Friday, February 13, 2015

Historical Fiction February: Why I love Historical Fiction

Perhaps I really should have I kicked off my Historical Fiction February event with the answer to this question: Why do I love historical fiction? The reason I haven't answered that question until now is because...well frankly I didn't have an answer for that question. But now I do...I think.

I wrote before about how Number The Stars was the book that piqued my interest in the genre, and for a while after reading that book I read a few good historical fiction books set in America during the Civil War and one in the perspective of an Irish immigrant. I'm not sure what happened but along the way I lost my interest in the genre and for awhile I didn't really read much historical fiction. Maybe because for the majority of my teens I was reading a lot of Meg Cabot and Star Wars novels. I don't think I started reading historical fiction again until college and it wasn't until I finished Outlander over Christmas that I realized, "Oh...I really like historical fiction."

Okay, so I realize I'm skirting the question, so why do I like historical fiction? I think it is for the same reason that History was always my second favorite class in school. I like history because they are stories that we can learn from. History can get bonged down by boring facts, but when you put a character in the setting you can learn so much from that time period and what the world was like back then. It's also interesting to just put a character in a time period but what happened in that time is just a backdrop to give you context, and the story is really about that character's thoughts and feelings. I much rather read that then memorize a bunch of dates. 

I also think I like to read historical fiction to transplant myself into another time period. I think part of my desire to do this is to reassure myself that even though there are a lot of problems in the world, there was a time when things were worse. It allows us to see how far we have come as a society, and I think it also poses another question: are we better off? I think historical fiction allows us to look back and discover things about ourselves that we wouldn't have thought of before.

So why do you like historical fiction? 

Happy Reads Everyone!