Best New Historical Fiction Books of 2024

New historical fiction books of 2024

When I round up the best new historical fiction books, I look for stories that stand out from the rest because of their setting or subject matter.

I’m drawn to historical fiction because I love learning about different periods, even if I’m only reading a love story! The stories below feature mysteries, war, romance, and old Hollywood. Each brings something different to my bookshelf and hopefully yours!

*Best Historical fiction books of 2024 Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Best New Historical Fiction Books of 2024

New Historical Fiction Books

Table for Two

Table for Two by Amor Towles

With Table for Two, famed author Amor Towles re-released his novella, Eve in Hollywood, along with brand new collection of short stories set in New York City.

Each story is an ode to a different part of life in New York, telling the stories of a Russian immigrant, a rare bookseller, an opera bootlegger, and a stranded traveler, among others.

And for Rules of Civility fans, Eve is a character from that novel who was last seen boarding a train to Hollywood. Her adventures out west were an absolute delight!

Why I Loved it: Though I am not typically into short stories, Amor Towles is a favorite of mine so I had to read this collection. Each short story could have been a novel of it’s own, but the novella about Eve was the shining star for me.

Find this book in Old Hollywood Novels / Summer Read 2024 / Books Set in NYC / New Historical Fiction Books

all we were promised

All We Were Promised by Ashton Lattimore

I had been putting off reading this story about 3 black women in Philadelphia in 1827 because I feared it would be too heavy, but I’m upset I didn’t pick it up sooner.

Set against the backdrop of the powderkeg that was Philadelphia at the time, the story features three young black women who are directly or indirectly affected by the practice of slavery. While enslavement wasn’t permitted in the city, those visiting from the South could bring their enslaved people up for short periods.

Charlotte is a runaway slave hiding in the home of her new passing father. She has met Nell, a wealthy young woman from a prominent black family, at a local abolitionist meeting. Together, they work to save Evie, another enslaved girl from Charlotte’s past.

There is family drama and a love story woven throughout which gives levity to the story. The story behind Pennsylvania Hall and its purpose are also explored within.

Why I like it: Despite being a lifelong Philadelphia resident, I had little knowledge of the city’s complicated past with slavery and the abolition movement. I enjoyed being educated with a story that had some lighter elements in it as well. Lattimore struck the perfect balance between informational and entertaining.

Find this book in Best Historical Fiction of 2024

2024 Historical Fiction About War

The Goddess of Warsaw

The Goddess of Warsaw by Lisa Barr

The story opens in 2005 with legendary actress Lena Browning, telling her dark, daring past to an actress who wants to star in and direct a biopic about Lena. It then flashes forward to Lena’s time in the Warsaw Ghetto.

There, Bina Blonski as she was known at the time, narrates a story of persistence and sacrifice within the Ghetto walls. Torn between two brothers and with an instinct for survival, Bina uses her Arayan looks and skills as an actress to work for the resistance.

Eventually, the story returns to 2005 and post-war Hollywood where we learn how Bina became Lena and how Lena has always continued the fight against those who seek her annihilation.

Why I Love It: This is the best story I’ve ever read about the Holocaust because it depicts Jewish people, particularly women, as fierce fighters determined to prove their right to exist. I was inspired and awed by both the writing and the characters.

I laughed, cried, screamed in frustration, and was on the edge of my seat throughout. The tension was so high at times I found myself fidgeting, walking around, and wringing my hands. I’ll be recommending this book for years to come. It’s an absolute must-read. #Gifted

Find this book in Books about the Holocaust / World War II Books / Best Historical Fiction Books of 2024

The Women

The Women by Kristin Hannah

In this emotional historical fiction, Hannah has transported readers to the frontlines of the Vietnam War. After Frankie makes a rash decision to enlist as a war nurse to make her family proud, she finds herself completely unprepared for what awaits her in Vietnam.

Hannah gives us a searing tale of life as a nurse during and after the war, as Frankie learns how to nurse, bonds with her fellow medical staff, and even falls in love during wartime.

The book’s second half explores what it was like to return home to a country divided over whether the war should even be fought. It was shocking to see how people treated returning vets, and how they refused to acknowledge that women were in ‘nam.

Hannah’s portrayal of PTSD had me gasping and feeling deeply for the characters within the story – particularly Frankie. This fast-paced story had my heart thumping throughout. It did get quite heavy at times and I had to have a lighter book on hand for breaks. Once again, Hannah has delivered a five-star book. #gifted by Macmillan Audio

Why We Loved It: The ending had me in tears of happiness, though tears of frustration, anger, and sadness also flowed at various times while I was reading. The book also deals with complex family issues and alcoholism.

Find this book in Books That Make You Cry / The Women Book Club Questions / Best Historical Fiction 2024

Miss Morgans Book Brigade

Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles

Here’s an unlikely beach read recommendation – a story that takes place during the Great War. We don’t normally recommend historical fiction set during a war for the beach, but Charles crafted a story that was as hopeful as it was interesting. It touched on the darkness while highlighting the helpers of one of the darkest periods of world history.

Unlike The Women (which we do NOT recommend for a summer beach read) this story never got so bogged down in wartime sadness. Instead, we are treated to a front-row seat of the grit and determination of the women working near the front lines of France to bring normalcy and hope to innocent civilians.

Specifically in the form of books – children’s books.

Based on the true story of pioneering children’s librarian, Jessie Carson, it’s a testament to women being innovators and hope-makers. Jessie works tirelessly to train the first French female librarians, turns ambulances into bookmobiles, and uses all the resources she can muster to bring joy to the victims of war.

