New Arrivals · Historical Fiction

September 19, 2017
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The boat runner : a novel

September 18, 2017
Murphy, Devin, author.
©2017
370, 13 pages ; 20 cm
Includes P.S. Insights, interviews & more....
In the tradition of All The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, comes an incandescent debut novel about a young Dutch man who comes of age during the perilousness of World War II. Beginning in the summer of 1939, fourteen-year-old Jacob Koopman and his older brother, Edwin, enjoy lives of prosperity and quiet contentment. Many of the residents in their small Dutch town have some connection to the Koopman lightbulb factory, and the locals hold the family in high esteem. On days when they aren't playing with friends, Jacob and Edwin help their Uncle Martin on his fishing boat in the North Sea, where German ships have become a common sight. But conflict still seems unthinkable, even as the boys' father naively sends his sons to a Hitler Youth Camp in an effort to secure German business for the factory. When war breaks out, Jacob's world is thrown into chaos. The Boat Runner follows Jacob over the course of four years, through the forests of France, the stormy beaches of England, and deep within the secret missions of the German Navy, where he is confronted with the moral dilemma that will change his life-and his life's mission-forever. Epic in scope and featuring a thrilling narrative with precise, elegant language, The Boat Runner tells the little-known story of the young Dutch boys who were thrown into the Nazi campaign, as well as the brave boatmen who risked everything to give Jewish refugees safe passage to land abroad. Through one boy's harrowing tale of personal redemption, here is a novel about the power of people's stories and voices to shine light through our darkest days, until only love prevails.

The bloody black flag : a Spider John mystery

September 18, 2017
Goble, Steve, 1961- author.
Amherst, NY : Seventh Street Books, an imprint of Prometheus Books, 2017.
237 pages ; 21 cm
"1722--aboard a pirate ship off the American Colonial Coast. Spider John Rush never wanted to be a pirate, but it had happened and he'd learned to survive in the world of cut and thrust, fight or die. He and his friend Ezra knew that death could come at any moment, from grapeshot or storm winds or the end of a noose. But when Ezra is murdered in cold blood by a shipmate, Spider vows revenge. On a ship where every man is a killer many times over, how can Spider find the man who killed his friend? There is no law here, so if justice is to be done, he must do it. He will have to solve the crime and exact revenge himself. One wrong step will lead to certain death, but Spider is determined to look into the dying eyes of the man who killed his friend, even if it means his own death"-- Provided by publisher.

Love and other consolation prizes : a novel

September 18, 2017
Ford, Jamie, author.
©2017
307 pages : illustration ; 25 cm
A half-Chinese orphan whose mother sacrificed everything to give him a better chance is raffled off as a prize at Seattle's 1909 World's Fair, only to land in the ownership of the madam of a notorious brothel where he finds friendship and opportunities. Based on true events.

The living infinite : a novel

September 15, 2017
Acevedo, Chantel, author.
New York, New York : Europa Editions, 2017.
312 pages ; 21 cm
The Living Infinite is based on the true story of the Spanish princess Eulalia, an outspoken firebrand at the Bourbon court during the troubled and decadent final years of her family's reign. After her cloistered childhood at the Spanish court, her youth spent in exile, and a loveless marriage, Eulalia gladly departs Europe for the New World. In the company of Thomas Aragon, the son of her one-time wet nurse and a small-town bookseller with a thirst for adventure, she travels by ship first to a Cuba bubbling with revolutionary fervor then on to the 1893 Chicago World Fair. She is there as an emissary of the Bourbon dynasty and a guest of the Fair, but secretly she is in America to find a publisher for her scandalous, incendiary autobiography, a book that might well turn the old world order on its head.

The other Alcott

September 15, 2017
Hooper, Elise, author.
©2017
408, 17 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 21 cm
Includes P.S.: insights, interviews & more ...
A tale inspired by the life of Louisa May Alcott's youngest sister finds young May longing to study art outside of the confines of her Concord home before turning down a marriage proposal and pursuing an identity in contrast to the spoiled and worldly character of Amy in her sister's famed novel.

