What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Suggest books for me > Historical Fiction - likely less known history

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 6 comments Hello everyone! I'd love some historical fiction novels about lesser known times in history. Think 'Before We Were Yours' as I had NO idea about the Tennessee Children's Orphanages. The books don't have to be similar in topic, but I want books about time periods I may not know about. I'd prefer them to be well researched and accurate as much as possible with historical fiction.

Thanks in advance!

message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith | 223 comments The Beacon at Alexandria - Late-period Roman Empire (about a woman who poses as a eunuch in order to study medicine).

Quicksilver - Set in the late 17th century, about the beginnings of modern science.

message 3: by Joseph (last edited Jul 04, 2018 07:31AM) (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 441 comments I recommend reading any work by Melanie Benjamin. She's an amazing 5-star historical fiction author of a wide variety of topics about famous women like the woman that Lewis Carroll based Alice on (Alice I Have Been) to Anne Morrow Lindbergh (The Aviator's Wife) to Mrs. Tom Thumb The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb) and more.

message 4: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40675 comments Mod
Check out this thread "Historical fiction books that cover little known/ not mainstream events or people".


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 6 comments Thank you everyone! I’ll definitely check these out. And thanks for directing me to the thread that I missed :)

message 7: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6966 comments Mod
Stand to Horse it's set in a Calvary outpost pre-Civil War. It's been a while (like at least a decade) since I read it, but I remember that there was a fairly extensive bibliography at the end of the book. And, if this is the correct one (Ms. Norton had 3 novels set in this time period, the other 2 having to do with a young Southerner who might make an appearance in this book) it has a few very little known references in it. Ms. Norton's "Day Time Job" was as a librarian, and she really did her homework for her books.

message 8: by NancyJ (last edited Jul 08, 2018 11:03PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 102 comments I love historical fiction!

The Clan of the Cave Bear* covers a time in the early history of man that I'll bet you haven't read about before. It focuses on a young girl who is separated from her people and is found by another (less advanced) group of early humans. I read it decades ago, but it's popular again, and it made the Great American Read list.

* =Great American Read books

The Outlander* series covers many different locations in history. The first book focuses on Scotland in 1745's. The second one also brings you into Paris and the castle of King Louis XV. The Paris hospital was enlightening to me. Later books bring you into the mountains of North Carolina in the 1770's and you'll learn stuff you didn't learn in school. Her books are extensively researched and very popular. Outlander This is also on the GAR list.

I think all women should know about the Magdalene Sisters laundry story. The Magdalen Girls

Also since you like Before We were yours, you might also like Orphan Train. (It's less shocking but interesting.)

Other great historical fiction books:

Memoirs of a Geisha*
The Pillars of the Earth*

WWII era:
The Book Thief*
The Nightingale
Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Japanese Internment camps:
Snow Falling on Cedars
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

You might find more here:

message 9: by Kaion (last edited Jul 20, 2018 12:55AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) | 389 comments I only recently started loving historical fiction, but here's a few that really immersed me in an unfamiliar milieu:

As Meat Loves Salt
The Blue Flower
The Good Lord Bird
The Hummingbird's Daughter

message 11: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah | 47 comments Do you like Young adult and Middle grade? because most of these, maybe all, would be in one of those categories!

Girl in a Cage - England and Scotland, during Edward Longshank's reign.
Lark - Cromwell England
The Mukhtar's Children - Follows an Arab family during the time the Nation of Israel was established
Almost anything by Sally Watson. Most of hers are historical, some set in well known eras, some not. Take a look to see which eras you're familiar with or not.
Neela: Victory Song and other books from the Girls of Many Lands series. Again, some familiar places and times, some not so familiar.
Palace Beautiful the main part of the story is set in the 70s or 80s, but it includes bits from a journal the characters find from the time of the 1918 flu epidemic.
Grandpa's Mountain - the making of Shenandoah National Park
The Spartan - includes a famous battle in ancient Greece but I can't spell the name of it!

message 12: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6966 comments Mod
Ok, technically this is sci-fi and time travel. But the time period the MCs are sent to is Beaker Age Britain. The Time Traders I loved the descriptions of what the characters had to go through to be allowed onto one of the teams.

message 13: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 68 comments Here's a few that are off the beaten path:

The Blood of Flowers
17th Century Persia
Equal of the Sun
16th Century Persia
Both by Anita Amirrezvani

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Dual storyline, with the history of the original Mormon settlement

The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
Crimean War

Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors
17th Century Hindustan (India)

Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar
Nell Gwyn/Restoration England

Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner
1958 Cuba Revolution

Partitions by Amit Majmudar
1947 Indian Partition

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian, Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian (YA)
Turkey/Armenian, WWI

Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
17th Century Quebec

The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones
7th Century Arabia

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh
1880's South Africa

message 14: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40675 comments Mod
The History of Henry Esmond is set during the period of Queen Anne of England and the War of the Spanish Succession, plus maybe a decade prior to that. The 1690s to around 1715.

message 15: by ...cats? (last edited Dec 21, 2019 04:49PM) (new)

...cats? | 444 comments Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett is a great novella about how Quebec dealt with immigrants from the Irish Potato Famine

If you read historical fiction set in India then this might not be "lesser known", but otherwise, The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan tells the story of the Empress Noor Jahan

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