10 books like The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Invention of Wings. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Cold Mountain

By Charles Frazier,

Book cover of Cold Mountain

Frazier’s book, a serious novel rather than a potboiler, set during and after the American Civil War, nevertheless leaped onto the bestseller lists, then went on to win a National Book Award. Why? Reading the book is a profound experience. You are seamlessly taken back to the middle of the 19th century and engaged with characters whose poignant stories penetrate a reader’s heart. It’s both an adventure and a love story about a soldier on a fraught journey home and his lover’s story as she lives her own life close to the earth in a time before modern conveniences and distractions. The novel is a reminder that great fiction awakens our humanity because the author not only has great gifts and technique, but because he believes in the integrity of his own characters and embeds them in a world that matters. Made into an Oscar-winning film that is well…

Cold Mountain

By Charles Frazier,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Cold Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1997, Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history when it sailed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list for sixty-one weeks, won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award, and went on to sell over three million copies. Now, the beloved American epic returns, reissued by Grove Press to coincide with the publication of Frazier’s eagerly-anticipated second novel, Thirteen Moons. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, a Confederate soldier named Inman decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains to Ada, the woman he loves.…

The Kitchen House

By Kathleen Grissom,

Book cover of The Kitchen House

In this bestseller, Grissom offers an intricate view of little-known history. I am intrigued by stories that open a window onto aspects of life in history that, for one reason or another, are unfamiliar. Grissom’s story of an Irish indentured servant struggling to bridge the gap between race and class is just such a revelation. These issues remain timeless and powerful.

The Kitchen House

By Kathleen Grissom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kitchen House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of the highly anticipated Glory Over Everything, established herself as a remarkable new talent with The Kitchen House, now a contemporary classic. In this gripping novel, a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate at a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook,…

After Alice Fell

By Kim Taylor Blakemore,

Book cover of After Alice Fell

This riveting American Gothic novel, set in 1865, follows a widowed Civil War Army nurse home to New Hampshire after her bloody stint of tending the wounded and sick, only to find that her beloved, but unstable, sister is dead in a fall from the roof of the asylum. The cause is ruled a suicide, but she is not convinced and determines to find the truth at all costs. The period is synchronic with that of The Abolitionist’s Daughter and the depth of research fascinated me. Blakemore’s writing and extensive attention to sensual detail is exceptional. Since I have my own yet-to-be-titled historical mystery due for release in the Spring of 2022, I loved delving into this twisting page-turner with a woman of determination in an equivalent period of history.

After Alice Fell

By Kim Taylor Blakemore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked After Alice Fell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Until she discovers the truth of her sister's death, no one will rest in peace.

New Hampshire, 1865. Marion Abbott is summoned to Brawders House asylum to collect the body of her sister, Alice. She'd been found dead after falling four stories from a steep-pitched roof. Officially: an accident. Confidentially: suicide. But Marion believes a third option: murder.

Returning to her family home to stay with her brother and his second wife, the recently widowed Marion is expected to quiet her feelings of guilt and grief-to let go of the dead and embrace the living. But that's not easy in…

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Book cover of News of the World

This is one of those stories about a career I would have never considered. After the Civil War, Captain Kidd travels to Texas doing live readings of newspapers. He is tasked with caring for an orphan who is reluctantly being transported to a family she does not remember. This tells a story of an individual, Joanne, lost between two cultures as a bond is created with the elderly and honorable Kidd. This holds a vivid description of the place and time.

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked News of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his…

Euphoria

By Lily King,

Book cover of Euphoria

Add to the list of extraordinary women mentioned above, the anthropologist Margaret Mead. I’m embarrassed to say that I knew little of Mead and her ground-breaking work before reading this book. The novel centers on (another) love triangle between three scientists studying the Kiona tribe in New Guinea in the 1930s. The personal struggles of these three anthropologists living in sometimes harrowing circumstances cover profound emotional territory. I also found the rituals of the tribe fascinating. And the inherent conflicts that abound when observing while living inside a community make for page-turning intrigue. Despite renaming her main character Nell Stone, I heard King speak about her detailed research. This novel offers a rare glimpse into the life of yet another woman for the ages.

Euphoria

By Lily King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times Top Ten Bestseller

From the author of Writers & Lovers, Euphoria is Lily King's gripping novel inspired by the true story of a woman who changed the way we understand our world.

