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Historical Fiction
A Belvedere-Tiburon Library Subject Guide

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Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton
Wharton's story of the upper classes of Old New York in an era when upper-class culture in this country was still a mixture of American and European extracts, and when "society" had rules as rigid as any in history.

Amistad
by David Pesci
Based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny on board the Spanish slave ship, Amistad, here is the frightening sequence of events that led fifty-three young men and women - and one young nation - to seek freedom and justice for all people.

Angle of Repose
by Wallace Stegner
Lyman Ward, a noted historian, relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family.

The Book of Salt
by Monique Truong
The story of the Vietnamese cook of Alice B. Toklas in Paris. Intricate, compelling, and witty, the novel weaves in historical characters, from Stein and Toklas to Paul Robeson and Ho Chi Minh, with remarkable originality.

Cold Mountain
by Charles Frazier
The tale chronicles a Confederate army deserter's search for home and love in the last days of the Civil War.

Corelli's Mandolin
by Louis De Bernieres
The Greek island of Cephallonia is the setting for the 50 year epic involving Pelagia, her two suitors, a Greek fisherman and a Nazi soldier-musician, and WWII.

Daughter of Fortune
by Isabel Allende
An orphan raised in Chile, Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849 -- a danger-filled quest that will become a momentous journey of transformation.

East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, this often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Fine Balance
by Rohinton Mistry
With great empathy and wit, the daily lives of India's heroic working poor, who must cope with corruption, social anarchy and bureaucratic absurdities is explored.

Ginger Tree
by Oswald Wynd
In 1903, a 20-year-old Scots girl sails to China to marry a British diplomat, but soon horrifies the British community by having an affair with a young Japanese count.

Girl with a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier
Story of the painter Vermeer and his Delft household.

Jewel in the Crown
by Paul Scott
The first of the Raj Quartet; the sweeping epic that looks at the collapse of British rule in India.

Killer Angels
by Michael Shaara
This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than many pieces of nonfiction; features deft characterizations of all of the main actors.

Lonesome Dove
by Larry McMurty
Historically aware, intelligent, romantic novel of the mythic west.

Map of Love
by Ahdaf Soueif
A family saga of Egypt and England, a reflective tale of love, colonialism and nationalism.

Martin Dressler
by Steven Millhauser
A young entrepreneur in late-nineteenth-century New York City rises from assistant in his father's cigar store to manager of the Grand Cosmo, an extravagant luxury hotel.

Master and Commander
by Patrick O'Brien
Britain is at war with Napoleon's France, when Jack Aubrey is promoted to captain of the HMS Sophie. With the aid of the ship's surgeon and secret intelligence agent, Aubrey and his crew engage in thrilling battles.

Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden
Delicate rendering of geisha culture in the years before WWII.

Oscar and Lucinda
by Peter Carey
Two misfits, an Anglican priest and a woman glassworks owner, share a dream of a crystal church in 19th century Australia.

Pope Joan
by Donna Cross
Was a woman, disguised as a man, pope during the Dark Ages?

Ragtime
by E. L. Doctorow
New York during the early 1900's; historical and fictional characters inter-mingle.

A River Town
by Thomas Keneally
An Irishman moves to Australia in the early 1900's and struggles to make a life for himself and his family.

Shogun
by James Clavell
An English adventurer, a Japanese warlord, a woman torn between two ways of life. A saga of Japan filled with ambition and the struggle for power.

Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson
Set on an island in Puget Sound during the early 1950's, this novel deals with race, murder and memories of WWII.

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Classic coming of age story set in the Alabama during the depression. The story of Scout, her father Atticus and their community.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith
Story of a young Irish girl growing up poor in turn of the century Brooklyn.

When the Elephants Dance
by Tess Uriza Holthe
Set in the Philippines during WWII when the Japanese and the US are fighting for control. A gripping tale of love, war, indomitable courage, and the struggle for independence.

May, 2004