The best 100 Historical Fiction books

Travel back in time with this captivating collection of historical fiction. Immerse yourself in gripping narratives that bring history to life, from ancient civilizations to World Wars.
Follow the footsteps of legendary characters and witness pivotal moments in human history. Whether you're a history buff or simply love a good story, these books will transport you to different eras and ignite your imagination.

The best 100 Historical Fiction books
How do we create content on this page?
1
Historical Fiction Books: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper

Mark Twain
4.6 (173 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Prince and the Pauper about?

The Prince and the Pauper (1881) is a classic tale that explores the societal framework of the sixteenth-century English society. The story unravels the unexpected journey of two identical boys – Prince Edward, the royal heir, and Tom Canty, a destitute pauper, as they swap their lives. In exploring each other's worlds, they gain insightful lessons about society, identity, and human kindness, with the story offering a profound commentary on class disparities and social norms.

Who should read The Prince and the Pauper?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Fans of classic literature
  • Personal development seekers

2
Historical Fiction Books: The Song of Roland by Anonymous

The Song of Roland

Anonymous
4.9 (10 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Song of Roland about?

The Song of Roland (ca. the eleventh century) is an anonymous epic poem that tells the heroic deeds of Frankish king Charlemagne’s knights in their battle against Muslim Saracens in Spain. One of them, military leader Roland, bravely leads his men against the enemy – risking death to defend chivalry, honor, and the Christian religion. 

Who should read The Song of Roland?

  • Fans of epic poetry and ancient literature
  • History buffs interested in medieval Europe and early French culture
  • Military history enthusiasts wanting to read early accounts of battles

3
Historical Fiction Books: Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Bleak House

Charles Dickens
3.5 (4 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bleak House about?

Bleak House (1853) is a stinging critique of the delays and complexities within the British legal system, wrapped in a richly woven tapestry of colorful characters, unforgettable drama, and Dickens’ characteristic wit.

Who should read Bleak House?

  • Fans of classic English literature
  • Law students
  • History buffs

4
Historical Fiction Books: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen
3.7 (12 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Sense and Sensibility about?

Sense and Sensibility (1811) explores the divergent paths of two sisters as they navigate through society’s challenges, drawn by differing temperaments of sound logic and emotional sensitivity.

Who should read Sense and Sensibility?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students studying societal norms
  • Lovers of strong female characters

5
Historical Fiction Books: A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

A Passage to India

E. M. Forster
3.8 (85 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Passage to India about?

A Passage to India explores the complex dynamics between the British colonialists and the Indian citizens in the setting of Chandrapore, a fictional city in British India. It delves into themes of friendship, culture clash, and the quest for understanding across cultural divides.

Who should read A Passage to India?

  • History enthusiasts  
  • Fans of British literature  
  • Cultural studies scholars

6
Historical Fiction Books: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess

Frances Hodgson Burnett
4.0 (12 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Little Princess about?

A Little Princess (1905) is a heartwarming tale capturing the transformative journey of young Sara Crewe, as she navigates adversity with resilience, maintaining her dignity and generosity in the harshest of circumstances.

Who should read A Little Princess?

  • Fans of classic children’s literature
  • Readers looking for inspiring heroes
  • People needing a reminder of the power of resilience

7
Historical Fiction Books: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens
4.4 (119 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Tale of Two Cities about?

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel set against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the French Revolution and London in the late eighteenth century. The story revolves around the lives of Charles Darnay, a French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a dissolute English lawyer, who share a striking physical resemblance. As the novel unfolds, it explores themes of sacrifice, resurrection, and the stark contrast between the two cities of Paris and London, ultimately culminating in a powerful and emotionally charged climax.

Who should read A Tale of Two Cities?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Literature lovers
  • Students of social justice

8
Historical Fiction Books: The Last of the Mohicans  by James Fenimore Cooper

The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper
4.3 (14 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Last of the Mohicans about?

The Last of the Mohicans (1826) chronicles the thrilling journey of two daughters of a British Colonel, lost in Native American territory during the French and Indian War. It explores themes of racial and cultural conflict, intertwined with poignant romance.

Who should read The Last of the Mohicans ?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Readers keen on adventure tales
  • Individuals interested in Native American history

9
Historical Fiction Books: Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda

George Eliot
2.7 (6 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Daniel Deronda about?

Moving between love and duty, Daniel Deronda (1876) explores the life of its eponymous protagonist, torn between his loyalty to his past and an unfamiliar Jewish heritage. It navigates through societal expectations, morality, self-realization, and the idea of destiny in Victorian England.

Who should read Daniel Deronda?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students of Victorian England
  • History and society enthusiasts

10
Historical Fiction Books: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe
4.0 (113 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Moll Flanders about?

Moll Flanders is an exploration of a woman's relentless quest for survival and prosperity in 17th-century England, weaving through her numerous marriages and criminal endeavors.

Who should read Moll Flanders?

  • Classic novel aficionados  
  • Social history enthusiasts  
  • Students of feminist literature

11
Historical Fiction Books: Silas Marner by George Eliot

Silas Marner

George Eliot
4.3 (10 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Silas Marner about?

Silas Marner (1861) is the story of a lonely outcast weaver, and the child who unexpectedly arrives in his solitary life, bringing him slowly back into the society that he has rejected and that has rejected him.

Who should read Silas Marner?

  • Lovers of classic literature
  • History buffs with an interest in English village life
  • Anyone drawn to stories of misfits, loners, and outcasts

12
Historical Fiction Books: The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoevsky
4.1 (27 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Idiot about?

The Idiot (1869) follows the naïvely optimistic prince Myshkin as he moves through Russia’s confusing and cynical society, offering a profound discussion on the struggle between idealism and worldly disillusionment.

Who should read The Idiot?

  • Connoisseurs of Russian literature
  • Readers interested in philosophy
  • Enthusiasts of character-driven narratives

13
Historical Fiction Books: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

John Boyne
4.8 (6 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas about?

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2006) is a best-selling historical novel. It’s the tale of the secret friendship between two nine-year-old boys, Bruno and Shmuel, who both live at Auschwitz, only on opposite sides of the fence.

Who should read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?

  • Young people
  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Anyone who enjoys moving stories about friendship

14
Historical Fiction Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
4.1 (106 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

15
Historical Fiction Books: The Confessions of Nat Turner by Kenneth S. Greenberg

The Confessions of Nat Turner

Kenneth S. Greenberg
and Related Documents

What's The Confessions of Nat Turner about?

The Confessions of Nat Turner is a historical account of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Virginia. Based on Turner's own confessions, the book delves into the complex motivations and circumstances that led to the uprising, as well as its brutal aftermath. It offers a thought-provoking exploration of race, power, and resistance in American history.

Who should read The Confessions of Nat Turner?

  • Readers who are interested in American slavery and its historical context
  • History enthusiasts who enjoy reading biographies and memoirs
  • Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of racial issues and social justice

16
Historical Fiction Books: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help

Kathryn Stockett

What's The Help about?

Set in 1960s Mississippi, "The Help" tells the story of African American maids working for white families and the complex relationships they form. Through the perspectives of three women, the novel explores themes of racism, friendship, and the power of speaking out against injustice. It is a compelling and thought-provoking read that sheds light on the realities of the civil rights era.

Who should read The Help?

