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Historical Fiction

The Anchoress

The Anchoress

Robyn Cadwallader

$19.99

Set in the twelfth century, The Anchoress tells the story of Sarah, only seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a small cell, measuring seven paces by nine, at the side of the village church.

Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister in childbirth and the pressure to marry, she decides to renounce the world, with all its dangers, desires and temptations, and to commit herself to a life of prayer and service to God. But as she slowly begins to understand, even the thick, unforgiving walls of her cell cannot keep the outside world away, and it is soon clear that Sarah's body and soul are still in great danger...

Telling an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear and the very human need for connection and touch, The Anchoress is both mesmerising and thrillingly unpredictable.

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Belgravia

Belgravia

Julian Fellowes

$32.99
Double Reward Points
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On the evening of 15 June 1815, the great and the good of British Society have gathered in Brussels at what is to become one of the most tragic parties in history - the Duchess of Richmond's ball. For this is the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, and many of the handsome young men attending the ball will find themselves, the very next day, on the battlefield. For Sophia Trenchard, the young and beautiful daughter of Wellington's chief supplier, this night will change everything. But it is only twenty-five years later, when the upwardly mobile Trenchards move into the fashionable new area of Belgravia, that the true repercussions of that moment will be felt. For in this new world, where the aristocracy rub shoulders with the emerging nouveau riche, there are those who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain buried.
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The Beast's Garden

The Beast's Garden

Kate Forsyth

$22.99
Double Reward Points
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Ava fell in love the night the Nazis first showed their true nature to the world a' A retelling of the Grimms' Beauty and The Beast, set in Nazi Germany. It's August 1939 in Germany, and Ava's world is in turmoil. To save her father, she must marry a young Nazi officer, Leo von L wenstein, who works for Hitler's spy chief in Berlin. However, she hates and fears the brutal Nazi regime, and finds herself compelled to stand against it. Ava joins an underground resistance movement that seeks to help victims survive the horrors of the German war machine. But she must live a double life, hiding her true feelings from her husband, even as she falls in love with him. Gradually she comes to realise that Leo is part of a dangerous conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. As Berlin is bombed into ruins, the Gestapo ruthlessly hunt down all resistance and Ava finds herself living hand-to-mouth in the rubble of the shell-shocked city. Both her life and Leo's hang in the balance. Filled with danger, intrigue and romance, The Beast's Garden, a retelling of the Grimm brothers' Beauty and The Beast', is a beautiful, compelling love story set in a time when the world seemed on the brink of collapse.
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Mister Memory

Mister Memory

Marcus Sedgwick

$29.99
In Paris in the year 1899, Marcel Despres is arrested for the murder of his wife and transferred to the famous Salpetriere asylum. And there the story might have stopped. But the doctor assigned to his care soon realises this is no ordinary patient: Marcel Despres, Mister Memory, is a man who cannot forget. And the policeman assigned to his case soon realises that something else is at stake: for why else would the criminal have been hurried off to hospital, and why are his superiors so keen for the whole affair to be closed? This crime involves something bigger and stranger than a lovers' fight - something with links to the highest and lowest establishments in France. The policeman and the doctor between them must unravel the mystery...but the answers lie inside Marcel's head. And how can he tell what is significant when he remembers every detail of every moment of his entire life? For fans of Scarlett Thomas, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Patrick Suskind, this is a captivating literary mystery about memory, history and fate.
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Golden Hill

Golden Hill

Francis Spufford

$32.99
New York before New York. A fortune, or a forgery. A love story, or a battle of wits. Nothing is black and white.

New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan island, 1746.

One rainy evening in November, a handsome young stranger fresh off the boat pitches up at a counting-house door in Golden Hill Street: this is Mr Smith, amiable, charming, yet strangely determined to keep suspicion simmering. For in his pocket, he has what seems to be an order for a thousand pounds, a huge amount, and he won't explain why, or where he comes from, or what he can be planning to do in the colonies that requires so much money.

Should the New York merchants trust him? Should they risk their credit and refuse to pay? Should they befriend him, seduce him, arrest him; maybe even kill him?

