26 April 2019

5 Books Set in Twentieth-Century America

One of the great joys of reading, at least for me, is being transported to other places, other times. I know that many of you say you have no interest in historical fiction, but I enjoy reading about the past. As today’s recommendations prove, not all historical fiction involves Henry VIII or World War II.

By chance, the books that caught my attention this week take us to the U.S. coasts. East or west? You pick. Just a side note: Don't you just love the covers of these books?

What’s Happening in Hollywood?

  • 5 books for historical fiction fansCity of Flickering Light by Juliette Fay (Gallery Books, April 16). Set in the 1920s, when the movie industry was just getting started, this novel follows three friends who leave the burlesque circuit to find fame and fortune in Hollywood. The silent pictures may offer plenty of opportunity, but for most would-be stars, the journey is fraught with hardship, poverty, and distasteful choices. Are Irene, Millie, and Henry prepared for what awaits them, both in front of and behind the camera? Audiobook: Read by Lisa Flanagan (Blackstone; 11 hr, 32 min)
  • The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian (Berkley, April 16). Set in the 1950s, this is the story of a young woman trying to establish herself as a Hollywood producer against the backdrop of the McCarthy-era communist scare and the early days of the civil rights movement. Although Roxanne was raised among the industry elite, she is not protected from conservative politics or gossip and scandal. Audiobook: Read by Alexandra Harris (Penguin; 13 hr, 2 min)
Head on Back to the East

5 books for historical fiction fans
  • Cape May by Chip Cheek (Celadon, April 30). Set in the 1950s on the Jersey Shore, this novel explores what happens after an innocent young southern couple's off-season honeymoon turns into a walk on the wild side of Yankee fashionable society. Henry and Effie can't seem to resist the booze-infused seductive days and nights offered by their new cool friends. The beach life is grand, but at what cost? Audiobook: Read by George Newbern (Macmillan; 7 hr, 34 min)
  • When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton (Berkley, April 9). Set in the 1960s, mostly in Florida, this story follows a young woman who seeks revenge on none other than Fidel Castro, whom she blames for the death of her twin brother and for her family's exile to the States. Mixing a little romance with politics and cold war intrigue, this is about Beatriz Perez and how she tries to balance the sorrow of the past with the hope of the future in her new country. Audiobook: Read by Kyla Garcia (Blackstone; 11 hr, 7 min)
  • Park Avenue Summer by RenĂ©e Rosen (Berkley, April 30). Set in the 1960s in New York City, this novel imagines Helen Gurley Brown's first months at the Hearst offices and her fight to transform Cosmopolitan into her vision of the modern woman. Told through the eyes of her new-to-the-city assistant, we get an insider's view of Brown, the old boy's network, and the dawn of women's liberation. Audiobook: Read by Kathe Mazur (Penguin; 10 hr, 42 min)

6 comments:

bermudaonion 4/26/19, 8:06 AM  

The only time I really enjoy historical fiction is when it's set during the 20th century. I'd like to read all of these books.

rhapsodyinbooks 4/26/19, 8:32 AM  

I have become a fan of historical fiction too. These sound good!

JoAnn 4/26/19, 8:50 AM  

What great covers - all of them! I'm on the library hold list for Cape May.

Mae Travels 4/26/19, 9:58 AM  

Interesting selection of books. I agree that there's a lot of interesting fiction outside of WWII and Henry VIII ! I also like to read novels that were written in those other times.

Tina at "Novel Meals" reviewed "Cape May" and made it sound terrible! Your quote of the blurb makes one think of how the publishers spin their products.
Tina's review: https://novelmeals.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/cape-may-by-chip-cheek/

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/28/19, 1:00 PM  

I want to read so many of these- Park Avenue Summer, When We Left Cuba and that cover for the Great Pretenders is so gorgeous.

Martha Eskuchen 4/30/19, 10:02 PM  

The covers do seem to capture the time period. :-) Great looking group of books. Enjoy!

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