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2022 Highly Recommended Audiobooks

The following audiobooks were submitted to the 2022 HFC Book of the Year contest in the audiobook category and have won a "Highly Recommended" award of excellence.

To enter your audiobook in the 2023 HFC Book of the Year contest, enter HERE and select the 'audiobook' category in the dropdown box.


Book Blurb:

Winner of the 2021 American Writing Awards in Historical Fiction

Recipient of the Historical Fiction Press Awards 5-Star Highly Recommended Rating

A family secret revealed 40 years ago by a grandmother to her grandson is now an acclaimed Russian historical fiction novel. A Hundred Sweet Promises is the tale of the author’s grandfather, Nasrosoltan, a famed composer, who on the eve of World War I travels from Persia to Russia to study classical music at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with such masters as Rimsky-Korsakov. While there, Nasrosoltan falls in love with a Romanov princess, but the royalty surrounding him considers this a forbidden love. Unexpectedly, the Tsar gets involved, and Nasrosoltan suddenly finds himself in a battle between head and heart while being carried forward on a wave of destiny toward an uncertain future. A novel based on a true story set against the backdrop of the final days of Imperial Russia.

"...An exceedingly intelligent tale that thoughtfully juxtaposes the maddening effects of romantic love with the violent paroxysms of political insurrection. Furthermore, the reader is given a rare literary treat: a peek into distinct revolutionary periods — Russia and Iran in the early years of the 20th century and Iran in the century’s last quarter. A dramatically affecting novel that is also politically astute." (Kirkus Reviews)

" of the peculiar pleasures of this novel is that its author seems deeply familiar with & fond of 19th century Russian literature; there are hints of Chekhov, of Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata” and Pushkin’s “The Queen of Spades.” The narrative style evokes the writers of that period, and their influence is felt throughout the text. The novel is well-researched and convincingly recreates the pomp and glitter of St. Petersburg in the twilight of the Romanov empire." (Publisher Weekly)


Book Blurb:

Brzeziny, Poland, 1939. Zofia's comfortable lifestyle overturns when her husband, Jabez, who monitors Nazi activity, has gone missing. Rather than fleeing the country with her young son, as she had promised Jabez who is fearing retaliation, she decides to stay. She cannot possibly leave her friend, Aanya. Since their childhood they have amazed fellow Brzeziners that it does not matter that Aanya is Jewish and deaf, and that Zofia is Catholic and hearing. Now, more than ever with war looming, Zofia will do whatever is necessary to protect her family and Aanya.

As both love and war approach their Polish town, Zofia and Aanya must make choices that will change the meaning of family, home, and their precious friendship. The journey, decisions, and the no-going-back consequences the women face will either help them to survive—or not—as Hitler's Third Reich revs up its control of the world.

Inspired by the author's paternal heritage from Brzeziny, this is a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of two women who are determined to remain united in friendship and to live freely despite the odds.


Book Blurb:

Plainsville, Pennsylvania, is a town as dull as it sounds, and for high-spirited Lilith Brown, it is a torturous existence. Coming of age during the late Victorian Era, Lilith finds herself questioning the prevailing ideology of social stratification and its resulting inequities.

Thirteen-year-old Lilith is lucky to have two like-minded women in her life who, unlike her parents, encourage the young girl to reach her full potential.

But although their minds may be strong, the injustice they must fight against is stronger still. Lilith's ideals are thwarted when a ruthless businessman, Gregory Wentworth, takes an interest in the coal mining industry, and she is forced to learn the hard truths of greed, intimidation, and harassment.

As she fights against injustice, she, and those around her, suffer serious consequences. Lilith questions whether there is any justice in a world where the rich and powerful can prey on the weak without suffering any consequences. Is there any winning a battle where the enemy controls all the resources and weaponry?

My Search for Air examines the subjectivity of morality, the concept of sin, and the meaning of forgiveness. Are those in power today still reaping the rewards at the expense of the vulnerable?


Book Blurb:

“What do you get when you cross Abraham Lincoln with Sherlock Holmes? The alchemy of creative genius. Matthews brings us to the intersection of history and fiction in this beautifully written epic full of unfathomable twists and turns. It’s elementary: this book is sensational.” (Jim Campbell, syndicated radio host and author of Madoff Talks: Uncovering the Untold Story Behind the Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme in History)

“President Lincoln is assassinated in his private box at Ford’s!”

When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England named Johnnie Holmes grabs the 12-year-old son of the dying president, races the boy to safety, and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.

One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln and, in company with a freed slave named after the dead president, their breathtaking pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and as listeners will discover, it will haunt him until his very last.

At a time when Western history is being reexamined and retold, old heroes cast aside and statues torn down, and even the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator”, is questioned, One Must Tell the Bees is a timely reminder that our history deserves to be understood before it is entirely undone.


Category winners for the 2022 HFC Book of the Year contest will be announced on December 31, 2022


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