A New Love: Historical Fiction

Posted on Mar 23, 2014 in Adult Fiction, Bloggers, Historical | 29 comments

As I was sitting down this morning to write a post, it came to me that I needed to scratch the review, and write this post instead.  This post will be a VERY irregular new feature where I explain to you my new loves in life in reading land, or technology, photography, beauty, or hell, even food!  Kinda gonna be whenever the mood strikes and I have something I NEED to share with you guys, ya feel me?  Good! Let’s do this thing.anewlove

This Time Around Its:

historical fiction
Okay, I have to do the right thing and say NONE of my love for Historical Fiction would exist without Hannah. Its the truth. I had literally ZERO interest before her pushing me to read the BEAUTIFUL debut, Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent. See, one good Hannah for another 😉  That book changed my entire view on the genre, and I found myself asking for historical recs, and scouting them out wherever I could.  The obsession went on, next came books like The Wife, The Maid & The Mistress, Madam: A Novel of New Orleans both in which I simply ADORED, and of COURSE I Shall Be Near To You which is a favorite so far this year!  [It is AMAZING pick it up, NOW.]

I began to find a vested interest in war times, which is why I also picked up The Secret of Raven Point, and recently another for review.  I f0und myself wanting to be transported to times that I didn’t know much about, so that I could learn to understand the times a bit better with the help of some incredibly skilled authors.  And so it continues, I listened to TWO historical fiction audiobooks this week alone, those being The Kitchen House and Necessary Lies.  Listening to The Kitchen House was a wonderful experience that brought me back to the 1800’s and made me understand what it was like to live in times when slavery was so prominent, and the things that people endure just to get by.  And Necessary Lies made me realize what life can be reduced to.  It is a novel of the 1950’s and it simply is perfection.  The voices by the two narrators are PERFECTION, and they are each from a different way of life.  I wont tell you more, but I CAN tell you that it made me contact the author, Diane Chamberlain, and she WILL be on the blog soon for an interview! I AM SO EXCITED GUYS.  But, I digress…

I have found that Historical Fiction offers up so much diversity.  It can take you ANYWHERE.  War time, Slavery.  The New America.  [hey there 1776]  Immigration  or a take on it such as[The Orphan Train], Civil Rights Movement, and so many other places.  You can travel the world in a book, but with historical fiction you can also travel time.  And I was SO blind to this before my eyes were opened to all that this genre can be.  It is simple for me now.  It is a go to genre, and I would be so lost without it. 

On My TBR:

The Help [YES I know I’m a sinner]

The Bronze Horseman [Its coming up, Kel!]

The Ship of Brides [Another JoJo?? Absolutely!]


Also Read and Loved:


Grave Mercy

All The Truth That’s In Me

Out of the Easy

So Historical Fiction buffs, what must I read?  Obviously I’m a bit new to the game, so I need YOU to give me some of your absolute faves in hope they’ll work out for me too!  And to those of you looking for any recs, here ya go! Some of the best books I’ve read are listed here, and I hope you love them too!


ONE MORE thank you to HANNAH

Let’s give that girl a round of applause!



  1. Ooh! I wish I could say the same about historical fiction. I read it on rare occasions. I love, love Cleopatra’s daughter by Michelle Moran. I meant to read more historical fiction last year and just never did. That for me is one of the hardest genre to get into. Even tho I have a ton of historical fiction to read.
    I will read more. I think it’s just when the mood strikes me.
    I did love, love grave mercy.

  2. YES! I love these types of posts, everyone is doing them now with beauty and stuff! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    I’m excited that you are loving all your historical fiction reads :) Three that you need to read now (besides the Help… because JEEZ, but I heard that was great in audiobook so you should try that way since you are loving those now too!) are Code Name Verity, Sarah’s Key and Fall On Your Knees!! DO IT :) P.S. You left out Shadow of Night 😉
    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (71)My Profile

    • You know why 😉 hehe! And yes code name verity is a must!

