If your favorite way to learn about history is to immerse yourself in a novel inspired by actual events, you’ll thoroughly enjoy some summer 2020 historical fiction books! 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, make those library requests, reserve these titles, and check out SIXTEEN of our most anticipated historical fiction books of Summer 2020!
- Get our latest Summer Reading Guide here!
- The 2020 Summer Reading Guide Minimalist List here.
- If you’re interested in picking up a classic novel, check out our list of classic books to read in the summer.
- Most Anticipated Summer 2020 Romance Novels.
Most Anticipated Summer 2020 Historical Fiction Books
Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini
The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker returns to her most famous heroine, Mary Todd Lincoln, in this compelling story of love, loss, and sisterhood rich with history and suspense.
An Elegant Woman by Martha McPhee
For fans of Mary Beth Keane and Jennifer Egan, this powerful, moving multigenerational saga from National Book Award finalist Martha McPhee–ten years in the making–explores one family’s story against the sweep of 20th century American history.
The Lost Diary of Venice by Margaux DeRoux
Two impossible love stories are fatefully connected by one artistic legacy in a stunning debut that leaps between the mysteries of late-Renaissance Venice and the dramas of present-day America.
Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman
Inspired by real places and events of WWII, Red Sky Over Hawaii immerses the reader in a time of American history full of suspicion and peril in this lush and poignant tale about the indisputable power of doing the right thing against all odds.
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.
We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall
Set at the iconic 1939 New York World’s Fair, Susie Orman Schnall’s We Came Here to Shine is historical fiction featuring two bold and ambitious women who navigate a world of possibility and find out what they’re truly made of during a glorious summer of spectacle and potential.
Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams
Beatriz Williams returns with 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.
The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama
From the New York Times bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden comes a gorgeous and evocative historical novel about a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hawai’i’s sugar plantations.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
In nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis’s latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
England, 1580: The Black Death creeps across the land, an ever-present threat, infecting the healthy, the sick, the old and the young, alike. The end of days is near, but life always goes on.
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis.
Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman
Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman’s Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.
The Wright Sister by Patty Dann
An epistolary novel of historical fiction that imagines the life of Katharine Wright and her relationship with her famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul
From the bestselling author of The Secret Wife comes 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.
Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa
From the internationally bestselling author of Mornings in Jenin, a sweeping and lyrical novel that follows a young Palestinian refugee as she slowly becomes radicalized while searching for a better life for her family throughout the Middle East, for readers of international literary bestsellers including Washington Black, My Sister, The Serial Killer, and Her Body and Other Parties.
The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich
Inspired by the true story of one woman’s fight to survive during the 20th century’s darkest hour.
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