We Go Together: Historical Fiction and Nonfiction Pairings

Explore historical events through the lens of both factual accounts and creative storytelling!

April 26, 2024

This book list offers a unique journey through history by pairing each historical fiction novel with a similar work of non-fiction. Each pairing has been selected to complement one another, allowing you to explore historical events through the lens of both factual accounts and creative storytelling.

The Forest Of Vanishing Stars + Defiance

The forest of vanishing stars by Kristin Harmel

The Forest Of Vanishing Stars

Kristin Harmel

An evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis–until a secret from her past threatens everything.

Defiance by Nechama Tec


Nechama Tec

Chronicles the activities of a group of Jewish partisans in Belorussia during World War II, who were responsible for the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews.

I, Eliza Hamilton + Eliza Hamilton

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott

I, Eliza Hamilton

Susan Holloway Scott

In this beautifully written novel of historical fiction, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza–a fascinating strong-willed heroine in her own right and a key figure in one of the most gripping periods in American history.

Eliza Hamilton by Tilar J Mazzeo

Eliza Hamilton
The Extraordinary Life And Times Of The Wife Of Alexander Hamilton

Tilar J Mazzeo

From the New York Times best-selling author of Irena’s Children comes a comprehensive and riveting biography of the extraordinary life and times of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a powerful, unsung hero in America’s early days.

America’s First Daughter + Jefferson’s Daughters

America's first daughter by Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie

America’s First Daughter

Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie

A carefully researched tale based on thousands of original sources imagines the experiences of third American President’s daughter Patsy, who while accompanying her father to Paris struggles with his past affair with a slave and falls in love with his protégé against a backdrop of a growing revolution.

Jefferson's daughters by Catherine Kerrison

Jefferson’s Daughters
Three Sisters, White And Black, In A Young America

Catherine Kerrison

A portrait of the divergent lives of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters reveals how his white daughters struggled with the realities of lives they were ill-prepared to manage, while the daughter he fathered with a slave did not achieve freedom until adulthood.

The Nickel Boys + The Boys Of The Dark

The Nickel boys by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead

Follows the harrowing experiences of two African-American teens at an abusive reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

The boys of the dark by Robin Gaby Fisher

The Boys Of The Dark
A Story Of Betrayal And Redemption In The Deep South

Robin Gaby Fisher

Documents the horrifying practices witnessed by the authors at their 1950s reform school, where students were terrorized by sadistic guards who assaulted, raped and possibly murdered students, in an account that also traces the authors’ determined efforts to expose and confront their abusers.

Enchantress Of Numbers + Broad Band

Enchantress of numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini

Enchantress Of Numbers
A Novel Of Ada Lovelace

Jennifer Chiaverini

Educated in math and science by her mother, the only legitimate child of Lord Byron is introduced into London society before forging a bond with Charles Babbage and using her talents to become the world’s first computer programmer.

Broad band by Claire Evans

Broad Band
The Untold Story Of The Women Who Made The Internet

Claire Evans

The YACHT lead singer and VICE reporter celebrates the lesser-known contributions of women to the history of technology, sharing brief profiles of such boundary-breaking innovators as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler and Stacy Horn.

See What I Have Done + The Trial Of Lizzie Borden

See what I have done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done

Sarah Schmidt

A reimagining of the infamous Lizzie Borden murder case profiles a volatile and loveless Borden home where the events surrounding the shocking murders of the parents are presented from the viewpoints of Lizzie, her elder sister, their housemaid and an enigmatic stranger.

The trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

The Trial Of Lizzie Borden
A True Story

Cara Robertson

Drawing on twenty years of research and recently discovered evidence, an account of the infamous Lizzie Borden trial explores professional and public opinions while considering how Gilded Age values and fears influenced the case.

The Chanel Sisters + Coco Chanel

The Chanel sisters by Judithe Little

The Chanel Sisters

Judithe Little

Raised by pious nuns, Antoinette, the younger sister of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, escapes to Paris, where her shared effort to launch a fashion brand is challenged by discriminating conventions and the horrors of World War I.

Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney

Coco Chanel
An Intimate Life

Lisa Chaney

Documents the controversial story of the iconic 20th-century designer, chronicling previously unexplored aspects of her private life as drawn from newly discovered letters and other records to offer insight into such topics as her drug habit, her lesbian affairs and allegations about her relationship with a Nazi spy.

The Four Winds + The Worst Hard Time

The four winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds

Kristin Hannah

A Depression-era woman confronts a wrenching choice between fighting for the Dust Bowl-ravaged land she loves in Texas or pursuing an uncertain future in California.

