This week's flashback recommendations has books that start all the way back in the dark ages of 2003. One in particular "should" still be in print, but there is always the chance you'll need to find a used copy if interested.
First up is Hallam's War by Elisabeth Payne Rosen. A fine story based during the Civil War - yet the war is not the center of the story nor the war alluded to in the title of the book. Hallam is a man who is kind and gentle to his slaves and therefore ridiculed by many neighbors, who look to take advantage of him due to his kind ways. The war Hallam fights is with himself and it is this question - Is he a good man for taking such good care of his slaves, or is he a bad man for owning them in the first place?
Next up is The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy. Set in Nazi occupied Poland, this is the story of a small town overrun by Nazi soldiers who are determined to get rid of the nasty population. Hansel and Gretel are sent to live in the forest alone to survive as their Jewish parents attempt to flee and are caught. Finally they come upon Magda, an old woman called witch by the town. Magda, the children and the rest of the town struggle to hide and survive in a time where death is always at your door. This is not a happy book, but it is a very good one.
Now we come to Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron. This is a powerful story of a boy in Rwanda who has the unexpected opportunity to run in the Olympics, and perhaps run away from his war-torn country. This is a very intense and involving novel where you are on the edge of your seat and hoping only for safety for the characters in the novel. I loved this book.
Finally I have Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. Set in rural Mississippi in the 1970s, it's the turned about tale of a black sheriff and a white suspected murderer/run down mechanic, who just happen to have been friends since they were boys. The white boy has never been able to overcome the town's suspicions about the missing girl, and the sheriff not only has a duty to protect the town - hard enough with most suspicious of his color - but also he doesn't necessarily know whether to believe his old friend or not. A good story putting the suspicion on the other foot for once.
Idgie says to check these books out!