Escape to the Past with These Five Historical-Fiction Novels

Go back in time to far-flung destinations like Ceylon or familiar places like New York City. Lose yourself in a glittering Italian court or a small New England town with one of these vivid stories. If you missed them when they were first published, now is the perfect time to catch up.

The Tea Planter's Wife
Author: Dinah Jefferies
Read By: Avita Jay

A young Englishwoman marries a charming tea-plantation owner in 1920s Ceylon. She soon discovers that he’s keeping terrible secrets about his past, and they lead to devastating consequences.
Listen to an excerpt THE TEA PLANTER’S WIFE

Leaving Lucy Pear

One night in 1917, Beatrice Haven sneaks out and leaves her newborn at the foot of a pear tree. Ten years later, Bea returns home and meets Emma Murphy, the woman who has raised the abandoned child, Lucy. Questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family entwine in this heartrending novel.
Listen to an excerpt LEAVING LUCY PEAR

The Dollhouse
Author: Fiona Davis
Read By: Tavia Gilbert

Welcome to the Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side by side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret.
Listen to an excerpt THE DOLLHOUSE

Salt to the Sea

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom. Joana, Emilia, and Florian are among them, and their paths converge on the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Their story is inspired by true events.
Listen to an excerpt SALT TO THE SEA

The Vatican Princess
Author: C. W. Gortner
Read By: Julia Whelan

Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the fifteenth-century pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Set in an era when enemies and allies could be one and the same and when loyalty to family could be a curse, this dramatic tale is rich in historical detail.
Listen to an excerpt THE VATICAN PRINCESS