20 Historical Fiction Novels You’ll Want in Your Future

A collage of the covers included in this article

Want to take a journey to the past? Whether you want to travel to Amsterdam to reunite with a miniaturist or fall in love in Georgian London or take a road trip in a Ford Mustang across the US, there’s a book here for you. Below you’ll find 20 historical fiction novels—many of which you can request now on NetGalley. If you were approved for any of these books, you can read them directly in your NetGalley Shelf app. Don’t forget to leave a review!

The Half-Life of Ruby Fielding by Lydia Kang

Lydia Kang transports readers to 1942 in this historical mystery set in Brooklyn. Siblings Will and Maggie Scipps are doing what they can to help the war effort, but everything changes when they find a woman with a penchant for poison hiding under their stairs.

The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton

This summer Jessie Burton returns with a highly-anticipated sequel to The Miniaturist, set in Amsterdam in 1705. Readers can reunite with Nella, who is playing matchmaker for her 18-year-old niece, while trying to ensure the secrets of her past remain hidden.

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s debut novel looks at five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family. Luz Lopez is on her own after her brother is driven from Denver and begins to have visions that take her far from the 1930s and deep into her family’s history.

This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke

This young adult novel from Katherine Locke looks at the Hungarian revolution through the eyes of a Jewish teenager. After her parents are executed, Csilla is torn between fleeing the country or staying to join the protests and fight for the home she loves.

The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani

Long-kept secrets are revealed in this historical novel that takes readers from Italy to Scotland and spans a century. At the end of her life, the matriarch of the Cabrelli family reveals hidden truths about her mother’s love affair with a Scottish sea captain in 1939.

In the Face of the Sun by Denny S. Bryce

Denny S. Bryce weaves together two timelines in her latest: In 1968, Frankie jumps into her Aunt Daisy’s Ford Mustang to escape her abusive husband. In flashbacks to 1928, aspiring journalist Daisy writes about everything from Hollywood scandal to activism.

The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian

Readers looking for romance with their historical fiction can’t go wrong with Cat Sebastian. Marian Hayes, a Duchess living in Georgian London, is on the run after shooting her husband. The only person she can turn to for help is con artist Rob Brooks.

What Souls Are Made Of by Tasha Suri

Tasha Suri explores love, loss, and the South Asian diaspora in this YA reimagining of Wuthering Heights. Out on the Yorkshire moors, Catherine and Heathcliff begin to meet and find comfort in each other as they prepare to face unknown futures.

Beneath the Wide Silk Sky by Emily Inouye Huey

Emily Inouye Huey’s YA debut takes a look at the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As prejudice spreads in her Washington State community, Sam Sakamoto begins to use her photography skills to capture what she sees.

The Echoes by Jess Montgomery

Journey to Appalachian Ohio in 1928 with Jess Montgomery’s new novel. The murder of a young woman, the rescue of an abandoned child, and the kidnapping of her newly discovered niece are only the start of Sheriff Lily Ross’ troubles in this mystery.

Mustique Island by Sarah McCoy

Take a trip to the world’s most exclusive private island in Sarah McCoy’s latest. Set in the 1970s, the novel follows divorcee ​​Willy May and her two daughters as they retreat to the island and find themselves swept up in all of the glamour and danger it has to offer.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Named one of our highly-anticipated 2022 releases, Isabel Cañas’ debut is a suspenseful gothic tale that follows a woman seeking safety and stability after the Mexican War of Independence and instead realizing her new husband is not who he seems.

A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall

A trans woman reconnects with her best friend in this queer historical romance. Being declared dead at Waterloo allowed Viola to finally live as herself, but feelings she thought she left behind reignite when she runs into the Duke of Gracewood years later.

The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake

Nora Beady’s dream of becoming a surgeon is an uphill battle in the 19th century. But when she travels to Bologna, Italy, and begins working with a female doctor on perfecting the Cesarean section, she starts to believe their research could save lives.

Sense & Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price

Tirzah Price’s YA series blends Jane Austen retellings with a mystery twist! After their father’s sudden death, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood discover evidence that suggests foul play. They must quickly work together to find the killer before they strike again.

On a Night of a Thousand Stars by Andrea Yaryura Clark

Andrea Yaryura Clark’s debut novel alternates between 1998 and the 1970s as Paloma, the daughter of an Argentine diplomat, begins to dig into the past to learn more about who her parents were and the way Argentina’s Dirty War changed their lives forever.

The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman

Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman combined their talents (and drew inspiration from their own family histories) to tell the intertwining stories of a Black woman and a Jewish woman who meet in New Orleans while working to help the Union Army.

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford

When Dorothy Moy’s daughter begins experiencing dissociative episodes, an experimental treatment connects them with their past. This generational tale takes a look at inherited trauma and transports readers from the 1800s into the near future.

The Great Passion by James Runcie

The composition of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion is at the heart of this novel set in 1727. Thirteen-year-old Stefan Silbermann is mourning the loss of his mother and begins to find solace in music with the help of his school’s cantor, Bach.

Forbidden City by Vanessa Hua

Early praise from Maxine Hong Kingston and ​​Cathy Park Hong is adding to the buzz for Vanessa Hua’s latest, a novel that explores power and manipulation through a young woman in 1960s China who becomes entangled with Mao Zedong.

What historical fiction book are you looking forward to this year?

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

1 Comment
  1. Most anticipated, The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. Also, The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman. I am very grateful to St. Martin’s Press for giving me an ARC of this book.

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