Sunday, August 28, 2016

A visual preview of historical novels for early 2017

Blurbs for historical novels set to come out next winter and spring are starting to appear, so I've been periodically adding more to my wishlist.  Here are ten which have descriptions and covers, along with details on why they sound enticing.

In post-WWII Greece, a woman who sings laments for the dead reveals her own story as her traditional way of life comes to an end.  Per the author's bio, he spent a decade living and working in Greece.  This sounds like a unique story.  Berkley, April 2017.

Sometimes I find out about new novels via social media, and this one came to my attention via a Facebook post.  It's the story of Freydis, daughter of Erik the Red in early 11th-century Greenland, intertwined with a modern thread. I like historical novels that pull little-known women from the record and make them the focus.  Lake Union, February 2017.

I've been glad to see a number of new novels set in historical China.  Chang's second novel (after Three Souls) takes place in early 20th-century Shanghai and follows a Eurasian orphan's unusual coming of age.  William Morrow, January 2017.

I enjoyed Alyssa Cole's romance novella Agnes Moor's Wild Knight, about a Black woman in the Scottish court of James IV (based on a historical incident), so am looking forward to this full-length novel about spies and forbidden love during the US Civil War.  Kensington, February 2017.

Margaret George's novels only appear every few years, but these biographical epics are worth waiting for.  Her latest, the first since The Autobiography of Henry VIII (1986) to feature a male protagonist, promises to show a less familiar angle on the well-known Roman emperor.  Berkley, March 2016.

Like the novel above, this one is set in ancient Rome, but its focus is quite different.  This story of a 1st-century gourmet (Marcus Gavius Apicius, a real person) sounds like a foodie's delight. Touchstone, April 2017.

The WWI era is still a favorite, and not just because of the Downton Abbey connection. Kinghorn's story about the dramatic changes of the era centers on a lady's maid who travels alongside her aristocratic mistress and forms an unusual friendship with her.  Berkley, January 2017.

This sweeping epic should offer an in-depth look at the immigrant experience; it's a generational story of a Korean family in Japan, beginning in the 1930s.  Somehow I missed picking this one up at BEA. Grand Central, February 2017.

The premise reminds me somewhat of Home Fires, a TV series I'd like to see more of; it centers on women in an English village who band together while their men are away fighting in WWII. The cover design is superb.  Just when I was wondering how to get my hands on a copy, I found one waiting on my porch on Friday evening.  Crown, February 2017.

From the title and cover image, you can guess the timeframe.  Described as a "literary historical thriller," it's set in 1640s England - a dark time of rampant superstitions - and stars Alice Hopkins, older sister of the country's Witchfinder General, whose terrible actions are not to her liking. Ballantine, April 2017.


  1. Some positive looking books on here. Looking forward to a bookish 2017!

  2. What a fabulous collection of mixed eras! Thanks for the list.

    1. Glad you liked the list. It fits my interests - all over the place historically and setting-wise.

  3. Some great books to look forward to next year!

    1. I hope I can read most of them next year! I'm so behind, but that's always the case.

  4. Thanks for the list. I enjoy all your posts and get ideas for books I'd like to read.

  5. With choices like these, who has time for anything else other than reading??