  • Readers interested in stories that challenge racial and social norms
  • Those who enjoy historical fiction set in the civil rights era of the United States
  • People who appreciate narratives that explore the complexities of human relationships and personal growth

17
Historical Fiction Books: The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

The Last Story of Mina Lee

Nancy Jooyoun Kim

What's The Last Story of Mina Lee about?

The Last Story of Mina Lee is a gripping novel that unravels the mystery behind a mother's sudden death and her daughter's quest to uncover the truth. Set against the backdrop of Korean immigrant culture in America, the book delves into themes of family, identity, and the secrets we keep from those closest to us. With beautifully crafted prose and a compelling narrative, Nancy Jooyoun Kim's debut novel is a poignant exploration of the bonds that tie us together and the untold stories that shape our lives.

Who should read The Last Story of Mina Lee?

  • Fans of contemporary fiction with themes of family, identity, and immigration
  • Readers who enjoy stories that explore the complexities of mother-daughter relationships
  • Individuals interested in diverse voices and stories from underrepresented communities

18
Historical Fiction Books: The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

The Upstairs Room

Johanna Reiss

What's The Upstairs Room about?

The Upstairs Room is a memoir by Johanna Reiss that recounts her experiences as a Jewish girl in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Told from a child's perspective, the book offers a unique and poignant account of the hardships and fears faced by those living in secrecy during World War II. It is a powerful and moving story of resilience and survival.

Who should read The Upstairs Room?

  • Readers interested in historical fiction
  • People who enjoy stories of resilience and survival
  • Individuals looking for insight into the experiences of Jews during World War II

19
Historical Fiction Books: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The War That Saved My Life

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

What's The War That Saved My Life about?

This novel tells the story of a young girl named Ada who escapes her abusive mother and finds refuge in the English countryside during World War II. Through her journey, Ada learns about love, family, and the power of resilience. It is a heartwarming tale of survival and self-discovery.

Who should read The War That Saved My Life?

  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming stories of resilience and overcoming adversity
  • Individuals interested in historical fiction set during World War II
  • Parents, educators, and mentors who want to introduce young readers to themes of love, family, and self-discovery

20
Historical Fiction Books: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

Christy Lefteri

What's The Beekeeper of Aleppo about?

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a powerful and moving novel that tells the story of a Syrian refugee couple, Nuri and Afra, as they flee their war-torn country in search of safety and a better life. The book explores themes of loss, resilience, and the enduring power of love, as Nuri and Afra navigate the challenges of their journey and the haunting memories of their past. It offers a poignant and timely portrayal of the refugee experience.

Who should read The Beekeeper of Aleppo?

  • Readers interested in stories of resilience and hope amidst hardship
  • Those wanting to gain empathy and understanding of the refugee experience
  • People looking for thought-provoking literature that explores human connection and the power of community

21
Historical Fiction Books: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House on the Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder

What's Little House on the Prairie about?

The book is a memoir of Laura Ingalls Wilder's childhood as she and her family journey across the American Midwest in the late 1800s. It depicts their struggles and triumphs as they build a new life on the prairie, highlighting the importance of family, resilience, and the pioneer spirit. It is a heartwarming and nostalgic tale that has captivated readers for generations.

Who should read Little House on the Prairie?

  • Readers interested in historical fiction
  • People who enjoy stories about frontier life and pioneer experiences
  • Parents looking for engaging books to read with their children

22
Historical Fiction Books: Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

Winter's Tale

Mark Helprin

What's Winter's Tale about?

Set in a magical and fantastical version of New York City, "Winter's Tale" tells the story of a thief, a wealthy heiress, and a white horse who embark on a journey through time and space. Filled with beautiful prose and enchanting imagery, the novel explores themes of love, destiny, and the power of miracles. It is a captivating and lyrical tale that will transport readers to a world unlike any other.

Who should read Winter's Tale?

  • Fans of rich, descriptive prose and intricate storytelling
  • Lovers of magical realism and fantastical elements in literature
  • Readers seeking a timeless tale that combines romance, adventure, and a touch of mystery

23
Historical Fiction Books: The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński

The Painted Bird

Jerzy Kosiński

What's The Painted Bird about?

The Painted Bird is a haunting and powerful novel that follows a young boy's journey through war-torn Eastern Europe during World War II. As he struggles to survive and find his way home, he encounters cruelty, violence, and betrayal. This gripping and thought-provoking book explores themes of identity, resilience, and the impact of war on the human spirit.

Who should read The Painted Bird?

  • Readers who are interested in historical fiction set during World War II
  • People who appreciate dark and gritty storytelling
  • Those who want to explore themes of survival, resilience, and the human condition

24
Historical Fiction Books: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf

Ryan Graudin

What's Wolf by Wolf about?

Wolf by Wolf is a gripping alternate history novel set in a world where the Axis powers won World War II. The story follows a young Jewish girl named Yael, who has the ability to shapeshift. She enters a motorcycle race across continents in a daring plan to assassinate Hitler. Filled with action, suspense, and a touch of romance, this book explores themes of identity, resistance, and the power of the human spirit. It's a thrilling and thought-provoking read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Who should read Wolf by Wolf?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction mixed with fantasy elements
  • Those curious about alternate history and the consequences of World War II
  • People looking for a gripping and intense story with strong character development

25
Historical Fiction Books: Waterlily by Ella Cara Deloria

Waterlily

Ella Cara Deloria

What's Waterlily about?

Waterlily is a novel that offers a glimpse into the life of a young Dakota woman named Waterlily, set in the 19th century. Written by Ella Cara Deloria, the book explores the traditions, customs, and challenges faced by the Dakota people, while also delving into themes of family, love, and cultural identity. It provides a unique perspective on Native American history and offers a captivating portrayal of a bygone era.

Who should read Waterlily?

  • Readers interested in Native American culture and history
  • Those who enjoy coming-of-age stories
  • Individuals looking for diverse and authentic perspectives in literature

26
Historical Fiction Books: The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names

Kristin Harmel

What's The Book of Lost Names about?

The Book of Lost Names is a historical fiction novel that takes place during World War II. It follows a young woman named Eva who works in a secret resistance network, forging documents to help Jewish children escape the Nazis. As she navigates the dangers of war, Eva discovers the power of art and the importance of preserving history through the lost names of those who perished. It is a captivating story of bravery, love, and the enduring legacy of the written word.

Who should read The Book of Lost Names?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction and stories set during World War II
  • People who are interested in stories about resilience, courage, and the power of friendship
  • Those who appreciate books that explore the themes of identity, belonging, and the search for meaning

27
Historical Fiction Books: The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

The Razor's Edge

W. Somerset Maugham

What's The Razor's Edge about?

The Razor's Edge is a novel that follows the journey of Larry Darrell, a young American who sets out on a quest for meaning and enlightenment after World War I. Through his travels and encounters with various characters, the book explores themes of spirituality, self-discovery, and the search for ultimate truth. It delves into the complexities of human existence and the different paths one can take in pursuit of a fulfilling life.

Who should read The Razor's Edge?

  • Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of life's purpose and meaning
  • People who are interested in exploring different paths to personal fulfillment and happiness
  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and introspective novels

28
Historical Fiction Books: The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham

The Moon and Sixpence

W. Somerset Maugham

What's The Moon and Sixpence about?

The Moon and Sixpence is a novel that tells the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbroker who abandons his family and comfortable life in London to pursue his passion for painting in Paris. Inspired by the life of artist Paul Gauguin, the book explores themes of artistic obsession, societal expectations, and the pursuit of one's true calling. It delves into the complexities of human nature and the sacrifices one is willing to make in the name of art.

