I devour historical fiction novels and I get so irrationally excited for new historical fiction releases. That being said, there are A LOT of World War II historical fiction novels. I love many of them and I’ve read many of them, but part of me groans every time I see yet another forthcoming WWII historical fiction novel. There are also a lot of other time periods that deserve attention and stories to be told. While they’re often overlooked, yes, there are some amazing historical fiction novels out that not about World War II. No matter how you take your historical fiction — light and glamorous or emotional and heavy — there’s something for everyone on this list. So without further adieu, here are some great non-World War II historical fiction novels you’ll want to add to your TBR.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
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.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
A series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.
American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Alice may be the president’s daughter, but she’s nobody’s darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves—oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.
The Arctic Fury: A Historical Novel of Fierce Women Explorers by Greer Macallister
A dozen women join a secret 1850s Arctic expedition—and a sensational murder trial unfolds when some of them don’t come back.
Jackie & Maria: A Novel of Jacqueline Kennedy and Maria Callas by Gill Paul
A story of love, passion, and tragedy as the lives of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas are intertwined—and they become the ultimate rivals, in love with the same man. The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…
Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson
This harrowing story follows an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in the most infamous slave jail in Virginia.
Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson
Three women are brought together in an enthralling story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience. Set at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, this is an amazing debut novel.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
A delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.
The Last Train To Key West by Chanel Cleeton
In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
A powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of the ’60s summer when everything changed in Elin Hilderbrand’s #1 New York Times bestselling historical novel.
The Exiles By Christina Baker Kline
An ambitious, emotionally resonant novel about three women whose lives are bound together in nineteenth-century Australia and the hardships they weather together as they fight for redemption and freedom in a new society.
The Stories From Suffragette City by M.J. Rose and Fiona Davis
Stories from Suffragette City is a collection of short stories that all take place on a single day: October 23, 1915. It’s the day when tens of thousands of women marched up Fifth Avenue, demanding the right to vote in New York City.
Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen
It’s 1965 and Cosmopolitan magazine’s brazen new editor in chief—Helen Gurley Brown—shocks America and saves a dying publication by daring to talk to women about all things off-limits…
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Hayes
A gorgeous retelling of the Trojan War from the perspectives of the many women involved in its causes and consequences.
American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper
Before there was Meghan Markle, there was Consuelo Vanderbilt, the original American Duchess. Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”
Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams
A remarkable novel of both raw suspense and lyric beauty— the story of a lost pilot and a wartime photographer that will leave its mark on your soul.
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