It’s a dual timeline narrative that also focuses on Wendy, a librarian in 1980’s New York working for the same library where Jessie got her start. She uses her research on Jessie and the American Committee for Devasted France as inspiration in her writing class, and is surprised at how similar she is to her muse.

Why I Loved It: While there were sad moments within the story, this book ultimately left me with warmth in my heart. The narrators do an excellent job bringing this story to life. #Gifted by Simon & Schuster Books

Find this book in WWI Novels / Librarian Books / Beach Reads 2024 / Best Historical Fiction 2024

2024 Historical Fiction Books with a Mystery

The Sicilian Inheritance

The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza has written the PERFECT summer novel, striking a delicious balance between being relaxing enough to enjoy on the beach but thought-provoking enough to discuss with your book club.

I was swept into the story of Sara and her quest to learn about her unexpected inheritance and the possible murder of her great-grandmother, Serafina. To solve the mystery and claim her inheritance, she must travel to the Italian countryside – giving her a break from her recently closed restaurant and her failed marriage.

The dual-timeline narrative focuses on Sara’s quest and Serafina’s life as a woman coming into her own in the 1900s. The stakes are high for both women as they balance staying true to their dreams in the face of society’s oppression of women, especially when it turns dangerous.

Why I Loved It: I could go on and on about this one. The vivid imagery that Jo paints with her writing had me picturing the town, tasting the food, and smelling the Sicilian soil. I SWEAR, at one point I touched my chin to see if the oil from the meal she was writing about was dripping down my face.

It’s a multi-genre, multigenerational masterpiece of a beach read. #gifted by Dutton Books

Find this book in Beach Read 2024 / Books Set in Italy / Family Drama / Best Historical Fiction of 2024 / Best Mystery Books 2024

The House on Biscayne Bay

The House on Biscayne Bay by Chanel Cleeton

Chanel Cleeton has written a gothic historical fiction and i am here for it! After focusing on the Perez family for several years, Cleeton has finally written another stand-alone novel.

In the era after The Great War, Robert Barnes and his wife Anna built a beautiful estate called Marbisa in Biscayne Bay, Florida. Decades later, Carmen Acosta visits the estate, now owned by her estranged sister and her husband, which looks like a paradise on the outside but is much more.

Told in a dual-timeline narrative, Carmen is out to determine if the murder of her sister is connected to the murders at Marbisa in the 1920s.

Why We Liked it: Marbisa came to life in both narratives – becoming a character in its own right. I loved reading Cleeton’s foray into the mystery/thriller genre, especially because I didn’t see the ending coming! #gifted by Berkley

Find this book in Jazz Age Novels / Spring 2024 New Releases / Beach Reads 2024 / Best Historical Fiction 2024 / New Thriller Books 2024

The Best Romance Historical Fiction Books of 2024

The Stranger I Wed

The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George

To gain access to her dowry and escape the New York gossip about her legitimacy, Cora Dove decides to head to England in search of a husband. There she collides – literally – with the Earl of Devonworth and the two strike up a bargain.

Marriage for a few years will help Cora secure her dowry and launch her sisters into society, for Leo, it means acquiring the desperately needed funds to help his political causes. But their attraction means this platonic marriage could be doomed from the start.

Why I Loved it: Leo and Cora positively sizzled in this book, the first in a new Gilded Age series from Harper St. George. Their STEAMY romance was rooted first in friendship, which I always enjoy in a romance novel. It was also fun to see some of my favorite characters return from St. George’s previous novels.

Find this book in Gilded Age Books / Best Historical Fiction of 2024

Diva

Diva by Daisy Goodwin

Daisy Goodwin has done it again with this incredible biographical fiction about Maria Callas, famed Opera singer, and lover of Aristotle Onassis. 

As usual with Daisy Goodwin’s stories, I found myself transfixed by the story of Maria’s life and her relationship with Onassis. It was fascinating to see how their courtship affected her performances and how she grew to become an unstoppable force in an industry ruled by men.

Why we like it: I had previously read Gill Paul‘s story Jackie & Maria and thought I might find this book redundant, but I was wrong. They bring two different perspectives that flush out the Maria – Onassis- Jackie O love triangle. #gifted by St. Martins Press

Find this book in Music Books / Biographical Fiction / New Historical Fiction Books

YA Historical Fiction

The Night War

The Night War by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I hesitated reading a book about a Jewish girl in WWII that was not written by a Jewish person because some authors can get it wrong. With her signature style, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley captured some beautiful moments that are truly meaningful and poignant (I do not want to give spoilers).

Miriam lives with her parents in Paris after being forced out of Germany. When all the Jewish people in the neighborhood were rounded up, she escaped with her neighbor, Nora. She is taken to a Catholic school and soon finds herself being braver than she ever thought she could be.

Why I Loved It: This book is extremely emotional. I listen to it in the car on a road trip with my family. As a middle, great historical fiction, it touches on many aspects of the round-up and antisemitism while still age-appropriate. There’s so much of this book that is relevant to the world today, and I hope that this book can open up a discussion about antisemitism and heat in general. #gifted

Find this book in Best Historical Fiction of 2024

Is your favorite new historical fiction of 2024 on this list?

Historical Fiction

Ultimate List of Historical Fiction

Love Historical Fiction? The Ultimate List of Historical Fiction is the perfect list for you. It is carefully divided by time.

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