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Staff Picks - Historical Fiction
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Staff Picks - Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction staff picks from The Purple Couch!

Their Eyes Were Watching God

By: Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Ruby Dee
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

“This book is a masterpiece. Zora Neale Hurston explores stages in a woman’s life so powerfully. Ruby Dee’s audiobook narration is the best audiobook narration I’ve ever heard. She expresses so much emotion and personality. She brings the characters to life and she savors every perfectly chosen word of the text. Read more

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Commonwealth

By: Ann Patchett
Narrated by: Hope Davis
Length: 10 hours 33 minutes

“Patchett leaves behind the exotic locales and intricate plots of State of Wonder and Bel Canto for an even darker and more difficult place to navigate -- the interior of a blended family over the course of several decades. While more domestic than many of her previous novels, Commonwealth offers plenty of intrigue and surprises as Patchett... Read more

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Midnight Blue

A Novel

By: Simone van der Vlugt
Narrated by: Imogen Church
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

From Simone Van Der Vlugt comes her European bestselling novel of a young woman's rise as a painter in Holland's Golden Age—perfect for readers of The Miniaturist, Tulip Fever, and Girl with a Pearl Earring.Amsterdam 1654: against the backdrop of Holland's Golden Age, a dangerous secret threatens to destroy a young widow's new life.Following the... Read more

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The Huntress

A Novel

By: Kate Quinn
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 19 hours 3 minutes

“A Russian night witch and a British war correspondent turned Nazi hunter join forces to track a ruthless assassin in The Huntress, the latest book by Kate Quinn. From the pre-war wilds of the Soviet Union to the streets of a war-torn Germany to the bustle of Boston, Quinn masterfully mixes the past with a post-war present, and it’s phenomenal.... Read more

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The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

An Oprah’s Book Club Novel

By: Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo, Karen Chilton & Prentice Onayemi
Length: 29 hours 48 minutes

“At 29 hours this one might seem like quite a commitment, but after traveling the century with them, you’ll deeply miss the echoes of the voices of Ailey and Belle and even good old Uncle Root. Read more

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The Heart's Invisible Furies

A Novel

By: John Boyne
Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
Length: 21 hours 9 minutes

“This is the novel John Boyne was born to write: A brilliant book of identity and redemption, both heartbreaking and humorous, intimate and expansive. Cyril Avery has been constantly reminded he doesn't belong, first by his adopted parents, then by the church and his country. As we follow him on his journey to acceptance, we are shown the cruelty... Read more

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Winter Sisters

By: Robin Oliveira
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 14 hours 35 minutes

“Stunning. . . Oliveira writes with feeling.”
The New York Times Book Review

“[An] engrossing story. . . that feels utterly timely.”
People, “The Best New Books”

New York, 1879: An epic blizzard descends on Albany, devastating the city. When the snow finally settles, two newly orphaned girls are missing. Determined not to give up hope, Dr. Mary... Read more

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The Giver of Stars

Reese's Book Club (A Novel)

By: Jojo Moyes
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 13 hours 52 minutes

“In the late 1930s, the Works Progress Administration developed a number of projects intended to provide employment opportunities for unemployed artists, writers, and craftsmen. One of those projects was the Pack Horse Library Initiative, in which mounted horsewomen picked their way along snowy hillsides and through muddy creeks with a simple... Read more

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American Spy

A Novel

By: Lauren Wilkinson
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 10 hours 49 minutes

“Part literary fiction, part spy novel, punctuated by black American history, Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel crosses time periods and genres. This unflinching portrayal of a young black woman who becomes a Fed during the height of the Cold War is based on the true story of Thomas Sankara, known as “Africa’s Che Guevara.” Politics, illicit... Read more

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Washington Black

A novel

By: Esi Edugyan
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 12 hours 18 minutes

“Epic in scope, ranging from a brutal slave plantation in Barbados to scenes in the Arctic, antebellum America, and London, plus a thoughtful denouement in the Moroccan desert, Edugyan’s novel explores the complex relationship between slave and master, the hubris of good intentions, and the tense life of a runaway in constant flight with a Javert... Read more

