The best historical fiction that gets me in the feels

Nicole Castroman Author Of Blackhearts
By Nicole Castroman

Who am I?

I have always loved history, which is why I love to read historical fiction. I’m fascinated by it. Historical fiction has a ability to make connections between the past and the present. It’s almost like bringing people out of history and setting them at a table beside you. Even after we know some facts of history, we feel moved by what happened if we read another account of it. 

I wrote...


By Nicole Castroman,

Book cover of Blackhearts

What is my book about?

When Edward “Teach” Drummond returns home from a year at sea, he finds his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, all Teach wants is to return to the ocean he calls home. He must convince his father to let him leave and never come back. Following the death of her parents, Anne Barrett is left penniless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne takes a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Anne longs to escape the confines of her mundane life. 

From the moment the two meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn together but kept apart by Teach’s father, their love is as passionate as it is forbidden. 

The books I picked & why

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These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901: Arizona Territories

By Nancy Turner,

Book cover of These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901: Arizona Territories

Why this book?

This book has amazing characterization. Also, the voice of the narration is spectacular. And the chemistry between the love interests is palpable. They are tough characters. Loving and smart and honest. You want to keep them around. Please read it. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Salt to the Sea

By Ruta Sepetys,

Book cover of Salt to the Sea

Why this book?

The narrative of this book is compelling. It starts with a bang and is haunting at the same time. Based on true events from 1945, the story centers on four refugees fleeing Russian invaders, only to find themselves aboard a sinking ship that is only meant to hold 1200, but instead has 10,000 onboard. Each character is given his/her own chapter, with each acting as a window to each of their souls. It’s riveting historical fiction, based on actual events.

Little Women

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of Little Women

Why this book?

I read this when I was in elementary school and the novel is timeless. The characters and enduring morals of the book have touched millions of readers. The story is about the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and it is pure joy. The simplicity of this book is what I think makes it a masterpiece. I cannot recommend it enough.

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak,

Book cover of The Book Thief

Why this book?

This one is a tear-jerker. I don't want to give any spoilers, but the narration of the book is so different, it's what makes it outstanding. A novel set during WWII, it will break your heart and then heal it within the span of 88 chapters. I was lucky enough to see Markus Zusak speak at an event in Atlanta, GA and I took my then teen-aged daughter to see it. She still remembers the event as well as the book. It was written as a young adult novel, but anyone and everyone should read it.

Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen,

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Why this book?

This was my favorite novel as a teenager. I could read this book over and over and never get tired of it. Mr. Darcy was the ultimate leading man in my eyes, and I judged every date I ever went on against him. Not very fair, I know. I wanted to be Elizabeth Bennett. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are one of my favorite couples and they always will be.

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