Reading is one of the great joys of life and has been for centuries. For many, reading offers the opportunity to temporarily escape your world and to be immersed in someone else’s. But, reading provides a lot more than just escapism. Reading teaches you things without you even realising it.
This is even truer in the case of historical novels, which are designed to teach and inform through the medium of story-telling. Over the course of history, there have been a number of influential historical novels that have gripped the souls of the nation.
Here are a few to add to your reading list.
1. Wild Swans, Jung Chang
Chairman Mao was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of Chinese people during his reign in the late 1950s and 1960s. Wild Swans is a detailed account of the horrors of Mao’s regime told through the eyes of a Chinese woman. She starts the novel be relaying the story of her grandmother, and then continues with her mother’s story, and then finally her own.
While the book pays attention to intimate details of the women’s lives, such as love affairs and family issues, the world outside is constantly changing and forms the context for a lot of what happens to these women.