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New Historical Fiction Books for 2021

Beijing in the 1850s? San Francisco in the 1920s? Wherever you want to go, there’s a book that can take you there! Get lost in another time and another place with new historical fiction novels coming out this year.

  1. 1
    Build Your House Around My Body Book Cover Picture
    Build Your House Around My Body Book Cover Picture

    Build Your House Around My Body

    by Violet Kupersmith

    Part puzzle, part revenge tale, part ghost story, this book set in Vietnam takes us from colonial mansions to ramshackle zoos, from sweaty nightclubs to the jostling seats of motorbikes, from ex-pat flats to sizzling back-alley street carts. Spanning more than fifty years and barreling toward an unforgettable conclusion, this is a fever dream of a novel about possessed bodies and possessed lands, a time-traveling, heart-pounding, border-crossing marvel that will haunt you long after the last page.
    Build Your House Around My Body Book Cover Picture
    Build Your House Around My Body Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

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  2. 2
    Eternal Book Cover Picture
    Eternal Book Cover Picture

    Eternal

    by Lisa Scottoline

    Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and a doctor. Their friendship blossoms to love, with both Sandro and Marco hoping to win Elisabetta’s heart. But in the autumn of 1937, all of that begins to change as Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy’s Fascists with Hitler’s Nazis and altering the very laws that govern Rome. In time, everything that the three hold dear–their families, their homes, and their connection to one another–is tested in ways they never could have imagined.
    Eternal Book Cover Picture
    Eternal Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

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  3. 3
    Hour of the Witch Book Cover Picture
    Hour of the Witch Book Cover Picture

    Hour of the Witch

    by Chris Bohjalian

    Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life.
    Hour of the Witch Book Cover Picture
    Hour of the Witch Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.95

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  4. 4
    The Lamplighters Book Cover Picture
    The Lamplighters Book Cover Picture

    The Lamplighters

    by Emma Stonex

    It’s New Year’s Eve, 1972, when a boat pulls up to the Maiden Rock lighthouse with relief for the keepers. But no one greets them. When the entrance door, locked from the inside, is battered down, rescuers find an empty tower. A table is laid for a meal not eaten. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a storm raging round the tower, but the skies have been clear all week. And the clocks have all stopped at 8:45. Two decades later, the wives who were left behind are visited by a writer who is determined to find the truth about the men’s disappearance. Moving between the women’s stories and the men’s last weeks together in the lighthouse, long-held secrets surface and truths twist into lies as we piece together what happened, why, and who to believe.
    The Lamplighters Book Cover Picture
    The Lamplighters Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

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  5. 5
    China Book Cover Picture
    China Book Cover Picture

    China

    by Edward Rutherfurd

    The story begins in 1839, at the dawn of the First Opium War, and follows Chinese history through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and up to the present day. Rutherfurd chronicles the rising and falling fortunes of members of Chinese, British, and American families, as they negotiate the tides of history. Along the way, in his signature style, Rutherfurd provides a deeply researched portrait of Chinese history and society, its ancient traditions and great upheavals, and China’s emergence as a rising global power. As always, we are treated to romance and adventure, heroines and scoundrels, grinding struggle and incredible fortunes.
    China Book Cover Picture
    China Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $35.00

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  6. 6
    The Dictionary of Lost Words Book Cover Picture
    The Dictionary of Lost Words Book Cover Picture

    The Dictionary of Lost Words

    by Pip Williams

    Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. The Dictionary of Lost Words is a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.
    The Dictionary of Lost Words Book Cover Picture
    The Dictionary of Lost Words Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

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  7. 7
    Pianos and Flowers Book Cover Picture
    Pianos and Flowers Book Cover Picture

    Pianos and Flowers

    by Alexander McCall Smith

    The fourteen captivating tales in this collection are all inspired by photos from the Times of London archive. A young woman finds unexpected love while perusing Egyptian antiquities. A family is forever fractured when war comes to Penang, in colonial Malaysia. Iron Jelloid tablets help to reveal a young man’s inner strength. And twin sisters discover that it’s never too late to forge a new path—even when standing at the altar.
    Pianos and Flowers Book Cover Picture
    Pianos and Flowers Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $25.95

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  8. 8
    Off the Wild Coast of Brittany Book Cover Picture
    Off the Wild Coast of Brittany Book Cover Picture

