The best grand literary historical fiction

Robert Tucker Author Of The Revolutionist
By Robert Tucker

Who am I?

As the grandson of immigrants who fled persecution in Germany and Austria-Hungary and came to America during the early 1900s, the early history of our country and the rise of the middle-class have always held a fascination for me. The dramatic depiction of fictional characters placed in actual events brings alive the harsh times and adversity of the people who sought freedom and a better way of life and demonstrates that only a little over one hundred years have passed to bring us to where we are today. Researching and writing historical fiction is a way to learn more about myself and my origins and the social, political, and economic influences related to my generation.


I wrote...

The Revolutionist

By Robert Tucker,

Book cover of The Revolutionist

What is my book about?

Two different families escape from the political tyranny of their respective homelands, the Josephsons from Sweden and Matias and Kurt Bauman, brothers from Germany and Austria Hungary, with the aid of a Viennese opera diva, Sophie Augusta Rose, and Jean Guenoc, a former Jesuit priest, family friend and protector and partisan of the French underground.

Pursued by a bounty hunter assassin, their journey brings them to America in the throes of the industrial revolution during the 1890s and early 1900s. Ingrid and Olaf Josephson settle on a small wheat farm in North Central Minnesota to raise their children, Newt and Julie. In search of a secret list of insurgent social democrats, a bounty hunter assassin, Luther Baggot, tracks his victims to the American heartland. 

The books I picked & why

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A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Why this book?

Historical literary fiction at its finest, the novel merges humor, a sharply defined cast of colorful characters, and amazing scenes that capture the 1922 world of an exiled aristocratic Russian count imprisoned in the grand Hotel Metropol in Moscow. The tension-filled story relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of himself in the tumultuous political upheaval happening around him.

A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Schindler's List

By Thomas Keneally,

Book cover of Schindler's List

Why this book?

One of the most powerful novels I’ve ever read, Schindler’s List depicts how a courageous man saved Jews from extermination during World War II. The novel is a moving and masterful work that captures one man’s heroic resistance to the horrors and human degradation imposed by the Nazis. 

Schindler's List

By Thomas Keneally,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Schindler's List as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The basis for the Oscar-winning Spielberg movie, this novel recreates the story of Oskar Schindler, an Aryan who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland.


This Tender Land

By William Kent Krueger,

Book cover of This Tender Land

Why this book?

This American saga is an amazing story of four orphans who escape from an abusive orphanage on an epic odyssey down the Mississippi River in 1932. Their journey through a beautifully described American landscape connects them with others who are displaced and adrift in search of solace and redemption. 

This Tender Land

By William Kent Krueger,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked This Tender Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1932, Minnesota-the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O'Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent's wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will fly into the unknown and cross paths with others…


Mudbound

By Hillary Jordan,

Book cover of Mudbound

Why this book?

Set in the Jim Crow South, Mudbound is an eloquently written bitter portrait of a poor young white man and a Black man returning to post-World War II Mississippi and the family relationship between the Black sharecroppers and the white landowner. Through clear, alternating character voices that leap off the page, the novel explores the depth of racist hate and discrimination in that time and place and the struggle for reconciliation.

Mudbound

By Hillary Jordan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mudbound as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING CAREY MULLIGAN, GARRETT HEDLUND & MARY J. BLIGE

When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Henry's love of rural life is not shared by Laura, who struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud.

As the Second World War shudders…


The Goldfinch

By Donna Tartt,

Book cover of The Goldfinch

Why this book?

The Goldfinch is among my favorite novels that set the standard for character-driven historical fiction. The beautifully crafted narration plunges the reader into the labyrinth of high society and the art world through the life of a motherless young boy caught up in a mysterious web of crime by his possession of a missing painting. 

The Goldfinch

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Goldfinch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014 Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the…


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