April 2003

Reading Recommendations · American Historical Fiction

Relive U.S. history through story. These recent books are just a few of the many wonderful novels set in our country’s past.

Colonial America

Cover of The Old American

The Old American

Ernest Hebert
New Hampshire

The Wished-For Country

Wayne Carlin

The Guardship

James L. Nelson
Virginia coast

A New Nation

Cover of Lost Nation

Lost Nation

Jeffrey Lent
New Hampshire

Peter Loon

Van Reid

Rise to Rebellion

Jeff M. Shaara

The Frontier Experience

Cover of I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company

I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company

Brian Hall
Lewis and Clark expedition

Snow Mountain Passage

James D. Houston
Donner party

The Buckskin Line

Elmer Kelton
Texas Rangers

The Indian Lover

Garth Murphy
California, 1840s

The Revenant

Michael Punke
Rocky Mountains

Ghost Warrior

Lucia St. Clair Robson

The Civil War

Cover of Paradise Alley

Paradise Alley

Kevin Baker

Enemy Women

Paulette Jiles

The Wolf Pit

Marly Youmans

A Changing Country

Cover of The Year of Jubilo

The Year of Jubilo

Howard Bahr
Mississippi Reconstruction

In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden

Kathleen Cambor
Johnstown flood

A Parchment of Leaves

Silas House
Appalachia, early 20th century

Down to a Soundless Sea

Thomas Steinbeck
Big Sur, California, early 20th century

America and World War I

Cover of Flanders


Patricia Anthony

Somewhere in France

John Wolfe Gardiner

Across Open Ground

Heather Parkinson

Between the Wars

Cover of A Fire in Beulah

A Fire in Beulah

Rilla Askew
Oklahoma, 1920s

The Sound of the Trees

Robert Gatewood
Colorado, 1930s

Carter Beats the Devil

Glen David Gold


William F. Weld
Massachusetts, 1930s

America and World War II

Miracle at St. Anna

James McBride

The Pilots

James Spencer

The Water and the Blood

Nancy E. Turner

Biographical Fiction

Cover of Stone Heart

Stone Heart

Diane Glancy

The Jazz Bird

Craig Holden
George Remus


David Nevin
Aaron Burr

Douglass’ Women

Jewell Parker Rhodes
Frederick Douglass, Anna Douglass, Ottilie Assing


Richard Slotkin
Abraham Lincoln

Chang and Eng

Darin Strauss
Chang and Eng Baker

African American Stories

Cover of A Long Way From Home

A Long Way From Home

Connie Briscoe

Feeding the Ghosts

Fred D’Aguiar

Gabriel’s Story

David Anthony Durham

Twelve Bar Blues

Patrick Neate

Cane River

Lalita Tademy

Native American Stories

Cover of Moon of Bitter Cold

Moon of Bitter Cold

Frederick J. Chiaventone

The Peace Chief

Robert J. Conley
Cherokee, 16th century

People of the Masks

Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

Liar’s Moon

Philip Kimball

Women’s Stories

Cover of Sister Noon

Sister Noon

Karen Joy Fowler

The Sweet By and By

Jeanne Mackin


Valerie Martin

Fortune’s Rocks

Anita Shreve

Historical Suspense

Cover of A World of Thieves

A World of Thieves

James Carlos Blake
Lousiana and Texas, 1920s

Grammercy Park

Paula Cohen
New York City, 1890s


Richard Crabbe
New York City, 1880s

Beulah Hill

William Heffernan
Vermont, 1930s
Cover of The Bottoms

The Bottoms

Joe Lansdale
East Texas, 1930s

Speaks the Nightbird

Robert McCammon
colonial North America

Unholy Fire

Robert J. Mrazek
Civil War

The Dante Club

Matthew Pearl
Boston, 1860s


Cover of Two in the Field

Two in the Field

Darryl Brock
Old West

The Seeds of Time

Carol Cail
Colorado, 1880s

Meet John Trow

Tom Dyja
Civil War


Pete Hamill
New York City

A Scattering of Jades

Alexander C. Irvine
Kentucky and New York
Locating additional library materials in the Library Catalog:

Not all fiction records in the Library Catalog include subject or setting information, but you can find some additional historical novels with a keyword subject search. Type the place name you are looking for and add the words “history” and “fiction” to the search request. Staff can help you find more using other print and online sources.

Need more suggestions? Email the Popular Library or contact your local branch and our staff will be happy to assist you.