The Greatest "Historical fiction, Siblings" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 313 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Historical fiction

Historical fiction is a genre of literature that combines fictional stories with real historical events, settings, and characters. These books often take place in a specific time period and are based on research and factual information, but also include imaginative elements to create a compelling narrative. Historical fiction allows readers to experience the past in a unique and engaging way, while also providing insight into the social, cultural, and political issues of the time.


The "Siblings" category in literature encompasses a diverse range of books that delve into the intricate dynamics, bonds, and conflicts inherent in sibling relationships. Whether exploring the fierce loyalty and deep-seated rivalries between brothers and sisters, the complexities of blended families, or the poignant connections in twins' lives, this genre offers a rich exploration of familial ties. From heartwarming tales of siblings banding together to overcome adversity to psychological dramas that unravel the darker aspects of these relationships, the "Siblings" category provides readers with a window into the multifaceted experiences that come with having siblings. It includes a variety of narratives, from coming-of-age stories and historical sagas to thrillers and comedies, all unified by the central theme of siblinghood and its impact on individual and family identities.

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  1. 1. Atonement by Ian McEwan

    Atonement is a powerful novel that explores the consequences of a young girl's false accusation. The narrative follows the lives of three characters, the accuser, her older sister, and the sister's lover, who is wrongly accused. This false accusation irrevocably alters their lives, leading to the accused's imprisonment and eventual enlistment in World War II, while the sisters grapple with guilt, estrangement, and their own personal growth. The novel is a profound exploration of guilt, forgiveness, and the destructive power of misinterpretation.

    The 272nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    This novel is a multi-generational epic that follows the lives of the Trask and Hamilton families in the Salinas Valley in California. The story is deeply rooted in biblical allegory, particularly the tale of Cain and Abel, as it explores themes of love, guilt, freedom, and the inherent good and evil in human nature. The narrative provides a profound, complex portrayal of family and individual struggles with morality and love, while also reflecting on the social changes affecting America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    The 325th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

    This novel explores the lives of two sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, who are brought up in a small town drapery shop in the mid-19th century. Constance remains in their hometown, marries and leads a relatively uneventful life, while Sophia elopes to Paris with a traveling salesman, living through the Siege of Paris and the Franco-Prussian War. The book contrasts the sisters' different experiences and how their choices shape their lives, ultimately reuniting them in their old age.

    The 331st Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

    "The Makioka Sisters" is a novel set in pre-World War II Japan, following the lives of four sisters from a once-wealthy Osaka family. The story focuses on their struggles to maintain their traditional lifestyle and status in a rapidly changing society. The two elder sisters are concerned with finding a suitable husband for the third sister, while the youngest sister, more modern and independent, resists the constraints of her family's expectations. The book provides a detailed and nuanced exploration of the clash between tradition and modernity in Japanese society.

    The 1213th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Notebook: The Proof ; The Third Lie : Three Novels by Agota Kristof

    "The Notebook: The Proof ; The Third Lie : Three Novels" is a trilogy of novels that follow the lives of twin brothers, living through the harsh realities of war, separation, and betrayal. The first novel, "The Notebook," tells the story of their survival as children in a rural town at the end of World War II. The second book, "The Proof," continues their story into adulthood, exploring the effects of their traumatic childhood. The final book, "The Third Lie," delves into the complexities of their relationship and the secrets they kept from one another. The trilogy is a poignant exploration of identity, love, and the enduring bond of brotherhood.

    The 1432nd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

    The novel follows the lives of two orphaned Australian sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, who move to England in the post-World War II era. The story revolves around their relationships, particularly Caroline's complex and often tragic love life. The narrative is filled with themes of love, fate, time, and the intricate complexities of human relationships, all set against the backdrop of significant historical events.

    The 1556th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

    In the Time of the Butterflies is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of the Mirabal sisters who were activists against the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. The narrative is a blend of fact and fiction, presenting the personal lives and political involvement of the sisters, three of whom were assassinated for their roles in the resistance movement. The book explores themes of courage, sacrifice, love, and the power of women in the face of oppressive regimes.

