Love reading Historical Fiction?
Tired of hearing the same book names for the historical fiction category?
Want to read some real good INDIAN Historical Fiction Novels?
If you agree with all the four points above, then this article is for you. We’ve curated a list of the 5 best Indian historical fiction books by Indian authors that you should be on your must-read list.
- The Palace of Illusions
- The Glass Palace
- Midnight’s Children
- A Suitable Boy
- The Namesake
Let’s dive into each of these books, one by one. Here we go:
1) The Palace of Illusions
“Love comes like lightning and disappears the same way. If you are lucky, it strikes you right. If not, you’ll spend your life yearning for a man you can’t have.”
Indians are grown up listening to the stories of Mahabharatha but we have never thought about what the involved characters really felt and thought. This book is written from Draupadi’s perspective.
What did a woman who was born from fire think about herself?
What did she felt when she knew that she would’ve to marry 5 men?
You’ll find your heart racing while reading this book.
Highly recommended to those who love Indian historical fiction as well as mythology.
Read the full review, here.
2) The Glass Palace
“There was no place more solitary than a dark room, with its murky light and fetid closeness.”
Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her. . .
In 560 pages, this book covers 3 generations of Indians. A fascinating family drama that never bores you. Well-written and a sad but also comes with a touching end. It’s a deeply immersive novel, which I can’t recommend enough to history buffs.
3) Midnight’s Children
“We all owe death a life.”
Saleem is born at midnight on the day India becomes independent, and raised in a wealthy Indian family. As a child, he becomes aware of a telepathic link to other Indian children born that night: Midnight’s Children, each of whom has at least one special power.
Salman Rushdie always makes me think way more than I’m usually prepared to while reading – but it’s always worth it!
Word of caution: don’t read without a dictionary! 😊
4) A Suitable Boy
“Man without life companion is either god or beast.”
‘A Suitable Boy’ is the 1140 pages long tale of Lata and her mother’s endeavors to get her married to a suitable boy. This search is set in the midst of the lives of four families- Mehras, Kapoor, Khans, and Chatterjee, during the 1950s in newly independent, post-partition India.
Divided into 19 parts, each chapter in the book is about different characters that keep inter-relating the stories and, at last reach, one conclusion.
If you’re not scared of big books and love a saga then I would definitely recommend this.
5) The Namesake
“Somehow, bad news, however, ridden with static, however, filled with echoes, always manages to be conveyed.”
In this list of Indian historical fiction books, “The Namesake” is the last and my favorite. The story of this book follows the Ganguli family as they migrate from Calcutta to create a new life in America. It shows how their son Gogol struggles with his identity as an American-Indian, and his relationship with his parents. This lovely novel talks about the experiences of immigrants, the clash of cultures, and the tangled bonds between different generations.
If I can shorten the whole plot of this book, then it would be like: A story that revolves around growing up with a name, despising it throughout, living in denial, exploring life through suffering, and finally accepting the name.
This book beautifully exhibits the values of the family bond, expectations that come along with it; learning and accepting, and of loneliness despite being surrounded by (even) your loved ones.
. . . . .
If you love this book recommendation list of Indian historical fiction books, then you’ll surely love: Books you should read if you love these 7 Bollywood Movies
Do let us know some best historical novels in the comments below!
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