Three Suggested Historical Novels (for teens & adults)

1. Follett, Ken.  (2010).  Fall of Giants.  London : Penguin Books ; New York : Dutton.  985 pgs. [first in upcoming Century Trilogy]

In this intriguing international saga, Ken Follett (author of renowned medieval sagas Pillars of the Earth and World Without End) explores early twentieth-century history from the perspective of a diverse cast of English, Welsh, Russian, German, and American characters.  From the struggles for workers’ rights and women’s suffrage, to the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and through to the beginning of the 1920s, Follett balances a quick-paced plot with a character-driven narrative and his well-researched novel allows readers to come to their own historical conclusions.  The narrative and characters are expected to be followed in future novels chronicling the rest of the twentieth century.

 

2. Harry, Lilian.  (2008).  A Penny a Day.  London : Orion Books.  293 pgs.

 

In late 1952, a wedding brings together families from Portsmouth, Southampton, and the village of Burracombe, setting in motion two separate love triangles and bringing up tragic memories from the recent world war.  A standalone novel incorporating characters from three of her existing series, A Penny a Day appeals to fans of televisions series such as Coronation Street readers of British romances of the Second World War and the mid-twentieth century.

 

3. Llywelyn, Morgan.  (2008).  1999: A Novel of the Celtic Tiger and the Search for Peace.  New York : Tom Doherty Associates.  385 pgs. [from the Irish Century series]

 

The end of a multigenerational saga that spans the twentieth century and Ireland’s struggle for independence, 1999 centres around Barry Halloran, a photojournalist and former member of the Irish Republican Army, as the Troubles rage.  In a thrilling cinematic conclusion to twentieth-century Irish history, Morgan Llywelyn brings to life events from the 1972 Derry Massacre until the Good Friday Accords in 1999 through relatable characters and short, well-researched narrative.

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