Who doesn’t like good historical fiction? Historical fiction takes events from our past and weaves them into real and memorable stories about people we care about so we learn and, more importantly, remember. Good historical fiction is engaging and thought-provoking transporting us to another time and place and inspiring us to be a better version of ourselves. It’s also informative, and as the story immerses us in another era, it stirs our emotions.
Keep scrolling and discover some new historical fiction to add to your bookshelf.
The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. – Oscar Wilde
Goodnight From Paris by Jane Healey
My Thoughts: This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I really enjoyed it. The story is about Drue Leyton, an American Hollywood star, and it’s filled with the challenges she faced as she helped the Resistance in Occupied France during WWII. She constantly pushes boundaries, thinks nothing of risking her life, and makes many personal sacrifices to help defeat the Nazis.
The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson
My Thoughts: Since this is a sequel to “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek,” which I loved, it was a must-read. I loved this one just as much as the first. The story follows Honey and takes place in rural Kentucky in the mid-1950s. When her parents are sent to jail, Honey has to fight small-town prejudices and, as a minor, fight to stay out of The Kentucky House of Reform – a prison for orphans. This is a well-researched story that is engaging and informative.
The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre by Natasha Lester
My Thoughts: Alix, the main character, is ahead of her time – a few simple fashion changes, and she could pass for a current-day woman. I liked that she is complex, independent, and never backs down from a challenge. This story is multi-layered, filled with great historical detail, and an introduction to the early fashion house of Christian Dior. A fun, engaging read.
The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck
My Thoughts: You will not want to put this book down. The story is immersive and engaging, pulling you in on page one. You’ll keep turning pages to discover what happens to the young Jewish children trying to escape Nazi-occupied France. This is perfect historical fiction and a perfect book club book.
Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris
My Thoughts: This is definitely a book that will keep you turning the pages, and it will also get your emotions going. The story is set in the South during the Jim Crow era and not only gives you a glimpse into events that took place then but also gives new life to a few current events. Nicely paced and a good book club selection.
Well Behaved Wives by Amy Sue Nathan
My Thoughts: This book will take you back to the 60s. Amy Sue Nathan perfectly captures what it was like to live in the early days of feminism. A time when a woman’s purpose was limited to family, husband, and the home. It’s a very satisfying read and also informative for anyone who did not grow up in this era. Loved it.
Mother Daughter Traitor Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal
My Thoughts: This is an intriguing, well-written story based on actual events about a mother-daughter team who become spies. I loved that they took action, putting themselves in danger because the authorities ignored their concerns about a local Nazi community. And I have to wonder how many people would do the same – go undercover and spy on a Nazi group. I am always amazed when ordinary people do heroic things!
Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck
My Thoughts: Wow, what an engaging story that follows two courageous women who were determined to contribute to fighting the Nazis during WWII. One woman joins the French Resistance, and the other becomes a British SOE agent. They both faced enormous challenges and were captured and sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp.
I Must Betray You by Rupta Sepetys
My Thoughts: This is one of those books that will haunt you and stay with you for a long time. The story follows a teenager as he navigates his daily life under the rule of a brutal, corrupt communist dictator. It’s a YA book (rated 14+) and an excellent selection to read with your teen. But, adults will enjoy as well.
I would also like to share one of my old-time favorites. If you are a die-hard historical fiction fan, and missed this one, you will love it.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
My Thoughts: A haunting story and one of the most atmospheric that I’ve read. It’s inspired by actual events that took place in Iceland in 1828. A young woman, convicted of murder is sent to live with a Christian family forced to take her in because of a lack of prisons. It’s hard to put into words the beauty of this book, the emotions that surface while reading it, and the level of despair you feel along with Agnes as she awaits her fate.
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