Who should read The Moon and Sixpence?

  • Readers curious about the pursuit of art and the sacrifices made in its pursuit
  • Individuals interested in exploring the complexities of human nature and the choices we make
  • Those who enjoy thought-provoking and introspective literature that challenges societal norms

29
Historical Fiction Books: The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

The Yellow Birds

Kevin Powers

What's The Yellow Birds about?

The Yellow Birds is a powerful novel that follows the experiences of a young soldier during the Iraq War. Through beautiful prose and haunting imagery, the book explores the brutal realities of war and its lasting impact on those who serve. It delves into themes of friendship, loss, and the search for meaning in the face of unimaginable hardship. A deeply moving and thought-provoking read.

Who should read The Yellow Birds?

  • People who are interested in the human experience of war
  • Readers looking for a powerful and introspective exploration of trauma and its effects
  • Those who appreciate beautifully written prose and poetic storytelling

30
Historical Fiction Books: The Lover by Marguerite Duras

The Lover

Marguerite Duras

What's The Lover about?

The Lover is a semi-autobiographical novel that tells the story of a young French girl's affair with a wealthy Chinese man in 1920s colonial Vietnam. It explores themes of love, desire, and power dynamics, and is known for its lyrical prose and evocative portrayal of a forbidden romance.

Who should read The Lover?

  • Readers who enjoy emotionally intense and lyrical literature
  • Individuals interested in exploring complex relationships and the impact of colonialism on personal identity
  • Those who appreciate autobiographical novels with a distinct narrative voice

31
Historical Fiction Books: These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

These Is My Words

Nancy E. Turner
The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, Arizona Territories (Sarah Agnes Prine, #1)

What's These Is My Words about?

This gripping novel is a fictionalized account of the author's great-grandmother's life as a pioneer in the Arizona Territory. Through the diary entries of Sarah Prine, we witness her resilience, love, and determination as she navigates the challenges of the untamed frontier in the late 1800s. It's a captivating story of survival and the power of the human spirit.

Who should read These Is My Words?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction with strong female protagonists
  • Individuals interested in books that explore themes of love, survival, and resilience
  • Those who appreciate authentic and engaging storytelling

32
Historical Fiction Books: White Fang by Jack London

White Fang

Jack London

What's White Fang about?

White Fang is a classic novel that tells the story of a wild wolf-dog's journey from the harsh wilderness to domestication. Set in the Yukon Territory during the Klondike Gold Rush, the book explores themes of survival, loyalty, and the innate wildness within all creatures. It is a gripping tale that delves into the complexities of the animal kingdom and the human-animal bond.

Who should read White Fang?

  • Readers who enjoy adventure stories set in the wild
  • Animal lovers curious about the natural world
  • Individuals fascinated by the exploration of instinct and survival

33
Historical Fiction Books: Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

Fallen Angels

Walter Dean Myers

What's Fallen Angels about?

Set during the Vietnam War, "Fallen Angels" follows the story of a young soldier named Richie Perry as he navigates the harsh realities of war. The novel explores themes of friendship, loss, and the moral complexities of combat, offering a raw and honest portrayal of the experiences of soldiers in war. Myers' powerful storytelling sheds light on the emotional and psychological impact of war on young men.

Who should read Fallen Angels?

  • Readers interested in realistic depictions of the Vietnam War
  • Young adults who enjoy character-driven coming-of-age stories
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the emotional toll of war

34
Historical Fiction Books: Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien

What's Going After Cacciato about?

"Going After Cacciato" is a novel by Tim O'Brien that tells the story of a young soldier named Paul Berlin who decides to desert the Vietnam War and go in search of his fellow soldier, Cacciato. As he embarks on this surreal and dangerous journey, the novel explores themes of war, escape, and the power of imagination. It challenges the reader to question the reality of war and the lengths one will go to in order to find freedom.

Who should read Going After Cacciato?

  • Readers who enjoy war novels with a touch of surrealism
  • People interested in exploring the psychological impacts of war
  • Anyone seeking a thought-provoking and immersive reading experience

What's In the Time of the Butterflies about?

This novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters, who were involved in the resistance against the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Through their individual perspectives, the book explores themes of courage, sacrifice, and the fight for freedom. It is a powerful and inspiring tale of sisterhood and political activism.

Who should read In the Time of the Butterflies?

  • Readers interested in historical fiction based on real events
  • Those who appreciate stories about strong, resilient women
  • People wanting to learn about the impact of political and social upheaval on individuals

36
Historical Fiction Books: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Chains

Laurie Halse Anderson

What's Chains about?

Chains is a historical novel that follows the story of a young slave girl named Isabel during the American Revolutionary War. Set in New York City in 1776, the book explores themes of freedom, loyalty, and the fight for independence. As Isabel navigates the challenges of being owned by a cruel Loyalist family, she becomes entangled in the dangerous world of espionage and must make difficult choices to secure her own freedom. It is a gripping and thought-provoking tale of resilience and determination.

Who should read Chains?

  • Individuals interested in historical fiction
  • Readers who are interested in learning about the American Revolutionary War
  • Anyone who wants to explore themes of freedom, slavery, and the power of resilience

37
Historical Fiction Books: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi

What's Homegoing about?

"Homegoing" is a powerful novel that traces the lives of two half-sisters and their descendants, spanning over 300 years and multiple generations. Set in Ghana and America, the book explores the legacy of slavery and the impact it has on the lives of the characters. It is a deeply moving and thought-provoking story about family, identity, and the interconnectedness of our past and present.

Who should read Homegoing?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction that explores the lasting impact of slavery and colonialism
  • Those interested in exploring themes of identity, family, and cultural heritage
  • People who appreciate multi-generational narratives that span continents and centuries

38
Historical Fiction Books: Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

Eaters of the Dead

Michael Crichton

What's Eaters of the Dead about?

Eaters of the Dead is a historical fiction novel that blends elements of adventure and horror. Inspired by real historical accounts, the book follows the journey of an Arab traveler who becomes embroiled in the world of the fierce and mysterious Viking warriors. As he joins them on a perilous mission, he uncovers the truth behind their terrifying encounters with a group of monstrous creatures. A gripping tale that delves into the realms of myth and legend, Eaters of the Dead offers a unique and thrilling take on ancient Norse folklore.

Who should read Eaters of the Dead?

  • Fans of historical fiction and adventure
  • Readers who enjoy blending fact and fiction
  • People interested in ancient civilizations and mythology

39
Historical Fiction Books: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Snow Falling on Cedars

David Guterson

What's Snow Falling on Cedars about?

Set on a small island in the Pacific Northwest, this novel tells the story of a Japanese-American man accused of murder in the aftermath of World War II. Through beautiful prose and intricate storytelling, it explores themes of love, loss, and the impact of war on individuals and communities. As snow falls on the cedars, secrets are revealed and the truth is uncovered in this gripping and thought-provoking tale.

Who should read Snow Falling on Cedars?

  • Readers interested in historical fiction
  • Those who enjoy books that explore themes of love, justice, and prejudice
  • People looking for a thought-provoking and beautifully written literary work

40
Historical Fiction Books: Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard

Empire of the Sun

J.G. Ballard

What's Empire of the Sun about?

Empire of the Sun is a semi-autobiographical novel that tells the story of a young boy named Jim, who is separated from his parents during World War II and ends up in a Japanese internment camp in China. It explores the themes of survival, resilience, and the impact of war on a child's innocence. The novel offers a unique perspective on the war and its aftermath, as seen through the eyes of a young protagonist.

