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Top Hist Fic Picks November 2022

November is the true beginning of the holiday season, which for me is all about family. This year we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with my son and his family, at his house, and Christmas at our house. With a one-year-old grandson, I expect the holidays are entering a whole new era!

This month we see a few offerings with the trending style of geometrics, like Theft of an Idol , Tread of Angels, and Unlocked. A couple, like Dawnlands and What a Trip, don’t want to let go of the women’s faces entirely. There are still plenty of women’s backs, though a few more with front facing women. The position of the characters doesn’t draw me, though, as much as the combination of figures, text, and color.

The most exciting release of the month is Unlocked, by Paper Lantern Writers. This is our first anthology of eight historical fiction short stories. In much the same manner as Pandora, each Paper Lantern Writer takes a turn opening an old wooden chest, digging out stories spanning seven centuries. The individuals in these tales—heroes, villains, and in between—are more than people from the past. Whether they are making mayhem, waging war, or quietly holding their families together, their strength and fortitude shines on the page. From the Swinging Seventies to the Middle Ages, these characters gather, keep, and spill the secrets of their souls. Who knows what treasures will be found when this ancient trunk is finally Unlocked? (November 1)

BEST COVER

The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jeffries (November 22)

“Completely swept me away to another place and time. Dinah is the queen of sumptuous settings, transporting the reader effortlessly from chocolate-box Devonshire to the cabaret clubs of 1920s Paris and war-torn Malta. A marvelous, multi-layered story, populated with characters to really care for.”―HAZEL GAYNOR

The pastel colors of the sky in this one, offset by the blue lake at the bottom, immediately drew my eye. Even more intriguing is an ancient palace combined with a girl in a wartime dress. This is a dual timeline novel, split between 1925 and 1944. No modern timeline here!

BEST TITLE

My Mother’s Secret by Alina Adams (November 15)

With his dying breath, Lena’s father asks his family a cryptic question: “You couldn’t tell, could you?” After his passing, Lena stumbles upon the answer that changes her life forever.” ~from the book description

Last month I chose The Godmother’s Secret, by Elizabeth St. John, as the best title because I loved the intrigue of the word ‘secret.’ This month we have a mother with a secret! Secrets always draw attention because of the potential for a great story. In this one, the character flees 1930’s Kremlin to live in a Jewish state on the border of Russia and China. Added bonus—it’s an era and place somewhat unfamiliar to me!

MOST INTRIGUING

The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks (November 15)

“Mariah Fredericks’s The Lindbergh Nanny is powerful, propulsive novel about America’s most notorious kidnapping through the eyes of the woman who found herself at the heart of this deadly crime.” ~from the book description

I love stories that tell a well-known tale from a different point of view. I know about the Lindbergh kidnapping, and I can only imagine how the baby’s nanny must have felt. Now author Mariah Fredericks has developed that imagining into a novel.

MOST ANTICIPATED

Dawnlands by Phllippa Gregory (November 8)

“The “superb” (People) Fairmile series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory continues as the fiercely independent Alinor and her family find themselves entangled in palace intrigue and political upheaval in 17th-century England..” ~book description

Oh, look at that cover. It’s breathtaking. And Philippa Gregory is magnificent. This is the third volume of a family saga that takes Alinor and her family from England to the New World. Opportunity abounds there, but so does danger.

BIOGRAPHICAL

Defending Alice by Richard Stratton (November 22)

Trini! Come! by W. Michael Farmer (November 23)

ROMANCE

The Daughter’s Courage by Misty M. Beller (November 1)

Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Heath (November 8)

LGBTQ+

Hot Keys by R. E. Ward (November 15)

External Forces by Shannon Fay (November 8)

The Gentleman’s Book of Vices by Jess Everlee (November 29)

FAMILY & WOMEN

Beautiful Ghost by Milana Marseich (November 1)

The Tamarind Tree by Sundara Ramaswamy (November 15)

Winterland by Rae Meadows (November 29)

An Orphan’s Wish by Elizabeth Gill (November 10)

What a Trip by Susen Edwards (November 15)

Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning (November 1)

The Green Lady by Sue Lawrence (November 8)

Folly Park by Heidi Hackford (November 15)

ANCIENT

Theft of an Idol by Dana Stabenow (November 3)

Death to the Emperor by Simon Scarrow (November 10)

Caesar’s Lord by Bryan Litfin (November 1)

The Spear of Crom by Tim Hodkinson (November 1)

WORLD WAR I & II

The Girls in Navy Blue by Alix Rickloff (November 1)

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green (November 15)

Angels of the Resistance by Noelle Salazar (November 29)

The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh (November 15)

CHINESE

Lost in the Long March by Michael X. Wang (November 1)

Dancing in the River by George Lee (November 1)

NATIVE AMERICAN

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse (November 15)

Trini! Come! by W. Michael Farmer (November 23)

MAGICAL REALISM

The Last Gift of the Master Artists by Ben Okri (November 22)

MYSTERY

The Tears of Buddha  by E. A. Allen (November 15)

Death at the Falls by Rosemary Simpson (November 29)

A Christmas Deliverance by Anne Perry (November 8)

Paperback Jack by Loren D. Estleman (November 29)

Need more historical fiction 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, will be published in 2023. To interact with her and other historical fiction authors and readers, join PLW’s Facebook group SHINE.

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