5 Historical Fiction Audiobooks You Need To Listen To

If you know anything about me, the one thing you probably know is that I LOVE audiobooks. And so, I am listening to them constantly. Thanks to Hoopla, Overdrive, Libby and my library’s amazing ILL system, I always have an audiobook going (FOR FREE thank you taxes, you’re the real one). If you’re new to audiobooks and not sure which direction to take, I thought I could easily point you to books that would be in your wheelhouse. So, today I am pointing you to historical fiction, if that is your kind of jam.

5 Historical Fiction Audiobooks You Need To Listen To

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher is the kind of book I want to read more of. I love a good historical fiction book.

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 Historical Fiction Audiobooks You Need To Listen ToThe Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 Hours 22 Minutes
Published by Penguin on October 2, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Historical, General, Biographical, Romance, 20th Century
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780451492067
Goodreads
four-stars

"A riveting reimagining of a true tale of forbidden love."--People


A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties.

London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.

But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie--with family or with love . . .

What Did I Think?

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher is the kind of book I want to read more of. I love a good historical fiction book. This one was so easy to just fall right into and be whisked away to the past. It is all about the life of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy. She is from THAT Kennedy family. Anyways, so she goes over to England to debut while her father is an ambassador there. Kick falls for England and desperately wants to stay there. She also falls for a man, Billy Harrington, the future duke of Devonshire.

THEN THERE IS AN OBSTACLE IN THE WAY OF THEIR LOVE. Religion. And okay, usually in the books I read, that is not often the obstacle. So I was hooked to see if they would get around it. You see, Kick is Catholic and Billy is Protestant. The book takes on the challenge of the future between people with two different religions. There’s talk about if they have kids, what religion would they be raised in. Should one of them convert? It is just so fascinating and interesting to me, because I am not at all of a particular religious bent.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook of The Kennedy Debutante is narrated by Julia Whelan. Honestly, I cannot really say anything new about Whelan’s narration. She’s been the narrator for a bunch of books that I have listened to. I have been satisfied by her narration literally every single time. If you’re just getting started with audiobooks, she’s a good narrator to check out.


I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 Historical Fiction Audiobooks You Need To Listen ToThe Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Narrator: Lauren Ezzo
Length: 13 Hours
Published by Harlequin on October 2, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Ghost, Occult & Supernatural, Gothic
Pages: 362
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781488096747
Goodreads
five-stars

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

What Did I Think?

The Witch Of Willow Hall by Hester Fox tickles my need for creepy. I listened to this book in early December – instead of October. Still, it was a pretty decent time to give it a listen. When it is cold outside, I really enjoy books that are engrossing and that take me away to another time and place. This book is definitely an alternative history book. However, given that it is set in the past, I feel comfortable and happy putting it on this list.

So, this book, The Witch Of Willow Hall follows main character Lydia Montrose who moves with her family to Willow Hall following some scandal where they were living (involving her sister). Anyways, so Lydia is called by the hall. It is there that she discovers she may have powers. Meanwhile, the hall also has a negative call to her youngest sister, Emeline and well, the results are climatic. ALSO there’s a romance with this guy who is associated with the hall, John Barrett. It is absolutely the highlight of this book and they are a couple that I found myself actively rooting for.

On the whole, I can’t recommend The Witch Of Willow Hall by Hester Fox highly enough. It is so atmospheric. This book has really in depth characterization. Maybe the magic could have used more explaining, but I liked being as in the dark as the characters. I think if you like Rebecca or Wuthering Heights, BUT WITH MAGIC, you would enjoy this book.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook is narrated by Lauren Ezzo who is new to me. She has a very gentle, old world sounding voice. Kind of like the opening of the first Lord of the Rings movie, if I remember correctly. I genuinely enjoyed listening to this book. I think that if you want a sort of quiet not loud in your face audiobook, this would be the one to pick up. The Witch Of Willow Hall is a great read no matter which form you decide to pick up.

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 Historical Fiction Audiobooks You Need To Listen ToDaughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird
Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Length: 16 Hours 30 Minutes
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 4, 2018
Genres: Fiction, African American, Historical
Pages: 400
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781250193186
Goodreads
four-stars

"You'll be swept away by the passion and power of this remarkable, trailblazing woman who risked everything to follow her own heart." – Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author"An epic page-turner." Christina Baker Kline

"Bird’s fast-paced, action-packed story is a bittersweet one—grand love and legacy ultimately eluded Williams—but this fearless, often heartbreaking account sheds a welcome light on an extraordinary American warrior." – Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review

Named Best Fiction Writer in the Austin Chronicle's "Austin's Best 2018"

The compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

“Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my mama never let me forget it.”

Though born into bondage on a “miserable tobacco farm” in Little Dixie, Missouri, Cathy Williams was never allowed to consider herself a slave. According to her mother, she was a captive, destined by her noble warrior blood to escape the enemy. Her chance at freedom presents itself with the arrival of Union general Phillip Henry “Smash ‘em Up” Sheridan, the outcast of West Point who takes the rawboned, prideful young woman into service. At war’s end, having tasted freedom, Cathy refuses to return to servitude and makes the monumental decision to disguise herself as a man and join the Army’s legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

Alone now in the ultimate man’s world, Cathy must fight not only for her survival and freedom, but she also vows to never give up on finding her mother, her little sister, and the love of the only man strong enough to win her heart. Inspired by the stunning, true story of Private Williams, this American heroine comes to vivid life in a sweeping and magnificent tale about one woman’s fight for freedom, respect and independence.

