Rust & Stardust by T. GreenwoodWhat it is: a suspenseful novel based on the shocking 1948 kidnapping case that inspired Vladimir Nabokov's controversial Lolita.
Who it's for: fans of literary crime fiction based on real events, such as Emma Cline's The Girls or Emma Flint's Little Deaths.
You might also like: Sarah Weinman's The Real Lolita, a nonfiction account of the abduction of Sally Horner.
The Sea Queen by Linnea HartsuykerWhat it is: the 2nd installment of the Golden Wolf saga, which takes place six years after the events of The Half-Drowned King.
Starring: two siblings on opposite sides of a conflict -- while Ragnvald of Sogn supports King Harald's ambition to unite ninth-century Norway, his sister Svanhild is the wife of sea-raider Solvi, who kneels to no man.
For fans of: Cecelia Holland's Corban Loosestrife novels or the History Channel television series Vikings.
Bellewether by Susanna KearsleyWhat it's about: The Wilde House Museum is said to be haunted by the ghost of a French Canadian soldier who fell in love with the daughter of the house during the Seven Years' War. As curator Charley Van Hoek investigates in the present day, a parallel narrative set in 1759 reveals the star-crossed love story from the perspectives of the couple.
Is it for you? if you don't mind a hint of the supernatural in otherwise realistic fiction, Bellewether offers well-drawn characters, a romantic narrative that bridges two timelines, and plenty of gothic atmosphere.
If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana KimIntroducing: Haemi and Kyunghwan, teenage sweethearts living in a refugee village in 1951 Busan, South Korea.
What happens: Haemi reluctantly agrees to marry Kyunghwan's cousin, Jisoo, a decision that will affect their families for generations.
You might also like: Jamie Ford's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which also follows a couple whose childhood friendship blossoms into love just before war separates them.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer EganWhat it is: a lyrical, character-driven novel that follows Anna Kerrigan from adolescence, when her mob-connected father disappears, to adulthood, when she becomes the first female diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard.
Read it for: a complex protagonist, a vivid recreation of New York City during the Great Depression and World War II, and meticulously researched details of a diver's life during this period.
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall KellyWhat it's about: the Ravensbrück concentration camp, as seen from the perspectives of three women from very different backgrounds.
Featuring: American socialite and charity worker Caroline, Polish resistance fighter Kasia, and German physician Herta, who supports the Nazi regime.
Want a taste? "If I'd known I was about to meet the man who'd shatter me like bone china on terra-cotta, I would have slept in."
Mischling: A Novel by Affinity KonarWhat happens: In 1944, 12-year-old twins Stasha and Pearl Zagorski are sent to the Auschwitz Zoo, where "Uncle Doctor" Joseph Mengele uses the girls as subjects in his monstrous medical experiments.
Why you should read it: In spare yet lyrical language, this heartwrenching novel depicts a powerful bond between sisters.
Try this next: Steve Sem-Sandberg's The Chosen Ones, whose child protagonist is confined to an institution dedicated to eugenics research in 1930s Vienna.
The Fire by Night by Teresa MessineoWhat it's about: Best friends in the Army Nurse Corps experience World War II from different vantage points: Giuseppina "Jo" McMahon in a bombed-out field hospital in France, Kay Elliot in a Japanese POW camp in the Philippines.
Is it for you? Unfolding amid the chaos of war, this moving and well-researched debut contains harrowing descriptions of the hardships experienced by the protagonists and their patients.
China Dolls: A Novel by Lisa SeeWhat it's about: three Asian American nightclub performers navigating the "Chop Suey Circuit" of San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1930s.
Starring: Grace Lee, who flees her Midwestern hometown for a life on the stage; Helen Fong, who rebels against her traditional Chinese family; and Ruby Tom, who conceals her Japanese heritage as hostilities between the U.S. and Japan escalate.
Further reading: Graham Russell Hodges' Anna May Wong, a biography of Hollywood's first Chinese American actress, whose career ambitions were stymied by racial prejudice.
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