Canada has been home to numerous talented authors whose works have not only topped national bestseller lists but have also gained international recognition. This article provides a detailed review of five best-selling Canadian fiction books of all time. We’ll delve into the unique features of each book, their pros and cons, and customer reviews, providing a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to explore Canadian literature.

Best Fiction Selling Canadian Books of all Time in Canada 2023

1. Five Little Indians: A Novel by Michelle Good


Detailed Features:

  • Genre: This book falls under the category of Historical Fiction.
  • Plot: “Five Little Indians” chronicles the lives of five indigenous Canadians. Taken from their families when they were very young and forced into residential schools, the book follows their journeys as they try to reclaim their lives after enduring trauma.
  • Characters: The book delves deep into each character’s psyche, showing their struggles and resilience. The characters are well-rounded and multi-dimensional.
  • Writing Style: The author, Michelle Good, writes with vivid and poignant language, which brings the characters’ experiences and emotions to life. She has a compelling storytelling style that keeps the reader engaged throughout.
  • Historical Context: The book sheds light on the dark history of Canadian residential schools and their lasting impacts on indigenous people.


  • The book provides a deep, insightful look into the lives and struggles of indigenous Canadians.
  • It features beautifully written prose with deep, well-developed characters.
  • It provides a unique perspective on a significant part of Canadian history, fostering understanding and empathy.


  • The themes of trauma and discrimination in the book may be heavy and distressing for some readers.
  • Some readers might find the narrative style, which switches between multiple perspectives, a bit confusing.

Customer Reviews: Most readers have given “Five Little Indians” overwhelmingly positive reviews. They appreciate the insightful look into a part of history that is often overlooked and praise the author’s beautiful writing style and the depth of her characters. However, some readers note that the book’s heavy themes may be emotionally challenging for some. Overall, the book has been lauded for its poignant portrayal of resilience in the face of adversity.

2. What Once Was True by Robbi McCoy


Detailed Features:

  • Genre: This book is a Romance novel.
  • Plot: The story revolves around two women who, upon returning to their small hometown, rediscover their childhood friendship and eventually find love in one another.
  • Characters: The main characters are relatable and well-developed, each with their own flaws and strengths.
  • Writing Style: The author uses descriptive and emotive language to capture the charm of small-town life and the complexities of relationships.
  • Setting: The setting is a small town, which adds to the charm and nostalgia of the story.


  • The book provides a heartwarming and relatable love story.
  • It features well-rounded characters with whom readers can easily connect.
  • The vivid descriptions of the small-town setting add depth to the narrative.


  • Some readers might find the plot predictable.
  • The pace of the story might be slow for some readers who prefer more action-driven narratives.

Customer Reviews:

Customers have generally praised “What Once Was True” for its well-developed characters and charming narrative. However, some readers have mentioned that the plot was somewhat predictable. Others have noted that they enjoyed the slow-burning romance and the nostalgic small-town setting.

3. The Judge’s List: A Novel by John Grisham


Detailed Features:

  • Genre: This book falls under the category of Legal Thriller.
  • Plot: The story revolves around a law professor and a young lawyer who team up to investigate a judge suspected of being involved in a series of murders. The narrative is fast-paced and filled with suspense and intrigue.
  • Characters: The characters in the book are well-developed, each with their unique traits and arcs. Their relationships and interactions add a layer of depth to the plot.
  • Writing Style: John Grisham is renowned for his engaging narrative style. His intricate plotlines and clear, concise language keep readers engaged and turning pages.
  • Setting: The book offers an authentic representation of the legal world, thanks to Grisham’s experience as a lawyer.


  • The book is a gripping read with a suspenseful plot that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
  • The characters are well-developed, and their relationships and interactions enrich the plot.
  • Grisham’s portrayal of the legal world is authentic and insightful, adding credibility to the plot.


  • Some readers may find the legal jargon and courtroom procedures used in the book overwhelming or difficult to follow.
  • The pace of the story might be too fast for some readers, which, combined with the intricate plotlines, might make the story hard to follow.

Customer Reviews:

“The Judge’s List: A Novel” has received positive reviews from readers, who have praised it for its suspenseful and engaging plot. Readers also appreciate the well-developed characters and Grisham’s authentic portrayal of the legal world. However, some readers found the legal jargon and the fast pace of the story overwhelming and challenging to follow. Despite this, many agree that the book is a gripping and insightful read.

4. All Good People Here: A Novel


Author: Anika Scott

Detailed Features:

  • Genre: This is a Historical Fiction novel.
  • Plot: The narrative spans several decades, exploring the lifelong friendship between two women against the backdrop of social and political change.
  • Characters: The two main characters are complex and well-developed, with their strengths, flaws, and growth presented realistically throughout the book.
  • Writing Style: Anika Scott employs a descriptive and engaging writing style, seamlessly weaving historical events into the narrative.


  • The book offers an engaging exploration of friendship, personal growth, and social change over time.
  • The historical context is well-researched and integrated into the story.
  • The characters are complex and relatable, adding depth to the narrative.


  • Some readers may find the pace slow due to the extensive character development and historical detail.
  • The narrative spans several decades, which might be confusing for some readers.

Customer Reviews:

Customers have praised “All Good People Here: A Novel” for its engaging and realistic portrayal of friendship and personal growth against a backdrop of historical events. They appreciate the well-developed characters and the author’s meticulous historical research. However, some readers found the pace of the story slow due to the extensive character development and historical detail.

