History-the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.
Fiction-literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.
Historical Fiction is one of my all time favorite genres to read as a book enthusiast. One of the first books I ever read that taught me to love to read was The Thorn Birds which was full of controversy and frowned upon by many. As I’ve gained more years and wisdom in my life I started to try to understand the criticism and thought that goes into reviewing this genre.
Of recent I have seen many people reviewing books before even reading it, (ex The Black Witch) and people saying things like ” don’t read this it promotes racism and sexism and if I could give it negative stars I would.”
The next book I read recent reviews of was Where the Crawdads Sing. This was my favorite book in 2019 and I recommended it to everyone so I started to question “did I miss something?” Reviewers were writing reviews similar to the one stated before, that this book was condoning racism and sexism.
So that makes me question, how is everyone deciding what books are GLORIFYING racism/sexism/and other hard topics and what are educating?
I am constantly working to learn more about our world in the time we live in and what I can do to be a BETTER person. I pray about it, I educate myself, I try to spread love and positivity. And with gaining education we must read about history to better understand what people went through in the past so that we can shine light, and learn for our future, otherwise we are doomed to make the same mistake. History is important. History cannot be changed.
When authors choose to write books set in an era where a woman couldn’t get a job. Or she was told she couldn’t vote, or could do nothing better than be a mother, those are hard topics authors spend a lot of time researching to better develop the character and storyline so we know the pain, struggle and reality of that time. Topics like this are often hard to read and sometimes I find myself saying “I can’t imagine….” But if an author didn’t portray that period of time correctly wouldn’t that be an injustice to those that created change for us now? It is their job to be as factual as possible.
An example. WWII/ The Holocaust. Do you know we live in a world where many believe that didn’t happen? The Holocaust is constantly something I am picking up and reading because I am wanting to understand. But will I ever understand how one man was able to create genocide? What it was like for women to be raped and used for science experiments? To be branded and told they were filth and needed to be eradicated. To watch families be shot down in the middle of the street. No. I will never understand, but I can learn. I can be humbled. I can be better. I can also read about the inspirational figures that were strong enough to tell their story.
So my take away from all of this is if I as a reader enjoy historical fiction I need to do my research before picking up a book. Where is this book set at? What time period is it and what was going on in the world at this time? Am I okay to learn and be immersed in that time when topics may be difficult? Is the author trying to be historically accurate or are they spreading hate and glorifying these acts? Can the ending of this book in this time period be solved by then end or is it left open?
Before you review please ask these questions. Understand. Give Grace. But if someone is spreading hate be the voice ❤️.
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”