May 25, 2018

Historical Fiction and Why I Love It

I remember grade ten history in high school and how boring it was. I don't think it was the teacher's fault or the actual history of Canada and its impact in WWI and WWII, but I do think that it was in the way that it was conveyed.

I also remember not doing too well in that class. This is something that shames me as I love history and actually can remember dates and places quite well.

When I picked up my first couple of historical fiction novels, (Jennifer Robson and Beatriz Williams are just a couple off the top of my head), they transported me. They took me into the pages and with their details and descriptions I too was placed in the setting alongside their main characters.

In my previous post mentioning Jennifer Robson, I wrote that her academic background lends to her attention to detail and I am not kidding. For me, I need the descriptions and the ideas behind objects, tickets, expenses and day-to-day life to really immerse me in the story.

Reading about characters set during WWI and WWII provide a romantic and sometimes harrowing tale for readers such as myself. I think these stories provide a small insight and turn, what I'm sure is notebooks full of research for the authors into 350 or so pages of pure delight and immersion for people like myself. 

When I found Kate Morton, she was the perfect Gothic / Victorian historical fiction writer that I needed. Her books are like a vortex that picks you from your seat and pulls you in as soon as you open the cover. I am excited for her next novel, The Clockmaker's Daughter.

Can you tell I love Kate Morton's books?
Stories set during the first and second world wars are of constant interest to me and unfortunately I can't narrow it down to one thing. Maybe it's the history itself, the lives of characters inspired by real life people or maybe against all the odds in the world, some people were able to move on and create lives for themselves.Whatever it is, these stories provide hope and inspiration that no matter the hardships, even a plucked flower has the chance to bloom again. 

Even though I love historical fiction, I also enjoy adult fiction, contemporary fiction and YA.

I can't narrow down my favourite historical fiction story, but I highly recommend Kate Morton, Beatriz Williams, Jojo Moyes, Jodi Piccoult (The Storyteller) or Danielle Steel (The Legacy) to get you going.

What is your favourite genre to read? 
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