Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Religious Historical Fiction. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.
1. The Secret Messenger: The gripping historical fiction novel from the international bestseller
The highly awaited new novel from the internationally bestselling author of The German Midwife (also published as A Woman of War ). Venice, 1943 The world is at war, and Stella Jilani is leading a double life. By day she works in the lion’s den as a typist for the Reich; by night, she risks her life as a messenger for the Italian resistance. Against all odds, Stella must impart Nazi secrets, smuggle essential supplies and produce an underground newspaper on her beloved typewriter. But when German commander General Breugal becomes suspicious, it seems he will stop at nothing to find the mole, and Stella knows her future could be in jeopardy. London, 2017 Years later, Luisa Belmont finds a mysterious old typewriter in her attic. Determined to find out who it belonged to, Luisa delves into the past and uncovers a story of fierce love, unimaginable sacrifice and, ultimately, the worst kind of betrayal… Set between German-occupied 1940s Venice and modern-day London, this is a fascinating tale of the bravery of everyday women in the darkest corners of WWII, for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. Praise for The Secret Messenger : ‘Rich and captivating…a vivid story of love, sacrifice and betrayal.’ Woman’s World ‘Intriguing, pacy and fascinating.’ Suzanne Goldring, author of My Name is Eva ‘Unique, emotional and life-affirming.’ Melanie Hudson, author of The Last Letter from Juliet ‘A beautifully written novel, perfect for historical fiction lovers.’ Soraya M. Lane, bestselling author of The Girls of Pearl Harbor ‘Another fantastic page-turner.’ LP Fergusson, author of A Dangerous Act of Kindness ‘I felt I was walking alongside Stella over bridges and along canals at every heartstopping moment… Wonderful.’ Molly Green, author of An Orphan’s Wish ‘One of the stronger novels that pays homage to the women involved in the movements of resistance.’ Reader review ‘Refreshingly different. Even if you think you have read enough war books this year I strongly recommend you read this one.’ Reader review ‘If you like WWII stories, this is a must read.’ Reader review
- Author: Mandy Robotham
- Publisher: Avon (December 12, 2019)
- Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
2. The Day I Was Crucified: As Told by Jesus Christ
The most powerful depiction of the death of Christ ever written. See that infamous day not through the eyes, nor the voice of other men, but rather through the eyes and voice of the Lord Jesus Christ himself. He tells you of that day. There has never been a more stunning, more heart-touching piece of Christian literature to be found in the English language as is The Day I Was Crucified. Because it is His account of His own death, you will discover little known aspects of Christ's death. You are also ushered into a presentation of the Lord's death as seen from the viewpoint of principalities and powers as they gather on Golgatha. You will meet the embodiment of the law, of sin, and the world systemeven the personification of Death as he arrives on the scene to claim his victim. The Day I Was Crucified stands out as literary excellence apart from virtually any books known in the modern era.
- Author: Gene Edwards
- Publisher: Destiny Image (July 28, 2011)
- Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Children's eBooks
3. Redeeming Love
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER • ECPA BESTSELLER • A story of love that won't let go—no matter what! California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go. A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love. Includes a six-part reading group guide!
- Author: Francine Rivers
- Publisher: Multnomah; Paperback with Study Guide edition (May 9, 1997)
- Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Literature & Fiction
- ISBN: 978-1590525135
- Dimensions: 6 x 1.25 x 8.9 inches
4. The Expected One: A Novel (Magdalene Line Trilogy Book 1)
A gripping thriller and a profound spiritual journey that reveals the greatest story never told! Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the rocky foothills of the French Pyrenees, a gospel that contained her own version of the events and characters of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could be uncovered only by a special seeker, one who fulfills the ancient prophecy of l'attendue— The Expected One. When journalist Maureen Paschal begins the research for a new book, she has no idea that she is stepping into an ancient mystery so secret, so revolutionary, that thousands of people have killed and died for it. She becomes deeply immersed in the mystical cultures of southwest France as the eerie prophecy of The Expected One casts a shadow over her life and work and a long-buried family secret comes to light. Ultimately she comes face-to-face with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Judas, and Salome in the pages of a deeply moving and powerful new gospel, the life of Jesus as told by Mary Magdalene. CONTAINS NEW, UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL FROM THE ARQUES GOSPEL.
- Author: Kathleen McGowan
- Publisher: Atria Books (July 25, 2006)
- Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense
5. Siddhartha: A Novel
The classic novel of a quest for knowledge that has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers—a perennial favorite for graduation gifts. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Though set in a place and time far removed from the Germany of 1922, the year of the book’s debut, the novel is infused with the sensibilities of Hermann Hesse’s time, synthesizing disparate philosophies–Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism–into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man’s search for meaning. It is the story of the quest of Siddhartha, a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege and comfort to seek spiritual fulfillment and wisdom. On his journey, Siddhartha encounters wandering ascetics, Buddhist monks, and successful merchants, as well as a courtesan named Kamala and a simple ferryman who has attained enlightenment. Traveling among these people and experiencing life’s vital passages–love, work, friendship, and fatherhood–Siddhartha discovers that true knowledge is guided from within.
