Historical Fiction | Prepub Alert, April 2024 Titles

Authors including Chanel Cleeton, Bernard Cornwell, and Lisa Grunwald set novels spanning the Napoleonic Wars to the Jet-Set 1960s.








Cleeton, Chanel. The House on Biscayne Bay. Berkley. Apr. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780593440513. pap. $18. F

Best-selling Cuban American Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick, and NPR named Our Last Days in Barcelona as a best book of 2022. Her latest is set in 1920s Miami at a gilded Gothic-style estate with a treacherous legacy. When Carmen moves into the house, now owned by her estranged sister, she must uncover the mansion’s secrets before history repeats itself.

Donati, Sara. The Sweet Blue Distance. Berkley. Apr. 2024. 672p. ISBN 9781984805058. $28. F

Writing her popular historical fiction as Donati (a pen name for PEN/Hemingway Award winner Rosina Lippi), the author returns with an epic Western story set in 1857, about a young midwife who travels from New York City to Santa Fe in the New Mexico Territory, where she makes a new life for herself.

Fox, Hester. The Book of Thorns. Graydon House. Apr. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781525812019. pap. $18.99. F

Fox’s The Last Heir to Blackwood Library was a B&N most-anticipated book. Her newest also contains a bit of magical realism, as two sisters meet on opposites sides of the battlefield during the Napoleonic Wars and use the magic of flowers to solve the mystery of their mother’s death.

Gable, Michelle. The Beautiful People. Graydon House. Apr. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781525805035. pap. $17.99. F

Best-selling Gable (The Lipstick Bureau) explores the glamorous 1960s Jet Set crowd of Palm Beach socialites through the story of broke debutante Margo, who becomes an assistant to photographer Slim Aarons (a real-life figure famous for his pictures of high society) and befriends iconic fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer. With a 75K-copy first printing.

Grunwald, Lisa. The Evolution of Annabel Craig. Random. Apr. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780593596159. $30. F

Film rights were snapped up for Grunwald’s last novel, Time After Time. Now she features real historical events in this story about a young woman in 1925 Tennessee whose marriage is tested as her lawyer husband works on the Scopes Trial, litigating the teaching of the theory of evolution at a public high school.

Huguley, Piper. American Daughters. Morrow Paperbacks. Apr. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780063273702. pap. $18.99. F

Following the LJ-starred By Her Own Design, Huguley’s latest explores the lives of Portia Washington and Alice Roosevelt, daughters of Booker T. Washington and President Teddy Roosevelt, as they forge their own paths and develop a lifelong friendship. With a 100K-copy first printing.

Lattimore, Ashton. All We Were Promised. Ballantine. Apr. 2024. 368p. ISBN 9780593600153. $30. F

Lattimore, award-winning journalist and editor in chief at Prism, a nonprofit news outlet by and for communities of color, makes her debut with this story of three young Black women—a formerly enslaved housemaid, an abolitionist socialite, and a currently enslaved woman—whose lives collide in 1837 Philadelphia.

Schaffert, Timothy. The Titanic Survivors Book Club. Doubleday. Apr. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780385549158. $29. F

Librarian Yorick survives the Titanic by being left stranded at the dock and subsequently decides to pursue his dream of opening a bookshop in Paris, where he meets a secret society of fellow Titanic survivors and starts a book club. Schaffert’s previous title, The Perfume Thief, was a Los Angeles Times top book of the summer.

Thompson, Kate. The Wartime Book Club. Forever: Grand Central. Apr. 2024. 416p. ISBN 9781538757017. pap. $18.99. F

Thompson (The Little Wartime Library) is already a best-selling author in the UK, and her newest U.S. release gets a 75K-copy first printing. The novel focuses on the English island of Jersey, which German forces occupied in 1940 during World War II. Inspired by true events, it is an emotional story of bravery, resistance, and the power of books.

Vasilyuk, Sasha. Your Presence Is Mandatory. Bloomsbury. Apr. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781639731534. $28.99. F

Award-winning journalist Vasilyuk makes her debut with a story inspired by the life of her grandfather. Ukrainian World War II veteran Yefim Shulman sacrificed much to survive the war. After his death, his family has to contend with the secrets he kept when they find a letter to the KGB in his briefcase. With an 80K-copy first printing.

Wood, Daisy. The Royal Librarian. Avon. Apr. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780008636920. pap. $18.99. F

Wood (The Forgotten Bookshop in Paris) writes a dual-timeline novel that alternates between the Royal Library at Windsor Castle in 1940, as World War II rages, and present-day Philadelphia, where Lacey Turner finds a mysterious book with a stamp from the castle’s royal bindery and seeks to reunite the volume with its owner. With a 100K-copy first printing.

New Series Title

Cornwell, Bernard. Sharpe’s Command. Harper. (Sharpe, Bk. 23). Apr. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780063219298. $30. F

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