I have been reading thrillers for a while now. In March, I read a historical fiction novel set during WWWII and I fell in love with the genre. If you haven’t read my review of Sandy Taylor’s When We Danced at the End of the Pier, you can find it here. That book motivated me to get more ARCs from different genres and take a short break from thrillers. I still have a couple of thrillers but I am really excited about the following new additions:
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past . . .
Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.
Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.
Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy’s favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . .
The Nazi’s Daughter by Tim Murgatroyd
The Netherlands, Spring 1943. When her glittering career as a ballerina is cut short by a dancing injury, Elise Van Thooft-Noman, rebellious daughter of a powerful Dutch Nazi, flees to an isolated island off the coast of Holland. Here she meets Pieter Goedhart, reluctant village schoolmaster and Resistance fighter. A dangerous affair is kindled between them. Meanwhile Elise’s Nazi family and the terrifying brutality of war are closing in, threatening to destroy all she holds dear…
New York, September 2008. Uncomfortably overweight, single and scraping thirty, Jenni Malarkey is summoned to a mysterious party to celebrate her estranged grandmother’s glamorous life. Her journey through Elise’s secret history will force her to confront a legacy of guilt and shame…
Past and present intersect, as unlikely hearts connect to seek love and redemption, in this haunting time-shift novel set in wartime Holland and contemporary New York.
A Negro and an Ofay by Danny Gardner
In 1952, after a year on the run, disgraced Chicago Police Officer Elliot Caprice wakes up in a jailhouse in St. Louis. His friends from his hometown secure his release and he returns to find the family farm in foreclosure and the man who raised him dying in a flophouse. Desperate for money, he accepts a straight job as a process server and eventually crosses paths with a powerful family from Chicago’s North Shore. A captain of industry is dead, the key to his estate disappeared with the chauffeur, and soon Elliot is in up to his neck. The mixed-race son of Illinois farm country must return to the Windy City with the Chicago Police on his heels and the Syndicate at his throat. Good thing he’s had a lifetime of playing both sides to the middle.
The Girl from Tyne by Melody Sachs
When ballroom dancer Alice Rooney seduces Jack Wood, he soon finds himself in a volatile marriage. Yet from the moment he meets his baby daughter, he knows he will do anything to make her happy.
But at the start of WWII Jack is drafted by the Air Force, and little Lizzie is left with her mother. Damaged and troubled, Alice grows increasingly unstable and Lizzie finds herself the focus of her mother’s frustration and anger. It’s only when Lizzie arrives at Madame Bella’s Academy for the Theatrical Arts that she blossoms.
Will she escape her mother’s clutches and can her dream of a glittering theatrical future ever come true?
Linden Hill by Gloria Naylor
For its wealthy African American residents, the exclusive neighborhood of Linden Hills is a symbol of “making it.” The ultimate achievement: a home on prestigious Tupelo Drive. Making your way downhill to Tupelo is irrefutable proof of your worth. But the farther down the hill you go, the emptier you become . . .
Using the descent of Dante’s Inferno as a model, this bold, haunting novel follows two young men as they attempt to find work amid the circles of the well-off community. Exploring a microcosm of race and social class, author Gloria Naylor reveals the true cost of success for the lost souls of Linden Hills—an existence trapped in a nightmare of their own making
The Lost History of Stars by Dave Boling
In turn-of-the-century South Africa, fourteen-year-old Lettie, her younger brother, and her mother are Dutch Afrikaner settlers who have been taken from their farm by British soldiers and are being held in a concentration camp. It is early in the Boer War, and Lettie’s father, grandfather, and brother are off fighting the British as thousands of Afrikaner women and children are detained. The camps are cramped and disease ridden; the threat of illness and starvation are ever present. Determined to dictate their own fate, Lettie and her family give each other strength and hope as they fight to survive amid increasingly dire conditions.
Brave and defiant, Lettie finds comfort in memories of stargazing with her grandfather, in her plan to be a writer, and in surprising new friendships that will both nourish and challenge her. A beautiful testament to love, family, and sheer force of will, The Lost History of Stars was inspired by Dave Boling’s grandfather’s own experience as a soldier during the Boer War. Lettie is a figure of abiding grace, and her story is richly drawn and impossible to forget
Alphonse by Carl Sever
After twenty years of riding the rails, Alphonse has earned a reputation for being a kindhearted soul always ready to help. When he helps the Sadlers, a young couple seeking a better life in small-town 1950s Indiana, he doesn’t intend to stay. But stay he does, keeping a close eye on the Sadlers and their two young sons—and an even closer eye on the town’s new priest, Father Brennon. On the surface, Brennon seems perfect for the job—but Alphonse crossed paths with him years earlier in the railyard jungle, and he knows better. Brennon doesn’t recognize Alphonse, but Alphonse has never forgotten Brennon . . . or his crimes. So when Brennon assigns the Sadlers’ son, Francis, who is now thirteen, the thankless task of cleaning and maintaining the church’s bell tower—work that often continues into the night—Alphonse immediately grows suspicious. Soon, he discovers that his worst fears have come to pass, and he races to find a way to protect Francis and reveal the truth to the Sadler family.
Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal
Things aren’t always as they seem…
A small town can be a refuge, but while its secrets are held, it’s hard to know who to trust and what to believe.The Teacher’s Secret is a tender and compelling story of scandal, rumour and dislocation, and the search for grace and dignity in the midst of dishonour and humiliation.
Have you read any of these books? Do you like historical fiction? Let me know. Have a fab weekend!