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A Single Thread

A Novel

By: Tracy Chevalier
Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
Length: 10 hours 50 minutes

"A buoyant tale about the path to acceptance and joy--beginning, like all journeys, with one brave step."--People

"The best-selling novelist has done a masterful job of depicting the circumstances of a generation of women we seldom think about: the mothers, sisters, wives and fiances of men lost in World War I, whose job it was to remember those...
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Code Name Hélène

A Novel

By: Ariel Lawhon
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik & Peter Ganim
Length: 17 hours 17 minutes

"This fully animated portrait of Nancy Wake . . . will fascinate readers of World War II history and thrill fans of fierce, brash, independent women, alike."
--LISA WINGATE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

BASED ON THE THRILLING REAL-LIFE STORY OF SOCIALITE SPY NANCY WAKE, comes the newest feat of historical fiction...
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The Personal Librarian

A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel)

By: Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 12 hours 22 minutes

“I dearly loved this historical fiction based on the life of J.P. Morgan's personal librarian. My favorite combination of entertaining and educational! Read more

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The Lincoln Highway

A Read with Jenna Pick (A Novel)

By: Amor Towles
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Marin Ireland & Dion Graham
Length: 16 hours 38 minutes

“An eighteen year-old is released from a juvenile work farm. But he doesn’t go home alone. Two escapees traveled with him. Soon they’re on another journey to New York. A road trip audiobook narrated by multiple characters. Read more

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Still Life

A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel)

By: Sarah Winman
Narrated by: Sarah Winman
Length: 14 hours 54 minutes

Still Life is an exquisite, tender, funny (meet Clause, the parrot) novel spanning four decades, several families (most formed by choice) love stories, post WW!! history, and poetic reflections on art, set in London and Florence. It's unimaginable that anyone but Sarah Winman could have read her novel with as much warmth, passion and humor. I... Read more

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Trust (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

By: Hernan Diaz
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Jonathan Davis, Mozhan Marnò & Orlagh Cassidy
Length: 10 hours 20 minutes

“Who can you trust in the end? This 'brilliant literary puzzle' tells the story of the legendary Wall Street Tycoon Andrew Bevel and his enigmatic wife Mildred. Told in four interlocking parts, Trust is a novel within a novel, the fragmented notes for a ghostwritten memoir that Andrew hopes will set the record straight, the ghostwriter's own... Read more

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The Secrets We Keep

By: A J Wills
Narrated by: Andy Cresswell & Penny Andrews
Length: 10 hours 21 minutes

Ten-year-old Annie Warren hasn't made it home from school and with every passing hour, hopes of finding her alive are fading fast.
Her parents, Cathy and Kit, are frantic with worry, fearing the worst.
Could their daughter, the miracle child who came as a surprise to them both, have been abducted?
The police are coordinating a massive search but... Read more

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Rules of Civility

A Novel

By: Amor Towles
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and A Gentleman in Moscow, a “sharply stylish” (Boston Globe) book about a young woman in post-Depression era New York who suddenly finds herself thrust into high society—now with over one million readers worldwide

On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is... Read more

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Hester

A Novel

By: Laurie Lico Albanese
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

“Maarleveld’s entrancing voice made this story magical. I loved the way she brought vibrancy to this compelling novel of a woman struggling to share her own colorful gifts. This is the perfect audiobook to accompany an autumn stroll. Historical fiction fans who crave strong female characters shouldn’t miss this one! Read more

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The Lost Apothecary

A Novel

By: Sarah Penner
Narrated by: Lorna Bennett, Lauren Anthony & Lauren Irwin
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes

“This book was a wonderful escape and was absolutely lovely to listen to. It switches back and forth between the point of view of two women in London in the 1790s and an American woman visiting London in present day. The story unfolds quickly. I was pleasantly surprised by the twists that I hadn't anticipated and the emotions that welled up... Read more

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