List of Top 10 Most Popular Historical Fiction Books in 2022.

Here’s a list of 10 Most Popular Historical Fiction Books in 2022.

Matthew Pearl once said that “What’s most explosive about historical fiction is to use the fictional elements to pressure the history to new insights…”

I mean there is nothing wrong with what is stated. Historical fiction has the most interesting stories as they can range from simple stories set in the past or stories that are more complicated than the human being itself. It also indulges many other genres such as romance, mystery, fantasy and much more…

Historical fiction is a literary genre that is set in the past and uses historical events and personalities as the backdrop for a fictitious story. These books frequently feature fictional characters and plots, yet they are set in a certain historical era and may include real historical events and personalities in the plot.

The purpose of historical fiction is to bring the past to life for readers and to help them understand and identify with individuals from different eras and places.

So I have curated 10 best historical fiction books to read as 2022 ends –

  • Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor
  • Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu
  • Trust by Hernan Diaz
  • Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris
  • AfterLives by Abdulrazak Gurnah
  • The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali by Uzma Aslam Khan
  • Gorakhaland Diaries by Satyadeep S. Chhetri
  • Mastaan: The Fallen Patriot of Delhi by Vineet Bajpai
  • Two Spies by Chaitanya Vyas
  • Ashok and the Nine Unknown by Anshul Dupare3