Who should read Empire of the Sun?

  • Readers curious about personal perspectives on World War II
  • People interested in coming-of-age stories set in tumultuous times
  • History enthusiasts looking for a unique portrayal of a historical era

41
Historical Fiction Books: Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor

Rain of Gold

Victor Villaseñor

What's Rain of Gold about?

This captivating memoir tells the story of the author's family and their journey from Mexico to the United States during the Mexican Revolution. Filled with love, hardship, and resilience, "Rain of Gold" paints a vivid picture of the immigrant experience and the pursuit of the American dream. It is a powerful and inspiring tale of family, heritage, and the enduring bond between generations.

Who should read Rain of Gold?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction with rich cultural detail
  • Those interested in exploring their Mexican-American heritage and learning about the immigrant experience
  • Individuals who appreciate powerful storytelling and personal narratives

42
Historical Fiction Books: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Let the Great World Spin

Colum McCann
A Novel

What's Let the Great World Spin about?

Set in New York City in the 1970s, "Let the Great World Spin" weaves together the lives of several characters whose paths intersect on the day a tightrope walker performs a daring stunt between the Twin Towers. Through their interconnected stories, the novel explores themes of love, loss, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world. It is a captivating and beautifully written tale that captures the essence of a city and its people.

Who should read Let the Great World Spin?

  • Readers seeking a gripping and thought-provoking novel
  • Those interested in interconnected narratives and complex characters
  • People who enjoy exploring themes of redemption, hope, and the human condition

43
Historical Fiction Books: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love in the Time of Cholera

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What's Love in the Time of Cholera about?

This novel tells the story of a passionate love that spans over 50 years. Set in a Caribbean town, it explores the themes of love, aging, and the passage of time. The characters navigate through various challenges and societal expectations, ultimately finding their way back to each other. With beautiful prose and vivid imagery, Gabriel Garcia Marquez captures the complexities of human emotions and the enduring power of love.

Who should read Love in the Time of Cholera?

  • Fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's writing style and magical realism
  • Readers who enjoy epic love stories with rich character development
  • Those interested in exploring themes of love, time, and the human condition in a unique setting

44
Historical Fiction Books: Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

Sunrise Over Fallujah

Walter Dean Myers

What's Sunrise Over Fallujah about?

Sunrise Over Fallujah is a gripping novel that follows the experiences of a young soldier in the Iraq War. Written by acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers, the book provides a raw and honest portrayal of the realities of war, as well as the bonds formed between soldiers in the midst of chaos. Through vivid storytelling, it offers a thought-provoking exploration of the impact of war on individuals and society.

Who should read Sunrise Over Fallujah?

  • Readers interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the Iraq War and its impact
  • People who enjoy realistic and thought-provoking war literature
  • Those who appreciate a narrative that explores themes of camaraderie and personal growth amidst a war-torn setting

45
Historical Fiction Books: The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

What's The Last Days of Night about?

The Last Days of Night is a historical fiction novel that takes place in the late 19th century and follows the intense rivalry between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in the race to electrify America. The story is told through the eyes of a young lawyer, Paul Cravath, who is tasked with defending Westinghouse in a high-stakes legal battle. Filled with intrigue, courtroom drama, and scientific innovation, the novel offers a captivating glimpse into a pivotal moment in history.

Who should read The Last Days of Night?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction with a touch of suspense
  • People interested in the invention of the light bulb and the ensuing legal battles
  • Anyone curious about the lives of famous inventors and the challenges they faced

46
Historical Fiction Books: The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

The Endless Steppe

Esther Hautzig
Growing Up in Siberia

What's The Endless Steppe about?

The Endless Steppe is a memoir that tells the story of a young girl and her family who are deported to Siberia during World War II. Set against the harsh backdrop of the Siberian wilderness, the book chronicles their struggle for survival and their eventual adaptation to a new way of life. It is a powerful and inspiring tale of resilience and the unbreakable bond of family.

Who should read The Endless Steppe?

  • Readers who enjoy historical memoirs
  • Individuals with an interest in learning about World War II from a personal perspective
  • Anyone seeking a story of resilience and strength in the face of adversity

47

What's A Prayer for Owen Meany about?

A Prayer for Owen Meany is a captivating novel that tells the story of two friends, John Wheelwright and Owen Meany, as they navigate life in a small New England town. Filled with mystery, faith, and friendship, the book explores themes of fate, destiny, and the power of belief. It is a thought-provoking and emotional tale that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

Who should read A Prayer for Owen Meany?

  • Readers interested in thought-provoking and unconventional narratives
  • Individuals seeking a deeper exploration of themes like faith, destiny, and sacrifice
  • Bookworms who appreciate well-crafted characters and intricate storytelling

48
Historical Fiction Books: Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

Prisoner B-3087

Alan Gratz

What's Prisoner B-3087 about?

Prisoner B-3087 is a gripping novel based on the true story of Jack Gruener, a Jewish boy who survives the horrors of the Holocaust. Written by Alan Gratz, the book chronicles Jack's experiences as he is taken from his home in Poland to various concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Despite the unimaginable hardships he faces, Jack's determination and resilience shine through as he fights for survival and ultimately, freedom. This powerful and heartbreaking story serves as a reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust and the strength of the human spirit.

Who should read Prisoner B-3087?

  • Readers interested in historical fiction
  • Individuals curious about World War II and the Holocaust
  • People looking for stories of resilience and survival

49
Historical Fiction Books: Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Milkweed

Jerry Spinelli

What's Milkweed about?

Milkweed is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of a young boy named Misha who grows up in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Misha, who is a street urchin and a thief, becomes entangled in the horrors of the Holocaust. The book explores themes of survival, identity, and the power of hope in the face of adversity. It is a poignant and thought-provoking read that sheds light on a dark chapter in history.

Who should read Milkweed?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during World War II
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of identity, resilience, and the human capacity for kindness
  • Book club members looking for a thought-provoking and engaging read

50
Historical Fiction Books: Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

Stone Butch Blues

Leslie Feinberg

What's Stone Butch Blues about?

Stone Butch Blues is a powerful and groundbreaking novel that tells the story of Jess Goldberg, a young butch lesbian coming of age in the 1960s and 70s. Set against the backdrop of the gay and feminist movements, the book explores themes of identity, gender, and the struggle for acceptance and belonging. It is a raw and honest portrayal of one person's journey to find their place in the world.

Who should read Stone Butch Blues?

  • LGBTQIA+ individuals seeking to explore and understand their own identities and experiences
  • Readers interested in gaining insight into the struggles faced by transgender individuals in society
  • Advocates and allies looking to educate themselves about the challenges and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community

51
Historical Fiction Books: The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Godfather

Mario Puzo

What's The Godfather about?

The Godfather is a classic novel that tells the story of the powerful Italian-American crime family, the Corleones. Filled with themes of loyalty, betrayal, and power, the book delves into the world of organized crime and the complex relationships within the family. It is a gripping tale of family, honor, and the lengths one will go to protect their own.

Who should read The Godfather?

  • Fans of crime fiction and mafia stories
  • Readers interested in exploring themes of power, loyalty, and family dynamics
  • Those who enjoy character-driven narratives and intricate plotlines

52
Historical Fiction Books: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms

Ernest Hemingway

What's A Farewell to Arms about?

