5 Historical Fiction Books You'll Love

If you are anything like me, you find a genre and read it until you absolutely can't read it any longer. Historical fiction is like that for me right now. Although, I think I'm coming to the end of my binge as the heart wrenching content of the genre really weighs on me sometimes.

Here are 5 of my favorite historical fiction I've read in the last few months.

The Historians

by Cecilia Ekbäck
It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Laura Dahlgren, the bright, young right hand of Sweden’s chief negotiator to Germany, is privy to these tensions, even as she tries to keep her head down in the mounting fray. When Laura’s best friend Britta is found murdered, however, she is determined to find the killer.

Prior to her death, Britta sent a report on the racial profiling in Scandinavia to Jens Regnell, private secretary to the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the middle of negotiating a delicate alliance with Hitler and the Nazis, Jens does not understand why he has received the report. When the pursuit of Britta’s murderer leads Laura to his door, the two join forces to ascertain the truth.

But as Jens and Laura attempt to untangle the mysterious circumstance surrounding Britta’s death, they only become more mired in a web of lies and deceit. This trail will lead to a conspiracy that could topple their nation’s identity—a conspiracy some in Sweden will try to keep hidden at any cost.

Radar Girls

by Sara Ackerman
Daisy Wilder prefers the company of horses to people, bare feet and salt water to high heels and society parties. Then, in the dizzying aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy enlists in a top secret program, replacing male soldiers in a war zone for the first time. Under fear of imminent invasion, the WARDs guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes across Pacific skies.

But not everyone thinks the women are up to the job, and the new recruits must rise above their differences and work side by side despite the resistance and heartache they meet along the way. With America’s future on the line, Daisy is determined to prove herself worthy. And with the man she’s falling for out on the front lines, she cannot fail. From radar towers on remote mountaintops to flooded bomb shelters, she’ll need her new team when the stakes are highest. Because the most important battles are fought—and won—together.

This inspiring and uplifting tale of pioneering, unsung heroines vividly transports the reader to wartime Hawaii, where one woman’s call to duty leads her to find courage, strength and sisterhood.

The Widows of Champagne

by Renee Ryan
Champagne, 1939

Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree is taking her family’s future into her hands. While she should be preparing for a lavish party to celebrate two centuries of champagne making, she secretly hides Chateau Fouché-Leblanc’s most precious vintages behind a fake wall in the cellar in preparation for the looming war. But when she joins the resistance, the coveted champagne isn’t the most dangerous secret her cellar must conceal…

A former Parisian socialite, Gabrielle’s mother, Hélène, lost her husband to another war. Now her home has been requisitioned by the Germans, who pillage vineyards to satisfy the Third Reich’s thirst for the finest champagne. There’s even more at stake than Hélène dares admit. She has kept her heritage a secret…and no one is safe in Nazi-occupied France.

Josephine, the family matriarch, watches as her beloved vineyard faces its most difficult harvest yet. As her daughter-in-law and granddaughters contend with the enemies and unexpected allies in their midst, Josephine’s deep faith leads to her own path of resistance.

Across years and continents, the Leblanc women will draw on their courage and wits, determined against all odds to preserve their lives, their freedom and their legacy…

The Woman at the Gates

by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger
"For as long back as Antonia could remember, there had been sliding panels and secret doors to be discovered in her Carpathian village, and the music of their defiance had sustained her."

1944, Germany: Gazing through the barbed wire fence, up at the pale blue sky, Antonia dreams of her home in Ukraine: cherry orchards, golden fields, and the man she loves, whom she may never see again…

The Nazi soldier thrust the barrel of his gun between Antonia’s shoulder blades and she stumbled, still clutching the hand of her youngest nephew. Her sister lifted her other little boy into the back of the truck. Under the threatening gaze of the Germans, Antonia looked back at the village one last time before the flap dropped and locked them all in total darkness.

Before Antonia and her sister's family were surrounded by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp, she was a fighter rather than a victim. Her resistance group - made up of the young men and women she’d grown up with - risked everything to free their country from those who had turned it into a bloody battleground. By her side was the brilliant Dr. Viktor Gruber - the man she was to have married and help start an independent government with. His love and his intellect shone like a light even when dark and violent conflicts engulfed them.

Antonia does not know whether Viktor or the others have been caught or executed. Inside the camp, rumors are that the war is coming to an end. But she cannot wait to be saved. Her precious nephews will die without proper food. Her sister is ill. And her brother-in-law is somewhere out of reach. The Nazis need every able slave to push back the Red Tide, but Antonia also knows she and the others could be killed for any reason, at any moment.

Outside the gates lies salvation and promises she must fulfill - for her country and the people she has loved. But Antonia's first priority is to find a way to get her family to safety, even if means putting her own life at risk. The Nazis may have taken nearly everything from her - her country, her dreams, her passions - but they will never take away her fierce courage…

Inspired by the author's research into her family's journeys from Ukraine to the United States, The Woman at the Gates is a heartbreaking, inspiring and unforgettable story of the faith, courage and determination shown by those who survived the darkest days of the war. Fans of Mandy Robotham, Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff will be gripped from the very first page until the final, heart-stopping conclusion, and if you enjoyed Mark Sullivan's The Last Green Valley or Beneath a Scarlet Sky, you will not want to miss this action-packed epic! 

The Warsaw Orphan

by Kelly Rimmer
In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality--and that it's the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.

Using Sara's credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara's cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm's way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever.

From Nazi occupation to the threat of a communist regime, The Warsaw Orphan is the unforgettable story of Elzbieta and Roman's perilous attempt to reclaim the love and life they once knew.


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