Welcome to Day 5 of Five Fall Favorites, hosted by Kate Willis! Today I’m sharing my Top 5 Historical Fiction Books. After classic literature, historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love it when a book transports me in time and place so that I actually feel as if I am living there, when the book is both open and closed. There’s so much to learn from history, and so many adventures—both great and small—took place. It’s just enough removed from this present world to be as fascinating as fantasy, yet it has the added layer of realism.
A Goudge novel has made it to almost every list this week, hasn’t it? I can’t help it. Green Dolphin Street is perhaps my favorite of hers. Set in the 1830s and inspired by a true story, it takes readers on a journey from an English Channel island to the wilds of New Zealand. A love triangle among two sisters, Marianne and Marguertie Le Patourel, and a young sailor, William Ozanne, brings heartache but also tremendous spiritual growth to the three. As always, Goudge’s incredible descriptive powers and keen spiritual insight makes this novel something to savor. Read my full review HERE.
The newest book on my list, The Other Bennet Sister is what I consider to be the best Jane Austen spin-off novel I’ve read yet. It follows Mary, the overlooked middle sister in Pride and Prejudice, as she observes the events of Austen’s novel and then pursues her own journey of growth and discovery. Written by a historian, the dialogue, details, and mindsets accurately reflect the Regency era. But I also found it incredibly moving and completely absorbing. Read my full review HERE.
This series of five is a riveting, detailed adventure that traces the miraculous reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Sweeping in scope, it follows a multitude of characters as they fight for or against the Jews battling for their God-given homeland. It has it all—accuracy, suspense, character development, faith, and transformation. One book leads seamlessly into the next, and the whole series is hard to put down until you read them all.
Do these books need an introduction? Based on Laura’s childhood and youth, these classics bring us back to the heroic pioneering days of the American Midwest. The Ingalls family travels from Minnesota to Kansas to South Dakota in search of home. Filled with fascinating details and touching family warmth, these books were also a large part of my childhood. My mom and I read them together, and I illustrated passages in notebooks that I can still look back on today. When I reread them as an adult, I loved them just as much, if not more. I also based my novella, Prairie Independence Day, on Laura’s life in South Dakota.
Another Goudge novel? I’m sorry, I really can’t help it! The Dean’s Watch is one of her best. Set in the Victorian era in an English cathedral town, this book is “a compelling saga of an unlikely friendship threaded together by redemption and grace. … The cathedral Dean, Adam Ayscough, holds a deep love for his parishioners and townspeople, but he is held captive by an irrational shyness and intimidating manner. The Dean and Isaac Peabody, an obscure watchmaker who does not think he or God have anything in common, strike up an unlikely friendship. This leads to an unusual spiritual awakening that touches the entire community.” (I borrowed from the synopsis, but that sums up the story better than I could.) Read my full review HERE.
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