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Historical Fiction Reading List

These five historical fiction novels are must-reads for anyone who loves getting lost in a good story set in the past. They bring to life different times and places, from the intense days of World War II to the struggles in 20th-century Japan and Korea. Expect gripping tales of bravery, family, and survival that make history feel real and incredibly human.

The Alice Network

by Kate Quinn

The novel weaves together two timelines: one following a female spy in World War I, involved in a covert network in France, and the other a young American woman in 1947 on a quest to find her missing cousin. Their stories converge, revealing a tale of espionage, courage, and the search for truth in the aftermath of war.

All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr

Widely acclaimed for its beautiful prose and compelling storytelling, this book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015 and has been praised for its intricate narrative and deep emotional impact.


by Min Jin Lee

The novel chronicles the saga of a Korean family living in Japan across four generations, exploring their struggles with issues of identity, love, and survival in the face of cultural and societal challenges. It delves into the complexities of immigrant life, the impact of war, and the enduring bonds of family amidst historical upheavals.

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Set in Nazi Germany, the story revolves around a young girl who finds comfort in stealing and reading books amidst the backdrop of war. Narrated by Death, it delves into themes like mortality, the power of words, and human resilience in the face of despair.

The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

The novel depicts the story of two sisters in France during World War II, each embarking on their own dangerous path in the resistance against the Nazi occupation. It explores the themes of survival, love, and the resilience of women during one of history's darkest hours.