“Sarah Bird masterfully tells the story of Cathy (Cathay) Williams, the only female ever to serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers...Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen is a wonderful read.” – Michael Hurd, author of Thursday Night Lights, managing editor of The Texas Black History Project, and director of the Texas Preservation of History and Culture

What Did I Think?

Daughter Of A Daughter Of A Queen by Sarah Bird is such a compelling audiobook. Bird’s book takes place during the Civil War and then during the time after during the seizure of the West. It is about this Black woman named Cathy Williams who ends up joining the Union army as a cook’s assistant. Then, eventually she ends up as a solider and a part of the Buffalo soldiers. She was the only woman to have ever served with the Buffalo soldiers. Cathy was born into slavery, but her mother made it so she never considered herself a slave, but rather, a “daughter of a daughter of a queen.”

Anyways, while she’s off spending time as a Buffalo soldier, she still tries to find her mother and sister. She also falls in love. There are definitely dangers associated with her dressing as a man – whether she is caught out as a woman or whether she is accused of being a gay man. You feel this sort of nervousness while reading the book and just hope that things will end up okay for Cathy.

So, okay, I do want to be a little bit upfront with you all. I have a hard time rating this five stars, because of certain views that I hold. Those views being that I feel like white authors should not tell the stories of Black women. From what I understand via Twitter, there are not as many opportunities for Black women in publishing. Therefore, when a white woman has a story from the point of view of a Black woman, it takes away a slot from a Black woman – as publishers do not publish an unlimited amount of books. So, you know, that was something that I have to point out because I am trying to be more conscious of this aspect of publishing and reading.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook of Daughter Of A Daughter Of A Queen is narrated by Bahni Turpin. Turpin is one of the best narrators. I think she really excels in narration of this book. Her voice and cadence is perfect for Cathy Williams. Plus, she just has this really engaging and compelling way of narrating. It makes the 16.5 hours of audiobook just fly on by. If you are desperate to read this book, I think that you absolutely must listen to the audiobook.


5 Historical Fiction Audiobooks You Need To Listen ToA Study In Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Also by this author: The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights
Series: Lady Sherlock #1
Narrator: Kate Reading
Length: 11 Hours
Published by Penguin on October 18, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Historical, Women Sleuths, Romance, Victorian
Pages: 336
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780698196353
Goodreads
four-stars

An NPR Best Book of 2016


USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…   With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.   When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
Also by this author: The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights
Series: Lady Sherlock #2
Narrator: Kate Reading
Length: 10 Hours
Published by Penguin on September 5, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Historical, Women Sleuths, Romance, Victorian
Pages: 336
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780698196360
Goodreads
four-stars

The game is afoot as Charlotte Holmes returns in USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas’s Victorian-set Lady Sherlock series.   Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had great success helping with all manner of inquiries, but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street office.   Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.   In the meanwhile, Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and an unidentified body surfaces where least expected. Charlotte’s investigative prowess is challenged as never before: Can she find her brother in time—or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London?

What Did I Think of A Study In Scarlet Women and A Conspiracy In Belgravia?

I feel like at this point in my life, I am very loyal to certain authors and the books that they write. Like, if I know I LOVED a series by an author, I usually will want to read everything else by that author. So, Sherry Thomas wrote this amazing YA trilogy (starting with The Perilous Sea) and I KNEW I wanted to give her other books a shot. Before delving into her romance books — those are next — I thought I’d dive right on in to her mystery books.

A Study In Scarlet Women and the sequel A Conspiracy In Belgravia are the first two books in Thomas’s series about this gender bending Sherlock Holmes. So, you know, I AM HERE FOR IT. I love when books take classics and flip them on their heads a little bit. In Thomas’s version, Sherlock is actually Charlotte Holmes. Charlotte is an upper class woman who has dealt with some scandal. There are some deaths and suspicion lands on her family. So it is up to Charlotte who is wicked smart to figure out what exactly is going on and to clear her family name. She does so and begins her investigations under the name Sherlock Holmes (I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE SHERRY THOMAS — actually,we all saw). And oh, these books get good.

Charlotte is an interesting character. She is different. Yet, she also clearly cares about her family members. I could relate to that. She doesn’t really care all that much about society but she just wants to clear the good name of her family. The next book takes on Charlotte not really being involved with society but still solving mysteries. She’s got to find her half brother to help one of her clients. There’s also a body in the second book too. Charlotte continues to grow as a character and I just really loved her.

How’s The Narration?

I listened to both A Study In Scarlet Women and A Conspiracy In Belgravia through the Hoopla app. Both books are narrated by Kate Reading. Her narration is measured and dignified. She nails how I imagine Charlotte sounding. These audios are great if you like books that are both mysteries but also historical fiction with a tiny flavor of romance in there too. Also, I think that Reading has a very soothing voice.

If you're new to audiobooks, not sure which direction to take, I'll point you to books are in your wheelhouse. I'm pointing you to historical fiction today.

four-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the recs, I’m definitely adding them to my TBR list. I’vr tried and failed to read A Study in Scarlet Women, even though I’m such a Thomas fan. I will give the audiobook a try.

  2. I loved The Witch of Willow Hall too!! It was soooo creepy (esp after just watching The Haunting of Hill House) and I loved the romance as well. It was really well done! Can’t wait to see what she writes next.
    Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle recently posted..Review: Famous in a Small TownMy Profile

  3. The Witch of Willow Hall is one of the best. One of my friends recommends it. For me, it all worth reading it.

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