These three were all book-club choices, and very good ones. Some confusion over the first meant we all had to read the whole trilogy thank goodness!
Barker:The Regeneration Trilogy ( Regeneration, The Eye In the Door and The Ghost Road) follows several characters including poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon through treatment for shell shock in Craiglockhart Hospital under the charismatic (real) Dr William Rivers with his controversial view that shell shock was an illness rather than lack on moral fibre. Several other stories intertwine. Read all three, they’re compelling.
Kathleen Kent: The Heretic’s Daughter (+The Traitor’s Wife) Excellent tale of a woman who was charged with being a witch in Salem, and her reasons for not defending herself. The hysteria and assumption of guilt are terrifying. The second book was the back-story of her husband and his place in Cromwell’s England. Many very well described characters and beautiful descriptions.
Markus Zusak The Book Thief, Nazism from the point of view of children, (as narrated by Death) one of whom develops a passion for books after picking up “The Gravedigger’s Manual” then being mortified at school for her inability to read. Her foster family shelter a Jew who further inspires her to read and write. Funny in parts, heartbreaking in others, beautifully written and an original slant on a well-known tale.