When History Meets Fiction: 7 Best Historical Fiction Books Based on True Stories

Are you new to the wonderful world of historical fiction? Do you feel overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite options you have? If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we list down seven of the best historical fiction books based on true stories that will change your life. Let’s get started!

1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (1997)

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden from 1997 is one of the best books based on true events in history. It tells the story of a Japanese girl named Sayuri who is sold by her family to a geisha house. This is where she trains in the traditional arts of a geisha.

The novel follows her life as she gives up her name and identity and is transformed into a geisha. She learns the ways of a geisha and gains an understanding of the complex customs and traditions of geisha culture.

It is a moving and thought-provoking story, as Golden weaves together fact with fiction to create a captivating tale. It is one of the few books that can explore the complexities of the life of a geisha not just from a Western viewpoint but from the inside.

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

This best-seller, released in 2005, follows the life of Liesel Meminger during the Nazi regime. Through her interactions with her adoptive parents, residents of her small German village, and a local Jewish refugee, the novel touches on the theme of redemption during dark times.

The novel not only captures the individual’s plight but also stimulates thought around the effect of war and its consequences. It is an intimate look at what life was like during this time. It conveys powerful messages of courage, friendship, defiance, and resilience in the face of hardship.

The weaving of these stories successfully allows the reader to connect with the characters. At the same time, they can explore history through the perspective of young Liesel.

3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett in 2009, is an iconic example of the best historical fiction books of all time. The story is set in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960s. The novel follows a vivid cast of characters: white families, their colored people servants, and the civil rights movement.

Through its multifaceted characters, The Help narrates a story of struggles, comradery, and hope. Through Stockett’s vivid storytelling, the reader is brought back to the civil rights movement powerfully and emotionally.

The Help enlightens readers on the societal struggles of the civil rights movement. It delivers the same message as books like Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, a novel listed in the Insights on Innovation reading list.

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2014)

During the event of World War II, the novel follows the story of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German orphan. Through beautiful prose, Doerr chronicles their lives as they meet and become intertwined amidst tragedy and turmoil in occupied France.

Amid war, the characters inspect themes of hardship, redemption, and finding beauty amid tragedy. Doerr’s artistry with language is evident in every line and captures powerfully the agonies and triumphs of the era in which this novel is set.

5. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (2015)

Set during the end of the Vietnam War and its aftermath, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel follows a man of dual identity. He lives the life of a communist spy in South Vietnam. He also doubles as a man who works with a general in the South Vietnamese army to help the general defect to the United States.

This powerful narrative captures the war’s effects on everyday life and its legacy for all its participants. Nguyen’s story serves as a reminder of how history continues to shape our present. It is an excellent representation of the complexities of loyalty, betrayal, and identity in the face of a war’s devastating effects.

It is a must-read for anyone interested in a heart-wrenching story. And it is a profoundly honest exploration of the Vietnam War and its consequences.

6. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (2016)

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly 2016 is one of the most inspirational books based on the true stories of three women in the World War II era. It weaves the stories of New York socialite Caroline Ferriday, Polish forced laborer Kasia Kuzmerick, and German doctor Herta Oberheuser.

Through these characters, the aftermath of war is explored. The vibrant descriptions and realistic characters bring this era to life for readers.

With historical accuracy, the novel is a vivid portrayal of the time and place. The deep emotions and complex relationships the characters experience make for a compelling read. There is even more to uncover in this thrilling story of courage and hope that is sure to keep readers captivated until the very end.

7. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict (2020)

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict follows the mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926. After ten days of mystery and national concern, Agatha was eventually found in a spa hotel.

By combining research and a gift for storytelling, Benedict weaves a story full of twists, turns, and unexpected romance. Readers are instantly drawn into Agatha’s complex family and inner life. The novel is a captivating journey through a time and place that many of us can only dream of.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is a fascinating mystery that brilliantly captures the time and culture in which it was set. It shows readers that the most extraordinary people do have extraordinary stories.

Read These Best Historical Fiction Books Based on True Stories Now!

Historical fiction books based on true stories are great for readers who want to learn more about the past and explore real events through literature. These books provide a captivating way to discover history and gain new perspectives.

So if you’re looking for an enlightening read, why not try one of these books? We promise they are the best historical fiction books based on true stories that libraries can offer.

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