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Top Hist Fic Picks for August 2023

August marks the end of summer for me, not because the warm weather goes away, but because school starts by the end of August and for twenty years I had to go back to work. August, therefore, was a time of beaches and swimming pools, lemonade and iced tea, barbecued hot dogs and macaroni salad. And reading…lots of reading. Here’s what’s new this month in historical fiction


Echoes on a Cornish River by Kate Ryder

“I was hooked from the very first page and drawn into this mystical tale. There is romance, danger and ancient magic – perfect. Loved this enchanting story!” Christina Courtenay, Echoes of the Runes

This month’s covers are full of soft colors that I love. It was a hard decision, but I chose Echoes on a Cornish River. Come to find out, the story is a timeslip romance. I find that intriguing, but I can only put a book in one category! Ellinor experiences a tragedy and goes to live in a remote Cornish farmhouse. Then there’s a handsome stranger no one knows. All the right ingredients! (August 8)


The Keeper of Hidden Books by Madeline Martin

The Keeper of Hidden Books is a powerful and poignant tour de force chronicling the efforts of Warsaw’s librarians and book-lovers to keep Poland’s culture alive during the dark days of the German Occupation. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, The Keeper of Hidden Books reads as a love letter to family, friendship, and the power of literature to sustain, inspire, and endure.”–Bryn Turnbull, author of The Woman Before Wallis

All of these titles make me want to know more about the book. After all, that’s the purpose of a title. The Keeper of Hidden Books, though, is about books that are hidden. It’s set in Warsaw during World War II, and the main character must save both the books and her Jewish friend. (August 1) 

MOST INTRIGUINGThe Bereaved by Julia Park Tracey

“This sumptuous, cinematic book is full of heart and concern for women’s plights in this era and gets to the bottom of the Orphan Train tragedy in a way that seems just as compelling and heartless as from the children’s perspective.” —Erika Mailman, author of The Witch’s Trinity

All of these books intrigue me because of the title or premise. The Bereaved is a work of what I call heritage fiction, a novel written about the author’s ancestors. A struggling mother ends up putting all four of her children in a home run by an aid society. Then she learns they have been taken from her and put on the Orphan Train. She must fight to get them back. (August 8)

MOST ANTICIPATEDThe President’s Wife by Tracy Enerson Wood

“A vivid portrait of a woman whose remarkable role and achievements in history have largely been relegated to the shadows… A fascinating read!” —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday and The Ways We Hide

I enjoy stories of the wives behind the scenes of prominent people. President Woodrow Wilson took ill while in office, and it fell to his wife to keep his true condition secret while taking over the running of the country. World War I was an unprecedented, tumultuous time, and Edith Wilson must use courage and independence to be successful. (August 15)


A Bakery in Paris by Aimee K. Runyon (August 1)

The Paris Assignment by Rhys Bowen (August 8)

The Last Masterpiece by Laura Morelli (August 1

)Mrs. Porter Calling by A. J. Pearce (August 8)


The Princess by Wendy Holden (August 1)

At the Foot of the Cherry Tree by Alli Parker (August 2)

The Queen of the Valley by Lorena Hughes (August 22)

California Golden by Melanie Benjamin (August 8)

The Girl From the Papers by Jennifer L. Wright (August 8)

The Continental Affaire by Christine Mangan (August 22)


Knockout by Sarah MacLean (August 22)


The Montevideo Brief by J. L. Gelernter (August 1)

Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue (August 29)

A Council of Dolls by Mona Susan Edwards (August 8)


House of Odysseus by Claire North (August 22)

Voice of the Ancient by Connilyn Cossette (August 15)

MYSTERYMiss Morton and the Secrets of the Underworld by Catherine Lloyd (August 22)

The Puzzle of Blackstone Lodge by Martin Edwards (August 1)

Death Comes to Santa Fe by Amanda Allen (August 1

)The Orchid Hour by Nancy Bilyeau (August 10)

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

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This post first appeared on paperlanternwriters. com

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