The Best Historical Fiction Books of 2021

2021 historical fiction books and novels new releases anticipated

I’m looking forward to a lot of the 2021 historical fiction releases that will be released soon. There’s a bunch of exciting new titles on the horizon covering a range of time periods. I’m personally most excited about Kate Quinn’s upcoming novel, The Rose Code, and I’m curious about Laura Pucell’s The Shape of Darkness as well.

This is a list of some of the Best Historical Fiction Books for 2021. I’ll be updating this list as new titles are announces and books are further reviewed and released!

Have anything to add? Which of these books are you looking forward to?

For more books coming soon, see the list of Upcoming New Release Books.

The Shape of Darkness
Laura Purcell

What It's About: Wicked deeds require the cover of darkness...

A struggling silhouette artist in Victorian Bath seeks out a renowned child spirit medium in order to speak to the dead – and to try and identify their killers – in this beguiling new tale from Laura Purcell.

Silhouette artist Agnes is struggling to keep her business afloat...

Publication Date: January 21, 2021
horror gothic mystery

Lisa Scottoline

What It's About: What war destroys, only love can heal.

Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and a doctor...

Publication Date: March 1, 2021
historical fiction wwii historical

The Four Winds
Kristin Hannah

What It's About: An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.

From the number-one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression: a time when the country was in crisis, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them...

Publication Date: February 2, 2021
historical fiction book club audiobook

The Lost Apothecary
Sarah Penner

What It's About: A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them - setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register...

Publication Date: March 2, 2021
historical fiction mystery book club

The Nature of Fragile Things
Susan Meissner

What It's About: April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about...

Publication Date: February 2, 2021
historical fiction book club audiobook

The Rose Code
Kate Quinn

What It's About: 1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.

Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets...

Publication Date: March 9, 2021
historical fiction book club audiobook

The Personal Librarian
Marie Benedict

What It's About: Librarian note: An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found here.

The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan's personal librarian—who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray...

Publication Date: June 29, 2021
historical fiction book club historical

Our Woman in Moscow
Beatriz Williams

What It's About: The New York Times bestselling author of Her Last Flight returns with a gripping and profoundly human story of Cold War espionage and family devotion.

In the autumn of 1948, Iris Digby vanishes from her London home with her American diplomat husband and their two children. The world is shocked by the family’s sensational disappearance...

Publication Date: June 1, 2021
historical fiction historical audiobook

Chasing Nellie Bly: A Novel
Hazel Gaynor

What It's About: From Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, the bestselling authors of Meet Me in Monaco, comes a coming-of-age novel set in pre-WWII Europe, perfect for fans of Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Kate Quinn.  

Three cities, two sisters, one chance to correct the past . . .

New York, 1937: When estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers learn their grandmother is dying, they agree to fulfill her last wish: to travel across Europe—together...

Publication Date: July 27, 2021
historical romance travel

Tell the Bees that I’ve Gone
Diana Gabaldon

What It's About: The past may seem the safest place to be . . . but it is the most dangerous time to be alive. . . .

Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1743, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same...

Publication Date: November 23, 2021
historical fiction fantasy romance

Hour of the Witch
Chris Bohjalian

What It's About: A young Puritan woman--faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul--plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive historical thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four years old...

Publication Date: May 4, 2021
historical fiction historical dnf

The Children's Blizzard
Melanie Benjamin

What It's About: The New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife reveals a little-known story of courage on the prairie: the freak blizzard that struck the Great Plains, threatening the lives of hundreds of immigrant homesteaders--especially their children.

The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a long cold spell, warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats--leaving them unprepared when disaster struck...

Publication Date: January 12, 2021
historical fiction historical book club

The Women of Chateau Lafayette
Stephanie Dray

What It's About: An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity's darkest hours

Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women...

A founding mother...

Publication Date: March 30, 2021
historical fiction historical dnf

Wild Women and the Blues
Denny S. Bryce

What It's About: A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction

In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections...

Publication Date: March 30, 2021
historical fiction historical 2021 releases

Band of Sisters
Lauren Willig

What It's About: A group of young women from Smith College risk their lives in France at the height of World War I in this sweeping novel based on a true story—a skillful blend of Call the Midwife and The Alice Network—from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig.

A scholarship girl from Brooklyn, Kate Moran thought she found a place among Smith’s Mayflower descendants, only to have her illusions dashed the summer after graduation...

Publication Date: March 16, 2021
historical fiction historical audiobook

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh
Molly Greeley

What It's About: In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day...

Publication Date: January 5, 2021
romance historical lgbtq

Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife (Six Tudor Queens #6)
Alison Weir

What It's About: Two husbands dead; a life marred by sadness. And now Katharine is in love for the first time in her life.
The eye of an ageing and dangerous king falls upon her. She cannot refuse him. She must stifle her feelings and never betray that she wanted another.
And now she is the sixth wife. Her queenship is a holy mission yet, fearfully, she dreams of the tragic parade of women who went before her...

Publication Date: May 13, 2021
historical fiction historical history

The Sunflower Sisters
Martha Hall Kelly

What It's About: In Sunflower Sisters, Kelly tells the story of her ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse who joins the war effort during the Civil War, and how her calling leads her to cross paths with Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army, and Ann-May Wilson, a southern plantation mistress whose husband enlists...

Publication Date: March 30, 2021
historical fiction civil war historical

Our Darkest Night: A Novel of Italy and the Second World War
Jennifer Robson

What It's About: To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife in this unforgettable novel — a story of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice, inspired by true events, that vividly evokes the most perilous days of World War II.

It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family...

Publication Date: January 5, 2021
historical fiction wwii historical

Becoming Leidah
Michelle Grierson

What It's About: A love story set in nineteenth-century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman.

The sky opens up...

Publication Date: April 13, 2021
historical fiction magical realism 2021 releases

The Children's Train
Viola Ardone

What It's About: Based on true events, a heartbreaking story of love, family, hope, and survival set in post-World War II Italy—written with the heart of Orphan Train and Before We Were Yours—about poor children from the south sent to live with families in the north to survive deprivation and the harsh winters.

Though Mussolini and the fascists have been defeated, the war has devastated Italy, especially the south...

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Publication Date: 9
historical fiction italy italiani

While Paris Slept
Ruth Druart

What It's About: One woman must make the hardest decision of her life in this unforgettably moving story of resistance and faith during one of the darkest times in history.

Santa Cruz, 1953. Jean-Luc is a man on the run from his past. The scar on his face is a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi occupation in France...

Publication Date: February 23, 2021
historical fiction books i own wwii

Meet Me in Bombay
Jenny Ashcroft

What It's About: All he needs is to find her. First, he must remember who she is.

Meet Me in Bombay is a powerful, poignant and deeply emotional tale of love, mystery, loss and joy." –Kate Furnivall, New York Times bestselling author

It's New Year's Eve in Bombay, 1913, and Madeline Bright, new to the sweltering heat of colonial India, is yearning for all she has left behind in England...

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
historical fiction romance historical

2021 historical fiction books and novels new releases anticipated

2021 historical fiction books and novels new releases anticipated

2021 historical fiction books and novels new releases anticipated

2021 historical fiction books and novels new releases anticipated

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