[edgtf_dropcaps type=”normal” color=”#d6a67c” background_color=””]I[/edgtf_dropcaps]f your favorite way to learn about history is to immerse yourself in a novel inspired by actual events, you’ll thoroughly enjoy some of the historical fiction novels hitting shelves in Fall 2021. From bestselling authors you’re already acquainted with to debut authors making their mark in the genre, we are sure you’ll find something to pique your interest. So make space on your bookshelves, stop by your favorite indie bookstore, and make those library requests after you’ve browsed our most anticipated Fall 2021 historical fiction book list!
The Royal Correspondent by Alexandra Joel
The author of The Paris Model captures the glamour, style, excitement, and romance of a bygone era in this sumptuous novel—set in the Sydney and London of the 1960s—about an up-and-coming young Australian reporter with a deadly secret.
The Collector's Daughter by Gill Paul
Bestselling author Gill Paul returns with a brilliant novel about Lady Evelyn Herbert, the woman who took the very first step into the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and who lived in the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the long after-effects of the Curse of Pharaohs.
The Magician by Colm Toibin
From one of today’s most brilliant and beloved novelists, a dazzling, epic family saga set across a half-century spanning World War I, the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Cold War.
A Play for the End of the World by Jai Chakrabarti
A dazzling debut novel–set in early 1970’s New York and rural India–the story of a turbulent, unlikely romance, a harrowing account of the lasting horrors of the Second World War, and a searing examination of one man’s search for forgiveness and acceptance.
Matrix by Lauren Groff
Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease.
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
Harlem Shuffle’s ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.
Olga by Bernhard Schlink, Translated by Charlotte Collins
A sweeping novel of love and passion from author of the international bestseller The Reader about a woman out of step with her time, whose life is witness to some of the most tumultuous events of modern age.
The Stolen Lady by Laura Morelli
From the acclaimed author of The Night Portrait comes a stunning historical novel about two women, separated by five hundred years, who each hide Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa–with unintended consequences.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope–and a book.
The Duchess by Wendy Holden
It was a love so strong, a king renounced his kingdom–all for that woman. Or was she just an escape route for a monarch who never wanted to rule? Bestselling author Wendy Holden takes an intimate look at one of the most notorious scandals of the 20th century.
Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
In the best tradition of Tessa Hadley, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Ann Patchett–an astonishing, keenly observed period piece about an ordinary British woman in the 1950s whose dutiful life takes a sudden turn into a pitched battle between propriety and unexpected passion.
Beneath a Starless Sky by Tessa Harris
Lilli Sternberg’s quickening heart sounded an alarm as she rounded the street corner. Lifting her gaze to the rooftops, a roaring blaze of thick flames engulfed the side of the building and joined the stars to fill the black sky. Her father’s shop was no more.
Three Sisters by Heather Morris
From Heather Morris, the New York Times bestselling author of the multi-million copy bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey: a story of family, courage, and resilience, inspired by a true story.
The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Master storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters.
Sistersong by Lucy Holland
My sister’s heart broke on the river – and the river took it and bore it away.
In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, there is old magic to be found in the whisper of the wind, the roots of the trees, the curl of the grass. King Cador knew this once, but now the land has turned from him, calling instead to his three children. Riva can cure others, but can’t seem to heal her own deep scars. Keyne battles to be accepted for who he truly is–the king’s son. And Sinne dreams of seeing the world, of finding adventure.
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America.
The Hidden Child by Louise Fein
In this new historical novel by the author of Daughter of the Reich, Londoners Eleanor and Edward Hamilton have wealth, status, and a happy marriage—but the 1929 financial crash is looming, and they’re harboring a terrible, shameful secret. How far are they willing to go to protect their charmed life—even if it means abandoning their child to a horrific fate?
The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab
A young Polish resistance worker, imprisoned in Auschwitz as a political prisoner, plays chess in exchange for her life, and in doing so fights to bring the man who destroyed her family to justice.
The Wicked Widow by Beatriz Williams
Gin Kelly, the wicked redhead, is back! Readers will delight in next installment of the Wicked City series by New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams.
The French Gift by Kirsty Manning
From Kirsty Manning, author of The Song of the Jade Lily, comes a gripping World War II set historical novel about murder, secrets, and survival.
Still Life by Sarah Winman
From the acclaimed author of Tin Man comes a captivating, lively new novel of people brought together across four decades of love, war, art, flood, and the ghost of E. M. Forster.
The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith Jaeger
The glitzy days of 1920s New York meet the devastation of those left behind in World War II in a new, delectable historical novel from USA Today bestselling author Meredith Jaeger.
A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago
Wolf Hall meets The Favourite in Lucy Jago’s A Net For Small Fishes, a gripping dark novel based on the true scandal of two women determined to create their own fates in the Jacobean court.
Harsh Times by Mario Vargas Llosa, Translated by Adrian Nathan West
The true story of Guatemala’s political turmoil of the 1950s as only a master of fiction can tell it.
The Dickens Boy by Thomas Keneally
A vibrant and engaging novel about the adventures of Charles Dickens’s son in the Australian Outback during the 1860s.
The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton
The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to London revisits the dark early days of the German occupation in France in this haunting novel—a love story and a tale of high-stakes danger and incomparable courage—about a young American heiress who helps artists hunted by the Nazis escape from war-torn Europe.
Are you looking forward to any of these books?
What historical fiction books are you looking forward to in 2021? What books would you add to the list?