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”
Some of these look really good. I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction but I’m still tempted.
War Horse was pretty good! 🙂 Have you read All the Light We Cannot See? I think you’d love it if you haven’t read it yet 🙂
I have! It is one of my absolute favourite WWII books. So good!!
What a fantastic list of books! I haven’t read any of them, but many of them are tempting me – The German Girl, Victoria, The List and The Painted Girls.
Thank you! They are all really good. The Painted Girls is really special though so if I had to recommend one that would be it!
Perfect! Thank you! I’ll add it to my TBR list 😊
Great list!! I love historical fiction and haven’t read any of these, I’m going to have to check them out!
Thank you! I truly recommend all of them!
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.
I have heard nothing but fantastic things about Code Name Variety. Her books are on my TBR. I really need to read them soon. I haven’t heard of her other series before. Definitely going to look it up on goodreads!
Great list! I LOVED The Painted Girls. Such a great book.
Thank you! I haven’t heard of many people reading it. Truly a unique and special book!
Edgar Degas is my favorite artist, so I HAD to read it when it came out. I don’t know anyone else who’s read it either though.
This was a great list! I read My Name is Memory and loved it. I’d love to read The German Girl, it sounds really interesting!
Thank you! My Name is Memory is so good. I want to reread it soon. The German Girl is excellent!
War Horse <3 that book (and film) will always get to me. I've lost track of all the tears I've shed over that story.
Such a heartbreaking story! Definitely one of the saddest movies I have ever seen!
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! 🙂
Thank you! I think that is what I liked about it too. I wasn’t expecting to like it so I was really surprised that I enjoyed it. I finished the series and the other books are just as good!
great list, because i don’t know any of those books! 😂 i really need to get more into historical fiction! i am just scared that i will be bored 🙈
You just have to find a subject matter that you are interested in! There are definitely some boring historical fiction novels out there!
that’s probably true 😅
Vixen has a very intriguing plot and I also like the cover. Sold.
Carmen / Carmen`s Reading Corner
It is really a fun series!
The Victoria cover is sooo pretty, as well as My name is Memory! I don’t read much historical fiction but those covers are drawing me in for sure. Great list!!
My TTT:Hidden Gems in YA
Victoria is excellent. I think even people who don’t like books about Queens and royalty would enjoy that one!
Can’t wait to try it <3 I love books on queens/royalty.
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!
Vixen is fun! I just loved reading about flappers! Jeanette Walls is such San incredible writer!
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.
I read the whole trilogy as well! It was so fun!!
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!
War Horse is a quick read but so heart wrenching!! Victoria is so good- I loved that even though she was a queen she was also still young and this book really shows that!
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.
War Horse is so good! I would love to see the play. I really enjoyed the movie!
Ohhh you should get your hands on The German Girl. It is such a fascinating story!
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!
I love historical fiction, especially about WWII. THE GERMAN GIRL is one I definitely want to read! I also want to check out THE LIST and THE PAINTED GIRLS.
I truly recommend all three of those books! They are all special in their own way!
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.
The movie and the book are equally heart wrenching!!
I love the play and the film of War Horse, but I’ve never read the book!
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/top-ten-tuesday-122/
The book is great! I really want to see the play!
The play is amazing 🙂
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!
It’s fantastic! I think it is definitely worth reading!
Awesome list! I loved War Horse. And I really loved Sisterhood of the travelling pants- so I’m intrigued My Name is Memory. Also Vixen and Painted Girls sound great!
Thank you! I only read My Name is Memory because of how much I loved Sisterhood. It is completely different but equally as good! Vixen and Painted Girls are really great. Highly recommend them both!
You’re welcome! hehe yes I wanna read it for the same reason. Ah that’s great!! Awesome! 😀
Hi! So many good ones! I need to read more historical fiction. My Name is Memory, The Painted Girls, and Silver Star look especially interesting to me 🙂
I love historial novels. Thanks for introducing us to so many of them.
Here is our TTT
You are so welcome. Such a great genre!
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.
They have! It is an excellent movie!
I used to read historical fiction almost exclusively but not as much any more.
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.
I literally just finished reading the german girl! I absolutley adored it and I also adore your blog! I love your logo, its beautiful! Excited to look around a bit <3 heres my blog, it would mean a lot if anyone checked it out https://abbynashsite.wordpress.com/
You’re so sweet! Thank you! 😊