Set during World War I, this novel tells the story of an American ambulance driver in the Italian army and his love affair with a British nurse. It explores themes of love, war, and the human experience, and is considered one of Hemingway's greatest works.

Who should read A Farewell to Arms?

  • Readers who enjoy poignant love stories set against the backdrop of war
  • People interested in exploring themes of loss, trauma, and the human condition
  • Fans of Hemingway's spare and powerful writing style

53
Historical Fiction Books: Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict

Lady Clementine

Marie Benedict

What's Lady Clementine about?

Lady Clementine is a historical fiction novel that offers a captivating glimpse into the life of Clementine Churchill, the wife of Winston Churchill. Set against the backdrop of World War I and World War II, the book explores Clementine's unwavering support for her husband and her own contributions to the war effort. It delves into her personal struggles and the pivotal role she played in shaping history. A compelling and inspiring read for anyone interested in the untold stories of remarkable women.

Who should read Lady Clementine?

  • History enthusiasts looking to learn about the remarkable life of Lady Clementine Churchill
  • Readers interested in exploring the influence of influential women in history
  • Fans of historical fiction novels that offer a unique perspective on key events and figures

What's Across a Hundred Mountains about?

This novel tells the story of two women, Juana and Adelina, whose lives become intertwined as they both search for a better future. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican-American border, the book explores themes of immigration, family, and the pursuit of the American dream. It is a poignant and beautifully written tale of resilience and the bonds that connect us across borders.

Who should read Across a Hundred Mountains?

  • Those interested in exploring the complexities of immigration and its impact on individuals and families
  • Readers who appreciate storytelling that intertwines personal narratives with social and political themes
  • Individuals who enjoy discovering new perspectives and gaining empathy for others through literature

55
Historical Fiction Books: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty

Anna Sewell
The Autobiography of a Horse

What's Black Beauty about?

Black Beauty is a classic novel that tells the story of a beautiful black horse and his life experiences. Through the eyes of the horse, the book explores themes of animal welfare, kindness, and the treatment of animals by humans. It is a poignant and thought-provoking tale that has touched the hearts of readers for generations.

Who should read Black Beauty?

  • Animal lovers who want to gain insight into the experiences and feelings of horses
  • Readers interested in exploring themes of animal welfare and ethical treatment
  • Those who enjoy classic literature and want to experience a heartwarming and emotional story

56
Historical Fiction Books: Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

Devil in a Blue Dress

Walter Mosley

What's Devil in a Blue Dress about?

Set in 1948 Los Angeles, "Devil in a Blue Dress" follows Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, a World War II veteran turned private investigator, as he is hired to find a missing woman. As he delves deeper into the case, Easy uncovers a web of corruption and deceit that leads him into the dangerous world of politics and racial tensions. This gripping mystery novel explores themes of race, power, and the struggle for justice.

Who should read Devil in a Blue Dress?

  • Fans of crime fiction looking for an intriguing and suspenseful read
  • Readers interested in exploring themes of race, identity, and social justice in a historical context
  • Those who appreciate well-developed characters and intricate storytelling

57

What's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich about?

Set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s, this novel follows a day in the life of prisoner Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. Through vivid descriptions and powerful storytelling, Solzhenitsyn exposes the harsh realities of life in the gulag and the resilience of the human spirit. It offers a poignant reflection on the struggle for survival and dignity in the face of oppression.

Who should read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich?

  • Readers interested in understanding the harsh reality of life in Soviet labor camps
  • History enthusiasts wanting to gain insight into the human experience during totalitarian regimes
  • Individuals seeking thought-provoking literature that explores themes of resilience and survival

58
Historical Fiction Books: Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Bless Me, Ultima

Rudolfo Anaya

What's Bless Me, Ultima about?

Set in rural New Mexico during World War II, "Bless Me, Ultima" tells the coming-of-age story of a young boy named Antonio. When Ultima, a curandera (healer) comes to live with his family, she teaches Antonio about the spiritual and natural world, challenging his beliefs and shaping his understanding of good and evil. The novel explores themes of identity, religion, and the clash between tradition and modernity.

Who should read Bless Me, Ultima?

  • Readers interested in coming-of-age stories set in a culturally rich context
  • Individuals fascinated by the exploration of identity, religion, and spirituality
  • Those looking for a thought-provoking and beautifully written work of literature

59
Historical Fiction Books: The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick

The Shawl

Cynthia Ozick

What's The Shawl about?

The Shawl is a haunting and powerful novella that tells the story of a Jewish mother and her two daughters during the Holocaust. Through beautiful prose and vivid imagery, Cynthia Ozick explores themes of survival, loss, and the enduring bond between family members. This gripping tale will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Who should read The Shawl?

  • Readers who appreciate introspective and thought-provoking literature
  • People interested in exploring the impact of trauma and its long-lasting effects on individuals
  • Those looking for a deeply moving and beautifully written story

60
Historical Fiction Books: A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

A Long Petal of the Sea

Isabel Allende

What's A Long Petal of the Sea about?

A Long Petal of the Sea is a captivating novel that follows the lives of two young people, Roser and Victor, as they flee the Spanish Civil War and embark on a journey to Chile. Set against the backdrop of historical events, the book explores themes of love, resilience, and the search for a place to call home. With beautiful prose and rich storytelling, Isabel Allende brings to life a tale of survival and the enduring power of human connection.

Who should read A Long Petal of the Sea?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath
  • Readers looking for a captivating story of love, resilience, and hope
  • Individuals seeking insight into the experiences of immigrants and refugees

61
Historical Fiction Books: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome

Edith Wharton

What's Ethan Frome about?

Set in the fictional town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, "Ethan Frome" tells the tragic story of a man trapped in a loveless marriage and his forbidden love for his wife's cousin. Edith Wharton's novel explores themes of duty, sacrifice, and the consequences of unfulfilled desires. With its haunting and atmospheric prose, "Ethan Frome" is a timeless classic that delves into the complexities of human relationships and the harsh realities of rural life in the late 19th century.

Who should read Ethan Frome?

  • Readers who enjoy classic literature
  • Those interested in exploring themes of love, sacrifice, and tragedy
  • People who appreciate beautifully written and introspective narratives

62
Historical Fiction Books: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Johnny Got His Gun

Dalton Trumbo

What's Johnny Got His Gun about?

The novel tells the story of a young American soldier who becomes severely injured during World War I, losing his limbs and senses. Trapped in his own body, he reflects on his life and the horrors of war. It is a powerful anti-war novel that raises important questions about the value of human life and the consequences of conflict.

Who should read Johnny Got His Gun?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the impact of war on individuals
  • Individuals who enjoy thought-provoking and introspective narratives
  • Those looking to gain a deeper understanding of the human spirit and resilience in the face of adversity

63
Historical Fiction Books: Billy Budd by Herman Melville

Billy Budd

Herman Melville

What's Billy Budd about?

Billy Budd is a classic novel by Herman Melville that tells the story of a young sailor who is falsely accused of mutiny and sentenced to death. Set aboard a British naval ship during the Napoleonic Wars, the novel explores themes of innocence, justice, and the corrupting influence of power. It is a gripping tale that raises thought-provoking questions about morality and the nature of good and evil.

Who should read Billy Budd?

  • Readers interested in exploring themes of morality and justice
  • People who enjoy literary works with complex character development
  • Those looking for a thought-provoking and impactful read

What's Cry, the Beloved Country about?

