Historical fiction blends past with narrative to create magic

My love for historical fiction really began when I was being homeschooled by my mom. From those early days pouring over history textbooks learning about ancient civilizations, I craved hearing other people’s stories. I was so curious about what their lives looked like — what did they think, experience, feel? But I wasn’t getting that from my history textbooks. I was getting what science could tell us about their lives or what interpreted records were available in, well, sometimes rather boring jargon.

And that’s really where fiction saves the day for me. Historical fiction picks up where facts leave off. Authors can fill in the gaps where history and my own imagination may be lacking. They pore over hours of research and discovery to bring us experiences, perspectives, and stories we may otherwise never have the chance to hear. They bring to life things that may have stayed buried for centuries. To me, that’s pure magic. And I’d like to share some magic with you today.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
If you’re looking for your next WWII read but want something a little outside of the ordinary, pick this book up. Bring tissues.

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
This graphic duology is really something else. Fantastic illustrations with a time in history that isn’t touched on much make for a powerful read.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
A truly fascinating read spanning generations. If you’re like me, keep a notepad handy for this one, but it’s totally worth it.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Very unique time in history and the first book I’d read set in Iceland! If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path of mainstream historical fiction, this one’s for you.

She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
I don’t mind some genre-bending, especially when it’s done so well. Magic, history, and a riveting story make this one hard to put down.