The vengeance of mothers : the journals of Margaret Kelly & Molly McGill : [a novel]

September 15, 2017
Fergus, Jim, author.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2017.
337 pages ; 24 cm
Subtitle from cover.
"9 March 1876 My name is Meggie Kelly and I take up this pencil with my twin sister, Susie. We have nothing left, less than nothing. The village of our People has been destroyed. Empty of human feeling, half-dead ourselves, all that remains of us intact are hearts turned to stone. We curse the U.S. government, we curse the Army, we curse the savagery of mankind, white and Indian alike. We curse God in his heaven. Do not underestimate the power of a mother's vengeance . . . . So begins the journal of Margaret Kelly, a woman who participated in the government's "Brides for Indians" program in 1873, a program whose conceit was that the way to peace between the United States and the Cheyenne Nation was for One Thousand White Women to be given as brides in exchange for three hundred horses. Mostly fallen women, the brides themselves thought it was simply a chance at freedom. But many fell in love with the Cheyenne spouses and had children with them . . . and became Cheyenne themselves. THE VENGEANCE OF MOTHERS explores what happens to the bonds between wives and husbands, children and mothers, when society sees them as "unspeakable." Jim Fergus brings to light a time and place and fills it with unforgettable characters who live and breathe with a passion we can relate to even today" -- Provided by publisher.

We were strangers once : a novel

September 15, 2017
Carter, Betsy, 1945- author.
New York, NY : Grand Central Publishing, 2017.
327 pages ; 24 cm
"On the eve of World War II Egon Schneider--a gallant and successful Jewish doctor, son of two world-famous naturalists--escapes Germany to an uncertain future across the sea. Settling into the unfamiliar rhythms of upper Manhattan, he finds solace among a tight-knit group of fellow immigrants, tenacious men and women drawn together as much by their differences as by their memories of the world they left behind. They each suffer degradations and triumphs large and small: Egon's terminally acerbic lifelong friend, bestselling author Meyer Leavitt, now wears a sandwich board on a New York street corner; Catrina Harty, the headstrong daughter of a dirt-poor Irish trolley driver, survives heartbreak and loss to forge an unlikely alliance; and Egon himself is forced to abandon his thriving medical practice to become the "Cheese Man" at a Washington Heights grocery. But their spirits remain unbroken, and when their little community is faced with an existential threat, these strangers rise up together in hopes of creating a permanent home. With her uncanny ability to create indelible characters in unforgettable circumstances, Betsy Carter has crafted a gorgeous novel that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt adrift and longed for home"-- Provided by publisher.

An inconvenient beauty

September 15, 2017
Hunter, Kristi Ann, author.
©2017
379 pages ; 22 cm.
The Duke of Riverton has chosen his future wife with the same logic he uses to make every decision. However, Frederica St. Claire, whom he see as his perfect bride, eludes his suit. Meanwhile the beautiful Isabella Breckenridge seems to be everywhere. When the time comes, will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and initial notions to embrace their very own happily-ever-after?

Letters to memory

September 14, 2017
Yamashita, Karen Tei, 1951- author.
Minneapolis, MN : Coffee House Press, 2017.
x, 176 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm
"Praise for Karen Tei Yamashita: "It's a stylistically wild ride, but it's smart, funny and entrancing." -NPR "Fluid and poetic as well as terrifying." -New York Times Book Review With delightful plays of voice and structure, this is literary fiction at an adventurous, experimental high point." -Kirkus "Magnificent. Intriguing." -Library Journal "This powerful, deeply felt, and impeccably researched fiction is irresistibly evocative." -Publishers Weekly (starred review) Scintillations is an excursion through the Japanese internment using archival materials from the Yamashita family as well as a series of epistolary conversations with composite characters representing a range of academic specialties. Historians, anthropologists, classicists-their disciplines, and Yamashita's engagement with them, are a way for her explore various aspects of the internment and to expand its meaning beyond her family, and our borders, to ideas of debt, forgiveness, civil rights, Orientalism, and community"-- Provided by publisher.

