Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction is a narrative set in the past and that includes fictional characters as well as historical figures. Historical Fiction writers typically try to be as accurate as possible with extensive research, which is usually included in a bibliography at the end of the novel. Historical Fiction has always been popular, and the Aurora Public Library District and the Indiana Digital Download Center have numerous titles available. If you like history, then Historical Fiction is a genre for you.

Some authors will write a novel or two based in the past, but other authors specifically write Historical Fiction. Here are a few Historical Fiction titles we have on our shelves at the Aurora Public Library District:  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah,  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Lorna Doone: A Romance of Examoor by R.D. Blackmore,  The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, and Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (just to name a few!).


Philippa Gregory is one of the most well-known current historical fiction writers. She is known for taking minor historical figures and making them the center of her tale. Her writing is extensively researched and she tries to be as accurate as possible. Start with The Other Boleyn Girl.


Tracy Chevalier is known for describing the artistic process behind a famous work of art. Her newest novel, At the Edge of the Orchard, was released this past year and follows a pioneer family for three generations from Ohio to California. Start with Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks draws from momentous historical events and turns them into personal experiences, which shows her roots as a journalist. Start with March, which is based on the life of the father from Little Women during the Civil War.


John Hersey writes war stories based on actual events with multiple characters and storylines throughout. He is one of the many Historical Fiction writer who also writes Nonfiction. Start with A Bell for Adano.


Mark Frost writes action-packed war stories as well as Historical Fiction Mysteries. He researches each subject thoroughly to give as accurate of an account as possible. Start with The Second Objective.


James Alexander Thom sets many of his novels in early America. The main conflicts typically involve clashes with Native Americans. His characters are extremely well-rounded and believable. His novels can also crossover into the Western genre. Start with Follow the River.


One element of Historical Fiction that is almost unique to the genre is the Family Saga, which tells the story of one particular family over the course of years or generations. Some popular Historical Fiction authors who write Family Sagas are Barbara Taylor Bradford, Janette Oke, and Colleen McCullough.


Other notable Historical Fiction writers are Jennifer Donnelly, Philippa Carr, Ralph Peters, Madeleine Brent, Isabel Allende, Anya Seton, and Diana Gabaldon. Be sure to ask the staff who their favorite Historical Fiction writers are, or check out the Indiana Digital Download Center for more titles.

Happy Reading!