  3. I hardly ever read historical fiction, so this post is super helpful for me! I’ll definitely be checking out a few of the books you’ve mentioned. I think I’ll start with Out of the Easy and All the Truth That’s In Me as I actually own both of these, but I definitely want to read I Shall Be Near To You soon!
    Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea recently posted…Perfect Playlist #6My Profile

    • Definitely start with those and let me know how it goes!

  4. Historical fiction is among my favorite genres. Hmmm, that was awkwardly worded.

    Anyways! I really need to hurry up and read I Shall Be Near To You, I think when I finish Nash, I will read it.

    Also, I need to read The Bronze Horseman too!


    And some recs:
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
    The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
    The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett
    Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
    Shadow On The Crown by Patricia Bracewell
    Silent On The Moor by Deanna Raybourn
    Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt
    Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

    Seriously, historical fiction is awesome and I am glad you are really getting into it!
    April Books & Wine recently posted…A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier | Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks April! Making a list of all these great recs!! Really loving the genre!!

  5. I do love a spot of historical fiction every now and then in my reading pile! It’s actually a genre that I do enjoy, but never read enough of. I’m going to have to keep an eye out for your future recs 😉
    Alexa S. recently posted…Parents Can Be Awesome People (Happy Wedding Anniversary, Mom & Dad!)My Profile

    • Yay! Always makes me happy!

  6. You need to read A Mad Wicked Folly! So so good. Seriously. I was never a big historical fiction fan myself until I read Grave Mercy and then I slowly started getting into purely historical fiction. I’m still pretty new to the genre. I also just read Sekret by Lindsay Smith which is a paranormal historical fiction set during the Cold War which I really enjoyed.
    Rebecca @ The Library Canary recently posted…Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle PaigeMy Profile

  7. PLEEEASE read The Song of Achilles!
    Lisa is Busy Nerding recently posted…An already outdated bookshelf tour!My Profile

  8. I’d highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend checking out The Help on audio — the switch in narrators for each character just makes the book come ALIVE and it’s AWESOME.

    Also, have you read Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible? It’s a recommendation that Hannah would second for sure — takes place in 1960s Congo and it’s absolutely FANTASTIC. I’ve read it three times!
    Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads recently posted…Life of a Blogger – TravelMy Profile

    • A – I have to consider this audio rec! I would in a heartbeat but bought the paperback! And I haven’t read poisonwood bible! !!

  9. A BIGGG yes to The Bronze Horseman! It’s a such a great book, and was totally off-genre for me. I loved it though!

    If you like historical fiction with a twist, I highly recommend VIII by H M Castor. It’s the childhood story of Henry VIII but with a bit of a supernatural kick. I adored it!
    Emma @ Mab is Mab recently posted…Weekly Reflection #29My Profile

  10. Ohhh babycakes, you have joined the dark side & I hope you know there’s no going back.

    Okay, so I’m probably going to split this up into a few comments and I really hope I don’t repeat myself/you/other comments, so here we go!

    HF I read and loved
    Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman
    High society family in the Gilded Age takes in a feral girl + murders!
    Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
    Dual eras (<3!!). Mordern day Vietnamese-American woman discovers a family heirloom might have once belonged to Laura Ingalls Wilder. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH, C.
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    This one is a bit older, but CIRCUS! THE GREAT DEPRESSION! It was fantastic.
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
    Every time MC dies she’s reborn. I’ve rec’d this one to SO many people and they’re all loved it. With each life she changes a little bit – she might have been single before whereas now she’s married with children. She lives (and dies) in both World Wars and even works her way into Hitler’s inner circle.
    Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
    YA! Jazz Age. Magicians. She also has a great adult series, Summerset Abbey set during WWI.
    Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel
    More YA! This series takes place in the 1700s in the court of King George I.
    The House Girl by Tara Conklin
    I have SO much love for this book it’s unreal. And it’s a debut! Another dual narrative (my fav). This one follows a lawyer as she tracks down descendants of slaves and follows a young slave’s life and her decision to flee.
    A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier
    I’m clearly disturbed in that deadly plagues make me happy. This book is set during the Spanish Influenza!
    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
    Urban Fantasy-meets-Historical-Fiction? Also, Deborah Harkness blurbed it & I know you enjoyed her books!

