When I’m in the mood to disappear into a book – historical fiction is a great go-to genre. These stories make me want to delve deeper into history, plus they make me want to go places and experience different cultures. The thing about good historical fiction stories is that they not only stir up a range of emotions but they connect you to the past.
Mostly, I like historical fiction that is intense and layered. Even if it’s a difficult topic, I want details, so I feel inspired and motivated when I come to the last page. I like to imagine myself in similar circumstances and wonder how I would fare. I also want stand-out characters with real flaws because they are easier to relate to. Now, if you’re a connoisseur of this genre, you already know there are lighter versions of historical fiction too. These still immerse you in another time, but they are not as complex, and the topics are softer. Still very entertaining.
Curious? Keep scrolling and uncover some great books.
Some of the best lessons we ever learn we learn from our mistakes and failures. — The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future. – Tryon Edwards
My Thoughts: This is Lisa Scottoline’s first historical fiction book and it’s fabulous. It’s an epic tale about three childhood friends with solid bonds and how they fared during WWII. The themes in this book are pretty similar to political and social events in the news today.
My Thoughts: This story will keep you engaged from cover to cover and immerse you in the early 1900s. It tells how one young black woman hides her identity and becomes a respected authority on fine art and rare books. She makes some huge sacrifices and lives in constant fear of being discovered- a compelling read.
My Thoughts: This book gives us an in-depth look at what it means to be a refugee. The story follows one couple fleeing war-torn Syria, leaving everything they know behind to start over in a safer country. They resist going at first but know they can’t stay, so they risk their lives and suffer unspeakable losses for freedom.
My Thoughts: This story tells of the unconventional life of a young girl, stolen from her wealthy parents when she was two years old. She lives in the forest and learns how to survive solely on her own. Many years later, she uses these skills to help Jewish people, hiding in the woods and being hunted by Nazis.
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My Thoughts: Based on a true story, this book tells of the Socialite Nancy Wake, who uses her social standing to spy and smuggle documents and people across borders to safety during WWII. She joins the Special Operations Executive, parachutes into a French province, and leads a team responsible for collecting and allocating supplies and money among the forces. She is one brave, inspiring woman.
If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton
Below are some of my all-time favorite historical fiction books.
My Thoughts: This is a powerful story narrated by death that will haunt you for a long time. It’s a book that parents can read with their teens. Everyone will learn something from this gripping story. It makes you think about nature’s heroes and the brutality of the Nazis.
My Thoughts: This is an excellent story that brings to life what it was like to live in the 16th century English court. It combines sex, love, ambition, and complicated characters into a page-turning fictionalized account of the little know Mary Boylan and her sister Ann. As anyone knows, King Henry was temperamental, willful, and always got his way at any cost.
My Thoughts: It is an epic story that spans decades, as it follows a young girl dealing with the devasting social, mental, and health effects of leprosy. It’s hard to read at times, but there is much to learn from this gritty story of survival. The human spirit shines bright in this remarkable book.