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230: Our Historical Fiction Recs


Do you need a recommendation for a historical fiction book? Listen to this episode to hear recommendations from Sara, Jen, and Ashley. We feature Ruta Sepetys’s The Fountains of Silence, Sarah Winman’s Still Life, and Kim Fay’s Love & Saffron, and we discuss what we loved about these picks.








Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Laura Dave’s Eight Hundred Grapes (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)

Jen - Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)

Sara - Jordan Calhoun’s Piccolo Is Black: A Memoir of Race, Religion and Pop Culture (Bookshop.org)


Our Historical Fiction Recs

Ashley - Ruta Sepetys’s The Fountains of Silence (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)

Jen - Sarah Winman’s Still Life (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)

Sara - Kim Fay’s Love & Saffron (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)


Mentioned in Episode

Laura Dave’s The Last Thing He Told Me (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org) Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)

Ruta Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)

I Must Betray You (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)

Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)


Give Me One - Decade You Would Time Travel To


#shownotes #historicalfiction

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)


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Our Historical Fiction Recs

Book cover of The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Ashley recommended:

Ruta Sepetys’s The Fountains of Silence (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)


From the publisher:


"Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera. Photography--and fate--introduce him to Ana, whose family's interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War--as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel's photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.


"Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history's darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence--inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain."



Book cover of Still Life by Sarah Winman

Jen recommended:

Sarah Winman’s Still Life (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)


From the publisher:

"Tuscany, 1944: As Allied troops advance and bombs fall around deserted villages, a young English soldier, Ulysses Temper, finds himself in the wine cellar of a deserted villa. There, he has a chance encounter with Evelyn Skinner, a middle-aged art historian who has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and recall long-forgotten memories of her own youth. In each other, Ulysses and Evelyn find a kindred spirit amidst the rubble of war-torn Italy, and set off on a course of events that will shape Ulysses's life for the next four decades.


"As Ulysses returns home to London, reimmersing himself in his crew at The Stoat and Parot—a motley mix of pub crawlers and eccentrics—he carries his time in Italy with him. And when an unexpected inheritance brings him back to where it all began, Ulysses knows better than to tempt fate, and returns to the Tuscan hills.


"With beautiful prose, extraordinary tenderness, and bursts of humor and light, Still Life is a sweeping portrait of unforgettable individuals who come together to make a family, and a deeply drawn celebration of beauty and love in all its forms."


Book cover of Love & Saffron by Kim Fay

Sara recommended:

Kim Fay’s Love & Saffron (Libro.fm | Bookshop.org)


From the publisher:

"When 27-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter - as well as a gift of saffron - to 59-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine, and while she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she’s never tasted fresh garlic - exotic fare in the Northwest of the 60s. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains them through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the unexpected in their own lives.


"Food and a good life - they can’t be separated. It is a discovery the women share, not only with each other, but with the men in their lives. Because of her correspondence with Joan, Imogen’s decades-long marriage blossoms into something new and exciting, and in turn, Joan learns that true love does not always come in the form we expect it to. Into this beautiful, intimate world comes the ultimate test of Joan and Imogen’s friendship - a test that summons their unconditional trust in each other.


"A brief respite from our chaotic world, Love & Saffron is a gem of a novel, a reminder that food and friendship are the antidote to most any heartache, and that human connection will always be worth creating."


 

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