Historical Fiction Previews, Oct. 2021, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

This month’s historical fiction limns the 20th century, with a focus on the World Wars.

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Feldman, Suzanne. Sisters of the Great War. Mira: Harlequin. Oct. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780778311225. pap. $16.99. CD. HISTORICAL/WORLD WAR I

Hoffman, Alice. The Book of Magic. S. & S. Oct. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781982151485. $27.99. CD. HISTORICAL

Miller, Nathaniel Ian. The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven. Little, Brown. Oct. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780316592550. $28. Downloadable. HISTORICAL/NATURE

cover of Morris's Three SistersMorris, Heather. Three Sisters. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250276896. $28.99. CD. HISTORICAL/WORLD WAR II

Saab, Gabriella. The Last Checkmate. Morrow. Oct. 2021. 432p. ISBN 9780063143388. $27.99; Morrow Paperbacks. ISBN 9780063141933. $16.99. lrg. prnt. HISTORICAL/WORLD WAR II

Williams, Beatriz. The Wicked Widow. Morrow. Oct. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780063144736. $27.99; pap. Morrow Paperbacks. ISBN 9780063142442. $16.99. HISTORICAL

In Sisters of the Great War, Missouri Review Editors’ Prize winner Feldman crafts the story of ambitious young American Ruth Duncan—she wants to be a doctor—and her shy sister, Elise, who volunteer their services in war-torn 1914 Europe and discover love, nurse Ruth with an Englishman in the medical corps and Elise with another woman in the ambulance corps (50,000-copy first printing). In The Book of Magic, which concludes Hoffman’s “Practical Magic” series, three generations of Owens women and a long-lost brother attempt to break the curse that has bound their family since Maria Owens practiced the Unnamed Art centuries ago (200,000-copy first printing). Launched with lots of in-house love, multi-AP-award-winning Miller’s The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven features a young man who seeks adventure by moving to an Arctic archipelago in 1916, then withdraws further to an isolated fjord, where he’s sustained by a loyal dog and letters from home until the arrival of an unexpected visitor (50,000-copy first printing). In a follow-up to Morris's multi-million-best-selling The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey, Three Sisters—Livia, Magda, and Cibi—survive Auschwitz and escape the Germans during the 1945 death march from the camp (500,000-copy first printing). In Saab’s debut, Polish resistance fighter Maria is imprisoned in Auschwitz and forced by brutal camp deputy Fritzsch to play chess for his entertainment—and her life; the war’s approaching resolution brings Maria closer to The Last Checkmate and a chance to avenge the deaths of her family (150,000-copy paperback and 30,000-copy hardcover first printing). Following up The Wicked Redhead with The Wicked Widow, Williams zigzags between 1925 New York, where brassy, flashy flapper Geneva “Gin” Kelly happily settles into a high-society marriage to (of all things) a Prohibition agent, and 1998, with troubled Ella Dommerich relying on Gin’s ghostly help when her aunt pushes her to discover anything nasty she can about an old family enemy running for president (75,000-copy paperback and 30,000-copy hardcover first printing).

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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