7 Historical Fiction Books for The End of Summer

As the final lazy days of summer fade into the first hints of fall, many of us turn with the leaves from the vibrant light beach read to the beautiful deeper colors of historical fiction. No matter what your favorite era to read about, we’ve got a pick for you.

The Vanishing Sky by L Annette Binder


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In this WWII novel, we follow the lives of a German family as they participate in the Nazi regime—sometimes directly, but other times involuntarily. Etta and Josef have two sons; one fighting for his country and one in the Hitler Youth. As they grow older, Etta tries to protect her children from the Nazi party and Josef becomes more nationalistic. This harrowing novel sheds light on a side of the WWII narrative rarely told; that of the damage on the home front.

The Mill of Lost Dreams by Lori Rohda


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In this epic spanning seven decades, families immigrate to the United States and become entwined—both with each other and with Troy Mill in Fall River, Massachusetts. As each generation grows up and makes their own families and secrets, they find themselves tied to the mill again and again. It shapes not only their lives, but the lives of their children, although they dream of better for them.



The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue


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This slice of life novel takes place at the height of the Great Flu of 1918, pregnant women in Ireland who have caught it quarantine together in an understaffed hospital. Nurse Julia Power, Doctor Kathleen Lynn, and young volunteer Bridie Sweeney team up to help these women and run this small ward of the hospital. In the process, change each other’s lives as they lose patients and bring new lives into the world.

The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain


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In the aftermath of the Holocaust and WWII, the Lubinskey family moves from Poland to Queens, New York. The twin daughters, Johanna and Bronka, adapt quickly and don’t fully grasp the horrors their parents experienced during Holocaust. When a neighbor is outed as a former Nazi, it seems that the past is back to haunt them. When they start to learn about it in Hebrew school, they start to ask questions—some too painful to answer.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab


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In a moment of desperation to escape an arranged marriage in 1714, Addie LaRue is granted eternal life in exchange for a curse to be forever unremembered. This love story between a girl and the devil spans 300 years as she goes further and further on dazzling adventures to try to make her mark on the world to no avail. That is, until a young man at a bookstore remembers her name.



The Lines Between Us by Rebecca D’Harlingue


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When sixteen-year-old Juliana disappears from her home in 1661 Madrid, her aunt Ana pours over her diary and searches for her all over Spain. Upon reading the final entries, she abandons the search, but the diary begins to be passed down from grandmother to granddaughter for generations. In 1992 Missouri, Rachel discovers it amongst her mother’s things. Outraged she was never supposed to see it, she sets off on a journey to share it with branches of the family she didn’t know existed.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis


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When Laura Lyons begins studying journalism at Columbia in 1913, her world is turned upside down. Soon, she’s questioning her roles as wife and mother. In 1993, her granddaughter, Sadie Donovan struggles with Laura’s legacy as curator at the New York Public library, where Laura’s husband was once superintendent. In both timelines, books begin to disappear from the library, and as priorities shift, uncomfortable family truths are uncovered.


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