The best historical fiction books written about lesser-known characters

Julianna Boyer Author Of Sunni: The Life and Love of King Tutankhamun's Wife
By Julianna Boyer

Who am I?

I have a passion for Historical Fiction. It started when I was 12 years old. Before that, I never liked any kind of history. Then, in school, we started learning about King Tut, and I was fascinated. I started having frequent dreams that he would sit and tell me stories about our life together and he believed that I was his wife, Sunni. Into adulthood, I still had these dreams, so I decided to write about the stories that he would tell. Along with exhaustive research, I learned who Sunni (Anukshanamun) was. My book is based on facts mixed with my dreams.


I wrote...

Sunni: The Life and Love of King Tutankhamun's Wife

By Julianna Boyer,

Book cover of Sunni: The Life and Love of King Tutankhamun's Wife

What is my book about?

The historical figure of King Tut comes alive in the novel Sunni: The Life and Love of King Tutankhamun's Wife. The dramatic story of the boy pharaoh of Egypt has fascinated the world for generations, touching on romance and unsolved mystery. Sunni was the half-sister of King Tut. Four years older, she became the biggest part of his growing-up years. After Tut became King, he chose Sunni to be his wife. The book tells their love story, including both the good and bad times. From miscarriages to infidelity, the story gives the life and love of King Tut's reign through the eyes of his one true love. After his death, Sunni had huge decisions to make, and any wrong choice could result in tragedy. 

The books I picked & why

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The Nature of Fragile Things

By Susan Meissner,

Book cover of The Nature of Fragile Things

Why this book?

I am recommending this book because it shows the emotional side of three separate women who have survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. We have all heard about big tragedies, but I like books that focus on a specific historical figure that was there. This book shows these women defeat the odds and overcome tragedy simply by banding together. These types of books always give me hope and courage to face obstacles in my own life.

The Nature of Fragile Things

By Susan Meissner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Nature of Fragile Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin's odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling…


What the Wind Knows

By Amy Harmon,

Book cover of What the Wind Knows

Why this book?

This is a great book that you cannot put down. It reminds me of my favorite series, Outlander. Going back through time is something that a lot of us dream about, but never experience. I love a good love story, but this book also has mystery, intrigue, and pulls at your heartstrings. I consider it Historical Fiction because even though we cannot travel through time, there were a lot of women that had the same feelings and trauma in the 1920s that the main character went through. 

What the Wind Knows

By Amy Harmon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Wind Knows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller.

In an unforgettable love story, a woman's impossible journey through the ages could change everything...

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather's stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of…


The House Girl

By Tara Conklin,

Book cover of The House Girl

Why this book?

Lu Ann Bell was a painter in the 1850s who became well known for painting servants. It was actually her housemaid that did the paintings. I liked how the story depicts a lawyer in 2004 that tries to help the housemaids' descendants get what is rightfully hers.

Our history is full of talented people that were taken advantage of because of their status or race. I loved the fact that there are still people today that are trying to right the wrongs of yesterday.

The House Girl

By Tara Conklin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The House Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia. Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre-Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine. Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable…


Light Perpetual

By Francis Spufford,

Book cover of Light Perpetual

Why this book?

In 1944, the Woolworth’s in London was bombed, killing 168 people. 15 were kids.

In this story, the author brings back 5 of those children and writes a story of how they might have been growing up and as adults. It is a tearjerker and really makes you wonder what all of those 15 children would have been like.

Several senseless tragedies leave a lot of “What-ifs,” and this one really pulled at my heartstrings.

Light Perpetual

By Francis Spufford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Light Perpetual as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book of the Year by TheNew York Times, NPR, Slate, Lit Hub, Fresh Air, and more

From the critically acclaimed and award‑winning author of Golden Hill, an “extraordinary…symphonic…casually stunning” (The Wall Street Journal) novel tracing the infinite possibilities of five lives in the bustling neighborhoods of 20th-century London.

Lunchtime on a Saturday, 1944: the Woolworths on Bexford High Street in South London receives a delivery of aluminum saucepans. A crowd gathers to see the first new metal in ages—after all, everything’s been melted down for the war effort. An instant later, the crowd is gone; incinerated. Among…


The Dickens Boy

By Thomas Keneally,

Book cover of The Dickens Boy

Why this book?

I am actually only part-way into this book, but I love it so far. I have always loved Charles Dickens, and learning more about his family interests me. This book is about his 10th child, Edward. He was a difficult child and was sent to the Outback. He lived among the aborigines and mostly convicts. It is a life story about how he handled it and tried coming out on top. I recommend this book because it gives hope and encouragement to all people. Young and old.

The Dickens Boy

By Thomas Keneally,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dickens Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the Booker-winning author of Schindler's Ark, a vibrant novel about Charles Dickens' son and his little-known adventures in the Australian Outback.

In 1868, Charles Dickens dispatches his youngest child, sixteen-year-old Edward, to Australia.

Posted to a remote sheep station in New South Wales, Edward discovers that his father's fame has reached even there, as has the gossip about his father's scandalous liaison with an actress. Amid colonists, ex-convicts, local tribespeople and a handful of eligible young women, Edward strives to be his own man - and keep secret the fact that he's read none of his father's novels.

Conjuring…


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