As fast as a heist movie, as stuffed with incident as a whole shelf of conventional fiction, Golden Hill is both a novel about the 18th century, and itself a book cranked back to the novel's 18th century beginnings, when anything could happen on the page, and usually did, and a hero was not a hero unless he ran the frequent risk of being hanged. This is Fielding's Tom Jones recast on Broadway - when Broadway was a tree-lined avenue two hundreds yards long, with a fort at one end flying the Union Jack and a common at the other, grazed by cows.

Rich in language and historical perception, yet compulsively readable, Golden Hill has a plot that twists every chapter, and a puzzle at its heart that won't let go till the last paragraph of the last page. Set a generation before the American Revolution, it paints an irresistible picture of a New York provokingly different from its later self: but subtly shadowed by the great city to come, and already entirely a place where a young man with a fast tongue can invent himself afresh, fall in love - and find a world of trouble.
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Tyger: Kydd #16

Tyger: Kydd #16

Julian Stockwin

$22.99
Perfect for fans of Patrick O'Brien, Bernard Cornwall, and swashbuckling adventure during the great Age of Sail: Tyger is the sixteenth novel in Julian Stockwin's acclaimed Captain Kydd series.

Captain Sir Thomas Kydd's part in Britain's doomed occupation of Buenos Aires has put him on the wrong side of some powerful men at the Admiralty. He is given a poisoned commission that some hope will destroy his career: a recently mutinied ship.

But enemies aboard and on the high seas are just the start of the problem. Soon he will have to take his untested and untrustworthy crew into the Baltic where they will get entangled with Napoleon's invasion of Prussia. With the stakes desperate, the task seemingly impossible and the French implacable, Kydd could return home once more a hero - or find himself facing a court martial.
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The Harrowing

The Harrowing

James Aitcheson

$32.99
Five strangers. Five secrets. No refuge. No turning back. In the aftermath of 1066, a Norman army marches through the North of England: burning, killing and laying waste to everything in its path. The Harrowing has begun. As towns and villages fall to the invaders, five travellers fleeing the slaughter are forced to band together for survival. Refugees in their own country, they journey through the wasteland, hoping to find sanctuary with the last stand of the Saxon rebellion. But are they fleeing the Normans or their own troubles? Priest, Lady, Servant, Warrior, Minstrel: each has their own story; each their own sin. As enemies past and present close in, their prior deeds catch up with them and they discover there is no sanctuary from fate.
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Rembrandt's Mirror

Rembrandt's Mirror

Kim Devereux

$19.99
Hendrickje, a young girl from a strict Calvinist family, leaves home to find work as a maid. Entering Rembrandt's flourishing and busy household after the death of the great artist's wife, she finds a world filled with secrets and desire. Shocked to the core after discovering the intense relationship between Rembrandt and Geertje, his housekeeper, Hendrickje is nevertheless slowly drawn to Rembrandt by his freshness, by his freedom, by his intensity. Rembrandt's Mirror explores the three women of Rembrandt's life, and the towering passions of the artist, seen through the eyes of his last, great love, Hendrickje.
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Fire

Fire

C. C. Humphreys

$32.99
First came Plague, now comes Fire. The epic tale of the hunt for a serial killer threatening London's rich and poor during the Great Fire of London. Perfect for fans of S J Parris and C J Sansom. 1666. The Great Plague has passed. Londoners celebrate survival in different ways. They drink. They gamble. They indulge in carnal delights. But 666 is the number of the Beast, the year foretold when Christ will return. A gang of fanatics - the Saints - choose to hasten that prophesied day. They will kidnap, rape, murder. Above all, they will kill a king. Two men - the highwayman William Coke and the thief-taker Pitman - are recruited to stop them. Then in the early hours of September 2nd, 1666, something starts that will overtake them all...London's a tinder box. Politically, sexually, religiously. Literally. It is about to burn.
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The Empress of Bright Moon: Empress Wu #2

