What are the best historical fiction novels set in Australia?

asked by Anonymous
250 contributors
14 solutions
  1. 32

    #1The Thorn Birds

    The Thorn Birds

    This book narrates the adventures of three generations from the same sheep country Australia family. It mainly focuses in two characters, Meggie Cleary, who is trying her best to possess the man she loves, and Ralph de Bricassart, a man who will make it to the Vatican but has strong feelings for Meggie. 

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    Christina Han
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "The Thorn Birds is a classic of the sweeping family epic type. It covers 54 years, and focuses on the Cleary family, and most specifically on Meggie Cleary, who meets the much older Father Ralph when she is four years old, and grows up into the woman who loves him. A great deal of the book is about Meggie and Ralph's love, and the challenges it poses to Ralph's vocation, but this book is not only a romance, It is also the story of a family, and how the personalities of the family members interact, Above all, it is anchored by Drogheda , the station where the Clearys live."
  2. 30

    #2The Light Between Oceans

    The Light Between Oceans
    The Light Between Oceans is a historical fiction novel by M.L. Stedman. Set in Australia, it tells the story of Tom Sherbourne, a lighthouse keeper, and how a decision he made with his wife changed their life forever.
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    Navya Mukopadhyay
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This book is only 5 years old. The book is very popular and has over 10K reviews! This is a story that seems very popular and loved by many."
  3. 25

    #3Oscar and Lucinda

    Oscar and Lucinda

    Oscar and Lucinda is a Booker Prize-winning novel by Australian author Peter Carey. It tells the story of Oscar and Lucinda, who are both proven gamblers, as they take on a bet that changed the course of their lives.

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    Larry Henry
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Oscar and Lucinda is a boring novel as well. It's a shame too because it has such a great premise as well."
  1. 25

    #4Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Picnic at Hanging Rock is a historical fiction novel by Joan Lindsay, originally published in 1967. It tells the story of three girls who disappeared and never returned. A film adaptation of the book was released in 1975. 

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    Stephen Burke
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Picnic at hanging rock is probably my favorite historical fiction work by Joan Lindsay. It takes place in Australia and it's about three girls who disappeared and were never found."
  2. 23

    #5Gould's Book of Fish

    Gould's Book of Fish
    Gould's Book of Fish is a historical fiction novel by Australian writer Richard Miller Flanagan. Set during the 19th century, it tells the story of British colonialism in Australia. It won the Man Booker Prize in 2014. 
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    Lu Sun
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "FROM THE WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2014 Once upon a time that was called 1828, before all the living things on the land and the fishes in the sea were destroyed, there was a man named William Buelow Gould, a convict in Van Dieman's Land who fell in love with a black woman and discovered too late that to love is not safe. Silly Billy Gould, invader of Australia, liar, murderer, forger, fantasist, condemned to live in the most brutal penal colony in the British Empire, and there ordered to paint a book of fish. "
  3. 22

    #6Morgan's Run

    Morgan's Run

    Morgan's Run is a historical fiction novel by Colleen McCullough, first published in 2000. Set in the 18th century, it tells the story of a British man, Richard Morgan, and his exile in Australia.

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    Megan Spencer
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Appears to be a well written and well reviewed novel. Set is Australia, it fits the problem exactly. "
  4. 21

    #7True History of the Kelly Gang

    True History of the Kelly Gang
    The True Story of the Kelly Gang is a historical fiction novel by Peter Carey, originally published in 2000. Written as an autobiography, it tells the story of the famous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly. 
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    Joe Bryant
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "This novel was pretty good overall. I really enjoyed the character details and level of depth behind them all. As for the story, I think it was lacking only slightly but that is really me just nit picking and being very critical. If you enjoy history in any capacity then you will most likely enjoy this book."
  5. 18

    #8English Passengers

    English Passengers

    English Passengers is a historical fiction novel by British writer Matthew Kneale, first published in 2000. Set in the year 1857, it tells the story of an English ship which landed on the coasts of Australia.

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    Willie Bishop
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "As one of the people who are not familiar with the book or even the country, my opinions about this novel is solely based on the reviews which, from the look of it, a lot of positive ones. A lot of this book is being compared to one of the better pieces of other authors, so that is a good thing."
  6. 18

    #9The Secret River

    The Secret River
    The Secret River is an award-winning historical fiction novel by Kate Greenville. Set in the early 19th century, it follows the story of William Thornhill, who makes life better for himself and his wife after getting deported to Australia.
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    Paul Perry
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Australia has a hidden history when it comes to the general public. The Secret River is an impressive fictional novel about Australia because it shows how people can live as a new citizen to Australia."
  7. 16

    #10A Town Like Alice

    A Town Like Alice

    A Town Like Alice is a novel by Nevil Shute. Set during World War II, it follows the story of Jean Paget, who travels to the outbacks of Australia to look for the Australian soldier who saved her life. 

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    Stephanie Hunt
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "If you are a fan of fiction novels set in Australia like myself, you should definitely check out A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. This book managed to take a topic that I was never a fan of (World War II) and make it interesting. I liked this book a lot."
  8. 4

    #11Bittersweet

    Bittersweet

    Bittersweet is young-adult fiction written by Sarah Ockler. Originally published in 2012, the novel follows the story of Hudson, a girl who's obsessed with what she might have been had life's been different.

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    Christopher Kelley
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "A very cute story. It moved me, and not much does. I guess you shouldn't think too much of how your life could have ended up, but to move forward on your own path."
  9. 1

    #12A Few Right Thinking Men (Rowland Sinclair)

    A Few Right Thinking Men (Rowland Sinclair)

    A Few Right Thinking Men is the first book in the historical mystery fiction series Rowland Sinclair written by Sulari Gentill which centers on artist Rowland Sinclair.

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    Samantha Washington
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "This book was really fun and easy to read. I especially loved the characters; they all felt like real people and they were fun to follow. "
  10. 0

    #13Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)

    Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)
    Cocaine Blues is the first book in the historical fiction series Phryne Fisher written by Kerry Greenwood which centers on Phryne Fisher who gets caught up in a mystery upon arriving in Melbourne's Hotel Windsor.
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    Melissa Barnett
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This book is an imaginative tale set in the 1920's making it a historical novel for sure. The main character is from London and moves to Australia so it is definitely set there. This book also has almost 700 positive reviews which make it one of the best, for sure."
  11. -1

    #14The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

    The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

    The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is a crime mystery novel written by Fergus Hume which centers on a detective trying to find the truth behind the murder of a man in a hansom cab in Melbourne. 

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    Emma Aguilar
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "I have had trouble finding decent historical fiction set in Australia, so I was overjoyed to discover The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume. This novel was incredibly engaging and filled with intrigue and drama. Definitely worth a read whether you have an interested in Australian history or not."

Summary

Best What are the best historical fiction novels set in Australia
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Thorn BirdsBooks 32 Paid
2The Light Between OceansBooks 30 Paid
3Oscar and LucindaBooks 25 Paid
4Picnic at Hanging RockBooks 25 Paid
5Gould's Book of FishBooks 23 Paid
6Morgan's RunBooks 22 Paid
7True History of the Kelly GangBooks 21 Paid
8English PassengersBooks 18 Paid
9The Secret RiverBooks 18 Paid
10A Town Like AliceBooks 16 Paid
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