The tobacconist

September 13, 2017
Seethaler, Robert, 1966- author.
©2016
234 pages ; 22 cm
Translation of: Der trafikant.
First published in English in 2016 by House of Anansi Press Inc.
"Seventeen-year-old Franz Huchel journeys to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, and over time the two very different men form a singular friendship. When Franz falls desperately in love with the music hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that the female sex is as big a mystery to him as it is to Franz. As political and social conditions in Austria dramatically worsen with the Nazis' arrival in Vienna, Franz, Freud, and Anezka are swept into the maelstrom of events. Each has a big decision to make: to stay or to flee?"--Back cover.

An echo of murder : a William Monk novel

September 12, 2017
Perry, Anne, 1943- author.
New York : Ballantine Books, 2017.
286 pages ; 24 cm.
"In the course of his tenure with the Thames River Police, Commander Monk has yet to see a more gruesome crime scene: a Hungarian warehouse owner lies in the middle of his blood-sodden office, pierced through the chest with a bayonet and eerily surrounded by seventeen candles, their wicks dipped in blood. Suspecting the murder may be rooted in ethnic prejudice, Monk turns to London's Hungarian community in search of clues but finds his inquiries stymied by its wary citizens and a language he doesn't speak. Only with the help of a local pharmacist acting as translator can Monk hope to penetrate this tightly knit enclave, even as more of its members fall victim to identical brutal murders. But whoever the killer, or killers, may be -- a secret society practicing ritual sacrifice, a madman on a spree, a British native targeting foreigners -- they are well hidden among the city's ever-growing populace. With the able assistance of his wife -- former battlefield nurse Hester, who herself is dealing with a traumatized war veteran who may be tangled up in the murders -- Monk must combat distrust, hostility, and threats from the very people he seeks to protect. But as the body count grows, stirring ever greater fear and anger among the Hungarian émigrés, resistance to the police also increases. Racing time and the rising tide of terror all around him, Monk must be even more relentless than the mysterious killer, or the echoes of malice and murder will resound through London's streets like a clarion of doom." -- From publisher's description.

A conspiracy in Belgravia

September 12, 2017
Thomas, Sherry (Sherry M.), author.
New York : Berkley, 2017.
317 pages ; 21 cm.
Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte's dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.

We were witches : a novel

September 12, 2017
Gore, Ariel, 1970- author.
New York, NY : Feminist Press, 2017.
292 pages ; 20 cm
"Spurred on by nineties "family values" campaigns and determined to better herself through education, a teen mom talks her way into college. Disgusted by an overabundance of phallocratic narratives and Freytag's pyramid, she turns to a subcultural canon of resistance and failure. Wryly riffing on feminist literary tropes, it documents the survival of a demonized single mother figuring things out"-- Provided by publisher.

A column of fire

September 8, 2017
Follett, Ken, author.
©2017
916 pages : map ; 25 cm
"International bestselling author Ken Follett has enthralled millions of readers with The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, two stories of the Middle Ages set in the fictional city of Kingsbridge. The saga now continues with Follett's magnificent new epic, A Column of Fire. In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country's first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents"-- Provided by publisher.

