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Andrea’s Book Nook: Historical fiction books you’ll enjoy

By Andrea Silva, September 30 2022

I want to recommend some books from different historical settings. Each recommendation tells a unique story that will captivate any reader from the first page.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris:

This book is centered on the testimony of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. Due to his ability to speak several languages, he was designated as the camp’s Tätowierer — a tattooist in German. This position required him to register new arrivals, by permanently marking other prisoners with an identification number. One day, he comforts a scared young woman awaiting her registration. Her name is Gita, and, in that first encounter, Lale vows to himself to survive the camp and marry her after the war. This is a real story of survival, as he was determined to outlive the horrors he experienced in the concentration camp, by risking his own life to help other prisoners and keep Gita safe. This book provides a historical account of what life was like inside Auschwitz, as Lale was a real prisoner who, not only shares the horrific atrocities he witnessed, but also shares the acts of bravery and compassion he saw during his stay in the camp. As a reader, you will find yourself rooting for the love story of Lale and Gita and will be amazed by the determination-filled journey these characters go through.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini:

This novel follows the life of Amir, a young boy from an affluent family of Kabul, Afghanistan, during the 1970s. He is friends with Hassan, the son of a Hazara servant. Despite their social differences, the two boys form a strong friendship as they grow up. Amir has one wish: to win the local kite flying tournament and make his Baba proud. In the afternoon he achieves this, something terrible happens, an event that will change his relationship with Hassan in an irreversible way. As the Russian army invades the city, Amir and his father flee to the United States to escape the violence and chaos and start a new life. Nonetheless, the guilt and regret Amir feels over what happened to Hassan are something that the main character cannot escape. This book follows Amir’s journey into a new country and his return to Afghanistan years later. It is a well-written story about cowardice, trust and redemption.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr:

I am of the opinion that any reader that goes into this book should do so without knowing much about the plot. Nevertheless, I want to introduce the characters to provide some context. Marie-Laure is a French girl who went blind at the age of six. When she is 12 years old, Marie-Laure and her father flee to Saint-Malo where some of her family members live, as Paris is occupied by the Nazis. Werner is a German orphan from a mining town. One day, he discovers a radio and finds himself fascinated by the news he hears from the machine. As he grows up, Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing electrical instruments and is enlisted by the German army to track down members of the resistance. This book follows the experiences of these two characters of opposing sides of the war, and how their stories intertwined. This is done in a compelling way that captures the reader from the first page.  

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

This book has been all over social media for a good reason — it is a captivating historical fiction. As the title divulges, the main plot focuses on Evelyn Hugo’s life story. Evelyn Elena Herrera grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, with the dream of “making it” in Hollywood. As the story develops, the reader can see how Evelyn’s determination leads her to Los Angeles, in the 1950s, to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. After her retirement, the famous star contacts Monique Grant, a junior journalist, to share her story in her own terms. This book follows Evelyn Hugo’s testimony of her experience as a celebrity, her seven marriages, and the absolute love of her life. It is the story of a tenacious woman who earned the fame and recognition she always desired, at a very high cost.

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