Listening Library supplies SYNC participants with a pair of historical fiction novels this week. While these two audiobooks depict the lives of fictional characters, their settings and the details of their plots accurately reflect actual events, traditions, and even some real-life people. In both, we travel back to the 20th century and into the action-packed lives of strong female characters.
THIS REBEL HEART, by Katherine Locke, takes us into the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and adds a touch of fantasy that, if anything, makes the harrowing experiences of the period and place feel even more authentic. Narrator Kathleen Gati brings all the necessary European accents and pronunciation integrity to realize Csilla’s experiences of the uprising and the years of the Nazi regime under which her family suffered before the Soviet era replaced it. Co-narrator Steven Jay Cohen adds to the atmosphere with his performance of extracts from Csilla’s murdered father’s journal. And the fantasy? Ah, look forward to the role played by Azriel, angel of death.
Paired with this historical event-specific audiobook, THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS, by Kristin Lambert and performed by Sophie Amoss, reinvigorates the sensibilities of a cultural era. This one is a fictional murder mystery—but the historically accurate setting is a New Orleans speakeasy of the Roaring Twenties that caters particularly to LGBTQ society. Sophie Amoss can be relied upon to bring a character such as teen sleuth Millie credibly and admirably to life. Listeners will have fun matching wits with Millie to solve the crime while also discovering, perhaps, the dynamic lives gay Americans led before the era of openness through Pride.
Historical fiction is a great way to discover events, ideas, and ideals of the past while enjoying a great story well told. Be sure to move these two free audiobooks to your Sora shelf before 11:59 pm ET on July 12!