Historical Fiction Novels
I have spent a lot of time formulating this list; I am quite surprised I limited myself to 12 books (for now)-- I will probably keep adding to this list in the future. Honestly, most of these historical fiction novels are books I've read in the last couple of years (including this year.) I will include the title, author, historical era it was written in & a link to purchase the book.
I'd love to hear what some of your favorite ones have been! I have done a heavy amount of reading in the World War II era specifically (as you'll note below.) And if you're not a big fan of historical fiction books, I hope you will give them a try now!
1. Lovely War by: Julie Berry (WWI)
A very interesting shift of perspectives between the gods of Olympus, solving a dispute around the goddess of love, & the story of 4 mortals whose life she gets involved in during the first world war.)
2. America's First Daughter by: Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie (Revolutionary War & Post-Revolutionary War)
(The somewhat true story of what Thomas Jefferson's daughter endured as she assumed the roles of First Lady, because her mother had died, & the role of mother to her own children as well as the nation.)
3. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by: Heather Morris (WWII)
(This heart wrenching story from WWII follows Lale, a multilinguist who is put to work in the concentration camps tattooing his fellow Jews. He is imprisoned for over 2 years, & ends up falling in love with a woman named Gita, who actually is liberated from the camps before him.)
4. Hearts of the Children (series) by: Dean Hughes (1960s-1970s)
The Writing on the Wall
5. The Giver of Stars by: Jojo Myers (Depression-era America)
(Alice Walker, originally from England, joins the Kentucky Packhorse Librarians, WPA, as some of the first women to ride horseback & transport books from the library all over the countryside. She forms an unlikely but very loyal friendship with Margery O'Hare after being abused by her father-in-law & unloved by her husband.)
6. The Dressmaker's Gift by: Fiona Valpy (WWII)
(Three women become friends as they join the French resistance & begin sewing at the same academy in Paris. Claire, who is the great-grandma of the main character, goes on a journey to learn where her loyalties lie, & once she decides, she doesn't go back, even when it lands her in a concentration camp, where most prisoners usually die.)
7. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (WWII)
(The story centers around Juliet, an author, & letters she sends to her publicist & to some new acquaintances, who become friends, on Guernsey, a tiny island far from Juliet's home.)
8.All the Light We Cannot See by: Anthony Doerr (WWII)
(Marie-Laurie, a blind girl in France, & Werner, a German boy conscripted to become part of Hitler's youth, are who we learn the story of World War II from. Their paths collide after Marie flees with her father to go stay with her great uncle who lives alone by the sea.)
9. Prelude to Glory (series) by: Ron Carter (Revolutionary War)
Our Sacred Honor
10. Free Men & Dreamers by: L.C. Lewis (Revolutionary War)
Dark Sky at Dawn
(It's after the Constitution has been signed, & Washington, Franklin & Hamilton have all died-- it is a perilous time for America. The story follows Jed & Hannah as they seek the real version of liberty.)
11. Til the Boys Come Home By: Jerry Borrowman (Series that takes place through WWI & WWII)
12. The Scarlet Letter by: Nathaniel Hawthorne (Puritan society in 17th century Salem)
(Hester Prynne is forced to wear the scarlet "A" of adultery as she leaves the town prison with her daughter Pearl. The man who has committed adultery is letting her take the heat for both of them & she is publicly scorned & shamed for having a daughter out of wedlock.)
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Hi, I'm Katie! I'm 33 years old, love the outdoors, reading books & being a mama! And I also enjoy literacy research for my podcast.