- Author: Hermann Hesse
- Publisher: Bantam (January 1, 1982)
- Genre: Literature & Fiction, United States
- ISBN: 978-0553208849
- Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.42 x 6.9 inches
6. A Voice in the Wind: The Mark of the Lion, Book 1
This classic series has inspired nearly 2 million readers. Both loyal fans and new readers will want the latest edition of this beloved series. This edition includes a foreword from the publisher, a preface from Francine Rivers and discussion questions suitable for personal and group use. #1 A Voice in the Wind: This first book in the classic best-selling Mark of the Lion series brings readers back to the first century and introduces them to a character they will never forget—Hadassah. Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, a young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.
- Author: Francine Rivers
- Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Historical
7. Return to Huckleberry Hill
An elderly Amish couple play matchmaker for their brokenhearted grandson and his best friend’s sister in this romance by the author of Huckleberry Hearts . When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities—or grandchildren . . . Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter. John King, his best friend—or so he thought—is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. Humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents’ home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he’ll find comfort. He’s enjoying wallowing in his misery—until John’s sister, Fern, shows up. She won’t stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness—or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern’s efforts only reawaken Reuben’s long-buried feelings—for her . . . With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it’s fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can—even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls—it may take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that’s right in front of him . . . Praise for Return to Huckleberry Hill “One of my favorite installments yet in this series . . . ! I invite fellow readers to read Return to Huckleberry Hill as it is a story you will not want to put down!” — Harlequin Junkie
- Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
- Publisher: Zebra Books (May 30, 2017)
- Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality
8. Hidden Places: A Novel
A deep yearning for home had led Eliza to Wyatt Orchards ten years ago. Now widowed with three young children, she faces mounting debts and the realization it is all up to her. But she has no idea how to run an orchard alone. When a stranger appears at her doorstep, Eliza guesses he is no different than the other out-of-luck characters searching for work during the Depression. But the familiarity with which Gabe tends to the farm raises unanswered questions. With a vulnerable heart, she is unwittingly drawn to his gentle ways. But Eliza also fears that Gabe hides a past and motives that could jeopardize all she has fought to attain for herself and her children....
- Author: Lynn Austin
- Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2001)
- Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality
9. From Sand and Ash
Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II. As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood. Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church. But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.
- Author: Amy Harmon
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 1, 2016)
- Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
10. The Pilgrim's Progress: A Readable Modern-Day Version of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (Revised and easy-to-read)
The most readable version of Pilgrim’s Progress available! Reading The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan can be a bit challenging even for the best of readers. Not so with this new, easy-to-read version that translates the original archaic language into simple conversational English allowing readers of all ages to easily navigate the most popular Christian allegory of all time. The story chronicles the epic adventure of a man named Christian who leaves his home in the City of Destruction and begins a life-long quest to the Celestial City. Set against the backdrop of a hazardous journey, this powerful drama unfolds as Christian’s adventures lead him into fascinating lands and encounters with interesting people who either help or hinder his progress along a narrow way. With a gallery of memorable characters and visits to colorful places, Bunyan’s allegorical narrative describes one man's extraordinary adventure on his journey to faith. Without losing any faithfulness to the original text, now you can read Bunyan’s timeless classic and reimagine this famous quest that has challenged and encouraged believers for centuries. The book includes the original Bible references and a Bible study guide is available separately for individual and small group use. Frequently Asked Questions: Is the book unabridged? Yes. The most important consideration was to convert the original, archaic language into simple conversational English without losing any faithfulness to Bunyan’s text. When compared to the original version, you will find no key element missing. What you will find is sentence construction and certain interpretations of character reactions modified or enhanced to produce a more contemporary style of expression without sacrificing the intrinsic message. Also, instead of using the antiquated term “stages” to separate book sections, you will find chapter headings and subdivisions. Does this book include Part 1 and Part 2? This book only includes Part 1 of The Pilgrim's Progress which chronicles the journey of Christian to the Celestial City. Part 2 chronicles the journey of his wife and children and is not included in this book. What age group is the book for? The book is appropriate for all readers 12 and up and is a favorite of renowned authors such as Charles Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, John Newton, George Whitefield, and many others. Is there a Bible study? Yes. The Pilgrim’s Progress Study Guide, available separately, will guide you through Bunyan’s masterful use of metaphors to a better understanding of key concepts of the book, supporting Bible passages, and the relevance to our world today. Each study question is ideal for group discussion and answers to each question are available online. Can I use other book versions with the study? No. Although, there are many versions of this Bunyan classic, this version is the only book made specifically for this study. Each chapter, sub section, and study question of both the book and study guide are designed to be used with each other. Other book versions will feel drastically different and not match up with the study questions and format of this study.
- Author: John Bunyan
- Publisher: Brown Chair Books (May 7, 2020)
- Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Education
- ISBN: 978-1948481120
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.59 x 8.5 inches