Novels About Revolution or Rebellion

These novels will have a revolution as an important part of the plot.

We’ll sometimes see the oppression that leads to revolt, and how the rebels organize their efforts.

Revolution or Rebellion in Novels

A Bend in the River | V.S. Naipaul

Salim is an Indian Muslim in the Congo (Zaire) where he owns a shop. There is an uneasy peace in the region. Salim’s people are a minority in this area, and he is alienated. He can’t go back home as his family is scattered due to instability in that area. The Big Man is a dictator who is trying to squash the uprisings of the rebels. Salim tries to build his business, but eventually the dictator’s authority interferes with him.

Doctor Zhivago | Boris Pasternak

Yura Zhivago’s mother has died. His father had left the family and squandered their money. He commits suicide while Yura is young. His uncle looks after him. Yura eventually goes into medicine. He meets Tonia, a woman from a moneyed family, and they marry. He also meets Lara, an independent, intelligent woman, and they feel a strong attraction.

The Scarlet Pimpernel | Emmuska Orczy

It is Paris in 1792 during the French Revolution. Many aristocrats are being executed. A hero, known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, has been rescuing aristocrats. In England, members of The Scarlet Pimpernel’s League make plans to assist in another rescue. Chauvelin, an agent of the French government, is investigating the Scarlet Pimpernel, trying to turn any of his associates against him.

Read “The Scarlet Pimpernel”

The Tree of the Red Stars | Tessa Bridal

Magda returns to Uruguay after an exile. We’re taken back to her childhood; she grows up in a male-dominated society, and with building political unrest. The revolution gets closer to her when she finds out some neighbours are involved, and Che Guevara comes to speak at a local event.

July’s People | Nadine Gordimer

The Smales, a white family living in South Africa, have to flee due to a civil war when the black population overturns apartheid. They go to the village of their black servant, July.


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