The worst hard time by Timothy Egan

The Worst Hard Time
The Untold Story Of Those Who Survived The Great American Dust Bowl

Timothy Egan

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist brings together an oral history of the American Dust Bowl that devastated the Great Plains during the Great Depression, following several families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region and their desperate struggle to persevere despite the devastation.

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz + Auschwitz: A New History

The tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

Heather Morris

An international best-seller based on the true story of an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor traces the experiences of a Jewish Slovakian who uses his position as a concentration-camp tattooist to secure food for his fellow prisoners.

Auschwitz: a new history by Laurence Rees

Auschwitz: A New History

Laurence Rees

Insights gleaned from more than one hundred original interviews shed new light on history’s most famous death camp, with the testimonies of survivors providing a detailed and chilling portrait of the camp’s inner workings, in a companion volume to the PBS documentary.

Lilac Girls + The Nine

Lilac girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls

Martha Hall Kelly

The lives of three women converge at the Ravensbrück concentration camp as Caroline Ferriday resolves to help from her post at the French consulate, Kasia Kuzmerick becomes a courier in the Polish resistance, and Herta Oberheuser takes a German government medical position.

The nine by Gwen Strauss

The Nine
The True Story Of A Band Of Women Who Survived The Worst Of Nazi Germany

Gwen Strauss

Presents the previously untold World War II story of nine female resistance fighters who banded together to survive the camps and ultimately escaped from a final death march across war-torn Germany.

Beheld + Mayflower

Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit


Tarashea Nesbit

The best-selling author of The Wives of Los Alamos retraces the story of the Pilgrims from the perspectives of the rebel Billington family, whose disputes with Puritan neighbors under the influence of a newcomer escalate into Plymouth’s first murder.

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

A Story Of Courage, Community, And War

Nathaniel Philbrick

A history of the Pilgrim settlement of New England challenges popular misconceptions, discussing such topics as the diseases of European origin suffered by the Wampanoag tribe, the fragile working relationship between the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors, and the devastating impact of the King Philip’s War.

The Girls With No Names + Bringing Down The Colonel

The girls with no names by Serena Burdick

The Girls With No Names

Serena Burdick

After her father commits her older sister to a New York “House of Mercy,” Effie Tilden hatches a plan to free her, but soon finds that privilege and wealth are no protection.

Bringing down the Colonel by Patricia Miller

Bringing Down The Colonel
A Sex Scandal Of The Gilded Age, And The “Powerless” Woman Who Took On Washington

Patricia Miller

Bringing down the Colonel : a sex scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “powerless” woman who took on Washington / Patricia Miller.

A Fall Of Marigolds + Triangle

A fall of marigolds by Susan Meissner

A Fall Of Marigolds

Susan Meissner

Two women living one hundred years apart who experience similar tragic losses of love–Clara’s in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and Taryn’s in the collapse of the Twin Towers–are connected through time by a scarf.

Triangle by David Von Drehle

The Fire That Changed America

David Von Drehle

Describes the devastating 1911 fire that destroyed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York’s Greenwich Village, the deaths of 146 workers in the fire, the Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly women, who made up the majority of the victims, and the implications of the catastrophe on twentieth-century politics and labor relations.

The Children’s Blizzard + The Children’s Blizzard

The children's blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

The Children’s Blizzard

Melanie Benjamin

Draws on oral histories of the Great Plains blizzard of 1888 to depict the experiences of two teachers, a servant, and a reporter who risk everything to protect the children of immigrant homesteaders.

The children's blizzard by David Laskin

The Children’s Blizzard

David Laskin

Describes the deadly 1888 snowstorm in the Great Plains that killed more than five hundred people including numerous schoolchildren, discussing how the storm devastated immigrant families and dramatically affected pioneer advancement.

The Invention Of Wings + Civil War Wives

The invention of wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention Of Wings

Sue Monk Kidd

Traces more than three decades in the lives of a wealthy Charleston debutante who longs to break free from the strictures of her household and pursue a meaningful life; and the urban slave, Handful, who is placed in her charge as a child before finding courage and a sense of self.

Civil War wives by Carol Berkin

Civil War Wives
The Lives And Times Of Angelina Grimké Weld, Varina Howell Davis, And Julia Dent Grant

Carol Berkin

In the life stories of three “accidental heroes”–women whose marriages provided them with position and perspective they would not otherwise have had–one of the nation’s premier historians offers a unique understanding of the tumultuous social and political landscape of their time.

