Recommended historical fiction

The Secrets We Kept

The Secrets We Kept

Lara Prescott

Sold in twenty-five countries and poised to become a global literary sensation, Lara Prescott's dazzling first novel about the women in the CIA's typing pool and the fate of Boris Pasternak's banned masterpiece is a sweeping page...

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 Read reviewThe Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead

Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great...

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 Read reviewThe White Girl

The White Girl

Tony Birch

The new novel from Miles-Franklin-shortlisted author Tony Birch.

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The Confessions of Frannie Langton

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Sara Collins

All of London is abuzz with the case of Frannie Langton, accused of murdering her employers. Frannie claims she cannot recall what happened, even if remembering could save her life. But she does have a tale to tell: a story of her...

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 Read reviewThe Year of the Beast

The Year of the Beast

Steven Carroll

One of Australia's finest and most critically acclaimed writers returns with a powerful novel that goes back to the very beginning of the story, to bring his sweeping Glenroy series to a magnificent close.

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 Read reviewA Long Petal of the Sea

A Long Petal of the Sea

Isabel Allende, Nick Caister, Amanda Hopkinson

A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea is Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.

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Washington Black

Washington Black

Esi Edugyan

When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black - an eleven-year-old field slave - finds himself selected as personal servant to one of them. The eccentric Christopher 'Titch' Wilde is a...

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The Shadow King

The Shadow King

Maaza Mengiste

A beautifully written and utterly captivating novel about female strength and the power of belief, set during Mussolini's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King casts a light on the women soldiers who were written out...

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The World That We Knew

The World That We Knew

Alice Hoffman

In Berlin in 1941 during humanity's darkest hour, three unforgettable young women must act with courage and love to survive, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Marriage of Opposites Alice...

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Tipping The Velvet

Tipping The Velvet

Sarah Waters

A reissue with a new introduction to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters's wonderfully lush, sensuous and bawdy debut novel set in the music halls of the late 19th century.

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Burial Rites

Burial Rites

Hannah Kent

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about freedom and the ways we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, and...

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 Read reviewFrom the Wreck

From the Wreck

Jane Rawson

From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George's...

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Beloved

Beloved

Toni Morrison

Terrible, unspeakable things happened to Sethe at Sweet Home, the farm where she lived as a slave for so many years until she escaped to Ohio. Her new life is full of hope but eighteen years later she is still not free. Sethe's...

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 Read reviewThe Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things

Elizabeth Gilbert

A captivating story of botany, exploration and desire, by the multimillion bestselling author of Eat Pray Love.    

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All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation...

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The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves

Barcelona 1945: young Daniel Sempere is taken to a fabulous secret library called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he is told he must 'adopt' a single book, promising to care and keep it alive always. The book by Julian...

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Atonement

Atonement

Ian McEwan

A story that begins with three young people in the garden of a country house on the hottest day of 1935, and ends with three profoundly changed lives. A depiction of love and war, class, childhood and England, that explores shame...

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 Read reviewSalt Creek

Salt Creek

Lucy Treloar

A stunning debut novel from the winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Pacific Region) and the 2013 Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award.    

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Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders

The extraordinary first novel by the bestselling, Folio Prize-winning, National Book Award-shortlisted George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War. ...

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The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent, wrenching, thrilling tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.  

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Fingersmith

Fingersmith

Sarah Waters

The Hachette Essentials edition of an international bestseller by a Sunday Times top ten bestselling author.

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The Secret River

The Secret River

Kate Grenville

A universal and timeless story of love, identity and belonging

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The Red Tent

The Red Tent

Anita Diamant

An international publishing phenomena, this beautiful and thought provoking novel tells the story, lost to history by the chronicles of men, of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter in the Book of Genesis.

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 Read reviewManhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan

The long-awaited novel from the bestselling author of Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From the Goon Squad.

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Richard Flanagan

In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation,...

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The Art of the Engine Driver

The Art of the Engine Driver

Steven Carroll

On a hot summer's night in the 1950s, the old and the new, diesel and steam, town and country all collide - and nobody will be left unaffected. The Art of the Engine Driver is a luminous and evocative tale of ordinary suburban...

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The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Set during World War II in Germany, Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel shares stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the...

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March

March

Geraldine Brooks

Brooks's luminous second novel, after 2001's acclaimed Year of Wonders , imagines the Civil War experiences of Mr March. An idealistic abolitionist, March has gone to serve the Union cause as chaplain to the troops. But the war...

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