A bit of Latin temper, some exotic history and a bit of fiction – is there a better combo out there? History has never ceased to inspire, especially when enriched with a little fiction. Throw the action in a Latin country and you have the perfect scenario – here are some of the best Hispanic historical fiction or set in Latin America books.


The Rebirth Of Kool, by O. Vazquez

The book follows Kool. Spending most of his life running from law, his illegal bootlegging career seems to nourish. However, he decides to take a different approach and go legal. Kool opens a Jazz nightclub in the eastern side of Los Angeles.

Things seem to go in the right direction, but Kool's dream is not going to last. An unusual event in the area – The Zoot Suit Riots – might change his world and environment forever. Action, mystery and drama – what will Kool do?


The House Of The Spirits, by Isabel Allende

Set in Latin America, the action follows a few generations of the same family. It seems to go around Chile, as many events float around the revolution started by General Pinochet. The book may feel like a soap opera, but it also boosts history, love, drama, action and so on.

From desire and trauma to war and joy, Isabel Allende has managed to bring in everything in this book. It is realistic and it makes you feel like the whole action floats around you.


In The Time Of The Butterflies, by Julia Álvarez

The author takes you to the Dominican Republic – the Trujillo dictatorship is not a fun era. However, three sisters – the Mirabal sisters – show courage when they try to start a coup and overthrow the dictator. It is a true story – the three women were murdered later on.

The book aims to discover each of them and figure out what caused the issues. Sure, the dictatorship was not really helping the people, but each of these sisters must have had a radical moment to make this big decision.


Like Water For Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

This is a Mexican classic – a bit of history, fiction and Latin America. The book follows Tita De La Garza, whose life is not too exciting. Eventually, she falls in love with a young man, but her witch of a mother is strongly against the marriage.

Eventually, her lover marries her sister in order to be close to her. Is it really a good idea? There is only one way to find out.


The Hummingbird’s Daughter, by Luis Alberto Urrea

This story follows Teresita – the daughter of a poor lady and a rich man. She faces a nightmare at 15, when she is beaten, raped and abandoned by a miner. She sadly passes away, but things take an unusual turn when she arises from the dead.

It all happens in the middle of her wake – pilgrims come over to see the wonder, the government and the church are suspicious about it and the world finds something interesting to believe in during harsh times. Set in Mexico, the story is about faith and destiny.


Who Is Vera Kelly?, by Rosalie Knecht

This is one of the best Hispanic historical fiction or set in Latin America books if you want thriller accents, spying stories, fiction and a little history. It is set in Argentina during the 1960s, but it opens in New York City.

Vera Kelly is a struggling youngster – until she is recruited by a CIA agent and ends up in Buenos Aires. She has to infiltrate a group of young adults with radical ideas, but things take an unusual turn when she realizes the bad guys are actually good.


The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver

The story follows Harrison Shepherd – a man torn between his love for Mexico and the need to survive. He gains a good reputation working with Diego Rivero or Lev Trotsky, but his passion for politics sends him all across the country especially during World War II.

The hero faces one plot after another as he struggles to discover his identity and figure who he is loyal to. The story is deep and the hero will take you through a groundbreaking adventure.


The Pearl, by John Steinbeck

Kino follows his father's legacy. Just like his father and grandfather, he has to dive and gather pearls in order to survive. Both Kino and his wife Juana do the same thing day by day in order to provide food for themselves and their son.

Things aim to change one day, when Kino finds a pearl the size of an egg – perfect, smooth and round. The pearl revolves around the human nature – love, evil and greed. Will Kino find security and comfort?


Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel García Márquez

A murder shakes the small community of a small town – no one figures it out. About 27 years later, a man gets back to the area to figure it out.

Things go left and right as a man gets married and separated straight away – family plots and other issues. His wife is sent back to her parents, while her twin brothers decide to attempt murdering him. Everyone knows something is about to happen, but no one does anything. There is plenty of mystery and not a single solution. Will this murder be solved?


The Invisible Mountain, by Carolina De Robertis

It is the first day of a new century. A small community gathers together to observe a miracle – the unexpected reappearance of a lost kid. Pajarita is a grown woman now and lives in Montevideo, while her daughter Eva aims to become a poet and discover art. Eva's daughter Salome approaches a completely different path – politics, sensual circles and Latin rebels.

It looks like the book is not getting anywhere, but it follows the family line around Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo, as well as the USA – a line between family relationships and the will to survive no matter what.

Bottom line, these are some of the best Hispanic historical fiction or set in Latin America books – excellent for a bit of exoticism and some stories that may take you back to old fashioned soap operas.