Historical Fiction

HomegoingHistorical fiction novels are stories that take place in the past.
They use authentic period detail and may feature fictionalized accounts of real historical figures.

Subgenres:

  • Fictional biographies
  • Historical mysteries
  • Historical romance
  • Family sagas
  • Nautical fiction
  • Alternate history
  • And more!

Recommended Reading

Alias GraceMolokai / Margaret Atwood (1996)
In the 1840s, when psychology was a burgeoning field, a woman is accused of murder, but has no memory of the event.

Another Brooklyn / Jacqueline Woodson (2016)
A woman meets up with an old friend and recalls memories of growing up together in 1970s Brooklyn.

The Dovekeepers / Alice Hoffman (2011)
The lives of four Jewish women intersect during a siege on ancient Israel by the Romans in 70 C.E.

Fingersmith / Sarah Waters (2002)
A thief in Victorian England takes a position as a maid, with plans to trick a gentleman out of his fortune.

Homegoing / Yaa Gyasi (2016)
Half-sisters grow up in 1700s Ghana, one married off to an Englishman, the other sold into the slave trade.

The House of the Spirits / Isabel Allende (1982)
An ambitious patriarch, his wife, and their defiant daughter live through three generations of politics in 1900s Chile.

Lincoln in the Bardo / George Saunders (2017)
In February 1862, Lincoln’s eleven-year- old son dies, and Lincoln returns to the crypt several times in mourning.

The March / E. L. Doctorow (2005)
Sixty thousand Union troops march through Georgia into the Carolinas while fighting off Confederate forces.

Moloka’i / Alan Brennert (2003)
A seven-year-old Hawaiian girl develops leprosy and is sent to a leper colony in the early 1900s.

The NightingaleWolf Hall / Kristen Hannah (2015)
A woman is forced to house a Nazi in WWII France, while her sister becomes a Resistance fighter.

The Pillars of the Earth / Ken Follett (1989)
A monk in the 12th century builds a cathedral, tying together the lives of builders, artists, and monarchs.

The Samurai’s Garden / Gail Tsukiyama (1994)
A Chinese painter is sent to his family’s summer home in Japan during Japan’s invasion of China in the 1930s.

When the Emperor Was Divine / Julie Otsuka (2002)
A Japanese-American family is forced into an internment camp during WWII while their father is taken into captivity.

Wolf Hall / Hilary Mantel (2009)
The reign of King Henry VIII is explored from the perspective of his advisor and eventual enemy, Thomas Cromwell.