Take It Back Now Y’all: 7 Books For Historical Fiction Fans

By Athena Palmer:

With all the hype that time travel books are getting right now, it’s a good time to take a moment and talk about an under-appreciated form of time travel: historical fiction! Here are 7 of our favorite historical fiction books for when you need a break from the present.

For readers who believe in the power of friendship:

The Picture Bride

The Picture Bride by Lee Geum-yi

After being lied to by a matchmaker and marrying a man who wants nothing to do with her, Willow’s life is disrupted even further by the disorganized rise of the Korean Independence Movement. Never one to be deterred, Willow forges ahead to create a new life for herself and the people she loves. Who among us doesn’t love a bold woman with a plan?

If you want something more family-focused: 

Midnight on the Marne

Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha

Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, this book explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices. Playing with time is a tricky thing. On the run from a victorious Germany, George and Marcelle begin a new life with Philip and Marcelle’s twin sister, Rosalie, in a brutally occupied France. Together, this self-made family navigates oppression, near starvation, and unfathomable loss, finding love and joy in unexpected moments.

For the romance lover:

The Book of Everlasting Things

The Book of Everlasting Things by Aanchal Malhotra

What happens when true love at first sight turns into a fight for freedom? Set against the backdrop of Partition, The Book of Everlasting Things explores this question and more in the form of an epic romance story that will leave you breathless. 

For when you need a good cry:

The Kingdom of Sand

The Kingdom of Sand by Andrew Holleran

Andrew Holleran is back with his first new book in 16 years, and WOW was it worth the wait. The Kingdom of Sand is a heart-wrenching yet beautiful meditation on life, love, and loneliness set during the height of the AIDS epidemic. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably need a few days to stare at the wall and just FEEL once you finish. 

When you’re hungry for bite-sized historical fiction:

All the Horses of Iceland

All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie

The secrets behind the mysterious horses of Iceland are brought to light in this mystical novella by poet and author Sarah Tolmie. A Norse trader travels the continent for riches, and while he barters for horses the magic that follows them will stay with him for much longer than gold.

Historical fiction with a fantastical twist:

Ordinary Monsters

Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro

If any novel was meant to be a Netflix original series, it’s Ordinary Monsters. Set in the Victorian era, Ordinary Monsters follows a group of children with magical gifts and the adults sworn to protect (or in some cases destroy) them as they unravel the secrets of the Institute that connects them all.This novel is dark, funny, scary, and so very binge-able.

For the detectives: 

Lavender House

Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen

Lavender House, 1952: the family seat of recently deceased matriarch Irene Lamontaine, head of the famous Lamontaine soap empire. Irene’s recipes for her signature scents are a well guarded secret—but it’s not the only one behind these gates. This estate offers a unique freedom, where none of the residents or staff hide who they are. But to keep their secret, they’ve needed to keep others out. And now they’re worried they’re keeping a murderer in.