The Last Year of the War
by Susan Meissner
What it's about: A German-American teen finds her life and identity turned upside-down when her father is accused of being a Nazi sympathizer, triggering her family's forced relocation into a Texas internment camp.
The Last Year of the War tells a little-known story of World War II with great resonance for our own times and challenges the very notion of who we are when who we’ve always been is called into question.
Daughter of Moloka'i by Alan BrennertWhat it is: the long-awaited sequel to Moloka'i, which follows Ruth Utagawa, the daughter of Rachel Kalama.
The story: Born in the Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement, Ruth grows up in California on her Japanese adoptive parents' farm. When World War II begins, the entire family is sent to an internment camp.
Try this next: Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine offers a similarly moving and richly detailed fictional account of this dark chapter in American history.
Dear George, Dear Mary by Mary CalviWhat it's about: the 1756 courtship of heiress Mary Philipse by the dashing young colonel George Washington. Can their engagement weather separation, scandal, and Mary's stormy temperament?
Why you might like it: This bittersweet novel draws on diaries and correspondence to recreate life in 18th-century colonial America.
You might also like: Elizabeth Cobbs' The Hamilton Affair, which similarly unfolds from the alternating perspectives of its protagonists: a founding father and an heiress from a prominent family.
The Night Tiger by Yangsze ChooIntroducing: Ji Lin, a seamstress who moonlights as a dance-hall girl in 1930s colonial Malaysia, and Ren, an 11-year-old Chinese houseboy who has made a promise to carry out his employer's dying wish.
What happens: The discovery of a severed finger is the catalyst for multiple, ultimately converging, narratives.
Is it for you? Like The Ghost Bride, author Yangsze Choo's debut, The Night Tiger's subtle supernatural elements evoke Malay folklore.
The Familiars by Stacey HallsWhat it's about: Having suffered multiple miscarriages, 17th-century noblewoman Fleetwood Shuttleworth hires midwife Alice Gray to ensure the survival of her unborn child. Then Alice is accused of witchcraft.
Reviewers say: "a quietly powerful and richly evocative tale" (Publishers Weekly).
You might also like: Mary Sharratt's Daughters of the Witching Hill, which also unfolds during the Pendle witch trials of 1612.
American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen HarperStarring: American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, who weds the Duke of Marlborough to please her social climbing family.
Want a taste? "Everyone was calling it the wedding of the century. I was calling it the worst day of my life."
You might also like: Therese Fowler's A Well-Behaved Woman, about Consuelo's mother Alma Vanderbilt or Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress, which is loosely based on Consuelo's marriage.
The Falcon of Sparta by Conn IgguldenWhat happens: In 401 BCE, King Artaxerxes of Persia attempts to kill his younger brother, Cyrus, who in response raises an army of mercenaries in a daring campaign to take the throne.
Why you might like it: Covering events depicted in Xenophon's Anabasis, this dramatic novel puts readers on the front lines as it depicts grueling marches and bloody battles.
For fans of: the action-packed, ancient-world historical epics of Steven Pressfield or Christian Cameron.
Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth LettsStarring: Maud Gage Baum, wife of author L. Frank Baum, and Judy Garland, the 15-year-old actress portraying Dorothy in MGM's adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
What happens: Although she comes to Hollywood to guard her late husband's literary legacy, Maud realizes that it's Judy, vulnerable and mistreated, who needs her protection.
Why you might like it: Finding Dorothy reveals the stories behind the creation of a beloved series of books and the making of a classic movie.
The Age of Light: A Novel by Whitney ScharerWhat it is: an atmospheric biographical novel about American photographer Lee Miller.
More than a muse: Though best known for her involvement with fellow artist Man Ray, Miller also models for Vogue, studies painting, becomes a war correspondent, and later, finds fame as a food writer.
For fans of: the artistic expats in Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, the complex protagonist of William Boyd's Sweet Caress, or the intrepid female war correspondents of Meg Clayton White's The Race for Paris.
Cherokee America by Margaret VerbleIntroducing: "Check" Singer, the no-nonsense matriarch of a mixed-race family in 1875 Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). She's got a husband to bury, five sons to raise, a farm to run, and a community to hold together in the face of violence and oppression.
Why you might like it: a strong sense of place and a diverse cast of authentic characters make this novel a memorable read.
About the author: Margaret Verble's previous novel, Maud's Line, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; Verble drew on her own family history to write Cherokee Nation, which took her 20 years to complete.
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