    Off the Wild Coast of Brittany

    by Juliet Blackwell

    Natalie Morgen made a name for herself with a memoir about overcoming her harsh childhood after finding a new life in Paris. After falling in love with a classically trained chef, they moved together to his ancestral home, a tiny fishing village off the coast of Brittany. But then Francois-Xavier breaks things off with her without warning, leaving her flat broke and in the middle of renovating the guesthouse they planned to open for business. Natalie’s already struggling when her sister, Alex, shows up unannounced. The sisters form an unlikely partnership to save the guesthouse, reluctantly admitting their secrets to each other as they begin to heal the scars of their shared past.
    Off the Wild Coast of Brittany Book Cover Picture
    Off the Wild Coast of Brittany Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  9. 9
    How Beautiful We Were Book Cover Picture
    How Beautiful We Were Book Cover Picture

    How Beautiful We Were

    by Imbolo Mbue

    We should have known the end was near. So begins Imbolo Mbue’s powerful second novel, How Beautiful We Were. Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells of a people living in fear amid environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of cleanup and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interests. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle will last for decades and come at a steep price.
    How Beautiful We Were Book Cover Picture
    How Beautiful We Were Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

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  10. 10
    Surviving Savannah Book Cover Picture
    Surviving Savannah Book Cover Picture

    Surviving Savannah

    by Patti Callahan

    When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she’s shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can’t resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking.
    Surviving Savannah Book Cover Picture
    Surviving Savannah Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

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  11. 11
    Send for Me Book Cover Picture
    Send for Me Book Cover Picture

    Send for Me

    by Lauren Fox

    Annelise is a dreamer: imagining her future while working at her parents’ popular bakery in Feldenheim, Germany. There are rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, and as Annelise falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer. Luckily Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents. Two generations later, in a small Midwestern city, Annelise’s granddaughter, Clare, is a young woman newly in love. But when she stumbles upon a trove of her grandmother’s letters from Germany, she sees the history of her family’s sacrifices in a new light, and suddenly she’s faced with an impossible choice: the past, or her future.
    Send for Me Book Cover Picture
    Send for Me Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.95

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  12. 12
    The Bohemians Book Cover Picture
    The Bohemians Book Cover Picture

    The Bohemians

    by Jasmin Darznik

    The Bohemians captures a glittering and gritty 1920s San Francisco, with a cast of unforgettable characters, including cameos from such legendary figures as Mabel Dodge Luhan, Frida Kahlo, Ansel Adams, and D. H. Lawrence. A vivid and absorbing portrait of the past, it is also eerily resonant with contemporary themes, as anti-immigration sentiment, corrupt politicians, and a devastating pandemic bring tumult to the city—and the gift of friendship and the possibility of self-invention persist against the ferocious pull of history.
    The Bohemians Book Cover Picture
    The Bohemians Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

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  13. 13
    Sunflower Sisters Book Cover Picture
    Sunflower Sisters Book Cover Picture

    Sunflower Sisters

    by Martha Hall Kelly

    Martha Hall Kelly’s million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced readers to Caroline Ferriday. Now, in Sunflower Sisters, Kelly tells the story of Ferriday’s ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse during the Civil War whose calling leads her to cross paths with Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army, and Anne-May Wilson, a Southern plantation mistress whose husband enlists.
    Sunflower Sisters Book Cover Picture
    Sunflower Sisters Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

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  14. 14
    The Cover Wife Book Cover Picture
    The Cover Wife Book Cover Picture

    The Cover Wife

    by Dan Fesperman

    When CIA agent Claire Saylor is told that she’ll be going undercover in Hamburg to pose as the wife of an academic who has published a controversial interpretation of the Quran’s promise to martyrs, she assumes the job is a punishment for past unorthodox behavior. But when she discovers her team leader is Paul Bridger, another Agency maverick, she realizes there may be more to this mission than meets the eye—and not just for professional reasons.
    The Cover Wife Book Cover Picture
    The Cover Wife Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

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  15. 15
    Great Circle Book Cover Picture
    Great Circle Book Cover Picture

    Great Circle

    by Maggie Shipstead

    After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There–after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes–Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.
    Great Circle Book Cover Picture
    Great Circle Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.95

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