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Overally Specific Book Recommendations!

Forums Fiction Research and Worldbuilding Overally Specific Book Recommendations!

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  • #153165
    solanelle
    @calidris

    So, Spire has undergone a MAJOR renovation over the past few days, and while the story and themes are very similar, some pretty major aspects of the setting have changed (it’s no longer set in a city called Spire, so I’m just going to have to save that title for another WIP…)  The plot has really developed through these changes, and I honestly believe it was all God’s work!

    So right now, the story is set in a rather dreary little town in a setting based off of the PNW forests and mountains!  More specifically, at a large estate owned by the rather eccentric and lonely Lady Thorne, and right in the begining of a Great Depression inspired economic crisis.

    Like many in their social circle, Kit’s family lost a ton of money in the economic crash, and so he and his brother Jasper have left their family to work for Lady Thorne as a butler/cook respectively.  A huge part of this arc involves the emotional side of this social “downgrade”/upheaval triggered by the Depression, as well as the changes in dynamics with the other people they once knew.  It’s interesting though, I actually don’t think Kit and Jasper feel much shame because of this – Jasper always wanted to be a chef, and Kit’s become rather immune to shame after being ostracized (also I know Kit probably just wanted to live in a lavish, fancy house and eat gourmet food for free.  Even though he’s technically a servant, I’m pretty sure he sees himself as the pampered one in this outcome XD)

    Like Kit, Val has been stripped of her agency as well – she was quietly shipped off to Lady Thorne’s place after an extreme social faux pas with a socially powerful suitor convinced her family that her “mental fragility” was a risk for their image (this was none other than Alastor btw, who orchestrated Kit’s social expulsion as well…)  In many ways, this is a sort of sanatorium for her, but she knows that she’s essentially been imprisoned by well meaning wardens.  Val’s actually incredibly intelligent and perceptive, but a lot of well intended people are absolutely convinced of her “fragility” (in reality, undiagnosed autism) and won’t listen to her.  So, she’s become very miserable and bitter as a result 🙁

    So here we have Kit and Val, who’ve both been stripped of their agency to varying degrees.  Long story short, they’re going to be forced to work together to find Lady Thorne’s grandson, Sebastian, after he goes missing, and of course also end up uncovering some much deeper problems along the way 🙂

    So that all being said, I’ve been advised that I should start consuming media with similar settings/themes/etc. to get inspiration for the story!  The only issue is…it’s pretty hard to find good, clean fiction these days 🙁 I don’t need these recommendations to be squeaky clean, but I would prefer not to read secular fiction with sexual themes (if the author is Christian and it’s handled from a tasteful and Biblical perspective I’m ok with that!)

    1. I need some media about domestic service – this could be anything from history books to period dramas, but it’s an incredibly important aspect of the story and I really want to get a good feel for what Kit and Jasper’s daily life would look like, and how it could impact the story.  I’m particularly interested in some of the house politics and family dynamics involving well respected/senior staff!

    2. I’d love some recommendations for mysteries!  There’s three aspects I’m especially interested in right now: historical mysteries (I’m going to say Victorian Era through WW2), upper class/”fancy rich people” mysteries, and small town mysteries 🙂

    3. Media involving Prohibition/The Great Depression (specifically the Depression’s impact on the upper class people and rural areas).

    4. Books set in the wilder areas of the PNW

    5. Books revolving around sickness/mental illness/disability (especially historically or in the upper class.)  I’m hesitant to write this because this subject is…quite depressing.  I know it was rather common back in the day to hide away people with intellectual disabilities, or send off healthy family members to institutions just for political reasons.  This is incredibly depressing, and idk if I’d actually read a book about it, but I am curious to know if anyone has read about this!  I’m mainly interested in this for Val’s storyline 🙂

    I know this was extremely specific (and tbh I don’t actually expect much to come out of this thread for that reason XD) but if anyone has some recommendations they think could help, I’d love to hear about them!  Thanks guys!

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by solanelle.

    *laughs as one fey*

    #157789
    Abrielle
    @abrielle

    Hi!

    One book that came to mind reading your list was By the Great Horn Spoon. It’s about a boy who goes to California during the Gold Rush with his butler because his family lost a lot of money in the Great Depression. Even if it isn’t quite what you’re looking for, it’s a lot of fun and it isn’t very long.

    The Flavia DeLuce series is small town mysteries, though they are set in England, not the US.

    Can’t think of anything else right now, but if I do, I’ll let you know!

    Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will be anxious about itself.

    #157805
    Lady of the Green Turtle
    @lady-of-the-green-turtle

    I thought of a few books as I was reading this. A book somewhat related to the Great Depression: A Girl from Yamhill, by Beverly Cleary, but it was only a small part of her story. All He Knew is a free verse book about a deaf boy sent to an institution around WWII. I really liked that one. 😁

    No! I’ll never go!

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