Top Ten Tuesday- Hidden Gems

TopTen Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme that was created over at The Broke and the Bookish! Historical Fiction is my favourite genre so I am excited to share some of my favourite lesser talked about books in this genre- both adult and young adult!  I thought that a lot of these would be about WWII since those are the books that I gravitate towards but I was surprised to see that I have read quite a variety of fantastic historical fiction novels! I am going to share the synopsis for all the book with you as well.


The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

A stunningly ambitious and beautiful debut novel, perfect for fans of Sarah’s Key and All the Light We Cannot See, the story of a twelve-year-old girl’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion.


Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….


The List by Martin Fletcher

London, October 1945.  Austrian refugees Georg and Edith await the birth of their first child. Yet how can they celebrate when almost every day brings news of another relative or friend murdered in the Holocaust? Their struggle to rebuild their lives is further threatened by growing anti-Semitism in London’s streets; Englishmen want to take homes and jobs from Jewish refugees and give them to returning servicemen.

Edith’s father is believed to have survived, and finding him rests on Georg’s shoulders. Then Georg learns of a plot by Palestinian Jews to assassinate Britain’s foreign minister. Georg must try to stop the murder, all the while navigating a city that wants to “eject the aliens.”


The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations. 

An impetuous optimist, Bean soon discovers who her father was, and hears stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, and the sisters start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife. Liz is whip-smart–an inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist, but when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.


Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.
Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . . 
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . . 


The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

1878 Paris. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. 

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modeling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. There she meets a wealthy male patron of the ballet, but might the assistance he offers come with strings attached? Meanwhile Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Émile Abadie, must choose between honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde. 


War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again? 


My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has “the memory”, the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he’s previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel’s unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now “Lucy” in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.


47 by Walter Mosley

Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up under the watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious Tall John, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him the meaning of freedom.


The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

Intimate acquaintances but less than friends, they meet and part in postwar London and Paris: Elliot, the arch-snob but also the kindest of men; Isabel, considered to be entertaining, gracious, and tactful; Gray, the quintessence of the Regular Guy; Suzanne, shrewd, roving, and friendly; Sophie, lost, wanton, with a vicious attractiveness about her; and finally Larry, so hard and so trustful, lost in the world’s confusion. Their story, one of Somerset Maugham’s best, encompasses the pain, passion, and poignancy of life itself.


I would love to know if you have read any of these books and what you thought about them!


56 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- Hidden Gems

  1. I haven’t read any of these but I would like to recommend my favorite historical fiction author: Elizabeth Wein. Her most well-known title is Code Name Verity, which I absolutely loved. It has a companion novel called Rose Under Fire. And I also really loved her slightly Arthurian series called Lion Hunters.

  2. I really enjoyed Vixen a really long time ago. I thought it was a great book, but I think because it was so underrated and I never saw it promoted, I never got into the other books in the series. And now I can’t even remember what happened. XD Wonderful post, Kristin! 🙂

  3. I’ve read the Silver Star, Vixen, and My Name is Memory, and really enjoyed all of them! Vixen is just so fun, and Jeanette Walls’ writing is so good in Silver Star!

  4. Oh my goodness! I was so excited to see Vixen on your list! It was one of the first physical ARCs I ever received and I fell in love with the characters; I own the whole trilogy and am so glad I read them.

  5. I’ve been meaning to read ‘War Horse’ for ages but I haven’t gotten round to it yet! I might check out ‘Victoria’ too. The Victorian era absolutely fascinates me…in terms of human history, it is nothing more than a blink in time behind us and yet life was so vastly different back then! I’ve been watching a drama based on Victoria’s early years on the throne. It’s very interesting!

  6. This is such a great list, I’ve only read The Razor’s Edge but I love the play War Horse, and a lot of the others are on my TBR! My boss got an ARC of The German Girl a while back and I really wanted to steal it, haha.

      1. I liked the movie too! The play is so cool, the puppet horses are so lifelike. I hope you get to see it at some point. I definitely need to read the book!

  7. I tend to avoid historical books but I’ve definitely read more than a few war stories.

    I really don’t think I could read War Horse. That film just about broke me.

  8. I haven’t read any of these, but so many sound really interesting! I’ve never heard of The List, but it really caught my eye just now. Must check it out!

  9. Didn’t they turn War Horse into a movie? That sounds so familiar.

    I haven’t read any of these, but recently I haven’t found drawn to Historical Fiction as much as I used to be.

      1. That’s how I was too. I read it a lot when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older I look for lighter reads.

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