5 Historical Fiction Novels to Start 2022

January 18, 2022

The events from the last couple of years still have many of us reeling. With the swift end of 2021 and a whole lot of uncertainty, some of us just need to relax with some hot chocolate and a book. So here are 5 historical fictions to get minds off the present and into the worlds of captivating characters. 


This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

This riveting story follows thirteen-year-old Odie O’Banion on his journey across the Minnesota Gilead river. After escaping residential school, Odie and his little family (consisting of his brother, his friend, and a little girl) voyage along the river in hopes to reach St. Louis to find home. As he ventures into the unknown, Odie begins to discover himself and the world around him by crossing paths with other souls displaced by the Great Depression. Filled with tears, laughs, and everything in between, This Tender Land is an eye-opening novel that allows readers to rediscover the world through the eyes of a child. It can be accessed at any local library. 




All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A modern-day classic, All the Light We Cannot See revisits WWII from the perspectives of Marie-Laure and Werner Pfennig. A young Marie-Laure is forced to flee her home in Paris and move to her Uncle’s house in Saint-Malo. Her father works hard to make Marie-Laure’s life as memorable as possible, as the two wade through the struggles of WWII. An orphan, Werner Pfennig discovers his talent for fixing machines and soon joins the Hitler Youth Academy to escape his dull future. As the two stories weave together, Anthony Doerr demonstrates the complexity of the hidden stories of individuals at the forefront of the war. All the Light We Cannot See can be accessed at any local library.



The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict

After her initial success working for J.P Morgan, Bella da Costa Greene becomes known across New York City for her talents. But she has a secret. She is African American. The year is 1906, however, and racism is rampant across the city, forcing Bella to protect her secret at all costs. Inspired by true events, The Personal Librarian retells the lost story of the independent and intellectual woman that was Bella.  It can be accessed at any local library.





The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Tasked with decoding German military codes and sworn to secrecy, Osla, Mab, and Beth had found themselves, against all odds, befriending one another as WWII wreaked havoc. The end of the war, however, saw to the end of their friendship as tragedies separated the three women. When a cryptic letter reunites the three of them, they discover a betrayal that may have been the key that tore the three apart and trapped Beth in an asylum. With the three women together once more, they have one chance to break this code and discover who was behind it all. An empowering novel, The Rose Code can be accessed at any local library.  




The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham

After running away from her abusive stepfather, Winnifred Ellis is forced to live alone on the streets of London in 1936. She bands with a group of other runaway children who she soon calls family. However, They are separated and sent to an orphanage when they are caught stealing food. Winny, along with hundreds of other orphans, is sent to Canada to assist a family of farmers. Reduced to a mere servant, Winny is facing constant abuse while clinging onto the hope that she would be reunited with her family once more. Inspired by true events, The Forgotten Home Child retells stories of abuse and neglect faced by orphans from the UK during the Great Depression. The Forgotten Home Child can be accessed at any local library. 



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