10 Historical Fiction Must-Reads

Hey all you historical fiction fans! Lately, with all the great newly released historical fiction out there, our TBR pile keeps growing and growing, it’s taken on a life of its own! We’ve gathered up our favourite new historical fiction books that are must-reads this season! These reads will also get you a new #50BookPledge badge, so read on more details! Check it out:

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

In The Home for Unwanted Girls, in a small town in Quebec, a young mother is forced to give up her daughter at birth, and years later, will stop at nothing to find her. This story is heartbreaking, suspenseful and beautifully written. This novel became an instant bestseller for a reason!

The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith

The Dutch Wife is a sweeping, devastating love story that you need to read ASAP! It’s 1943 and Marijke, a young Dutch woman, is arrested with her husband and taken to a concentration camp. There, Marijke is given a terrible choice – suffer a slow death in the labour camp or, to survive, join the camp brothel. After catching the eye of the new SS commanding officer Karl Müller, Marije is torn between the hopes of reuniting with her husband, and exploring unexpected feelings for Karl.

No Place for a Lady by Gill Paul

From the bestselling author of The Secret Wife and The Secret Affair come an astounding new novel of historical fiction! No Place for a Lady is the perfect mix of love, courage and adventure. Taking place during the Crimean war, the story follows Dorothea Gray, who will risk everything to find her little sister Lucy. Joining Florence Nightingale in the Crimean hospitals, Dorothea helps nurse the injured soldiers back to health. But Lucy is fighting her own battles, and doesn’t necessarily want to be found.

The Ghost Keeper by Natalie Morrill

This powerful, sweeping novel Set in Vienna during the 1930s and 40s, The Ghost Keeper is a powerful and poignant love story about friendship and betrayal. After World War I, Josef Tobak wants to build a quiet life with his wife Anna. But when Josef’s life is turned upside down, he is forced to flee to America while wife Anna and their child are escape to China. In the years after the war, Josef returns to Vienna with his family and must confront his own role in healing both his devastated community and his own wounds.

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Black Death has come to England, and Lady Anne of Develish takes control of her deceased husband’s people and land. Lady Anne does something shocking, quarantining the castle by bringing the serfs inside the moat and sharing the remaining food. But conflict arises when the social order is suddenly uprooted. A fascinating story that brings a new perspective to the Middle Ages, The Last Hours is your next great read!

Varina by Charles Frazier

The bestselling author of Cold Mountain returns with a new novel, also set during the Civil War. Young Varina Howell agrees to marry a much older man, expecting a life of security and leisure in Mississippi. However, when her husband purses a political career and becomes the president of the Confederacy, Varina finds herself at the center of one of the darkest moments in American history. An epic story of one woman’s life at the center of power, Varina is complex, poignant, and lush.

To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear

The latest in the addictive series featuring female investigator Maisie Dobbs, To Die but Once is a fun , intriguing read. It’s 1940 and Maisie is asked to investigate the disappearance of a young local craftsman who is working on a secretive government project. As a threat of an invasion arise, Maisie discovers that another young man close to her has also gone missing. Whether you’re a big fan of this series or your first time reading Jacqueline Winspear, you’ll love this historical fiction detective story!

The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard

Did you know that the atomic bomb was developed in the “Atomic City” of Oak Ridge, Tennessee? In The Atomic City Girls, Janet Beard imagines the life of the men and women recruited to help win the war, living entirely in secrecy. In 1942, June Walk arrives in Oak Ridge, ready for her new job. But she begins to wonder about all the mysterious machines they’re operating are being used for. When she discovers their true purpose, June must reevaluate her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and the war.

Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth

This tale of survival is the perfect coming-of-age story for the historical fiction lover. Transporting the reader back to 1885 in the American West, Only Killers and Thieves is the story of two brothers faced with brutal life on the frontier as they join an expedition after their parents’ murder. This story is unforgettable, as it explores family, race, empire and faith.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Get ready for an exciting, dark alternative historical adventure in a world where Confederate and Union soldiers rose from the dead at the end of the Civil War. A young girl is training with weapons in order to protect to high societies from the dead soldiers. But families around the county begin to go missing, and Jane finds herself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. She must fight against some powerful enemies, much more dangerous than the undead…


Which historical fiction are you going to read next?  Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader.

And get this: When you add any of the above books to your 50 Book Pledge “Read” shelf, you’ll earn a Historical Fiction badge! So what are you waiting for?! Get to it!

Happy reading,


Follow me on Twitter @SavvyReader and @iamkelseyknight

5 thoughts on “10 Historical Fiction Must-Reads

  1. After years of being turned off by Clark Gable I’ve managed to bury his image so I can read Gone with the Wind. I love writing historical fiction and adore the classics but for some reason I’ve never really gotten into modern histfic. Cold Mountain left me … a little cold though I admire Frazier’s writing, but maybe I’ll give Varina a try.

  2. Will we get the badge if we have read any of these books already and they are on our read shelf?

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