…then try one of these books!
The Kitchen Boy/ Robert Alexander
Presents a novel based on the 1918 Bolshevik revolutionary murder of Czar Nicholas II and the rest of the Russian royal family as told from the perspective of the event’s only surviving witness, a young kitchen boy.
Any Human Heart / William Boyd
The journals of Logan Mountstuart chronicle his eighty-five years of life, from his boyhood in Uruguay to his education at Oxford, his wartime exploits, his career as an art dealer, and his retirement in France.
The Signature of All Things / Elizabeth Gilbert
Born in 1800 to an early American capitalist who built a pharmaceutical empire from nothing, Alma Whittaker is given opportunities not enjoyed by her peers. A plain, private young woman, Alma devotes her time to the development of her mind and the study of the natural world. Life passes quietly, measuredly; botany and the family business fill her time, with little to disrupt the contented nature of things. Until middle age, when Alma falls in love—with Ambrose Pike, an artist and dreamer, a man who opens her mind and her world to things that cannot be measured with a ruler or seen through a microscope.
The Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey
Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.
Pachinko / Min Jin Lee
In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and move with her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question.
The Mayakovsky Tapes / Robert Littell
A tale inspired by the life of 20th-century Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky is told from the perspectives of four women who loved him and share with each other memories of pivotal moments in his life, from his early years as a Futurist leader, to his work as a Revolution propagandist, to the censorship battles that turned him against the State.
State of Wonder / Ann Patchett
A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years–a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.
Beautiful Ruins / Jess Walter
Hollywood operators and creative washouts collide across five decades and two continents in a brilliant, madcap meditation on fate.
The Paying Guests / Sarah Waters
With two brothers killed in WWI and a debt-ridden father who followed them to the grave soon afterward, 27-year-old spinster Frances Wray knows that she and her mother must take in lodgers (euphemistically described as “paying guests”) to maintain their large house in a genteel section of London.
Before the War / Fay Weldon
An unfashionable and intelligent spinster in the 1920s gets married to a charismatic gentleman while hiding the secret that she will die in childbirth after bearing another man’s baby.