fiction books
  • My Dear Hamilton, by  Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie was enthralling. Although it is historical fiction, the setting is pure history. I listened to the book on Audible (23+ hours!) – and loved every minute. The character of Eliza Schulyer Hamilton comes to life and by the end of the book, I felt as if I’d known her personally. But beyond that, the portrayals of historical events – including the American Revolution, the writing of the Federalist papers, the War of 1812, and the grand return to America of General Lafayette near the end of Eliza’s life – gave new insight into the birth of this country I call home. This book is worth every minute of your time to read or listen to.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne. Oh, my goodness. What more can I say? If you haven’t read this book, you need to. Even if you’ve seen the movie. The Holocaust and Auschwitz through the eyes of an innocent child. It’s a short read, but not easy.
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers was the first Francine Rivers novel I ever read. It is a retelling of the story of Hosea, set in 19th century California. If you know anything about Hosea, you know it is a parable of God’s unending love for His people. This book brings the message home that we are never so far away from the Lord that He will stop loving us.
  • I am rereading The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis in 2020 and finding it so refreshing. I’ve never read all 7 books (still have 2 to finish). But even the ones I have read before, I’m seeing through fresh eyes. Everyone – child and adult – should read this series at least two or three times in their lives.
  • The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers is set in first-century Rome and shows us what early believers faced. My primary thought as I read these three books was, “How would my faith hold up?” Although fiction, it challenged me to trust Jesus more.
  • I first read This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti in the last century! Yes, it’s been around since 1986. But more than 2.7 million copies of the book have been sold, so it’s obviously got a message that has staying power! The storyline of This Present Darkness and its companion book, Piercing the Darkness, circle around the spiritual battle being waged around us (Ephesians 6:12). If it doesn’t motivate you to pray – check your pulse!
  • The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers is set in first-century Rome and shows us what early believers faced. My primary thought as I read these three books was, “How would my faith hold up?” Although fiction, it challenged me to trust Jesus more.
  • I first read This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti in the last century! Yes, it’s been around since 1986. But more than 2.7 million copies of the book have been sold, so it’s obviously got a message that has staying power! The storyline of This Present Darkness and its companion book, Piercing the Darkness, circle around the spiritual battle being waged around us (Ephesians 6:12). If it doesn’t motivate you to pray – check your pulse!
  • A fiction book based on a sad chapter in American history, Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate is heartbreaking and un-put-down-able. I listened to the audio version through Audible and found it hard to stop when I reached my destination! The story follows the oldest of five siblings stolen from their poor parents in Memphis, Tennessee as she tries to save her brothers and sisters from being split up and adopted out to rich families.
  • Here’s a fact you may not know: I’m hooked on historical fiction set in World War II. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, is the best that genre has to offer. Set in Nazi-occupied France, this beautiful and heartbreaking story will have you on the edge of your seat and staying up way too late. You will hold your breath as you wait to see what happens, cheer on the cast of characters, cry over loss and misunderstanding, and wish with all your heart you knew women like these.
  • Another of my World War II favorites is We Were the Lucky Ones, by Georgia Hunter. This book is technically considered historical fiction because many details needed to be fleshed out with the imagination of the author. However, the basics of the tale were the real experiences of the author’s relatives: a three-generational Jewish family living in Poland at the start of World War II. That all five siblings and their parents survived the war is nothing short of miraculous.