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Find more Top 10 Historical Fiction on Audio for Adults
All the Light We Cannot See. By Anthony Doerr. Read by Zach Appleman. 2014. 16hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $39.99 (9781442375420); Recorded Books, lib. ed. CD, $39.99 (9781442375420).
Appleman’s heartfelt and appropriately accented reading of this luminous novel shines, as listeners follow a blind French girl and a German soldier, unforgettable teenage orphans whose lives intertwine.
The Good Lord Bird. By James McBride. Read by Michael Boatman. 2013. 14.5hr. Dreamscape, CD, $59.99 (9781624067105); Recorded Books, lib. ed. CD, $45 (9781611762938).
Boatman’s boisterous narration moves from one misadventure to the next in former slave Henry Shackleford’s fiction memoir of his years running with abolitionist John Brown.
The Invention of Wings. By Sue Monk Kidd. Read by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye. 2014. 14hr. Penguin Audio, CD, $39.95 (9781611762525); Recorded Books, lib. ed. CD, $123.75 (9781490602707).
Lamia and Oduye offer splendid portrayals of two remarkable young women, mistress and slave, in early nineteenth-century Charleston. Heartbreaking and hopeful, their narration makes listeners witnesses to this compelling social history.
A King’s Ransom. By Sharon Kay Penman. Read by Emily Gray. 2014. 28hr. Recorded Books, CD, $123.75 (9781464033124).
In Gray’s dramatic portrayal of Richard Lionheart’s return from the Holy Land, authentic and diverse accents depict the large cast, including Eleanor of Aquitaine whose voice reflects her French roots.
Longbourn. By Jo Baker. Read by Emma Fielding. 2013. 13.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $45 (9780804149426).
In this charming retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Fielding’s panoply of British voices takes listeners downstairs in the Bennet household, offering an alternate view of early nineteenth-century life.
The New Countess. By Fay Weldon. Read by Katherine Kellgren. 2013. 8.5hr. Macmillan, CD, $39.99 (9781427232885); Recorded Books, lib. ed. CD, $39.99 (9781427232885).
Kellgren’s spot-on accents embody the diverse characters—servants, aristocrats, Australians, and Americans (not to mention a parrot)—in the conclusion to Weldon’s wickedly sardonic trilogy set in Edwardian England.
The Paying Guests. By Sarah Waters. Read by Juliet Stevenson. 2014. 21.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $60 (9780553544848).
Stevenson’s captivating voice immerses listeners in the lives of Frances and her mother, who take in lodgers to make ends meet in post-WWI London. A disastrous affair wreaks havoc in this emotional examination of societal changes.
The Signature of All Things. By Elizabeth Gilbert. Read by Juliet Stevenson. 2013. 22hr. Penguin Audio, CD, $39.95 (9781611762020); Recorded Books, lib. ed. CD, $39.95 (9781611762020).
Alma Whittaker is torn between scientific realities and sensual romanticism in this botany-framed nineteenth-century saga. Stevenson’s seductive alto and authentic accents enliven people and places as far afield as Polynesia.
Wayfaring Stranger. By James Lee Burke. Read by Will Patton. 2014. 13hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $39.99 (9781442369924); Recorded Books, lib. ed. CD, $49.99 (9781442369924).
Patton’s cadence and inflections portray the large cast amid momentous historical events in this sprawling history of the Holland family in mid-twentieth-century Texas.
The White Princess. By Philippa Gregory. Read by Bianca Amato. 2013. 19hr. Recorded Books, CD, $123.75 (9781470344672).
Through the eyes of Elizabeth of York, Amato brilliantly renders the political machinations in Henry VII’s court and adeptly voices the intriguing cast.
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