The Empress of Bright Moon: Empress Wu #2

Weina Dai Randel

$22.99
The time for taking hold of her destiny is nowAt the moment of the Emperor's death, everything changes in the palace. Mei, his former concubine, is free, and Pheasant, the heir and Mei's lover, is proclaimed as the new Emperor, heralding a new era in China. But just when Mei believes she's closer to her dream, Pheasant's chief wife, Lady Wang, powerful and unpredictable, turns against Mei and takes unthinkable measures to stop her. The power struggle that ensues will determine Mei's fateand that of China. Surrounded by enemies within the palace that she calls home, Mei continues her journey to the throne in The Empress of Bright Moon, the second book in Weina Dai Randel's acclaimed duology. Only by fighting back against those who wish her harm will Mei be able to realize her destiny as the most powerful woman in China.
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Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon is Entirely Vindicated

Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon is Entirely Vindicated

Whit Stillman

$29.99
A clever re-imagining of Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan by acclaimed filmmaker Whit Stillman. Love & Friendship soon to be a film starring Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, James Fleet, Stephen Fry and Jemma Redgrave will be released in 2016.

Jane Austen's funniest novel is also her least known - until now...

Impossibly beautiful, disarmingly witty, and completely self-absorbed: meet Lady Susan Vernon, both the heart and the thorn of Love & Friendship.

Recently widowed with a daughter who's coming of age as quickly as their funds are dwindling, Lady Susan makes it her mission to find them wealthy husbands - and fast. But when her attempts to secure their futures result only in the wrath of a prominent conquest's wife and the title of 'most accomplished coquette in England', Lady Susan must rethink her strategy.

Unannounced, she arrives at her brother-in-law's country estate. Here she intends to take refuge - in no less than luxury, of course - from the colorful rumors trailing her, while finding another avenue to 'I do'. Before the scandalizing gossip can run its course, though, romantic triangles ensue.

With a pitch-perfect Austenian sensibility and wry social commentary, filmmaker and writer Whit Stillman cleverly re-imagines and completes one of our greatest writers' unfinished works. As much homage to its muse's perennial influence as testament to its author's brilliance, Love & Friendship is a sharp comedy of manners, and a fiendishly funny treat for Austen and Stillman fans alike.
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The Gilded Years

The Gilded Years

Karin Tanabe

$24.99
Passing meets The House of Mirth in this "utterly captivating" (Kathleen Grissom,New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House) historical novel based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first black student to attend Vassar, who successfully passed as white-until she let herself grow too attached to the wrong person.

Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country's most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that should have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, the daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise "Lottie" Taylor, the scion of one of New York's most prominent families.

Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie's sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends. Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it's like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman-the person everyone believes her to be-and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student. It's only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita's brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister's, that the situation becomes particularly perilous. And as Anita's college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret.

Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Gilded Age, an era when old money traditions collided with modern ideas, Tanabe has written an unputdownable and emotionally compelling story of hope, sacrifice, and betrayal-and a gripping account of how one woman dared to risk everything for the chance at a better life.
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Laurus

Laurus

Eugene Vodolazkin

$19.99
Fifteenth-century Russia It is a time of plague and pestilence, and a young healer, skilled in the art of herbs and remedies, finds himself overcome with grief and guilt when he fails to save the one he holds closest to his heart. Leaving behind his village, his possessions and his name, he sets out on a quest for redemption, penniless and alone. But this is no ordinary journey: wandering across plague-ridden Europe, offering his healing powers to all in need, he travels through ages and countries, encountering a rich tapestry of wayfarers along the way. Accosted by highwaymen, lynched in Yugoslavia and washed overboard at sea, he eventually reaches Jerusalem, only to find his greatest challenge is yet to come. Winner of two of the biggest literary prizes in Russia, Laurus is a remarkably rich novel about the eternal themes of love, loss, self-sacrifice and faith, from one of the country's most experimental and critically acclaimed novelists. WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BIG BOOK AWARD. WINNER OF THE YASNAYA POLYANA AWARD. WINNER OF THE ITALO-RUSSIAN GORKY PRIZE.
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