The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

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1975 – Michigan

In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

Though her father supports Mindy’s desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he’ll lose the daughter he’s poured his heart into. Mindy’s mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy’s sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family–but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.

Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.

A Time to Weep by Tracy Higley

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1922 – Egypt/Italy

Sometimes the only way forward is back.

Sahara Aldridge, a young Egyptologist in 1922, is chasing down the trail of her parents through the unknown corridors of time.

But when all clues point to Ancient Rome as the next place to search, Sahara retreats into the safety of her archaeological work, cataloguing treasures from the newly-discovered tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

As the discovery of the intact tomb propels the world into a frenzy of “Tut-mania,” the ever-present Jack Moretti is there to help, but what is his agenda?

And it appears Tempus Vigilia isn’t going to leave her alone. The secret society has sent others, tracking her movements and asking too many questions.

Now it seems her family is in danger. Sahara must once again put her career on hold, to find what she has lost. But will Ancient Rome hold the answers, or only one more reason to grieve?

A Time to Seek by Tracy Higley

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1300s BC/1922 – Egypt

Sahara Aldridge, a young Egyptologist in 1922, is making a name for herself on the digsite soon to become Egypt’s most sensational discovery—the tomb of the boy-king, Tutankhamun. Despite opposition from a mostly-male profession, Sahara fights to continue the legacy of her Egyptologist parents, who died tragically at sea when she was a teen.

But then a childhood friend finds a lost journal written by Sahara’s mother, hinting at the bizarre possibility of time-travel, and a crazy suspicion forces Sahara to confront a freak incident years earlier…Is it possible her parents were time travelers? And has she inherited this mind-blowing ability?

When the American journalist Jack Moretti begins asking too many questions, Sahara suspects he knows more than he’s telling. Did her parents truly perish in an accident? Or did someone target and murder them because of their time traveling gift?

There’s only one way to unearth the truth. Sahara must travel back in time, to the days of King Tut. But the biggest surprise is yet to come… the truth about her parents, and about her own destiny, discovered in the whispers of conspiracy around the death of Egypt’s most famous Pharaoh. But what secrets are better left buried?

The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli

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1865 – Massachusetts

Two women, one living in present day Massachusetts and another in Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House soon after the Civil War, overcome their own personal demons and search for a place to belong.

2001
Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria’s betrayal changes everything.

1865
While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa’s aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa’s words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan’s proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband’s dark side, and she can’t hide the bruises that appear.

2019
After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett’s cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

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1810s/Present Day – England

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

If I Were You by Lynn Austin

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1940/1950 – England/America

A remarkable novel of sisterhood and self-discovery set against the backdrop of WWII.

1950. In the wake of the war, Audrey Clarkson leaves her manor house in England for a fresh start in America with her young son. As a widowed war bride, Audrey needs the support of her American in-laws, whom she has never met. But she arrives to find that her longtime friend Eve Dawson has been impersonating her for the past four years. Unraveling this deception will force Audrey and Eve’s secrets—and the complicated history of their friendship—to the surface.

1940. Eve and Audrey have been as different as two friends can be since the day they met at Wellingford Hall, where Eve’s mother served as a lady’s maid for Audrey’s mother. As young women, those differences become a polarizing force . . . until a greater threat—Nazi invasion—reunites them. With London facing relentless bombardment, Audrey and Eve join the fight as ambulance drivers, battling constant danger together. An American stationed in England brings dreams of a brighter future for Audrey, and the collapse of the class system gives Eve hope for a future with Audrey’s brother. But in the wake of devastating loss, both women must make life-altering decisions that will set in motion a web of lies and push them both to the breaking point long after the last bomb has fallen.

This sweeping story transports readers to one of the most challenging eras of history to explore the deep, abiding power of faith and friendship to overcome more than we ever thought possible.

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

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1861/1963/Present Day – Michigan

When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request–that she look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos–seems like it isn’t worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt’s 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time–from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War–to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

Sarah Jane, Liberty’s Torch by Eleanor Clark

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1886 – Pennsylvania/New York

Set in 1886 when the Statue of Liberty was dedicated.

Ten-year-old Kimberly Dawn is trying to figure out what it means to “be a good witness,” but is quickly discovering it’s not as easy as she’d hoped. Her grandmother shares the story of Sarah Jane, a youngster from their family who traveled from Pennsylvania to New York to see the Statue of Liberty in the late 1800’s. Through the life of this remarkable little girl, Kimberly learns what it means to “let your light shine.”

Dream of Life by Michael Phillips

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1830s – Carolinas

With their beloved plantation, Greenwood, now a vital link in the Underground Railroad, Richmond and Carolyn Davidson must balance the need for safety with their commitment to helping the many runaways who appear at their door. Compounding their danger, the Davidson’s neighbors, the Beaumonts, do not approve of their decision—and view them with suspicion.

The danger intensifies when the Davidsons’ older son, Seth, becomes engaged to Veronica, the Beaumonts’ beautiful, scheming daughter—against her parents’ wishes. As the two families are swept up in events leading up to the Civil War, they must choose sides—in a conflict that will change their lives forever.

The Color of the Soul by Tracey Bateman

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1860s/1948 – Georgia

A Pandora’s box opens when reporter Andy Carmichael, too light skinned for acceptance by blacks and too dark skinned for acceptance by whites, is sent to Georgia to interview Miss Penbrook, an icon of Southern literature. From her deathbed, the mysterious Miss Penbrook gives Andy journals that reveal a surprising twist – her story and his own meld into one.

All the Way Home by Ann Tatlock

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1930s/1960s – California/Mississippi

From a rough section of Los Angeles during the late Depression years, to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s in the South, this novel is a searing portrayal of one family trapped by alcoholism and another living the typical middle class life. A true American story told through the eyes of two girls, best friends, separated by the internment camps of World War II.

The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers

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1800s/Present Day – Oregon/California

Sierra Madrid’s life has just been turned upside down when she discovers the handcrafted quilt and journal of her ancestor Mary Kathryn McMurray, a young woman who was uprooted from her home only to endure harsh conditions on the Oregon Trail. Though the women are separated by time and circumstance, Sierra discovers that many of the issues they face are remarkably similar . . . and uncovering Mary Kathryn’s story may help her write the next chapter of hers.