The best thing about historical fiction? The list goes on and on. Whether you love WWII fiction, spy stories, or epic sagas with a touch of romance, the genre definitely has something for everyone. It’s a great way to learn about fascinating events of the past, faraway places, and different ways of life. If you’re still not convinced, check out the list below to find your next favorite read!
by Ruth Druart
Santa Cruz, 1953. Jean-Luc is a man on the run from his past. The scar on his face is a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi occupation in France. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door.
Paris, 1944. A young Jewish woman’s past is torn apart in a heartbeat. Herded onto a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.
On a darkened platform, two destinies become intertwined, and the choices each person makes will change the future in ways neither could have imagined.
by Min Jin Lee
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.
Destiny toys with us all, but Anita Garibaldi is a force to be reckoned with. Forced into marriage at a young age, Anita feels trapped in a union she does not want. But when she meets the leader of the Brazilian resistance, Giuseppe Garibaldi, in 1839, everything changes.
England, 1939: The Penrose sisters couldn’t be more different. Skye is a daring and brash pilot, and Liberty the one to defy her at every turn. Even if women aren’t allowed in the Royal Air Force, Skye is determined to help the war effort. She’s thrilled when it reunites her with her childhood soulmate, Nicholas. She’s less thrilled to learn Nicholas is now engaged to an enigmatic Frenchwoman named Margaux Jourdan.
Paris, 1947: Designer Christian Dior unveils his glamorous first collection to a world weary of war and grief. He names his debut fragrance Miss Dior in tribute to his beloved sister Catherine, who forged a friendship with Skye and Margaux through her work with the French Resistance.
Present Day: Fashion conservator Kat Jourdan discovers a priceless collection of Dior gowns in her grandmother’s vacant cottage. As she delves into the mystery of their origin, Kat begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her beloved grandmother.
Hero. Soldier. Spy. Leader. Her name is Nancy Wake.
To the Allies, she was a fearless freedom fighter, a special operations legend, a woman ahead of her time. To the Gestapo, she was a ghost, a shadow, the most wanted person in the world.
But at first, Nancy Wake was just another young woman living in Marseilles and recently engaged to a man she loved. Then France fell to the Nazi blitzkrieg. With her appetite for danger, Nancy quickly finds herself drawn into the underground Resistance standing up to Nazi rule. Gaining notoriety as the White Mouse, with a 5-million-franc bounty hanging over her head, Wake rises to the top of the Nazi's Most Wanted list—only to find her husband arrested for treasonous activity under suspicion of being the White Mouse himself.
Narrowly escaping to Britain, Wake joins the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and parachutes into the Auvergne, where she must fight for the respect of some of the toughest Resistance fighters in France. As she and her maquisards battle the Nazis, their every engagement brings the end of the war closer—but also places her husband in deeper peril.