Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

In 1976, Dana dreams of being a writer. In 1815, she is assumed a slave.

When Dana first meets Rufus on a Maryland plantation, he’s drowning. She saves his life – and it will happen again and again. Neither of them understands his power to summon her whenever his life is threatened, nor the significance of the ties that bind them. And each time Dana saves him, the more aware she is that her own life might be over before it’s even begun.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Slavery
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Suicide
  • Self harm
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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Rape
  • Death of a child
  • Kidnapping
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Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. The time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Suicide
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Torture
  • Genocide & mass murder
  • War themes
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Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Slut shaming
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Torture mentioned
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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

When a benevolent landowner decides to sell two slaves—Uncle Tom and Eliza—in order to raise funds, the lives of the two slaves follow divergent paths. While Eliza escapes to eventual freedom, Uncle Tom is repeatedly sold until he ends up working on the prosperous Legree plantation, where his very life becomes forfeit to his violent master.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Suicide
  • Death of a child
  • Whipping
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Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia. Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator–and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life, their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

Remaking herself as a singer for Rome’s aristocrats, Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer: the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But the passions of an all-powerful man come with a heavy price, and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Sexual assault
  • Self harm
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An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Death from anaphylaxis recounted
  • Death of a parent discussed
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Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice. Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Slavery
  • Murder
  • Explosion
  • Gun violence
  • Sword violence
  • Lynching
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Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her. The deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland, and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Sexual assault of a minor
  • Murder
  • Knife & sword violence
  • Poisoning
  • Shipwreck
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Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person — no mean feat for a black woman in the ’30s. Janie’s quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Slavery mentioned
  • Rape mentioned
  • Domestic abuse & violence
  • Rabies
  • Death of a husband
  • Gun violence
  • Hurricane
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