Odd & true

September 6, 2017
Winters, Cat, author.
New York : Amulet Books, [2017]
357 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
"Trudchen grew up hearing Odette's stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician's curse. But now that Tru's older, she's starting to wonder if her older sister's tales were just comforting lies, especially because there's nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio. In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it's Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters' search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that's wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all"--Amazon.com

Miss Kopp's midnight confessions

September 6, 2017
Stewart, Amy, author.
©2017
374 pages ; 24 cm.
"The best-selling author of Girl Waits with Gun and Lady Cop Makes Trouble continues her extraordinary journey into the real lives of the forgotten but fabulous Kopp sisters ... Deputy sheriff Constance Kopp is outraged to see young women brought into the Hackensack jail over dubious charges of waywardness, incorrigibility, and moral depravity. The strong-willed, patriotic Edna Heustis, who left home to work in a munitions factory, certainly doesn't belong behind bars. And sixteen-year-old runaway Minnie Davis, with few prospects and fewer friends, shouldn't be publicly shamed and packed off to a state-run reformatory. But such were the laws--and morals--of 1916. Constance uses her authority as deputy sheriff, and occasionally exceeds it, to investigate and defend these women when no one else will. But it's her sister Fleurette who puts Constance's beliefs to the test and forces her to reckon with her own ideas of how a young woman should and shouldn't behave. Against the backdrop of World War I, and drawn once again from the true story of the Kopp sisters, Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions is a spirited, page-turning story that will delight fans of historical fiction and lighthearted detective fiction alike"-- Provided by publisher.

Judgment at Appomattox

August 30, 2017
Peters, Ralph, 1952- author.
©2017
446 pages : maps ; 24 cm
A great war nears its end. Robert E. Lee makes a desperate, dramatic gamble. It fails. Ulysses S. Grant moves. Veteran armies clash around Petersburg, Virginia, as Grant seeks to surround Lee and Lee makes a skillful withdrawal in the night. Richmond falls. Each day brings new combat and more casualties, as Lee's exhausted, hungry troops race to preserve the Confederacy. But Grant does not intend to let Lee escape... In one of the most thrilling episodes in American history, heroes North and South, John Brown Gordon and Phillip Sheridan, James Longstreet and Francis Channing Barlow, battle each other across southern Virginia as the armies converge on a sleepy country court house. --Amazon.com.

The world of tomorrow

August 30, 2017
Mathews, Brendan, author.
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
552 pages ; 24 cm
Maps on lining pages.
Fleeing Ireland for New York City after stealing a small fortune from the IRA, three brothers immerse themselves in the cultural and political tensions of 1939, only to find their lives falling apart when they are tracked down by a hired assassin.

Under a pole star

August 30, 2017
Penney, Stef, author.
©2017
580 pages : map ; 24 cm
A whaler's daughter, Flora Mackie first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of twelve and fell in love with the cold and unforgiving terrain. In 1889, she sets out to become a scientist and explorer. Despite those who believe that a young woman has no place in this harsh world of men, her determination leads her back to northern Greenland at the head of a British expedition. Yearning for wider horizons, American geologist Jakob de Beyn joins a rival expedition led by the furiously driven Lester Armitage. When the path of Flora's expedition meets theirs, the three lives become intertwined. All are obsessed with the north, a place where violent extremes exist side by side: perpetual night and endless day; frozen seas and coastal meadows; heroism and lies. Armitage's ruthless desire to be the true leader of polar discovery takes him and his men on a mission whose tragic outcome will reverberate for years to come. Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern Greenland, and fin-de-siècle New York and London, Under a Pole Star is a compelling look at the dark side of the golden age of exploration, a study of the corrosive power of ambition, and an epic, incendiary love story.

A murder too soon

August 30, 2017
Jecks, Michael, author.
Sutton, Surrey, England Crème de la Crime, an imprint of Severn House Publishers, Ltd., 2017.
218 pages ; 23 cm.
Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth's household in this engaging Tudor mystery. June, 1554. Former cutpurse and now professional assassin Jack Blackjack has deep misgivings about his latest assignment. He has been despatched to the Palace of Woodstock, where Queen Mary's half-sister Princess Elizabeth is being kept under close guard. Jack's employer has reason to believe that a spy has been installed within the princess's household, and Jack has been ordered to kill her. Jack has no choice but to agree. But he arrives at Woodstock to discover that a murder has already been committed. As he sets out to prove his innocence by uncovering the real killer, Jack finds the palace to be a place steeped in misery and deceit; a hotbed of illicit love affairs, seething resentments, clashing egos and bitter jealousies. But who among Woodstock's residents is hiding a deadly secret - and will Jack survive long enough to find out?

