A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
While many of the historical fiction titles we are suggesting this summer are big books, we know that you sometimes want something shorter, especially when traveling. No problem. Here is a collection of shorter historical novels that entertain and inform.
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (199p)
In this retelling of the classic story of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, Atwood tells the tale for the point of view of the twelve maids hanged for their disloyalty to Odysseus.
Peace by Richard Bausch (171p)
Vividly capturing the struggles of an American soldier in Italy on arduous reconnaissance mission at the end of WWII, Bausch’s brief novel is a stirring meditation on the pain of war and the dream of peace.
Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon (204p)
In 950 A.D., two adventurers in what is now Southwest Russia wander the land as con men and hired swords. But life takes a serious and dangerous turn and they find themselves embroiled in the action, adventure, romance, and politics of a coup.
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie Dai (197p)
A treasure trove of books from the West unites and enlightens the daughter of a tailor and two country boys during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman(225p)
The Massachusetts home playing host to two centuries of families and the history they experience takes center stage in this collection of vignettes spanning the Revolution through modern times.
A Mercy by Toni Morrison (167p)
Morrison lyrically describes life for a young slave named Florens in America of the late seventeenth-century, as well as capturing the struggles of the Native Americans and women Florens encounters in this brief but powerful story of love, faith, family, and freedom.
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka (210p)
A story told from five different points of view, chronicles the experiences of Japanese Americans caught up in the nightmare of the World War II internment
The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (192p)
The author evokes her West Indian roots in this portrait of the young Creole woman who will become the first, mad, Mrs. Rochester of Jane Eyre fame. The locale is a character all on its own, making this a nice choice for armchair travel.
Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder (160p)
When the bridge in a rural Peruvian village collapses in 1714, the community learns and grows through the experience of loss.
List by Heather. Heather and all of the other reference librarian will gladly help you find good books to read.