Did you just finish Kristen Hannah’s latest bestseller?
Are you now searching for more books like The Nightingale?
Or maybe you binged Firefly Lane on Netflix and are searching for authors similar to Kristin Hannah.
Either way, you’re in luck — because we’ve curated a list of authors that fit the bill.
About Kristen Hannah
California native Kristen Hannah began her adult life as a lawyer. But when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she began to channel her emotions through writing.
During that time, she penned her first novel, and a fun note of Kristen-Hannah lore is that it’s never been published.
Her first publication win came with “A Handful of Heaven,” a gold-rush era historical fiction she wrote while pregnant with her son. Today, Hannah is an award-winning, best-selling author replete with TV and film adaptations.
Her top five books are:
- Winter Garden
- The Nightingale
- Firefly Lane
- The Great Alone
- The Four Winds
While Hannah writes across genres, all of her books weave stories around well-formed, complicated women with strong viewpoints.
When asked why she became a writer, Hannah simply explained, “It’s the greatest job in the world.”
9 Authors Like Kristen Hannah You’ll Love
In the market for authors similar to Kristen Hannah? We’ve pulled together a list of authors whose novels will transport you in the best way.
Not every writer who made the cut is identical to Hannah, but elements of their works mirror Hannah’s in at least one way.
1. Beatriz Williams
Kristan Hannah fans should definitely check out Beatriz Williams.
Like Hannah, Williams is an American author of women’s fiction and historical dramas. The award-winning New York Times bestselling writer is Stanford- and Columbia-educated, but her academic focus was business and finance. In fact, after graduating, she worked as a corporate strategy consultant.
But as is the case with Hannah, Williams said farewell to the corporate world and leaned into her true passion: crafting stories.
The Golden Hour author is known for her devotion to details regarding voice and characterization. To date, she has written over 20 novels, many of which have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Beatriz Williams Book Pick: A Hundred Summers
2. Philippa Gregory
AudioFile Magazine once dubbed Philipa Gregory “the queen of British historical fiction.” It’s a fair moniker, as Gregory has penned dozens of books that bring the English past to life.
Born in Nairobi to British parents, Gregory’s father was a navigator for East African Airways. But the family didn’t stay long in Africa, eventually moving back to Bristol when Philippa was two years old.
After college, Gregory worked for a few years at the BBC but returned to school to get her Ph.D. in 18th-century literature from the University of Edinburgh.
In addition to teaching, Gregory has written dozens of books over the decades. Like Hannah, she develops strong, complex heroines and pulls from the past to craft penetrating plots.
Philippa Gregory Book Pick: The Other Boleyn Girl
3. Rhys Bowen
A prolific writer, Janet Quin-Harkin — who goes by the pen name Rhys Bowen — has titles across genres, including cozy mysteries and historical fiction.
Bowen graduated from the University of London in 1963. Before raising a pen, she worked in the drama departments of the British and Australian Broadcasting Corporations while moonlighting as a dance teacher.
After publishing her first book in the 1980s, Bowen hasn’t slowed down. Many of her novels take place in the interwar period. Her best-known series is Her Royal Spyness, about a low-level aristocrat named Georgiana who makes her way by solving crimes among the 1930s glitterati.
But Bowen also writes dramas similar to Hannah.
These days, Bowen lives in the United States, between California and Arizona, and at 81, she continues to pump out books yearly.
Rhys Bowen Book Pick: The Venice Sketchbook
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette — aka Colette — has long departed this mortal coil. But if you’re searching for authors like Kristen Hannah, travel back in time and give the early 20th-century French writer a shot.
In addition to writing, Colette was a mime, actress, journalist, and early advocate for LGBTQ+ acceptance. Though she wrote dozens of titles, she’s probably best known for her 1944 novella Gigi.
At age 20, Colette married the well-known libertine Henry Gauthier-Villars — a famous pop writer and publisher. In need of a hit title to avoid financial ruin, he encouraged his young wife to write about her childhood.
Colette had a natural talent and was able to pen four wildly popular books known as the Claudine series. Annoyingly, however, they were all published under her husband’s name.
The pair separated after 13 years, and Colette went on to have several notable affairs — pieces of which all landed in her steamy novels and short stories. Eventually, she married Henry de Jouvenel des Ursins, with whom she had a child.
Colette kept writing into her last days and is now revered for her witty prose, female leads, and talent for linguistically capturing the essence of the Belle Epoch.
Colette Book Pick: Chéri
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5. Celeste Ng
Guggenheim fellow Celeste Ng infuses her novels with emotional reverence and weaves engaging and enriching tales about the unique struggles faced by immigrant women in North America during the latter half of the 20th century.
Her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, took six years to write. Since then, Ng has developed a well-earned reputation for crystal-clear prose. She never wastes a word and, like Kristen Hannah, knows how to keep readers focused on the page.
Celeste Ng Book Pick: Little Fires Everywhere
6. Jasmine Guilroy
Born in Oakland, California, Jasmine Guilroy earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and a law degree from Stanford Law School. After matriculating, she clerked at a San Francisco federal district court and practiced intellectual property law.
Wanting to stretch her writing muscle for fun, Guilroy participated in 2015’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and completed half the draft for her first book, The Wedding Date. It was eventually published in 2018 to rave reviews from critics and readers.
Guilroy has a fun writing style; her plots will have you curled up, popcorn in one hand, book in the other, furiously turning the pages.
Jasmine Guilroy Book Pick: The Proposal
7. Yaa Gyasi
Ghanaian-American novelist Yaa Gyasi sparked a fierce bidding war for her debut novel, Homegoing.
A masterful work, it swept the 2016 awards circuit, picking up the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction, and an American Book Award.
In subsequent years, Gyasi also received a Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature.
The prodigious scribe attended Stanford University for her undergraduate work and went on to win a position at the highly prestigious University of Iowa MFA writing program.
Gyasi’s prose is heartstopping, lyrical, and crisp; her plots are relatable, expansive, and engrossing. And while her novels are more literary than Hannah’s, both authors center on women and female interpersonal relationships.
Yaa Gyasi Book Pick: Homegoing
8. Marian Keyes
Raised in a large family around Cork and Dublin, Ireland, Marian Keyes, like Kristen Hannah, studied law at university. To date, Keyes has sold over 35 million books translated into 33 languages and won several prestigious Irish book awards.
Keyes began writing as a way to cope with addiction, and she’s transparent about her struggles with alcoholism and depression, themes that regularly punctuate her work.
But please don’t misinterpret us. Keyes isn’t gloomy. Conversely, she’s regularly praised for her witty comedic banter. And, like Kristen Hannah, she writes about relatable women navigating life’s complexities.
Marian Keyes Book Pick: Grown Ups
9. Nancy Mitford
Debutante Nancy was the eldest Mitford Sister, the sextuplet of siblings who made their social mark during the interwar period between WWI and WWII.
Nancy was a “bright young thing” who painted the town with luminaries like Babe Greene, Ruth Baldwin, Cecil Beaton, and Tallulah Bankhead.
More than just an “it girl,” she was also a super writer.
Mitford wasn’t formally educated, but she was an avid reader with a natural talent. At the beginning of her career, she wrote books about aristocrats in France and England and was lauded for her pithy insights and provocative raillery.
As Mitford matured, she began researching and writing exquisitely detailed biographies.
Nancy Mitford Book Pick: The Pursuit of Love
Hopefully, you found a title or two that sparked your interest — and we hope you squirrel away at least an hour this weekend to snuggle up and get lost in a book. Remember: Reading does a body and brain good!