influential Women

Stu Smith is a California native, raised on healthy doses of John Steinbeck and Jack London. When asked about his formative years, he is likely to respond “the only good things to ever come out of Sacramento were me and Joan Didion.”  Now a proud resident of New York City, he can be found on warm days lounging in Central Park with his dog on his lap and a manuscript in his hand.

Behind every great man, there’s most likely an even better woman. Some of the best fiction to come out in the last ten years has re-imagined the lives of influential women who were involved with great men of history. These women sacrificed, scraped, worried, and worked alongside their companions whom the world adored. But where is their place in history? Some would become mere footnotes; others would thrive in their own spotlight. But thanks to the wonderment and skill of modern-day-authors, they have been given a fresh chance at stardom. These compelling and thoughtful novels will give readers a new outlook on events of the past with heroines we can all root for.


The Aviator's Wife
by Melanie Benjamin

A fantastic look inside the marriage of famed pilot Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh that will make your heart soar. We know a lot about the Lindberghs—a family with immense triumph and public heartbreak. Beyond historic feats of aviation, their personal tragedy was headline news that spread across the country. What you may not be aware of already is the strength that lies in the character of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Through it all, she stands as a pillar for her husband and family. In Morrow, Melanie Benjamin paints the portrait of a warrior in Morrow who triumphs over difficulty to ultimately become a person all her own.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Aviator's Wife
Melanie Benjamin

Anne Morrow always stood in the shadows of those around her, but when she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic, the famous aviator sees a kindred sprit, a fellow adventurer. Married in a headline-making wedding, her fairy-tale life brings heartbreak and hardships, and ultimately pushes her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Behind Every Great Man: 4 Historical Novels About Influential Women

By Stu Smith | December 7, 2018

6 Books to Read on Girls in Aviation Day

By Abby Zidle | October 12, 2018

The Better Half: 13 Tales of Powerful Wives

By Erica Nelson | July 7, 2016

Stand By Your Man: 11 Novels of Not-So-Famous Women and Their Very Famous Men

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | May 26, 2015

Close

The Paris Wife
by Paula McLain

With extraordinary prose, skill, and heart, Paula McLain paints a gorgeous portrait of Jazz Age Paris through the eyes of Hadley and Ernest Hemingway. The young couple has just moved to France after a whirlwind romance and marriage. When they arrive they find themselves swept up in the new it crowd which includes a cast of characters, like Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But with all the competition and the many rival egos, Hadley sees her new husband bow to the lure of hard drinking and womanizing. She must fight for her marriage and her values, all while noticeably being the muse for what would become his acclaimed novel THE SUN ALSO RISES. Told by a masterful storyteller, THE PARIS WIFE is a tale of questioning one’s morality and sense of self. An instant classic upon its release it has gone on to be a book club favorite all across the country.
Read the full review of THE PARIS WIFE.

Read the full review of THE PARIS WIFE.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Paris Wife
Paula McLain

This deeply intimate novel captures the love affair between two unforgettable figures: Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Despite their extraordinary bond, the Hemingways are ill-prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, and they find themselves facing a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Close

The Other Einstein
by Marie Benedict

All Mitza Maric wanted was to be taken seriously for the skilled mathematician that she was. She enters school as one of the first and only females in her math department and instantly begins to show up the other pupils with her quick skill and decisive thinking. When a young classmate with wild hair and a love of classical music begins to call on her, Mitza is flattered but remains focused on her education. After much time, she succumbs to the flirtations of Albert Einstein and not long after the two are wed. While Einstein continues to tinker with his Theory of Relativity, Marie Benedict paints a picture of the woman behind the man. Adding her layers to the theory papers, Mitza provides much of the backup that would shape the now-famous think piece. When the paper is published, her name is glaringly missing from the acknowledgments. It is an omission that will test Mitza’s resolve, character, and ultimately the strength of her marriage. Benedict writes a succinct yet enthralling novel that begs the question: Where on Earth would he be without her?

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Other Einstein
Marie Benedict

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Behind Every Great Man: 4 Historical Novels About Influential Women

By Stu Smith | December 7, 2018

Close

Mrs. Poe
by Lynn Cullen

In this heart-pounding take on the Frances Osgood and Edgar Allen Poe affair, Lynn Cullen casts a spell on readers with a tale of New York’s glittering literati in the 1840s. Frances Osgood is a struggling writer trying to make a name for herself. Publisher after publisher turn her poems down and tell her the only thing worth their time is something like the latest sensation—Edgar Allen Poe’s THE RAVEN. As luck would have it, Osgood and Poe meet each other at a party and instantly feel a strong connection. Poe insists that she meet his wife: a young, quiet thing who seems far too meek and mild for the dark and wonderfully mysterious Poe. But as Osgood becomes closer to the couple, she discovers that not all is as it seems—and that the young Mrs. Poe is quite adept at mind games and sinister tricks. thrown by this realization, Osgood is unsure of her next steps. The reader may walk away with the feeling—never mess with the Mrs.

Read the full review of MRS. POE.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Mrs. Poe
Lynn Cullen

Lynn Cullen had me from the first paragraph.

“When given bad news, most women of my station can afford to slump onto their divans, their china cups slipping from their fingers to the carpet, their hair falling prettily from its pins, their 14 starched petticoats compacting with a plush crunch. I am not one of them.”

Read Juliette Fay’s review here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

Behind Every Great Man: 4 Historical Novels About Influential Women

By Stu Smith | December 7, 2018

4 Great Novels (and 1 Biography) About Real Women From History

By One.More.Page | October 26, 2018

Love Is In the Air and These 13 Books Are On Our Minds

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 14, 2017

A Page-Turning Reimagining of a Tantalizing Love Triangle

By Juliette Fay | June 17, 2016

Enter to Win These 12 Fall Book Club Favorites

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 29, 2015

Addicted to Outlander? 11 Books to Read During the Long Wait for Season Two

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 4, 2015

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create an Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.