    HF Authors I Love
    Kate Morton
    Katherine Howe
    Jojo Moyes
    Lucinda Riley
    Leah recently posted…my week in pictures 3/22 + a giveaway!My Profile

  11. HF with Real People
    I looove this sub-genre where real people are characters in the book.
    The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
    Hemingway + one of his wives! haha I could do an entire list along with Hemingway!
    Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
    Same goes for the Fitzgeralds!
    Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
    Robert Louis Stevenson + his wife.
    Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
    i’m a HUGE Poe fan. This one follows Poe and Frances Osgood.
    The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
    Silent-film star Louise Brooks!
    The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
    Sarah Moore Grimké, an abolitionist & suffragette.
    & I recently made an entire post dedicated solely to books about artists: my love affair with the art novel

    HF on my To Read List
    I haven’t read these can’t vouch for them, but these are the novels that caught my eye & are ones I’m curious about.
    The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
    Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
    Margot by Jillian Cantor
    Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
    The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki
    My Name is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner
    The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott
    The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
    Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
    My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
    I wasn’t a huge fan of her latest, but it seems like readers prefer this one.

    AAHHH DONE. Hopefully something strikes your fancy or if not, maybe these will be good starting points for finding other books! :) If any of these do look good and you want a reading buddy I’m game!
    Leah recently posted…my week in pictures 3/22 + a giveaway!My Profile

    • This is amazing!!! Thank u for actually posting all of this! !!

  12. I love historical fiction as well so I’m happy to hear that you like it too! I’ve been meaning to read Burial Rites so I’m happy you liked it. And The Help was really good so hopefully that’s a win for you as well! :)
    Annie recently posted…The Princess Diaries by Meg CabotMy Profile

    • I hope to love The Help! And I hope you adore Burial Rites!

  13. I LOVE historical fiction! And Hannah, haha. It’s so good to hear that you’ve fallen in love with it, too :) I like it when people realize how awesome it is! That’s why I have my monthly Historical Fiction Spotlight feature…I’m hoping to convert as many people as possible!

    Oh my gosh, I Shall Be Near to You was SO FREAKING GOOD! I’ve heard of/read most of the ones that you mentioned, but I’m going to go check out the other ones on Goodreads right now!

    • Conversion equals GOOD. and so glad you’re looking into some of these and MORE GLAD u loved I Shall!!!

  14. I’ve always loved a good historical fiction novel. I don’t know why, but I seem to enjoy them the older I get :)
    Krys recently posted…Review: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-MillsMy Profile

    • I totally agree with this!

  15. It always makes me so happy whenever people join the historical fiction train! Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genre’s and ugh I just love when other people appreciate it!

    The Royal Diaries series is a solid middle grade series that is about 90% accurate most of the time, and it tells the stories of a good chunk of the badass Queens/Princesses in history.

    Esther Friesner’s novels I also love (I think they’re middle grade, I could be wrong) and one duology focuses on Helen of Sparta (aka Helen of Troy) and Nefertiti.

    Philippa Gregory has also written a mountain ton of novels, unfortunately theres a lot of controversy about how accurate they are, but some of the most known are the Other Boleyn Girl (the source of the controversy), and of course the Cousin’s War series, which recently has been made in a mini series, The White Queen.

    Alison Weir has mostly written non-fiction about the history of the monarchy in England, but she has a couple of fiction books.

    The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack
    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen
    The Secret Life of Bee’s by Sue Monk Kidd
    Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran

    Happy reading!
    Marisa @ Books Beyond Measure recently posted…Review: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorMy Profile

  16. HOLLA!!!! I love historical fiction!!! I could give you some amazing Tudor recs…oh wait, THE BOLEYN FREAKING KING!!!! AND THE BRONZE HORSEMAN!! I see it! I see you called yourself out! Go go go and meet Alexander!! :)
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