Set in South Africa during the 1940s, "Cry, the Beloved Country" tells the story of a Zulu pastor who travels to Johannesburg in search of his son. Through the pastor's journey, the novel explores the racial and social injustices of the time, and the impact of these injustices on individuals and communities. It is a powerful and thought-provoking book that delves into themes of love, loss, and the struggle for justice.

Who should read Cry, the Beloved Country?

  • Readers interested in exploring the consequences of social injustice and racial inequality
  • Individuals seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally impactful novel
  • Those who enjoy character-driven stories that delve into the complexities of human nature

65
Historical Fiction Books: Oroonoko by Aphra Behn

Oroonoko

Aphra Behn

What's Oroonoko about?

Oroonoko is a novel written by Aphra Behn that tells the tragic story of an African prince who is captured and sold into slavery in the English colony of Surinam. The book explores themes of race, colonialism, and the struggle for freedom, and is considered one of the earliest English novels to address these issues. It is a powerful and thought-provoking work that challenges the reader to confront the injustices of the time.

Who should read Oroonoko?

  • Readers interested in exploring themes of identity, power, and colonialism
  • Students of literature or history studying 17th-century literature or early colonialism
  • Fans of historical fiction who enjoy immersive and character-driven narratives

66

What's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close about?

This novel tells the story of a young boy named Oskar Schell who embarks on a journey to uncover the secrets of his father's death in the 9/11 attacks. Through a series of letters, photographs, and encounters with strangers, Oskar learns about love, loss, and the power of human connection. The book explores themes of grief, resilience, and the search for meaning in the face of tragedy.

Who should read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

  • People who enjoy unconventional storytelling and unique narrative formats
  • Readers interested in exploring themes of grief, loss, and resilience
  • Individuals curious about the effects of historical events on personal and collective memory

67
Historical Fiction Books: Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Sister Carrie

Theodore Dreiser

What's Sister Carrie about?

Sister Carrie is a novel that follows the journey of a young woman named Carrie Meeber as she leaves her small town to pursue a better life in Chicago. Set in the late 19th century, the book explores themes of ambition, love, and the harsh realities of urban life. It offers a compelling portrayal of a woman's struggle for independence and success in a rapidly changing society.

Who should read Sister Carrie?

  • Readers who are interested in realistic portrayals of urban life and the pursuit of the American Dream
  • People who enjoy character-driven stories with complex and morally ambiguous protagonists
  • Those who appreciate insightful social commentary and themes exploring ambition, class, and gender

68
Historical Fiction Books: Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim

Joseph Conrad

What's Lord Jim about?

Published in 1900, "Lord Jim" is a novel by Joseph Conrad that tells the story of a young British seaman named Jim who faces a moral dilemma and the consequences of his actions. Set in the late 19th century, the novel explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the complexities of human nature. It is a gripping tale of adventure and self-discovery that delves into the depths of the human psyche.

Who should read Lord Jim?

  • Readers who enjoy psychological exploration and moral dilemmas
  • People interested in examining themes of integrity, guilt, and redemption
  • Those who appreciate richly descriptive storytelling and immersive narratives

69
Historical Fiction Books: Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García

Dreaming in Cuban

Cristina García

What's Dreaming in Cuban about?

Dreaming in Cuban is a novel that follows three generations of a Cuban family, exploring their experiences and relationships as they navigate the political and social changes in their country. Through vivid storytelling and magical realism, the book delves into themes of identity, love, and the impact of history on individual lives. It offers a unique perspective on Cuban culture and history, while also delving into the complexities of family dynamics.

Who should read Dreaming in Cuban?

  • Readers interested in exploring themes of cultural identity and family dynamics
  • Individuals who enjoy multi-generational narratives with rich historical background
  • Those who appreciate lyrical prose and vivid descriptions

70
Historical Fiction Books: Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

Before We Were Free

Julia Alvarez

What's Before We Were Free about?

Before We Were Free is a historical novel that takes place in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. The story follows a young girl named Anita as she navigates the political turmoil and personal challenges of living under a repressive regime. Through Anita's perspective, the novel explores themes of freedom, resistance, and the power of hope in the face of adversity. It is a compelling and thought-provoking read that sheds light on a lesser-known period of history.

Who should read Before We Were Free?

  • Readers who are interested in historical fiction set in the Dominican Republic
  • Individuals who want to explore themes of freedom, oppression, and resilience
  • Young adult readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with strong female protagonists

71
Historical Fiction Books: Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory

Le Morte d'Arthur

Thomas Malory

What's Le Morte d'Arthur about?

Le Morte d'Arthur is a classic tale of chivalry and adventure, recounting the legendary exploits of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Written by Sir Thomas Malory in the 15th century, this epic work weaves together various Arthurian legends, including the quest for the Holy Grail and the tragic downfall of Camelot. It is a timeless story of honor, betrayal, and the enduring power of myth.

Who should read Le Morte d'Arthur?

  • Readers who enjoy epic tales of chivalry and adventure
  • Poetry lovers who appreciate rich language and imagery
  • History enthusiasts interested in the Arthurian legends and medieval England

72
Historical Fiction Books: Sophie's Choice by William Styron

Sophie's Choice

William Styron
A Memoir of Madness

What's Sophie's Choice about?

Set in post-World War II Brooklyn, Sophie's Choice tells the story of a young writer who befriends a Polish immigrant named Sophie. As their friendship deepens, Sophie reveals a heartbreaking secret from her past that forces her to make an impossible decision. This powerful novel explores themes of love, guilt, and the devastating impact of war.

Who should read Sophie's Choice?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring themes of love, guilt, and sacrifice in a heartbreaking story
  • Those who appreciate historical fiction set during World War II and its aftermath
  • People who enjoy books with complex characters and thought-provoking moral dilemmas

What's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress about?

Set during China's Cultural Revolution, this novel tells the story of two teenage boys who are sent to a remote mountain village for re-education. There, they discover a hidden stash of forbidden Western literature and embark on a journey of self-discovery and forbidden love with the village seamstress. It is a beautifully written tale of the power of literature and the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress?

  • Readers who are interested in historical novels set in China during the Cultural Revolution
  • Those who enjoy stories about personal growth and self-discovery
  • People who appreciate literary works that explore the power of storytelling and its ability to ignite the imagination

74
Historical Fiction Books: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

All the Pretty Horses

Cormac McCarthy

What's All the Pretty Horses about?

All the Pretty Horses is a novel set in 1949 about a young cowboy named John Grady Cole who leaves his home in Texas to seek adventure in Mexico. Along with his friend Lacey Rawlins, he embarks on a journey filled with danger, love, and self-discovery as they encounter a harsh and unforgiving landscape. McCarthy's beautiful prose and vivid storytelling make this a captivating and unforgettable read.

Who should read All the Pretty Horses?

  • Readers seeking a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the American Southwest
  • Those who enjoy exploring themes of identity, loss, and the search for meaning
  • Anyone who appreciates beautiful and poetic writing that transports them to another time and place

75
Historical Fiction Books: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery

What's Anne of Green Gables about?

Anne of Green Gables is a classic novel that tells the story of an imaginative and spirited orphan named Anne Shirley. Set in the picturesque Prince Edward Island, the book follows Anne as she is adopted by an elderly brother and sister and brings joy and chaos into their lives. Full of heartwarming moments and unforgettable characters, this coming-of-age tale explores themes of friendship, family, and the power of imagination.

Who should read Anne of Green Gables?

