But Is It Historical?
In a past post, I asked about classifying books as historical fiction. I got great input, but I was thinking about it again as I read The People We Keep.
I was hemming and hawing about reading the book. I knew very little about it, but was intrigued. One thing that put me off a bit was seeing it classified as historical fiction. It’s a very popular genre, but not really my genre of choice. I gave in, read the book, and LOVED it!
So, what’s this discussion about? It’s about what makes something historical fiction. When I think of historical fiction, two things come to mind:
- The book is set at some point in the past
- It features something linking it to that time period.
I will acknowledge that that the book was set in the past (1994), but I felt so little in the book really tapped into the time period. I guess they had to use pay phones and whatnot, but I felt like the story could have been taking place today with few changes.
Thought historical fiction is not my goto, I do think I will see highlights of the era in which the story is set. Why choose a time period other than today, if you are not really going to utilize it in some way? Maybe it’s me.
What do you think? What do you think makes a story historical fiction versus just fiction?
Below are some historical fiction books I enjoyed.
- Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton – The Cuban Revolution
- The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock – Changes due to early statehood
- Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian – The AIDS Crisis
- Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George – Prohibition
- All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry – Puritanical village
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – World War II
Now it’s your turn!