Hamnet + Will In The World

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

A Novel Of The Plague

Maggie O’Farrell

The award-winning author of I Am, I Am, I Am presents the evocative story of a young Shakespeare’s marriage to a talented herbalist before the ravaging death of their 11-year-old son shapes the production of his greatest play.

Will in the world by Stephen Greenblatt

Will In The World
How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Stephen Greenblatt

A young man from a small provincial town moves to London in the late 1580s and, in a remarkably short time, becomes the greatest playwright not of his age alone but of all time. How is an achievement of this magnitude to be explained? Stephen Greenblattbrings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world’s greatest playwright.

Victoria + Victoria The Queen

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin


Daisy Goodwin

Drawing on Victoria’s own diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin brings us the brilliantly imagined life of a young woman about to make her mark on her nation–and the world.

Victoria the queen by Julia Baird

Victoria The Queen
An Intimate Biography Of The Woman Who Ruled An Empire

Julia Baird

An account of the life of the longtime English monarch offers insight into the passionate and sensuous aspects of her character, placing her reign against a backdrop of dynamic world events while sharing insights into her relationship with Albert and her pivotal role in building the British empire.

The Last Kingdom + The Vikings

The last kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom

Bernard Cornwell

Captured and raised by Danes in the ninth century, dispossessed nobleman Uhtred witnesses the unexpected defeat of his adoptive Viking clan by Alfred of Wessex and longs to recover his father’s land.

The Vikings by Robert Ferguson

The Vikings
A History

Robert Ferguson

Presents a history of the Nordic warriors and explorers who plundered and traded their way across Europe, and discusses how their conquests helped spread and enhance accomplishments in the arts, culture, and government.

I Was Anastasia + The Romanov Sisters

I was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

I Was Anastasia

Ariel Lawhon

In this historical suspense, Ariel Lawhon unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson’s 50-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the Russian Grand Duchess, a beloved daughter and revered icon, or is she an imposter, the thief of another woman’s legacy?

The Romanov sisters by Helen Rappaport

The Romanov Sisters
The Lost Lives Of The Daughters Of Nicholas And Alexandra

Helen Rappaport

Draws on personal writings and private sources to challenge common misperceptions and illuminate the daily lives and vibrant personalities of the four Russian Grand Duchesses from their own perspectives, revealing their awareness of family turmoil and the approach of the Russian Revolution.

The Book Of Lost Friends + Slavery By Another Name

The book of lost friends by Lisa Wingate

The Book Of Lost Friends

Lisa Wingate

A modern-day teacher discovers the story of three Reconstruction-era women and how it connects to her own students’ lives in this latest from the New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Yours.

Slavery by another name by Douglas A Blackmon

Slavery By Another Name
The Re-Enslavement Of Black Americans From The Civil War To World War Ii

Douglas A Blackmon

Bringing to light a shameful chapter in American history, a shocking study reveals how, from the late 1870s through the mid-twentieth century, thousands of African-American men were arrested and forced to work off the outrageous fines by serving as unpaid labor to small-town businesses, provincial farmers, and even large corporations.

The Spymistress + Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

The spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Spymistress

Jennifer Chiaverini

Pledging her loyalty to the North at the risk of her life when her native Virginia secedes, Quaker-educated aristocrat Elizabeth Van Lew uses her innate skills for gathering military intelligence to help construct the Richmond underground and orchestrate escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison.

Liar, temptress, soldier, spy by Karen Abbott

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Four Women Undercover In The Civil War

Karen Abbott

The never-before-told story of four real-life women who risked everything to take on a life of espionage during the Civil War.

The Mystery Of Mrs Christie + The Christie Affair

The mystery of Mrs Christie by Marie Benedict

The Mystery Of Mrs Christie

Marie Benedict

Claiming amnesia after going missing for more than a week in late 1926, up-and-coming mystery author Agatha Christie pens a chilling story that brashly implicates her war-hero husband.

The Christie affair by Nina de Gramont

The Christie Affair

Nina De Gramont

Brilliantly reimagining the unexpected 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie that captivated the world, this novel is told from the point of Miss Nan O’Dea, who infiltrated the Christies’ wealthy, rarified world to destroy their marriage.

The Aviator’s Wife + Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The aviator's wife by Melanie Benjamin

The Aviator’s Wife

Melanie Benjamin

Despite her own major achievements–she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States–Anne Morrow Lindbergh is viewed merely as Charles Lindbergh’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh by Susan Hertog

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Her Life

Susan Hertog

Drawing on more than five years of interviews and access to personal family papers and correspondence, this fascinating biography offers a stunning portrait of a world-famous couple and their marriage, the tragic kidnapping and murder of their infant son, and Lindbergh’s links to the German Reich.