  • Individuals who enjoy heartwarming stories about friendship and resilience
  • Readers of all ages who appreciate beautifully descriptive writing and vivid imagery
  • Those who seek to be inspired and uplifted by a tale of determination and optimism

76
Historical Fiction Books: My Antonia by Willa Cather

My Antonia

Willa Cather

What's My Antonia about?

My Antonia is a novel that tells the story of a young immigrant girl named Antonia Shimerda and her journey to America. Set in the vast plains of Nebraska, the book explores themes of friendship, hardship, and the immigrant experience, offering a poignant portrayal of life on the American frontier in the late 19th century. Through beautiful prose and vivid descriptions, Willa Cather captures the essence of the American landscape and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read My Antonia?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the immigrant experience in early 20th century America
  • People who appreciate richly descriptive and atmospheric writing
  • Those who enjoy character-driven stories with a strong sense of place and nostalgia

77
Historical Fiction Books: The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The House of the Seven Gables

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What's The House of the Seven Gables about?

The House of the Seven Gables is a novel that explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the supernatural. Set in a gloomy old mansion in New England, the story follows the Pyncheon family as they grapple with a dark past and a curse that haunts their home. Hawthorne weaves a tale of secrets and hidden desires, ultimately revealing the power of forgiveness and the possibility of a new beginning.

Who should read The House of the Seven Gables?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Readers interested in exploring themes of guilt and redemption
  • Individuals who enjoy historical fiction set in New England

78
Historical Fiction Books: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

What's The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter about?

Set in a small town in the 1930s, this novel follows the lives of several lonely and isolated characters who are searching for connection and understanding. At the center of the story is John Singer, a deaf-mute man who becomes a confidant for those around him. Through their interactions with Singer, the characters reveal their innermost desires and struggles, highlighting the universal need for human connection. The novel delves into themes of loneliness, friendship, and the human condition.

Who should read The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter?

  • Readers who appreciate deeply insightful character studies
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of isolation and loneliness
  • Anyone who enjoys thought-provoking and emotionally impactful literature

79
Historical Fiction Books: A Separate Peace by John Knowles

A Separate Peace

John Knowles

What's A Separate Peace about?

Set during World War II, "A Separate Peace" tells the story of two friends at a boarding school and the jealousy and betrayal that ultimately leads to a tragic event. It explores themes of friendship, rivalry, and the loss of innocence. The novel delves into the complexities of human relationships and the impact of war on young minds.

Who should read A Separate Peace?

  • Readers interested in coming-of-age stories
  • Those who enjoy exploring themes of friendship, jealousy, and betrayal
  • People looking for a thought-provoking and introspective reading experience

80
Historical Fiction Books: All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

All the King's Men

Robert Penn Warren

What's All the King's Men about?

A political novel set in the 1930s, "All the King's Men" follows the rise and fall of Willie Stark, a charismatic and corrupt politician in the American South. Through the eyes of journalist Jack Burden, the book explores themes of power, morality, and the consequences of one man's pursuit of political success. It is a gripping and thought-provoking story that delves into the complexities of human nature and the corrupting influence of power.

Who should read All the King's Men?

  • Readers who are intrigued by political corruption and power dynamics
  • History buffs looking for a fictionalized account of a real-life political figure
  • Those interested in exploring the moral complexities of individuals in positions of leadership

What's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge about?

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is a short story that takes place during the American Civil War. It follows the protagonist, Peyton Farquhar, as he awaits his execution by hanging. Just as the noose tightens around his neck, Farquhar experiences a vivid and surreal escape attempt. The story delves into themes of time, reality, and the human mind, leaving readers questioning the boundaries between life and death.

Who should read An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge?

  • Readers who enjoy suspenseful and thought-provoking stories
  • History enthusiasts fascinated by the American Civil War era
  • Those looking for a deep exploration of the human psyche and the nature of time

82
Historical Fiction Books: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

What's The Light Between Oceans about?

The Light Between Oceans tells the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue a baby adrift in a rowboat and decide to raise her as their own. Set on a remote island off the coast of Australia, the novel explores themes of love, morality, and the consequences of difficult choices. M. L. Stedman's beautiful prose and gripping plot make this a captivating read that will stay with you long after turning the last page.

Who should read The Light Between Oceans?

  • Readers who enjoy emotional and thought-provoking novels
  • Those interested in ethical dilemmas and moral decision-making
  • Individuals who appreciate vivid descriptions of natural landscapes and remote settings

83
Historical Fiction Books: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko

Min Jin Lee

What's Pachinko about?

'Pachinko' is a book written by Min Jin Lee. It tells the story of a Korean family living in Japan, spanning four generations and addressing themes such as identity, love, and resilience. Through vivid storytelling, the novel offers a poignant exploration of the experiences of Koreans in Japan during the 20th century.

Who should read Pachinko?

  • Readers who enjoy multi-generational family sagas
  • Those interested in exploring the historical and cultural complexities of Korea and Japan
  • People who appreciate richly developed characters and their personal journeys

84
Historical Fiction Books: Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Ian McEwan

What's Atonement about?

Atonement by Ian McEwan is a gripping novel that delves into the complexities of guilt, redemption, and the power of storytelling. Set in England during World War II, it follows the lives of three characters whose fates become intertwined after a tragic misunderstanding. With beautiful prose and a thought-provoking narrative, this book challenges our perceptions of truth and the consequences of our actions.

Who should read Atonement?

  • Readers who enjoy intricate, character-driven narratives
  • People interested in exploring themes of guilt, redemption, and the nature of memory
  • Those who appreciate literary fiction with a stunning and thought-provoking prose

What's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan about?

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See is a captivating novel set in 19th century China. It tells the story of two young girls, Lily and Snow Flower, who form a deep bond through a secret language called "nu shu." As they navigate the challenges of womanhood and societal expectations, their friendship is tested in unexpected ways. This beautifully written book explores themes of friendship, love, and the resilience of women.

Who should read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set in 19th century China
  • Those interested in exploring the complexities of female friendship and societal expectations
  • Individuals who appreciate rich, descriptive storytelling that immerses them in a different cultural world

86
Historical Fiction Books: Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Winter of the World

Ken Follett

What's Winter of the World about?

Winter of the World is the second book in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy. Set during the tumultuous years of World War II, it follows the lives of five interconnected families from different countries. Through their personal struggles and triumphs, the novel provides a sweeping and immersive portrayal of the global conflict and its profound impact on the world.

Who should read Winter of the World?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during World War II
  • Individuals interested in exploring complex and interconnected character narratives
  • Those who appreciate detailed and well-researched depictions of historical events

What's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet about?

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is a poignant novel that delves into the complexities of love, friendship, and family during a tumultuous time in history. Set in Seattle during World War II, the story follows the unlikely bond between a Chinese-American boy and a Japanese-American girl, as they navigate the racial tensions and internment of Japanese citizens. Through beautiful prose and heartfelt storytelling, the book explores themes of identity, loyalty, and the enduring power of love.

Who should read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during World War II
  • Individuals interested in exploring the complexities of racial and cultural identity
  • People who appreciate stories that depict the resilience of love and friendship in challenging times

88
Historical Fiction Books: The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory

The Queen's Fool

Philippa Gregory

What's The Queen's Fool about?

The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory is a historical novel set in the 16th century. It follows the story of a young girl named Hannah Green, who possesses the gift of foresight. As she becomes a trusted confidante to Queen Mary I and later Queen Elizabeth I, she navigates the dangerous political and religious landscape of the Tudor court. Filled with intrigue, betrayal, and romance, this book offers a unique perspective on one of the most fascinating periods in English history.