'Pretty much perfect' - Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Rodham

In 1933 three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic and famous for her controversial work studying South Pacific tribes, her intelligent and aggressive husband Fen, and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the lives of this strange couple and becomes totally enthralled. Within months…


The Age of Innocence

By Edith Wharton,

Book cover of The Age of Innocence

Before there were Daniel Day Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer, there was the book that brought them together (in the movie): Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Wharton’s lush, sepia-toned tale of the New York haut ton of the 1870s. Gilded Age society at its best; it won the 1921 Pulitzer for fiction, making Wharton the first woman to win the prize. Read it first, then stream the movie. I loved its opulent portrayal of the well-heeled society of upper-class New York and its spot-on portrayal of moral hypocrisy. The battles that nineteenth-century women of all classes fought to live their lives with integrity and honesty seem to me to echo today in the ongoing injustices perpetrated against society’s powerless.

The Age of Innocence

By Edith Wharton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Age of Innocence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edith Wharton's novel reworks the eternal triangle of two women and a man in a strikingly original manner. When about to marry the beautiful and conventional May Welland, Newland Archer falls in love with her very unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska. The consequent drama, set in New York during the 1870s, reveals terrifying chasms under the polished surface of upper-class society as the increasingly fraught Archer struggles with conflicting obligations and desires. The first woman to do so, Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for this dark comedy of manners which was immediately recognized as one of her greatest achievements.

The Movement of Stars

By Amy Brill,

Book cover of The Movement of Stars

Maria Mitchell, raised as a Nantucket Quaker, was the first woman to discover and name a new comet, no easy task in the 1840s when women were not meant to study astronomy, let alone when her only instrument was a small telescope on an island roof. Brill takes artistic license with Mitchell’s story, adding nuance and detail likely outside the scope of her research, and delivers a riveting tale of a woman determined to live her dreams, no matter how high the barriers to achieving them.  

The Movement of Stars

By Amy Brill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Amy Brill's The Movement of Stars tells a story of illicit love and extraordinary ambition.

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price dreams of a world infinitely larger than the small Quaker community where she has lived all 25 years of her life - for, as an amateur astronomer, she secretly hopes to discover a comet and win the King of Denmark's prize for doing so.

But she can only indulge her passion for astronomy as long as the men in her life - her father, brother and family friends - are prepared to support it, and so she treads…


Orphan Train

By Christina Baker Kline,

Book cover of Orphan Train

I love reading historical fiction to learn about nuanced aspects of society that we didn’t learn in history books, and Orphan Train is a novel that delivers along these lines. I had no idea that orphans or otherwise abandoned children were shipped west on trains during the latter part of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century, sometimes to be adopted by loving families but other times to be forced into what was essentially indentured servitude. I’d like to think that my novel also enlightens the reader about lesser-known events, such as the flight of the Nez Perce, who were chased through Yellowstone by the U.S. military in an attempt to round them up and relocate them to a reservation.

Orphan Train

By Christina Baker Kline,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Orphan Train as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

“A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they…


Love in the Time of Cholera

By Gabriel García Márquez,

Book cover of Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera like Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu is about memory. The sense of hope redolent throughout this novel inspires one. Love can endure despite ageing. The book gives hope to romantics without being romantic. This story of Márquez is ageless, as old as ancient Greek and legends and chivalry and heroic, selfless acts. True love will help us overcome all the storms that life in its longevity throws at us. Márquez in beautiful prose and experimental narrative takes risks with reader credibility and succeeds as he did in the magic realism of his 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. This Colombian writer and Nobel laureate is a consummate artist who gets to the heart of true emotions in people.

Love in the Time of Cholera

By Gabriel García Márquez,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Love in the Time of Cholera as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are novels, like journeys, which you never want to end: this is one of them. One seventh of July at six in the afternoon, a woman of 71 and a man of 78 ascend a gangplank and begin one of the greatest adventures in modern literature. The man is Florentino Ariza, President of the Carribean River Boat Company; the woman is his childhood sweetheart, the recently widowed Fermina Daza. She has earache. He is bald and lame. Their journey up-river, at an age when they can expect 'nothing more in life', holds out a shimmering promise: the consummation of…

The Enchanted April

By Elizabeth von Arnim,

Book cover of The Enchanted April

I have read this book a dozen times. It just makes me so happy! It’s set between the wars. Four very different women rent a villa in Italy for the month of April. They are all escaping something unsatisfactory at home. The beauty of Italy and the unlikely friendship that blossoms between them alters them profoundly. Written from each woman’s perspective, the author gives the reader a wonderful insight into their thoughts and motivations. It’s witty, charming, and clever, but above all, it is so uplifting.

The Enchanted April

By Elizabeth von Arnim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Enchanted April as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1922, Elizabeth Von Arnim's The Enchanted April is a charming and light-hearted novel about unlikely female friendships and the power of a blissful escape.

Complete & Unabridged. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, cloth-bound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover.

Four mismatched women respond to an advert in The Times offering a beautiful medieval castle to rent on the Italian Riviera. Bashful Mrs Wilkins, cheerless Mrs Arbuthnot, widowed Mrs Fisher and socialite Lady Caroline Dester are each…


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