    The 1722nd Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Legends of The Fall by Jim Harrison

    "Legends of the Fall" is a collection of three novellas, each exploring themes of love, war, and betrayal against the backdrop of the American wilderness. The titular novella follows the lives of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of Montana in the early 1900s. The three brothers, each vastly different in character, find their bond tested when they all fall in love with the same woman. Their individual and collective decisions lead to a series of tragic events that shape their destiny. The other two novellas also deal with complex relationships and moral dilemmas, set against the harsh and unforgiving landscapes of America.

    The 1725th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

    "Jacob Have I Loved" is a coming-of-age novel that follows the story of Louise, a twin sister overshadowed by her talented and beloved sibling, Caroline. Set in a small fishing village on the Chesapeake Bay during World War II, Louise struggles to find her own identity and pursue her dreams amidst the challenges of family dynamics, societal expectations, and the limitations of her environment. As she navigates the complexities of adolescence, Louise must confront jealousy, resentment, and the search for self-worth, ultimately discovering the strength to forge her own path and claim her independence.

    The 2034th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

    "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" is a captivating tale of two Cuban brothers who emigrate to New York City in the 1950s to pursue their dreams of becoming famous mambo musicians. The story is told through the memories of the older brother, now a middle-aged man living in the U.S., as he reflects on their past glories, struggles, romantic entanglements, and the cultural and personal identity conflicts they faced in their journey. The book also explores themes of love, passion, music, and the immigrant experience.

    The 2553rd Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. December Bride by Sam Hanna Bell

    "December Bride" is a poignant and captivating novel set in rural Northern Ireland during the early 20th century. The story follows the life of a young woman named Sarah, who finds herself caught between tradition and her own desires. As she navigates the complexities of love, family, and societal expectations, Sarah must make difficult choices that will shape her future. With its vivid descriptions and richly drawn characters, this book explores themes of identity, sacrifice, and the enduring power of love.

    The 2664th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

    The novel follows the life of twin brothers born from a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Ethiopia. Their mother dies during childbirth and their father disappears, leaving them to be raised by two doctors at the mission hospital where they were born. The story spans several decades and continents, and explores themes of love, betrayal, medicine, and the complexity of family ties. One of the brothers, a gifted surgeon, flees to America after a political revolution in Ethiopia, while the other remains and struggles with the challenges of practicing medicine in a developing country.

    The 3062nd Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

    The book is a poignant tale of two French sisters during World War II who face the brutal German occupation of France in their own unique ways. While one sister joins the Resistance, risking her life to save others, the other struggles to maintain her family's home and protect her daughter, showcasing the resilience and strength of women under the shadow of war. Their paths are fraught with danger, moral complexity, and heartbreaking sacrifices, as they each fight for love, freedom, and survival against the backdrop of a world torn apart by conflict.

    The 4898th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. The Twins by Tessa De Loo

    "The Twins" is a poignant narrative about twin sisters, separated at a young age due to the Second World War. One sister grows up in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation, while the other is raised in Germany as part of the Hitler Youth. After six decades of separation, they meet again and begin to share their experiences, discovering the impact of the war on their lives and the stark differences in their upbringing. The book explores themes of identity, loyalty, and the long-lasting effects of war on individuals and families.

    The 5381st Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. Langrishe, Go Down by Aidan Higgins

    "Langrishe, Go Down" by Aidan Higgins is a poignant and introspective novel that delves into the lives of the Langrishe sisters, Imogen and Helen, as they navigate their way through the complexities of love, loss, and longing in rural Ireland. Set in the 1930s, this beautifully written narrative explores the sisters' turbulent relationships with the men in their lives and their struggle to find their own identities amidst societal expectations. With vivid descriptions and emotional depth, the novel captures the essence of a bygone era and offers a profound exploration of the human experience.

    The 5501st Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

    "Fall On Your Knees" is a multi-generational saga set in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, that explores themes of family, love, betrayal, and secrets. The story revolves around the Piper family, specifically four sisters, their father James, and their mother Materia. The narrative weaves through time, revealing the family's complex relationships, the impact of racial and cultural tensions, and the dark secrets that have shaped their lives. This novel is a deep exploration of family dynamics, love, and the power of secrets.

