Monday, April 08, 2024

A gallery of fifteen intriguing historical novels out in spring 2024

It's been too long since I've done a showcase featuring books for the current season, which will be a terrific one for historical fiction. Here are fifteen (I had trouble cutting down the number!) recent and upcoming novels incorporating a variety of settings; I chose them partly because they feature locales, topics, and/or characters that stood out as original.

Central Asia, 2500 BCE: the narrative of a woman of the Sauromatae who grew into her people's leader, and whose life was defined by the struggle between matriarchal and patriarchal culture. Regal House, May 2024.

Small-town 18th century Massachusetts: the growing romantic bond between two married men, a minister and a physician, and how the controversy affects them and their families. Riverhead, March 2024.

1825 Scandinavia: a gothic novel of coming of age, folklore, family legacy, and witchcraft involving a local pastor’s two daughter on a remote northern island. Grove, May 2024.

Early 20th-century El Paso, Texas: the unlikely marriage between immigrants from Mexico and China who fight for their place in an unwelcoming land. Flowersong Press, May 2024.

19th-century Louisville, Kentucky: a religious home for unmarried mothers centers a tale about women’s desire for agency over their own lives. Vintage, March 2024.

1715 Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and at sea: a star-crossed love story and pirate adventure set in the decades following the Salem Witch Trials, based on historical people. Kensington, April 2024.

1950s Bombay, India: twin sisters, both with different artistic talents, strike out on different paths in a world that doesn’t respect women’s choices for their own lives. University of Nebraska Press, March 2024.

The 17th-century Caribbean: the story of how a Haitian-French woman rose to become an infamous pirate captain, based on a legend. Atria, April 2024.

1720s Paris and Louisiana: a group of young Frenchwomen travel from La Salpêtrière hospital in Paris to help populate the French colony in the New World. Harper, March 2024.

19th-century Europe and America: The story of Jewish-born women’s rights advocate Ernestine Rose, based on the author’s original research. Onslow Press, March 2024.

Late 18th-century Virginia: scandal follows a wealthy young woman rumored to have given birth to her sister’s husband’s child. Lume, May 2024.

WWI-era British Columbia: a young woman of Japanese heritage gets caught up in conflicts between the area’s white and Japanese loggers in the beautiful Queen Charlotte Islands. Caitlin Press, March 2024.

1850s Santa Fe: a nurse who journeys to New Mexico Territory finds adventure, magnificent beauty, and secrets amidst the region’s close-knit residents. Ballantine, April 2024.

1830s Nova Scotia: this Gothic, queer retelling of the “Selkie Wife” folktale involves a country midwife and the mysterious neighbor she’s drawn to. Dell, April 2024.

1940s Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and elsewhere: two childhood friends’ lives diverge and reunite over a period of decades. Tin House, April 2024.


  1. Stunning selection

  2. Katharine O5:01 AM

    These all sound very interesting - a great list, thank you!

    1. Thanks! I've read two so far, with reviews to come.

  3. Nancy Rodgers8:40 AM

    So many delicious temptations! Hard to know where to begin! (My own holds list at my local public library has already reached its maximum, and am now making inroads into my husband's holds list.) You're quite the friendly enabler!

    1. That's a role I'll happily assume! Happy National Library Week - if this post is encouraging more library checkouts, that's a good thing!