Welcome to the seventh month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focuses on the Progressive Era. The Progressive Age has some cross-over with the Gilded Age and is a period the 1890s and 1920s. This is the time period in which we think of progressive thought, labor changes, the fight for women’s rights, and other social movements.
You’ll see a lot of recommendations that cross over from last month, but also a few new ones. A big thanks to Inspirational Historical Fiction for making it easier for me to pull these lists together.
Add your suggestions in the comments, and/or tell me what you are reading. Have you read any of these below? Which one should I choose for this month? Let me know.
Also, if a title has (read and reviewed), clicking on that takes you to a review I’ve written on that book. Just in case you are interested in learning more.
*If you read a book for June, don’t forget to go to yesterday’s post (RCR: The White City) to comment and get your name entered for your chance to win a print copy. (You’ll also earn your entry for the end of the year giveaway.)
For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.
A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.
Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls.
The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years ago, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-laws’ home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa. However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger–who designs roller coasters, of all things–intercedes on her behalf. Still, Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky (though charismatic) gentleman. Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.
Filled with delightful characters and the romance of summer, The Ride of Her Life is another supremely entertaining story from the witty Lorna Seilstad. Readers will laugh out loud and sigh contentedly as they spend the summer of 1906 in Lake Manawa.
The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King’s hopeful future.
Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.
Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics—Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?
Ella Fleming is on the run from her past and the secrets that could tear her family apart. As a member of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza, a wild west show comprised of all-female performers, her uncanny talent for trick riding impresses the viewers. Only while performing can she forget the truth about who she really is–the daughter of a murderer.
Phillip DeShazer blames himself for his father’s death and has done his best to bury his guilt in work and drink. Realizing he needs something more, he seeks answers and finds support and kindness from the beautiful Ella Fleming. However, the more she comes to his rescue, the more his guilt grows. He’s fallen in love with her and feels confident that she returns his feelings, but until he can overcome the past and let God guide his future, Phillip knows he’s not worthy of Ella’s love.
Uncertain of what will come their way, Ella and Phillip must learn to trust God even when the road they travel takes them in different directions. Only then can love be a part of their journey.
Swirling rumors forced Cecilia White out of the teaching job she loved. She vowed not to get involved with a man again—no matter what. But when the term begins at a new schoolhouse in a new town, disaster strikes. No matter what she does, she can’t seem to escape the handsome, single chairman of the school board.
John Morgan has a secret. He’s not who he says he is. He’ll do anything to protect and provide for his young sister—including cozying up to the prickly schoolmarm.
Sparks fly and Cecilia must deny her heart if she hopes to keep her job. But what’s more important? Duty or love?
Suggestions offered from the Unlocking the Past Facebook Group: (THANK YOU, LADIES!!!!)
Leave Your Comments:
If you have a favorite book or author who writes in this time, put it in the comments so other readers can know who to go search out for options. Old or new, it doesn’t matter. 🙂