Sunday, February 28, 2016

Some international historical fiction releases coming soon to America

This is a post about the international marketplace, book cravings, and impatience.

I occasionally purchase historical novels from non-US outlets.  If I hear about one I think I'd enjoy, either based on a positive review or an intriguing description, I'll add it to my wishlist and proceed to buy if I'm so inclined.  But I normally only do this if the book isn't available from an American publisher or distributor, and if I haven't heard anything about a future US release.

There have been times, though – at least nine, if you count what's in the pile above – when a book has found an American publisher sometime after I've bought the original edition.  On one hand, this means I own a collector's item of sorts; on the other, maybe I could've saved some money if I'd waited a little longer.

Or maybe it means I'm a good predictor of international historical fiction that will potentially interest American readers?  It would be nice to think so, but...

In any case, here are the American covers and release dates for nine historical novels that were first published in other countries: either Canada, the UK, or Australia.

A dual-period story about a decrepit old mansion on an island in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a century-old mystery, family rivalry, and forbidden love.  The UK title was Bhalla Strand, and I had picked up my copy two years ago when visiting England. I recommend it.  Atria/Simon & Schuster, August 2016.

A secret love, a mysterious photograph, and delectable pastries, all spun together into a multi-period tale set in Paris of 1909 and Cambridge nearly eighty years later.  Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's will publish it in the US in September 2016, with the same cover as the original UK edition.

A young woman named Amy Snow, named such after being found abandoned in a snowdrift as a baby, embarks on a treasure hunt across Victorian England that was set in motion by her dear friend and protector, heiress Aurelia Vennaway, before her early death.  I loved this delightful debut novel (reviewed here from its UK edition), and it will appear in June 2016 from Simon & Schuster (US).

In postwar Australia, a young widow, struggling to come to terms with moving forward without her husband, meets a poet who's likewise in search of a new beginning, but events have a way of turning out differently than expected.  This literary novel, widely praised in Australia, will appear from Atria/Simon & Schuster in April 2016.

British writer Rachel Hore's novels highlight women's experiences and lingering secrets from the past.  Here she applies her successful dual-narrative technique to the story of an aspiring concert pianist in pre-war Paris and a violinist passing through the city on tour a quarter century later.  Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's will publish it in hardcover in August 2016.

Queen Anne has been one of the few English queens to be relatively neglected in historical fiction, aside from Jean Plaidy's novels, but that's about to change.  Limburg's novel promises to paint a sympathetic portrait of a young woman who survived the Restoration court and numerous political ups and downs to become ruler of her country.  Pegasus will publish the book in the US this December.

In Edwardian London, a female trapeze artists disappears mid-performance, spurring a Fleet Street reporter to find answers.  Pegasus will release this novel in March 2016 (a week from tomorrow, to be exact).

This is the story of Mary Dyer, a courageous heroine of 17th-century New England who dared to defy the Puritan establishment.  I had to buy the hardcover from last year, but Vintage Canada will release the paperback edition (with this gorgeous new cover) in both Canada and the US in early March 2016.

And the final book in my pile is Dinah Jefferies' The Tea Planter's Wife, about an Englishwoman in 1920s Ceylon who marries a tea merchant who's keeping devastating secrets about his first marriage.  The cover design looks similar to the original UK paperback, but with a slightly different color scheme.  Crown will publish it in hardcover in September 2016.

Can you think of others?  For American readers: how frequently do you buy historical fiction from non-US sources?


  1. What a fabulous collection of reads. I am particularly interested in your last book as it is set in Sri Lanka where I come from.

    1. Hope you're able to find it. It's not one I've gotten to yet, but I understand it was a major bestseller in the UK.

  2. These look wonderful. I read Amy Snow on your recommendation and absolutely loved it! I love the way Rees captured the spirit of the Victorian era for a modern readership. A must for Dickens lovers.

    1. That's great - I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed it just as much! I saw Rees has a new novel coming out this year... I'll have to decide whether to buy it from overseas or wait.

  3. Your posts always do terrible things to my wish list. lol

  4. The only book I haven't heard of is The House Between Tides/Bhalla Strand. I'm off to see if it's readily available here in Australia.

    1. I hadn't heard of it when I first saw it in a UK bookshop (Waterstones in York) so I grabbed it, figuring I wouldn't likely see it again. It was from a small Scottish press, and although I can see why the topic would have wide appeal, I wouldn't have predicted it getting a US edition. Nice to see I was wrong! I hope it'll be available in Australia.

  5. It's a BIG world after all (e.g. not a small world, sorry Disney, in a literary sense). Thank you for this insight! ;) It is ever-so on-the-nose!