    The 5788th Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. Eustace and Hilda by L. P. Hartley

    "Eustace and Hilda" is a three-part novel that revolves around the complex relationship between a brother and sister in the early 20th century. The story explores their emotional bond, with Hilda being the dominant and protective elder sister to the more sensitive and passive Eustace. Their co-dependent relationship is marked by manipulation, guilt, and a deep yet ambiguous love. The novel unfolds their lives from childhood to adulthood, capturing the nuances of their relationship and the societal pressures of their time.

    The 5906th Greatest Book of All Time
  18. 18. A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovksa

    "A Spare Life" is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that explores the lives of conjoined twin sisters, Zlata and Srebra, as they navigate the complexities of their shared existence in war-torn Macedonia. Told through the eyes of Zlata, the narrative delves into themes of identity, freedom, and the pursuit of individuality, as the sisters grapple with their physical and emotional bonds. With lyrical prose and a powerful portrayal of sisterly love, this novel offers a unique and compelling perspective on the human experience.

    The 7041st Greatest Book of All Time
  19. 19. Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells

    This novel presents a poignant and humorous tapestry of a dysfunctional Southern family through a series of vignettes told from multiple perspectives. The narrative unfolds the complex dynamics of the family, exploring themes of alcoholism, abuse, and the search for love and acceptance. As each character reveals their innermost thoughts and secrets, the story delves into the impact of their shared history on their individual lives, painting a rich and emotional portrait of a family struggling to find healing and redemption amidst their personal and collective challenges.

    The 8801st Greatest Book of All Time
  20. 20. The Half Brother: A Novel by Lars Saabye Christensen

    "The Half Brother" is a compelling narrative that follows the life of a young man named Barnum Nilsen. Born into a Norwegian family with a mysterious past, Barnum navigates through life with a half-brother, Fred, who is both his best friend and his rival. As Barnum grows older, he becomes a successful writer, but his personal life is marked by loss, loneliness, and the weight of his family's secrets. The book is a profound exploration of identity, love, and the bonds of family.

    The 8999th Greatest Book of All Time
  21. 21. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

    "One Crazy Summer" is a heartwarming and poignant story set in the 1960s, following the journey of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California to spend the summer with their estranged mother. The girls find themselves immersed in the Black Panther movement and discover the harsh realities of racial inequality and social injustice. Through their experiences, they learn about love, resilience, and the importance of family.

    The 9238th Greatest Book of All Time
  22. 22. We Pierce by Andrew Huebner

    The novel is a poignant exploration of the American experience, focusing on two brothers from a small town who find themselves on divergent paths at the dawn of the 21st century. One brother enlists in the military, driven by a sense of duty and the desire for adventure, and is sent to the Middle East, where he confronts the harsh realities of war. Meanwhile, the other brother remains at home, dealing with his own struggles and the impact of his brother's absence on their family. Their journeys reflect the personal and national conflicts of a country grappling with its identity and the consequences of its actions abroad.

    The 9463rd Greatest Book of All Time
  23. 23. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

    "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett is a novel that tells the story of twin sisters, Desiree and Stella, who grow up in a small, southern black community in the 1950s and 60s. After running away from home at the age of 16, Stella decides to pass as white and marries a wealthy white man, while Desiree returns to their hometown with her dark-skinned daughter. The novel explores themes of identity, race, family, and the consequences of choices made in the past. As the sisters' lives diverge, their daughters' paths cross, and secrets are revealed, ultimately leading to a powerful and emotional conclusion.

    The 9574th Greatest Book of All Time
  24. 24. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    Set during World War II, this heartwarming novel tells the story of Ada, a young girl with a clubfoot who has been locked away and mistreated by her mother her entire life. When London is evacuated, Ada and her younger brother Jamie are sent to the countryside, where they find refuge with Susan, a woman who reluctantly takes them in. As Ada learns to trust and love for the first time, she discovers her own strength and resilience, ultimately finding freedom and a sense of belonging in the midst of war.

    The 9902nd Greatest Book of All Time
  25. 25. Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older

    "Dactyl Hill Squad" is an adventurous historical fiction novel set during the Civil War era. The story follows a group of young orphaned children who possess the ability to communicate with dinosaurs. When their home is attacked and their caretaker is kidnapped, they join a secret society of young rebels who ride dinosaurs to fight against the oppressive forces of the Confederacy. With their unique abilities and newfound allies, the children embark on a dangerous mission to rescue their friend and bring justice to their war-torn world.

    The 10244th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.