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  1. Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor
    Gloria Jean Watkins, commonly known as bell hooks, was a notable feminist theorist and writer whose biography is fictionalised in the novel. The novel follows Gloria as she grows up in the South during the civil rights movement and as a young adult becomes interested in the feminist movement. It chronicles Gloria’s struggles and accomplishments as she navigates the issues of race and gender in a culture that frequently attempts to silence the voices of underrepresented people. The book is a moving and thought-provoking look at the intersections of race, gender, and identity, as well as a forceful indictment of the social forces that shape our lives.
  2. Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu
    It’s 1938 in China, and Meilin’s future as a young wife looks promising. Meilin and her four-year-old son, Renshu, are forced to abandon their home as the Japanese army approaches. They must travel through a devastated land, relying only on their wits and a beautifully designed hand scroll filled with old legends that offer solace and wisdom.
    Peach Blossom Spring is a daring and touching look of modern China’s history portrayed through the story of one family that spans continents and generations. It’s about the power of our past, the desire for a better future, and the unsettling question: What does it mean to be home?
  3. Trust by Hernan Diaz
    Even during the loudness and effervescence of the 1920s, Benjamin and Helen Rask were well-known in New York. He is a Wall Street legend, and she is the smart daughter of eccentric aristocrats. They have risen to the pinnacle of an apparently limitless realm of prosperity. However, the secrets behind their wealth and splendour fuel rumour. Rumors about Benjamin’s business dealings and Helen’s seclusion begin to circulate as a decade of excess and speculation comes to an end. How did they come by their enormous fortune?
    Hernan Diaz’s Trust effectively juxtaposes the story of these characters with other accounts—and with the lives and perspective of a young woman determined to separate fact from fiction. As a result, the narrative grows more thrilling and meaningful with each new layer and revelation. Trust engages the reader in a quest for truth while confronting the reality-warping gravitational pull of money and how power frequently manipulates facts. Trust is a literary accomplishment with a pounding heart and pressing stakes. It is an artful, complex epic that retrieves the voices buried beneath the myths that excuse our foundational injustice.
  4. Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris
    In the summer of 1964, three innocent men are brutally killed for attempting to assist Black Mississippians in obtaining the right to vote. Violet Richards, 22, finds herself in greater difficulty than she’s ever been in her life against this backdrop. She murders the man responsible after suffering a violent attack of her own. Violet, however, cannot escape Jim Crow justice in Jackson, Mississippi because of the colour of her skin. She chooses to flee before anyone can find the body or identify her as the murderer. Violet escapes with the help of her white beau. But desperation and dread drive her to seek refuge in the little rural town of Chillicothe, Georgia, unaware that danger is closer than she realises.
    Two sisters on the run, one from the law and the other from social humiliation. What they don’t comprehend is that they are being pursued by a man. This man has his own set of dark secrets and a frightening reason for finding the sisters that no one knows about except him…
  5. AfterLives by Abdulrazak Gurnah
    Ilyas was taken from his parents when he was a child by German colonial troops. He returns to his hometown after years abroad fighting in a war against his own people to discover his parents gone and his sister Afiya taken away.
    At the same time, another young man appears. Hamza was sold into the conflict rather than stolen for it; he has grown up at the right hand of an officer whose protection has characterised his life. With nothing but the clothes on his back, he seeks only job and security – and Afiya’s love.
    As fate binds these young people together, as they live, work, and fall in love, the shadow of a new conflict on another continent lengthens and darkens, poised to snare and transport them…
  6. The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali by Uzma Aslam Khan
    Nomi and Zee are Local Borns, their father a criminal sentenced to the Andaman Islands by the British, and their mother transported off with him. Despite their strange beauty, the islands are an unfriendly location. In this untrustworthy world, the youngsters had their buddy Aye, their pet hen Priya, and their parents’ distracted love to keep them going from one day to the next. Meanwhile, within the prison walls, Prisoner 218 D fights her jailers with just her body and her memory.
    When war breaks out in this forgotten outpost of Empire, the British are forced to flee and the Japanese take command. The islands—and the oceans that surround them—become a battlefield, culminating in tragedy for some and a brittle kind of freedom for others, who become progressively enmeshed in a web of alliances and betrayals.
    The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali brings to life the linked experiences of people caught in the whirlwind of history, powerless yet with powers of their own: bravery and wonder, empathy and endurance. Uzma Aslam Khan’s stunning new novel is an incisive and lyrical page-turner about a mostly forgotten chapter in the subcontinent’s history.
  7. Gorakhaland Diaries by Satyadeep S. Chhetri
    Gorkhaland Diaries is a chronicle of all the key events of the Gorkhaland Movement that occurred during the four decades from the 1980s to 2017. The story centres around the two main characters, Rajen Thapa from Kalimpong and Bijay from a Darjeeling tea farm.
    Two Lives… There are two generations… And a narrative that spans 33 years. Gorkhaland Diaries, the first English novel to chronicle the entire Gorkhaland Movement, follows the lives of Rajen and Bijay. It calls into doubt their never-ending search for a fabled place, the land of their dreams. But who exactly are they? How do their lives change as they seek identification and a place to call home? What happens when their uncomplicated lives are shattered by the whims of minor and big-time leaders? Gorkhaland—-the elusive dream lives on… in their minds, voices, and souls.
  8. Mastaan: The Fallen Patriot of Delhi by Vineet Bajpai
    An imperial monster poses as a mercantile firm. The East India Company used every weapon available to bring an entire subcontinent to its knees, from gunpowder to opium. Even Tipu, the feared Tiger of Mysore, is defeated by British military strength. As a century of deception and violence emerges, the suppressed yearn for vengeance. As a violent sepoy insurrection engulfs all of Hindustan, Delhi is the first to sink in blood. The headquarters of the fading Mughal empire appears as the ghadar’s epicentre.
    As both sides of the Laal Qila witness horrible violence and historical battles, an unforgettable poet laments the ruin of his beloved city, and a senile Badshah’s eyes glimmer with imaginary hope. And between the cannon-blasts, terrible duels, inebriated mushairas, alluring courtesans, haunted treasures, and gory wars, the immortal narrative of the great Mastaan and the lovely Fay unfolds.
    Did a single individual truly alter the trajectory of history’s greatest fight for liberty?
  9. Two Spies by Chaitanya Vyas
    The colour that had surrounded them was green. They painted it red. The Huntingdon Forest’s sky was green, surrounded by large native beech trees, English oak trees, and natural vegetation. The tapestry was held by the branches of the trees.
    A story set in the place where everything was given yet so less was received. A story that shows emotions that even he couldn’t encompass. As story that held strong motives because if not avenged it could ruin the cycle of how everything works.
    To avenge insults and suffering done by the cruel short-tempered arrogant British king and his manipulable and stubborn Spanish queen, a Spanish spy and his English counterpart hatch a plan.
  10. Ashok and the Nine Unknown by Anshul Dupare
    You know what, the best retaliation will be watching you fail to attain your goals… Do your best, Ashok. The action has only just begun! Ashok strolled helplessly among the bodies, looking like a dead man strolling among the dead. The cries of people who had lost loved ones on the battlefield pierced his soul, and it was then that he heard a cry for aid…
    As the devastation of war became clear, Ashok resolved to devote his life to the welfare of society and to do all possible to prevent the loss of life. Recognizing that he couldn’t do it alone, Ashok established a secret club of nine chosen people known as the ‘Nine Unknown’ to help protect knowledge that, in the wrong hands, might be used to destroy humanity. Little did Ashok realise that the safekeeping of such information came at a tremendous cost; that shadows lurk among us; and that our acts might have inconceivable effects… This book, the first of two, has the capacity to change your perception of reality!

To summarise, historical fiction is a genre that allows writers and readers to go into the past and investigate the events, people, and cultures that influenced our world. It provides a unique blend of fact and fiction, allowing readers to learn more about history while still being delighted by a well-crafted novel. Historical fiction has something for everyone, whether it’s a grand epic set in ancient Rome or an intimate story set in colonial India. So, the next time you’re looking for a good read, consider picking up a historical fiction novel. You may find yourself transported to another time and place, with a greater appreciation for the complex fabric of human history.

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