Who should read The Queen's Fool?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set in the Tudor era
  • Those interested in stories featuring strong female protagonists
  • Individuals who appreciate intricate plots with political intrigue and royal court drama

What's The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue about?

'The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue' by Mackenzi Lee is a captivating historical fiction novel that follows the adventurous journey of a young British aristocrat, Monty, and his best friend Percy. Filled with wit, humor, and romance, the book takes readers on a wild ride through 18th-century Europe, addressing themes of love, identity, and the constraints of societal expectations.

Who should read The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue?

  • Individuals seeking a witty and adventurous historical fiction novel
  • Readers who enjoy diverse and inclusive characters and themes
  • Those interested in exploring themes of identity, love, and self-discovery

90
Historical Fiction Books: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

Ruta Sepetys

What's Salt to the Sea about?

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys tells the harrowing tale of four individuals during World War II, as they seek refuge aboard a ship bound for safety. Set against the backdrop of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, this gripping historical fiction brings to light the lesser-known tragedy and showcases the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read Salt to the Sea?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly about lesser-known events
  • Those interested in World War II history from multiple perspectives
  • Individuals who appreciate strong character development and emotionally impactful storytelling

91
Historical Fiction Books: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

The Dovekeepers

Alice Hoffman

What's The Dovekeepers about?

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman is a historical novel set in ancient Israel. It tells the story of four extraordinary women who come together at the fortress of Masada, where they become dovekeepers. As they struggle to survive during a time of war and religious persecution, they form a bond that will change their lives forever. This beautifully written book explores themes of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read The Dovekeepers?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction and stories set in ancient times
  • Those interested in exploring the lives and experiences of women in a male-dominated society
  • Individuals who appreciate beautifully written and emotionally impactful narratives

92
Historical Fiction Books: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone

Kristin Hannah

What's The Great Alone about?

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a gripping story that takes you to the wild and remote landscape of Alaska. It follows the journey of a young girl named Leni and her family as they try to build a new life off the grid. With themes of resilience, survival, and the power of love, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Who should read The Great Alone?

  • Readers who enjoy immersive stories set in remote and rugged landscapes
  • Those who appreciate complex and multifaceted characters
  • People who are interested in explorations of resilience, survival, and the human spirit

93

What's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an iconic coming-of-age novel by Betty Smith. Set in early 20th century Brooklyn, it follows the life of young Francie Nolan as she navigates poverty, family dynamics, and her own dreams for the future. With beautifully crafted characters and a poignant storytelling style, the book explores themes of resilience, hope, and the power of education.

Who should read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

  • Anyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories with strong female protagonists
  • Readers who are interested in exploring the challenges and triumphs of growing up in a working-class neighborhood
  • Individuals who appreciate rich, vivid descriptions of the human experience

94
Historical Fiction Books: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen

What's The Sympathizer about?

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen is a gripping novel that delves into the complexities of identity, loyalty, and betrayal. Set during the Vietnam War, it follows a communist spy who infiltrates the South Vietnamese army and eventually escapes to the United States. Through his unique perspective, the book offers a thought-provoking exploration of political and personal struggles.

Who should read The Sympathizer?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and complex narratives
  • Those interested in exploring the duality of identity and the immigrant experience
  • Individuals who appreciate literary fiction with a focus on historical and political themes

95
Historical Fiction Books: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Fisher

The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Fisher

What's The Poisonwood Bible about?

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is a compelling novel that tells the story of the Price family, who move to the Belgian Congo in 1959 as missionaries. Through the perspectives of the four Price sisters and their mother, the book explores themes of colonialism, cultural clash, and the effects of Western influence on the African continent. It is a thought-provoking and beautifully written tale of family, faith, and the consequences of our actions.

Who should read The Poisonwood Bible?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and character-driven narratives
  • Those interested in exploring themes of colonialism, cultural clash, and redemption
  • People who appreciate rich and immersive storytelling that spans generations and continents

96
Historical Fiction Books: The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

The Night Watchman

Louise Erdrich

What's The Night Watchman about?

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich is a compelling novel that delves into the lives of Native Americans in the 1950s. Based on the author's own family history, it tells the story of Thomas Wazhashk, a night watchman and Chippewa council member who fights against the government's efforts to terminate the tribe's rights. With rich storytelling and vibrant characters, the book explores themes of identity, resilience, and the power of community.

Who should read The Night Watchman?

  • Mature readers who enjoy historical fiction
  • Individuals interested in Native American history and culture
  • Those who appreciate richly developed characters and intricate storytelling

97
Historical Fiction Books: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six

Taylor Jenkins Reid

What's Daisy Jones & The Six about?

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a captivating novel that takes you on a journey through the rise and fall of a fictional 1970s rock band. Told through a series of interviews, it delves into the complexities of relationships, creativity, and the music industry. With its compelling storytelling and richly developed characters, this book is a must-read for music lovers and fiction enthusiasts alike.

Who should read Daisy Jones & The Six?

  • Readers who enjoy immersive and vivid storytelling
  • Music enthusiasts who are fascinated by the behind-the-scenes dynamics of a rock band
  • People who appreciate exploring the complexities of human relationships and personal struggles

98
Historical Fiction Books: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Burial Rites

Hannah Kent

What's Burial Rites about?

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a historical novel based on the true story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland in 1830. The book delves into Agnes's life as she awaits her death sentence on a remote farm, and explores the events that led to the murder she was convicted of. It is a haunting and beautifully written tale that challenges perceptions and offers a unique perspective on a tragic chapter in history.

Who should read Burial Rites?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction and stories set in unique cultural landscapes
  • Those interested in exploring the complexities of human nature and the justice system
  • Individuals who appreciate vividly descriptive and atmospheric storytelling

99

What's The Buddha in the Attic about?

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka is a poignant novel that tells the collective story of Japanese picture brides who immigrated to America in the early 1900s. Through beautiful prose, Otsuka explores their hopes, dreams, and challenges as they navigate a new country and culture. The book offers a powerful meditation on identity, belonging, and the universal human experience.

Who should read The Buddha in the Attic?

  • Readers who enjoy lyrical and poetic writing styles
  • Those interested in historical fiction set in early 20th century America
  • People who want to explore the experiences of Japanese picture brides immigrating to the United States

100
Historical Fiction Books: The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan

The Twentieth Wife

Indu Sundaresan

What's The Twentieth Wife about?

The Twentieth Wife is a historical fiction novel by Indu Sundaresan that tells the captivating story of Mehrunnisa, a powerful woman who becomes the twentieth wife of Emperor Jahangir in 17th century India. Filled with political intrigue, romance, and betrayal, this book offers a fascinating glimpse into the Mughal Empire and the life of an extraordinary woman.

Who should read The Twentieth Wife?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly stories set in India
  • Those interested in strong female characters and their journey to power and influence
  • People who appreciate richly detailed and immersive storytelling

Related Topics

Historical Fiction Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Historical Fiction book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The Prince and the Pauper as the ultimate read on Historical Fiction.

What are the Top 10 Historical Fiction books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  • The Song of Roland by Anonymous
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Who are the top Historical Fiction book authors?

When it comes to Historical Fiction, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Mark Twain
  • Anonymous
  • Charles Dickens
  • Jane Austen
  • E. M. Forster