Books That Changed How I View the Historical Fiction Genre 

Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres because it allows you to gain the perspective and insight of individuals from different eras. I especially enjoy historical fiction novels that are based during wartime because as ugly as war is, there is a unique beauty in the relationships that form and the moments of bravery and compassion. For the longest time, I did not enjoy historical fiction novels; however, once I discovered the following three books, my entire viewpoint of the genre changed. 

 

1. The Alice Network - Kate Quinn 

Post-World War II, young American Socialite, Charlie, is sent to Europe to have her unplanned pregnancy "taken care of". Upon arriving in Europe, Charlie instead uses the trip to connect with Englishwoman and spy, Eve, in hopes she can help locate Charlie's cousin who went missing during World War II. The novel switches between Charlie's perspective in 1947 and Eve's as a spy in 1915. The Alice Network is a story of an unlikely friendship, bravery, and love. I could not put this book down, and at the same time, I did not want to finish it because I didn't want to say goodbye to the characters.  

 

2. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak 

The Book Thief follows the life of a young girl growing up in Germany during World War II. Narrated by Death, the book is stunningly unique, beautifully written, and simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking. Zusak weaves themes of beauty and pain perfectly throughout the novel to illustrate how one cannot exist without the other. 

 

3. The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah 

The Nightingale takes place in occupied France during World War II and follows the story of two sisters: Vianne, a level-headed, pragmatic woman who is focused on survival, and Isabelle, a headstrong 18-year-old who joins the resistance. A story of bravery, love, and sisterhood, I thought about The Nightingale for long after I put it down.