The Great Depression {Historical Fiction Spotlight}

Historical Fiction Spotlight

Historical Fiction Spotlight is a feature that I came up with in order to highlight some books from one of my favorite genres — historical fiction. I feel like sometimes this genre gets pushed to the wayside, but there are so many great books about so many different things! In each spotlight, I’ll share 10 books from a different time period. While I might not have read every book I show, I promise that they come fully vetted and are all on my TBR list!

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Today’s Historical Fiction Spotlight is going to cover The Great Depression, specifically focusing on novels set in the US. The Great Depression was a global economic depression that started on October 29, 1929 with a huge stock market crash and lasted until the mid-1940s. Basically, this time period covers everything between the Roaring 20s (see my Jazz Age Historical Fiction Spotlight) and World War II.

This was obviously a very sad and tumultuous time in our history…but a lot of great books are based on it and were even written during it! One of the most famous Great Depression novels is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. While I am personally not a fan of this novel, it’s considered to be a classic and is on a lot of those “books everybody should read” lists.

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman

Midwife of Hope River Summary

I think that historical (and modern) midwives, and the idea of modern home births, is a very interesting topic and is something I’d love to learn more about. I really liked Del’s midwife character on Private Practice and am definitely game for reading some midwifery historical fiction.

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The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Miss Malone Summary

Okay, first of all, the cover of this book is adorable. Second of all…do you guys remember ever reading Bud, Not Buddy in elementary school? This book is by the same author and is a companion novel! I probably won’t actually be reading this one, but it’s a good middle-grade pick for studying the Great Depression and would definitely be worth a read if you like MG lit.

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Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara

Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara

Cascade Summary

Ooh an artist, a marriage of convenience, and what sounds like adultery?? Sign me up! I love dramatic, kind of soap-opera-y, historical fiction like that.

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Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck

Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck

Fallen Beauty Summary

This one sounds really good! It’s probably my most lusted after to-be-read book on this list. And I LOVE the cover — I need that dress. This book kind of looks and sounds more like a Jazz Age novel, but it actually takes place mostly in the 1930s.

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Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Sutton Summary

This book sounds really, really interesting — and is based on a real person! This guy kind of sounds like the white, bank robber version of MLK or something, haha.

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Every Day After by Laura Golden

Every Day After by Laura Golden

Every Day After Summary

Another Middle Grade pick, this book sounds very poignant and possibly sad, but also good. It has a pretty high rating on Goodreads, so I’d definitely consider this one even though it’s not a genre that I normally read.

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What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

What She Left Behind Summary

I really want to read this one! It sounds really intriguing and the synopsis almost kind of reminds me of like a Kate Morton- or Sarah Jio-style historical fiction novel. I’m very interested!

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A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

A Hundred Summers Summary

Even just from reading the blurb, I already know that I’m going to be into this book…because it’s set in RI, where I grew up and still live! But the rest of it sounds interesting, too. Socialites, ex-boyfriends, and a baseball player? I’m in.

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Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

Edge of Dark Water Summary

Eee this sounds creepy! I love it, though. It’s being billed as “Mark Twain meets Steven King.” Sounds kinda interesting, right? I might just have to give this one a try.

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Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Wonder Show Summary

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Historical Fiction Spotlight without a circus book! Isn’t that cover kinda cool? I don’t really get a super concrete idea of what it’s about from the synopsis, but it does seem like it might be kind of creepy and dysfunctional. But the good kind.

Have you read any of these? Adding any to your TBR list?

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