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.
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.
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.
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.