5. The Nightingale: A Novel


Author: Kristin Hannah

Detailed Features:

  • Genre: This book falls under the category of Historical Fiction.
  • Plot: Set during World War II, the book tells the story of two sisters in France who resist the German occupation in their own ways.
  • Characters: The characters are well-developed, with their unique personalities, struggles, and growth depicted throughout the book.
  • Writing Style: Kristin Hannah uses vivid and emotive language, creating a gripping and emotionally charged narrative.


  • The book offers a poignant and powerful portrayal of resilience and courage during wartime.
  • The characters are complex and relatable, with their struggles and growth portrayed realistically.
  • The historical context is well-researched and integrated into the narrative.


  • The emotional intensity of the book may be overwhelming for some readers.
  • Some readers may find certain historical details or events depicted in the book contentious.

Customer Reviews:

Customers have praised “The Nightingale: A Novel” for its powerful and emotionally charged narrative. They appreciate the well-developed characters and the author’s well-researched depiction of World War II. However, some readers found the emotional intensity of the book overwhelming, and some found certain historical details or events depicted in the book contentious.

How to select the fiction-selling canadian books of all time in canada

Understanding Canadian Fiction

Canadian fiction is as varied and diverse as the country itself. It encompasses a range of genres, from historical fiction and literary fiction to mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. Canadian authors are known for their unique storytelling perspectives, often infusing their narratives with the country’s rich history, cultural diversity, and stunning landscapes. When looking for the best-selling Canadian fiction books, consider the following factors:


As with any book purchase, the genre is likely the first factor you’ll consider. Are you interested in historical fiction that delves into Canada’s past, or do you prefer a contemporary novel set in present-day Canada? Perhaps you’re drawn to the thrill of a mystery or the wonder of a fantasy or sci-fi novel. Identifying the genre you’re most interested in can significantly narrow down your options.


Canada has produced many renowned authors whose works have been recognized both nationally and internationally. Authors like Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, and Louise Penny are just a few names that have made significant contributions to Canadian literature. Researching the author can give you insights into their writing style and the themes they typically explore.


Canadian authors often explore themes related to identity, diversity, nature, history, and the immigrant experience, reflecting Canada’s multicultural society. If you’re interested in these themes, look for books that delve into these topics.

Reviews and Awards:

Reviews and awards can provide an indication of a book’s quality and impact. Look for books that have received positive reviews from both critics and readers. Additionally, books that have won or been shortlisted for awards like the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Awards, or the Booker Prize are often worth considering.


Personal recommendations can be invaluable. Ask friends, family, or colleagues who share your taste in books. You can also seek recommendations from book clubs, online forums, and social media book communities.

Uses of Canadian Fiction Books

  1. Understanding Canadian Culture and Society: Canadian fiction provides valuable insights into the country’s culture and society. Reading these books can help readers gain a deeper understanding of Canadian values, traditions, and lifestyle.
  2. Exploring Different Perspectives: Many Canadian authors come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, offering unique perspectives on various topics. Their stories provide a platform for voices that might otherwise be unheard.
  3. Learning about Canadian History: Historical fiction set in Canada can offer readers a more engaging way to learn about the country’s past. These stories often blend fact with fiction, providing a human perspective on historical events.
  4. Entertainment and Enjoyment: Like any good book, Canadian fiction can provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment. Whether it’s a compelling mystery, a heartwarming romance, or a thought-provoking literary novel, there’s something for every reader to enjoy.
  5. Promoting Critical Thinking: Many Canadian fiction books tackle complex themes and issues, encouraging readers to think critically about the world around them. These books can prompt valuable discussions about societal issues, ethics, and human nature.

Frequently Asked Questions about Best-Selling Canadian Fiction Books

1. What is Canadian fiction?

Canadian fiction refers to novels written by Canadian authors, often (though not always) set in Canada and featuring Canadian characters. These books encompass a wide range of genres, including literary fiction, science fiction, mystery, romance, historical fiction, and more.

2. Who are some notable Canadian fiction authors?

Some notable Canadian fiction authors include Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Yann Martel, Rohinton Mistry, and Louise Penny, among others.

3. Are there any awards for Canadian fiction?

Yes, there are several prestigious awards for Canadian fiction. These include the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Awards, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

4. Where can I buy Canadian fiction books?

Canadian fiction books can be purchased at local bookstores, online retailers like Amazon, and digital platforms like Kindle and Kobo. Libraries also typically have a selection of Canadian fiction.

5. Are there Canadian fiction books suitable for young adults?

Absolutely! Many Canadian authors write fiction suitable for young adults. Some popular Canadian YA authors include Kelley Armstrong, Kenneth Oppel, and Erin Bow.

Whether you’re an avid reader looking to diversify your reading list or someone interested in learning more about Canadian culture and history, Canadian fiction books offer a wealth of intriguing stories to explore.


Canadian literature has a rich and diverse collection of works that cover various genres and themes. These five best-selling Canadian fiction books – “Five Little Indians: A Novel,” “What Once Was True,” “The Judge’s List: A Novel,” “All Good People Here: A Novel,” and “The Nightingale: A Novel” – offer readers a glimpse into this diversity. Each book offers its unique features, pros, and cons, and they cater to different reader preferences. From historical fiction that explores the realities of indigenous Canadians and the world war era, to romance set in a small town, and a legal thriller that takes you into the heart of the judiciary, there is something for everyone. Customer reviews indicate a high level of satisfaction with these books, although individual preferences may vary.

In conclusion, these books not only showcase the best of Canadian fiction but also provide readers with engaging narratives, well-developed characters, and unique insights into various aspects of life and history.

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