1950s

B+
Bury What We Cannot Take

Our immigration system is a hot topic in the news lately and it seems like personal accounts of success and failure by people who come to this great land are broadcast by our media on a regular basis. Bury What We Cannot Take is a story of immigration which moves the issue to a historical context; i ...

B-
The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James: A Roundtable Discussion Simone St. James is well-loved by the staff here at AAR, so we have been eagerly anticipating her new book. The Broken Girls is a dual-timeline story centered around a boarding school for the teenaged girls society has turned its back ...

A-
Next Year in Havana

This island will break your heart if you let it. Home, exile, family and above all, hope. These themes all figure prominently in Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton's beautiful novel of love and Cuba. We see the love stories of a grandmother and her granddaughter playing out in Havana, but we also ...

B+
Under a Sardinian Sky

Under a Sardinian Sky offers the reader a complete immersion into the Sardinia of the 1950s. Every page makes you feel as if you’re right there experiencing everything, as there is no detail deemed too big or too small to reveal the subtlest nuances of the setting. Joy of family and familial love ...

A-
Aqua Follies

Liv Rancourt has captured the 1950s’ post-war exuberance, conformity, music and homophobia in a gloriously evocative narrative entitled Aqua Follies. This beautifully told tale stands as a warning to those who yearn for the way things used to be. It seems in our more enlightened times some have fo ...

B
Sunday Kind of Love

Dorothy Garlock, master of heartwarming heartland-based mid-century romances, returns with her fifty-fifth book, the post-World War II centered Sunday Kind of Love. Gwen Foster is an Indiana girl searching for just the right kind of love.  Home to visit her family in Buckton, this trip will repr ...

B
Wildfire at Midnight

Mary Stewart is truly one of the greats. Her books, with their practical heroines and often exotic settings, appeal to the imagination, and she has a way of building tension throughout her narratives in such a way that it reels the reader in easily. Her writing has not only inspired all manner of ro ...

A-
The Sleeping Night

Starcrossed lovers show up often enough in romance, but rarely with such convincing emotion as in The Sleeping Night. Barbara Samuel's tale of an interracial couple in postwar Texas takes readers through a rollercoaster of emotion as we see her characters dealing with love, loss, and poisonous bigot ...

B-
Haunting Embrace

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I love it when publishers get their timing right. There is nothing like a good paranormal and a hot cup of tea or cocoa to brighten the month of October and the beginning of the Halloween season. This one with its druids, seers, ghosts, and haunted castle ruins is a real treat for those of us who wa ...

A
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Flavia de Luce, girl sleuth, makes a roaring first appearance in Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The first in a mystery series set in 1950s England, this is hands down, the best mystery I’ve read this year. I love Flavia de Luce. I should start by saying there isn’t a ...