Highland flame

August 30, 2017
Wine, Mary, author.
©2017
312 pages : 17 cm.
Laird Diocail Gordon has just inherited his uncle's run-down castle and ragtag clan. He knows the sorry sight of the castle would send any woman running, but he's determined to find a wife to help return his home to its former glory. Widowed lady Jane Stanley is determined to return to England, even if she has to tromp through the Scottish Highlands on foot to get there. Her travels lead her straight into the midst of a troop of dangerous Highland warriors. The mysterious, brawny laird forbids his men to harm her, but the spark between Diocail and Jane is immediate. The only way Diocail can keep her safe is to take her home with him, but will the miserable state of his clan douse her newly ignited Highland flame?

My fair lover

August 29, 2017
Jordan, Nicole, author.
New York : Ballantine Books, 2017.
357 pages ; 18 cm.
Tasked with turning American privateer Brandon Deverill into a proper English lord and finding him a suitable bride, matchmaker Lady Katherine Wilde agrees to his demands only if he protects her from pirates during her search for buried treasure.

All that makes life bright : the life and love of Harriet Beecher Stowe

August 29, 2017
Kilpack, Josi S., author.
©2017
ix, 322 pages ; 22 cm
When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet's sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.

To die in spring : a novel

August 28, 2017
Rothmann, Ralf, author.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
211 pages ; 22 cm
"The lunacy of the final months of World War II, as experienced by a young German soldier. Distant, silent, often drunk, Walter Urban is a difficult man to have as a father. But his son -- the narrator of this slim, harrowing novel -- is curious about Walter's experiences during World War II, and so makes him a present of a blank notebook in which to write down his memories. Walter dies, however, leaving nothing but the barest skeleton of a story on those pages, leading his son to fill in the gaps himself, rightly or wrongly, with what he can piece together of his father's early life. This, then, is the story of Walter and his dangerously outspoken friend Friedrich Caroli, seventeen-year-old trainee milkers on a dairy farm in northern Germany who are tricked into volunteering for the army during the spring of 1945: the last, and in many ways the worst, months of the war. The men are driven to the point of madness by what they experience, and when Friedrich finally deserts his post, Walter is forced to do the unthinkable. Told in a remarkable impressionistic voice, focusing on the tiny details and moments of grotesque beauty that flower even in the most desperate situations, Ralf Rothmann's To Die in Spring "ushers in the pos -- [Günter] Grass era with enormous power" (Die Zeit)." -- Provided by publisher.

The hidden light of Northern fires : a novel

August 28, 2017
Wang, Daren, 1965- author.
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press, 2017.
302 pages : maps ; 25 cm
Maps on lining papers.
Rooted in the history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line, Daren Wang's The Hidden Light of Northern Fires tells a story of redemption amidst a war that tore families and the country apart. Mary Willis has always been an outcast, an abolitionist in a town of bounty hunters and anti-Union farmers. After college, she dreams of exploring the country, but is obligated to take over the household duties and management of her family's farm, while her brother Leander avoids his own responsibilities. Helping runaways is the only thing that makes her life in Town Line bearable. When escaped slave Joe Bell collapses in her father's barn, Mary is determined to help him cross to freedom in nearby Canada. But the wounded fugitive is haunted by his vengeful owner, who relentlessly hunts him up and down the country, and his sister, still trapped as a slave in the South. As the countryside is riled by the drumbeat of civil war, rebels and soldiers from both sides bring intrigue and violence of the brutal war to the town and the farm, and threaten to destroy all that Mary loves.

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