Historical fiction is arguably the pinnacle of all genres. Encompassing an educational facet unhampered by the dryness of nonfiction, readers enjoy all the pleasures of prose and poignant plots whilst being praised for their keen knowledge. The assembled works below uphold these standards, giving voice to unprecedented characters and exploring historical contexts in a new, unconventional light.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
World World II is a popular stimulus for aspiring historical writers. The copious works produced in this time period range from Kurt Vonnegut’s eccentric “Slaughterhouse Five”, which incorporates both aliens and time travel, to popular fiction novel “The Book Thief”, celebrated for its colour symbology. All books produced in this genre are generally profound and utterly heart wrenching, a criteria which Anthony Doerr’s unrivalled “All The Light We Cannot See” exceeds. This breathtaking creation is the pinnacle of historical fiction, beautifully written with evident care to subtleties and guaranteed to extract tears from even the most callous of readers. The plot follows the story of Marie-Laurie, a French locksmith’s blind daughter and Werner, a German Nazi child prodigy with a flair for mechanics, as their paths collide at the onset of World War II. Giving the cogs of a grand scheme a chance speak, Anthony Doerr’s work will resonate particularly with the younger, often subordinate, generation, though its profound messages will appeal to the entire spectrum of ages.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
“The Alchemist” weaves fantasy, adventure, and spirituality into unadorned account actually considered, despite initial impressions, as historical fiction. Amongst prophecies and secret powers, a vein of reality pulses quietly as shepherd boy Santiago attempts to uncover The Egyptian Pyramid’s hidden treasure. This unlikely origin of history manifests itself in the stories pre-modern venue, chronicling historical features of Spain, North Africa, and the Sahara desert, chiefly tidbits concerning culture and ancient mythology. The predominant theme, however, pivots around Paulo Coelho’s ideology of Personal Legends, implying that when one genuinely wants something, the universe will conspire to make it a reality. This idea is communicated in simple, unvarnished terms, allowing readers to grasp content easily and truly enjoy the pursuit of reading.
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood differentiates herself from other authors with a proneness to broach subjects most find uncomfortable, “Alias Grace” is yet another illustration of this admirable quality. The book is a raw account of a sixteen-year-old Irish immigrant convicted of murder and consequently imprisoned in 1800s Toronto, allowing readers an insight into their heritage. Although the narrative fluctuates between characters, it is chiefly related in the perspective of our alleged murderess, offering a fresh outlook on a baffling historical event debated today. The novel adheres to Margaret Atwood’s hallmarks with its rich metaphors, intricate plots, and abnormal concepts, notably an supernatural aspect even sceptics will find admirably developed. Thus, it is recommended to the entire reading populace.
By: Clara Chalmers