Historical Fiction is one of those genres that I just love to pieces. But it also can be so hard to get right. There’s a balance between history, pacing, plotting, and characters. But here are some books I absolutely adore and can recommend to everyone! Only the best for y’all!
The Luck of the Titanic
Stacey Lee is a historical fiction queen. Seriously. I have read, and loved, all of her books and her most recent one – The Luck of the Titanic – is no exception. As readers we witness Valora’s plans, even if they’re half baked, they’re made of love and desire, ambition and family. It’s so easy to empathize with her almost infectious determination. And as readers we watch Valora’s story unfolding on the pages in a bustling and simultaneously ominous setting. The ways that our racism and elitism follow us onto the waters.
We Are Not Free
We Are Not Free is a multi perspective look at the treatment, and lives, of Japanese Americans during World War II. It is raw, emotional, and profound as it discusses dreams and ambitions, fear and doubt, racism and xenophobia. It’s a story not only about their forced removal or the temporary detention centers, but about the ways their identity becomes split. Where questions on pieces of paper are more than words, but traps made of ink. Where the answers of yes and no split families in the middle and place oceans between birthdays.
The Kingdom of Back
Talk about a magical and musical historical fiction about the ambitions of girls. The ways society smothers their flames and talents. Lu makes it abundantly clear that Nannerl’s wish to be remembered is dangerous to the status quo. Her ambition is placed, at times, in direct opposition to the wishes of her father. The desire to be a legacy, to never be forgotten, as a woman is seen as a revolutionary wish.
The Silence of Bones
This historical fiction combines 1800s Korea with a murder mystery! Throughout The Silence of Bones we are asked about our own agency versus the community. Are there times when we should stop asking questions, to cover up the truth? What is the price of justice? Because of the mystery and conspiracy, Seol has to figure out if anyone is above suspicion. Who deserves our loyalty? The Silence of Bones is about family mysteries and secrets that won’t stay buried.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Malinda Lo’s historical fiction debut is a page turner. I knew from the beginning of Last Night at the Telegraph Club that it would break my heart. Lo delivers a book that was destined to appeal to all my soft spots. A Chinese-American space obsessed girl coming to terms with her queer identity while also struggling with her family’s future and the growing racism against the Chinese.