A blog dedicated to my opinion on books

Friday, April 4, 2014

Historical Fiction

Still no new books to review. I’m working on that—promise. But in the meantime, here’s another article…

No doubt readers of this blog have noticed I review a lot of historical fiction novels. And probably gathered it’s because I read a lot of historical fiction novels.

I am a history nerd. And I’m proud of it. So I drifted toward historical novels. Well, I was pointed to them as a child. My parents asked a store clerk for books my history loving self would be interested in and he introduced me to the American Girls collection. I continued to read historical fiction from then on out, once I learned historical fiction was the genre’s name.
What keeps drawing me to historical fiction novels? Many things. The fact you can learn something while submerged in a good story. That it can make you feel like you are in another time and place. To see how things have changed…and how things have stayed the same.

I like when something I read makes me mad. Or makes me think, “Oh, how things are different now! If only they could see…” I also like things that make me say “No way that happened then!” So I go to check it out. And then learn something new!

Is there a downside? Of course. Sometimes, authors throw too much of their research into their writing.The plot then gets lost, which I felt in Dragonfly in Amber. And then there’s the opposite scenario. This is where there isn’t enough detail to convey the historical period. The story could take place anywhere and you aren’t sure why the author chose to make it historical in the first place. Any historical details thrown in don’t service the book. They just seem to be there so the author can call it “historical fiction.”

Every genre has problematic books. But that doesn’t mean you give up on it if you love it. You just keep looking for the good ones.

Some historical fiction authors I recommend:

--Ann Rinaldi
--Sara Donati
--Diana Gabaldon (with a few caveats)
--Barbara Hambley

I hope to add more to this list as I continue to read. Perhaps I’ll update it every so often. We shall see!

No comments:

Post a Comment