Past Tense

The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 in Historical Fiction

Hi historical fiction friends!

I’m traveling to visit family this week, so you know I’ve packed way more books than any person could reasonably read within four days of travel. And that’s not even to mention my phone and Kindle which contain full libraries worth of books in their own right. But what can I say? I’m a girl who loves her books. And if that means they take up half the space in my carry on, so be it.

Bookish Goods

Woodland Rifle Co Book Sleeve from Etsy:

Woodland Book Sleeve

May or may not have already ordered this gorgeous woodland book sleeve for myself. $25

New Releases

The Attic Child Book Cover

The Attic Child by Lola Jaye (September 6, 2022)

Celestine, a 12-year-old boy kidnapped from Africa and kept in the attic by an English explorer in 1900s London, and an orphan girl whose fortunes have turned and left her living in the same attic, are brought together through the years by the mystery of the items Celestine left behind.

On the Rooftop Book Cover

On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (September 6, 2022)

Against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying 1950s San Francisco, a mother dreams of musical stardom for her three daughters who perform on stage as The Salvations. But as the girls become women with dreams of their own — dreams outside their stage mother Vivian’s purview — and the community is slowly being bought out from under them, Vivian struggles to hold onto the life she envisioned for herself and her daughters.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

You know I love to tie these recommendations into historical events that happened on the same (or similar) dates as today, and both of these books feature a devastating hurricane that hit the Florida Keys on Labor Day Weekend in 1935. To misquote a TikTok trend: If I had a nickel for every historical fiction book about the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, I’d have two nickels — which isn’t a lot, but it’s weird that it happened twice.

The Last Train to Key West Book Cover

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Three women running to and from Key West find themselves trapped during one of the worst storms to ever hit Florida. And, even if they survive, Mirta, Helen, and Elizabeth will never be the same.

Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye

When a wealthy white woman is murdered while a storm is brewing just off the coast, a Black veteran finds himself suspected of a terrible crime even as he struggles to find his place in a country he once fought for — but doesn’t seem to have a place for him anymore.

That’s it for now, folx! Stay subscribed for more stories of yesteryear.

If you want to talk books (historical or otherwise), you can find me @rachelsbrittain on Instagram, Goodreads, Litsy, and occasionally Twitter.

Right now I’m reading The Cartographer’s Secret by Tea Cooper. What about you?