About Reading & Writing

New Historical Fiction for October

This article first appeared on PaperLanternWriters.com

Happy October, the month of pumpkins, scary costumes, and lots of new historical fiction! October brings us Regency Romance, World War II, 20th century America, Jewish historical fiction, and even some historical fantasy. I’ve included more book covers here than I have room to explore, and links are at the bottom. Enjoy!


ROMANCE

Darjeeling Inheritance by Liz Harris

“Spanning the post-WWI period through the Great Depression in England and America, Harris delivers an addictive saga reminiscent of early Barbara Taylor Bradford.” ~Historical Novel Society Review. 

Darjeeling Inheritance is set in the 1930’s in the Himalayas. It tells the story of Charlotte Lawrence, who completes her schooling in England and returns to her family’s tea plantation in Darjeeling, India, to find that her father has died and left it to her. Of course there’s a clause that he expects her to marry the neighbor, and of course she decides to run the plantation herself. I enjoy novels set in places I’m not familiar with, so l’ve preordered this one already. The plot seems predictable—I know she will have some success on her own but fall in love with the neighbor and marry him—but the unique setting promises original details. If the characters are compelling, I will love this one. (release date October 1)


MYSTERY

Death at Greenway by Lori Rader Day  (WWII mystery) Oct 12

“Two strangers with secrets, ten little children evacuated from London, and a stay at Agatha Christie’s country house make for a deliciously compelling mystery. With its flawed, complex heroine, haunting evocation of wartime England, and a series of plot twists and breathtaking reveals, Rader-Day’s newest is a triumph.” ~Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times bestselling author of the Maggie Hope series

Set during World War II, Death at Greenway follows nurse trainee Bridey Kelly as she is dismissed from a hospital in London and arrives in the country to work at Greenway. The house is being used for ten children evacuated from London during the Blitz. A murdered body washes up on the shore of the English Channel near the estate. Bridey and the other nurse, Gigi, both have secrets. They must discover the truth before another death occurs. Every time I say I’m getting tired of World War II fiction, a novel shows up with a unique perspective. This one intrigues me with the children, the house full of Agatha Christie’s things, and the mysterious nurses. (release date October 5)

 

BIOGRAPHICAL FICTION

Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan  

“I advise you to read this book, then wait for a while and then read it again, for while it may not be Narnia, there is magic in it.” ~Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’s stepson

Novels that explore the lives of real people always top my TBR stack. Once Upon a Wardrobe is about C.S. Lewis. That hooked me right away. Set in 1950, the story is about Megs Devonshire, brilliant in math and on scholarship at Oxford. She is completely a fact-oriented person. Her younger brother, however, is enthralled with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. His heart is weak and he doesn’t have long to live, so when he asks Megs where Narnia comes from, Megs feels obligated to find out. I love all seven books about Narnia, so this novel appeals to me. Megs actually goes to tea with C.S. Lewis! The fangirl in me swoons at the idea. The author won’t give her a straight answer, though. Instead he tells her more stories she takes back to her brother. In the process, Megs develops an appreciation for something other than math. (release date October 19)


NATIVE AMERICAN

When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky by Margaret Verble  

“Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.” ~from the publisher 

Maybe this book caught my eye because my current WIP has a Native American character, but maybe it was the juxtaposition of characters. It features Two Feathers, a young female Cherokee horse-diver, working at Glendale Park Zoo. Her closest friend is Hank Crawford, member of a high-achieving land-owning Black family. The highly segregated society of the time doesn’t fit either of them. Disaster strikes during one of Two Feathers’ shows, and an eclectic mix of park performers, employees, and wealthy stakeholders must work together, dealing with exotic animals, spirits, and unexpected friendship. The animals will make this a great story for me, and I want to read about Two Feathers and Hank. (release date October 12)


The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (October 5)

Three Sisters by Heather Morris  (October 5)

The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby   (October 5)

The City Beautiful by Ade Polydoros (October 5)

God Rest Ye Royal Gentleman by Rhys Bowen  (October 12)

Irma’s Passport: One Woman, Two Wars, and a Legacy of Courage by Catherine Ehrlich (October 12)

Betrayal on the Bowery by Kate Belli   (October 12)

The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab (October 15)

Upon a Midnight Dreary: A Halloween Anthology  (October 25)

The Wedding Wager by Eva Devon (October 25)

The Prince of the Skies by Antonio Iturbe  (October 26)

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman (October 26)

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