8 Exciting Historical Fiction Books Released in 2024

History buffs and book lovers, rejoice! 2024 promises to be an exciting year for historical fiction enthusiasts, with a host of eagerly anticipated releases scheduled to hit bookstores. From epic sagas spanning centuries to intimate portraits of lesser-known figures, this year’s crop of historical fiction offerings is sure to captivate and transport readers to different eras and cultures.

Whether you’re a fan of medieval adventures, World War II dramas, or tales of ancient civilizations, there’s something for everyone in this roundup of the most anticipated historical fiction book releases in 2024. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the past and discover new stories and perspectives that will leave you breathless!

List of Historical Fiction New Book Releases in 2024

The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Publication Date: January 23, 2024

The Bullet Swallower is a historical fiction novel that follows the interconnected stories of two Mexican men, Antonio Sonoro and his grandson Jaime, across different periods. Antonio, a notorious outlaw, embarks on a dangerous journey to rob a train carrying gold and other riches. Still, his plan goes awry and sets off a chain of events threatening his family and soul. Decades later, Jaime, now a famous actor and singer, discovers a book that reveals the dark secrets of his family’s past and realizes he may have to atone for their sins. The novel explores intergenerational trauma, colonialism, and redemption themes in a sweeping narrative that spans centuries and generations.

The Mayor of Maxwell Street by  Avery Cunningham

Publication Date: January 30, 2024

In 1920s Chicago, Nelly Sawyer, a wealthy black debutante, and Jay Shorey, a powerful vice lord, form an unlikely partnership to take down a corrupt politician known as the Mayor of Maxwell Street. As they work together, they navigate the complexities of race, class, and prohibition, and find themselves falling in love. Debut author Avery Cunningham’s novel is a sweeping historical romance that explores the struggles and triumphs of Black society during a pivotal moment in American history.

The Women by Kristin Hannah

Publication Date: February 6, 2024

The Women is a historical fiction novel that follows the story of Frances “Frankie” McGrath, a young nurse who joins the Army Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. As she navigates the challenges of war, Frankie and her fellow female soldiers face discrimination, harassment, and the loss of innocence. Upon returning home, they must confront a divided America and fight for recognition and respect. The novel sheds light on the often-overlooked contributions of women in combat and celebrates their bravery, camaraderie, and patriotism.

The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn and Janie Chang

Publication Date: February 13, 2024

In 1906 San Francisco, two women from different backgrounds, Gemma and Suling, sought to improve their lives. They become connected to railroad magnate Henry Thornton, who possesses a valuable collection of Chinese antiques, including the legendary Phoenix Crown. When the crown reappears years later at a Paris costume ball, Gemma and Suling reunite to unravel a mystery surrounding Thornton’s disappearance and seek justice.

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Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

Publication Date: February 27, 2024

Wandering Stars is a novel that explores the impact of generational trauma on a Native American family. Set in Colorado in 1864 and following the descendants of a survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, the story examines the effects of forced assimilation and cultural erasure through the experiences of a young boy named Charles, who is sent to a boarding school founded by an evangelical prison guard. Charles forms a bond with a fellow student, Opal Viola, as they both try to envision a future beyond the institutional violence that has defined their families’ histories. The novel delves into themes of epigenetic and generational trauma, offering a powerful and moving portrayal of the legacy of colonization and oppression.

The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez

Publication Date: March 5, 2024

The Great Divide is a historical novel set in Panama during the construction of the Panama Canal. It tells the story of diverse characters, including a local fisherman’s son who works on the canal, a young Barbadian woman who comes to Panama as a stowaway, and a scientist dedicated to eradicating malaria. Through their intersecting lives, the novel explores themes of ambition, loyalty, and sacrifice, shedding light on the unsung heroes who shaped history.

James by Percival Everett

Publication Date: March 19, 2024

In this retelling of Mark Twain’s classic adventure, Jim, an enslaved man, escapes to Jackson Island to avoid being sold and separated from his family. Huck Finn, who has faked his own death, joins Jim on his journey down the Mississippi River toward freedom. While the familiar set pieces of the original story remain, Jim’s character is reimagined with greater agency, intelligence, and compassion. With its fresh perspective and sharp commentary, James is poised to be a major literary event and a defining work of twenty-first-century American literature.

The Life Impossible by Matt Haig

Publication Date: September 3, 2024

Grace Winters, a widowed retired math teacher, lived a solitary life until a friend’s mysterious death led her to inherit a house on the Spanish island of Ibiza. This sudden twist of fate propels Grace onto a transformative adventure filled with colorful characters and new perspectives, proving that a fresh outlook can emerge at any age and alter the course of life in unexpected ways.

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