Before We Were Yours + Before And After

Before we were yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours

Lisa Wingate

A tale inspired by firsthand accounts about the notoriously corrupt Tennessee Children’s Home Society follows the efforts of a Baltimore assistant D.A. to uncover her parents’ fateful secrets in the wake of a political attack and a chance encounter with a stranger.

Before and after by Judy Christie, Lisa Wingate

Before And After
The Incredible Real-Life Stories Of Orphans Who Survived The Tennessee Children’s Home Society

Judy Christie, Lisa Wingate

The best-selling author of Before We Were Yours and an award-winning journalist document the true stories of the victims of a notorious adoption scandal who discovered that they were kidnapped as infants before eventually reuniting with their birth families.

Rise To Rebellion + 1776

Rise to rebellion by Jeff Shaara

Rise To Rebellion

Jeff Shaara

The 1770 killing of civilians by British troops during the Boston Massacre and the tumultuous trial that follows ignites the flames of revolution that will culminate in America’s epic struggle for independence, in a richly textured historical novel that interweaves real-life events with stunning portraits of Ben Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, and other colonial leaders.

1776 by David McCullough


David Mccullough

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost — Washington, who had never before led an army in battle.

Beloved + The War Before The War

Beloved by Toni Morrison


Toni Morrison

Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is persistantly haunted by the ghost of her dead baby girl.

The war before the war by Andrew Delbanco

The War Before The War
Fugitive Slaves And The Struggle For America’s Soul From The Revolution To The Civil War

Andrew Delbanco

Explains how fugitive slaves escaping from the South to the northern states awakened northerners to the true nature of slavery and how the Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act divided the nation and set it on the path to civil war.

The Tubman Command + She Came To Slay

The Tubman command by Elizabeth Cobbs

The Tubman Command

Elizabeth Cobbs

Harriet Tubman was a scout for the union army and led a successful raid up the Combahee River in South Carolina that freed 750 men, women, and children. This is the historical novel of her heroic raid.

She came to slay by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

She Came To Slay
The Life And Times Of Harriet Tubman

Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Explores the complexities and achievements of iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman, combining rare commentary with new and public-domain photographs to offering modern insights into Tubman’s role in the Civil War, suffrage and emancipation.

American Wife + First Women

American wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife

Curtis Sittenfeld

When her husband is elected president of the United States, Alice Blackwell finds her new life as first lady increasingly tumultuous as she recalls her early life, her courtship and marriage, and the crisis that nearly destroyed their relationship and reflects on the privileges and difficulties of her position as her private beliefs conflict with her public responsibilities.

First women by Kate Andersen Brower

First Women
The Grace And Power Of America’s Modern First Ladies

Kate Andersen Brower

Presents an intimate examination of the true influence of White House First Ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, which draws on previously untapped and candid sources to document their stories.

The Editor + Jackie

The editor by Steven Rowley

The Editor

Steven Rowley

A struggling writer in 1990s New York City gets his big break from none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. By the author of Lily and the Octopus.

Jackie by J Randy Taraborrelli

Public, Private, Secret

J Randy Taraborrelli

Based on hundreds of new interviews, this often startling look at the life of the legendary former first lady explores the flaws and contradictions that only served to make her even more iconic.

Great Circle + Come Fly The World

Great circle by Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle

Maggie Shipstead

A century after daredevil female aviator Marian Graves’s disappearance in Antarctica, actress Hadley Baxter is cast to play her and immerses herself in the role as their fates — and their dreams — become intertwined.

Come fly the world by Julia Cooke

Come Fly The World
The Jet-Age Story Of The Women Of Pan Am

Julia Cooke

A lively, unexpected portrait of the jet-age stewardesses serving on iconic Pan Am airways between 1966 and 1975.

Glory Over Everything + Master Slave Husband Wife

Glory over everything by Kathleen Grissom

Glory Over Everything
Beyond The Kitchen House

Kathleen Grissom

Continues the experiences of Jamie, who in 1830 after escaping slavery passes himself off as a wealthy white silversmith, only to risk everything to save a beloved servant who has been captured and sold in the South.

Master slave husband wife by Ilyon Woo

Master Slave Husband Wife
An Epic Journey From Slavery To Freedom

Ilyon Woo

Presents the remarkable true story of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery through daring, determination, and disguise, with Ellen passing as a wealthy, disabled white man and William posing as “his” slave.