7 Must-Read Novels for Genealogists

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio The Lost Hours by Karen White Gone South by Meg Moseley Drawing in the Dust by Zoë Klein The Discovery by Dan Walsh The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton Image Map

 It’s a virtual library/clickable image map!

Feeling bookish and need some recommendations? Here are my favorite genealogy-themed reads from the last few years. In no particular order …

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio (2011, Plume) — I know I’ve touted Ms. Jio before … Brace yourselves, because I probably will again. Emily Wilson goes to see her eccentric Aunt Bee and finds a diary tucked away in a drawer. I know you all dream of this …

The Lost Hours by Karen White (2009, New American Library) — Piper Mills is almost unlikeable, but her one sympathy point is a huge one–a bad riding call that kills her horse, her dream of becoming an Olympic equestrian, and almost kills her. While recuperating at her grandparents’ old home, she finds her grandmother’s scrapbook, which hints of tragedy …

Gone South by Meg Moseley (2013, Waterbrook Multnomah) — Inspirational/Christian fiction. Yankee Tish McComb gets the chance to buy back her family’s ancestral home (and really, what genie doesn’t daydream of such a thing?!) in a tiny Alabama town. You can find my full review on Heather Day Gilbert’s blog. (Spoiler alert: I loved it!)

Drawing in the Dust by Zoë Klein (2009, Gallery Books) — This isn’t, strictly speaking, a genealogy-related book. It’s more of a “archaeologist discovers ancient scrolls, a Biblical prophet’s bones, and love” book. Excited? You should be.

The Discovery by Dan Walsh (2012, Revell) — Inspirational/Christian fiction. I wasn’t thrilled by the genealogist-character in this book, but her role in the first chapter or two doesn’t take over this exciting story of a superstar novelist who hides generational secrets in his last great book. This novel finaled in several competitions and won the Selah Award for 2013.

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry (2011, Gallery Books) — This beautiful book comes with a foodie/ghosty twist. Shortly after losing both of her parents in to carbon monoxide poisoning, Ginny Selvaggio discovers that she is able to bring the spirits of those who’ve passed on into her kitchen for a brief chat when she makes their recipes. If you’re a fan of Family Recipe Fridays, you will love.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (2008, Washington Square Press) — Nell’s only clue to her true identity is an illustrated volume of fairy tales. After she dies, her granddaughter takes up the search for the truth. I just can’t describe for you how lush and magnificent Ms. Morton’s books are. You’ll have to see for yourself.

Tweetables

7 Great Novels for Genealogists via @brandyhei

Why can’t I find mysterious diaries in forgotten drawers?

A bitter equestrian, an old scrapbook & granny’s childhood friend

What genealogist doesn’t daydream about buying the ancestral home?!

Ancient scrolls, a prophet’s bones & love

A superstar novelist hides a dark secret in his last great book

A ghost story with a foodie twist

A beautiful book of fairy tales holds the key to her identity

“What About *Your* Great Novel for Genealogists, Brandy?”

I don’t know how great it is, but I’m pushing to finish this month. Actually, my self-imposed deadline is July 15. (I affectionately refer to that as “the insanity schedule.”) But if things seem a little quirky here on the blog, with the photoblogs and flexible interpretation of “Tuesday,” that’s why.

Your Turn

Read any genealogy-themed books lately? Tell me your favorites and what you like about them in the comments!

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