An image of the Goodnight from London manuscript with an iPhone and blue flower arrangement placed in the back

Top Historical Fiction Reads of Summer

If the shores of Ibiza and dreamy escapes abroad aren’t the type of journey you want to embark on this summer, try taking a trip to the past.


We rounded up this summer’s five most delicious historical fiction indulgences to add to your TBR (to be read) book pile ASAP. 


1. The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor


cottingley book cover


New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor delivers one of 2017’s most magical historical fiction releases, and trust us – it won’t disappoint your past-loving heart (especially if you love fairies). Two young cousins claim to have photographed fairies in their garden and two great novelists take an interest in the photograph, but will the rest of the world believe them? An enchanting prose that will mystify you with every page turned, The Cottingley Secret is one of this year’s most enrapturing reads. Bonus: It’s based on a true story!


2. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry


The Essex Serpent Book Cover


The heroine in this buzz-worthy new historical fiction fix will inevitably become your new fictional lady crush for years to come. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she and her son embark on an adventure in Essex with their nanny in tow… only to discover themselves deeply embedded in the elusive legend of the Essex Serpent. Add in an intense new love, addictive prose and an unpredictable plot, and you have your new favorite book of summer.


3. Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson


Goodnight From London book cover


An ambitious American journalist trades in her past for the cobblestone streets of London to report on World War II from the frontline – but will the war destroy her ambitions? Inspired by the wartime experience of the author’s grandmother, Goodnight From London is one of this summer’s most captivating works of historical fiction. Oh, and there is a major swoon-worthy love story nestled in these pages sentimental hearts won’t want to miss.


4. The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman


Life She Was Given book cover


One night, Lilly Blackwood is sold to the circus sideshow by her parents, who fear she is too much of a freak to survive regular life. Two decades later, Julia Blackwood discovers photos of circus scenes in the attic…featuring a mysteriously striking girl. An intriguing and heartbreaking plot brimming with joy, hope and the dangers of family secrets, The Life She Was Given will forever have a place in your heart. 


5. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee


Pachinko book cover


Four generations of a poor Korean family fight against their circumstances to create a life and legacy in 20th century Japan. From laborious woes and unexpected pregnancies to marriages and abandonment, there isn’t a single page of this family saga that doesn’t capture the heart. A complex and dramatic web of survival, family and the hope for a better life, Pachinko is mandatory reading material this summer. 


Featured image courtesy of A Splendidly Messy Life