Reviews

Top Hist Fic Picks for August 2022

This post first appeared on paperlanternwriters.com

Even though August has become a back-to-school month, for me it’s always been about long hot days by the pool, ocean, or lake. I always lay in the sun and read, then swam to cool off, then more reading. Now I know better than to spend too much time in the sun, but I still love to swim and read. Here are some new historical novels coming out this month.

BEST COVER

Acts of Love and War by Maggie Brooks (August 23)

Love the pink sky on this cover. The woman is going…where? Turns out the novel is about three young English volunteers heading off to the Spanish Civil War. It’s a love story and a war story, with immigrants and their protectors, inspired by real-life aid workers during the war.

BEST TITLE

Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman (August 30)

“An unforgettable story of female strength, hope and friendship. This collaborative work is magnificent—a true revelation!” ~Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star

If you’ve been reading my blog awhile, you know I love books about book lovers and sewing. This one is about two women who sew quilts. One, a black woman, sews maps north to freedom in her quilts. Meanwhile, a white woman in the north sews quilts for her missing soldier husband. She decides to go south to look for him. A lot of promise in this one!

MOST ANTICIPATED

The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman (August 2)

“In this clever dual-timeline novel, Ackerman writes about two smart, adventurous women solving a captivating historical mystery, all set against the tropical beauty of Hawai’i during World War II and the 1960s. When I finished this book, I was more than ready to book a one-way ticket to the Big Island.” ~Elise Hooper, author of Angels of the Pacific

Sara Ackerman is one of my favorite authors. She’s the type of favorite that I buy her books the instant I hear about them (I preordered this one last April). Ackerman’s books are set in World War II Hawaii. This one, though, is a dual timeline mystery. It includes the opening of the fabulous Mauna Kea hotel in the 1960s as well as the codebreaking work done during the war. I can hardly wait to read it! 

MOST INTRIGUING

The Colour of Glass by David Starr (August 1)

“This is a book of unfortunate truths. However, it also speaks to the hope that with truth will come understanding–and, ultimately, reconciliation.” ~the publisher

This novel follows a string of trade beads, originally from Murano, for three hundred years as it is passed down by a Canadian colonial family. The book explores the relationship between indigenous people, fur traders, priests, and others determined to erase an entire culture. This novel intrigues me because of its tie to Catholic schools in Canada that have been in the news a lot lately, especially with the Pope’s trip to apologize. 

ANCIENT HISTORY

Bronze Drum by Phong Nguyen (August 9)

MEDIEVAL

Haven by Emma Donoghue (August 23)

Rebecca of Salerno by Esther Erman (August 2)

Set in Stone by Stela Brinzeanu (August 4)

18TH CENTURY

Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sisak (August 2)

The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. MacLean (August 4)

Embers on the Wind by Lisa Williams Rosenberg (August 1)

The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton (August 30)

The Portraitist by Susanne Dunlap (August 30)

20TH CENTURY

Mother of Strangers by Suad Amiry (August 2)

The Manhattan Girls by Gill Paul  (August 16)

An Ocean Apart by Sarah Lee (August 18)

Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra (August 2)

Feather on the Water by Lindsay Jayne Ashford (August 1)

Winter’s Reckoning by Adele Holmes, M.D. (August 9)

A Woman in Time by Bobi Conn (August 30)

 WORLD WAR I

The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong (August 9)

WORLD WAR II

Where the Sky Begins by Rhys Bowen (August 2)

ROMANCE

Bewitching by Jill Barnett (August 12)

Hearts of Briarwall by Krista Jensen (August 2)

The Proposition by Madeleine Roux (August 2)

ASIAN 

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford (August 2)

Need more books on your TBR? See more new release titles at Historical Novel Society.

Linda Ulleseit is the award-winning author of The Aloha Spirit and Under the Almond Trees. Her next historical novel, The River Remembers, is available for preorder now. To interact with her and other historical fiction authors and readers, join PLW’s Facebook group SHINE.

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