There’s top five and top ten lists galore, so let’s mix it up and do six sensational? Here, I’ll highlight six sensational somethings.
Perhaps we’ll start with adult novels that focus on famous literary or artistic people from a specific time period, which to me is a separate genre of historical fiction altogether. It overlays historical context through letters, writing, and travels with an imagined sense of their interactions and relationships based on their outward personas.
1. Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck: A dangerous intersection of two women’s lives, an “average woman” and Edna St. Vincent Millay
2. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: Who was Ernest Hemingway to his second wife, Hadley?
3. Mary Coin by Marisa Silver: The mysterious tale of the woman behind Dorthea Lange’s most famous Depression-era photograph
4. Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck: The poisonous relationship between the Fitzgerald’s and the impact of this on Anna, Zelda’s nurse struggling with her own history
5. Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Stephanie Hemphill: The most evocative and succinct title that only hints at the deeper story
6. I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira: Cassat needing to overcome the choice that it’s either her art or her love with Edgar Degas