Books Set in the Roaring Twenties feat
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It’s the Roaring Twenties: Books Set in the 1920s

It’s been 100 years since the Jazz Age, so why not relive it with these books set at the height of the Roaring Twenties?
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At the turn of the decade, everyone was saying the 2020s were the perfect time to relive the Roaring Twenties. From the fashion to the speakeasies, we were all ready to relive that time of history. I’m not big on partying, so I’ll just stick to reliving the 1920s through books and shows. Here are 14 books that I love set during that time period.

‘Jazz Moon’ by Joe Okonkwo

Jazz Moon by Joe Okonkwo
Kensington

I’ll be honest, I do tend to recommend more female-centric stories, but that’s just because I gravitate towards them more. That said, I do enjoy a few male main characters from time to time. Ben in Jazz Moon is one of them.

Jazz Moon takes place in the 1920s in two different cities: New York City and Paris. In New York, Ben finds himself drawn to the trumpet music played by Baby Back Johnston. So much so that he follows the musician to Paris, where he will find a new meaning in his life.

‘The House at Riverton’ by Kate Morton

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Pan

Though I was looking for books set only in the 1920s, I couldn’t pass up this book. Part of it is set in 1999, while the other part is set in the middle of 1924. It was Kate Morton’s debut, and I’ll be honest, it was one of the best debuts I’ve read.

Let’s start with 1999 – 98-year-old Grace is interviewed about a death in 1924, and those memories are a bit much to bear. In 1924, only two sisters were witnesses to the death Grace is interviewed about. And neither will ever talk to the other after that night. But there’s a catch – and only Grace knows what really happened that night.

‘Dollface’ by Renee Rosen

Dollface by Renee Rosen
NAL

Quickly upon arriving in Chicago, Vera gets the nickname “Dollface” and catches the eyes of two well-off handsome men. She’s quickly thrust into a war between rival gangs. The novel follows her life in the mob as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre approaches.

When I think of 1920s Chicago or New York romances, this is precisely what I was expecting. And if you like history, mob romances, or just want a change of pace from what you’ve recently been reading, Dollface is for you.

See related: Must-Read Anthologies Based on Your Favorite Fiction Genre

‘A Certain Age’ by Beatriz Williams

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams
William Morrow

If you like Bridgerton, scandalous love triangles, or both, you’re bound to love A Certain Age. It has the same vibes as Bridgerton and other period dramas, as well as brings the same feelings while set in 1920s New York.

As the Jazz Age starts up, Theresa Marshall finds herself falling in love with Octavian, a war hero. And though she’s married, her husband has no qualms about this. However, there’s another catch: Theresa sends Octavian to investigate her brother’s fiancée. From there, dark secrets are uncovered, and love affairs start unraveling.

‘The Aviator’s Wife’ by Melanie Benjamin

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
Delacorte Press

I may not be the biggest history buff, but I thoroughly enjoyed this love story that I heard about in high school. I’ve heard a lot about Charles Lindbergh, but Anne Morrow is much more fascinating to me. Morrow was the first woman to get her pilot’s license! How cool is that?

In The Aviator’s Wife, we see a fictionalized story of how Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow come to be the adventurous couple we know and love. In 1927, Anne met Charles while in Mexico City to see her family. Soon after, they married, and the rest is literally history.

‘Call Your Daughter Home’ by Deb Spera

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera
Park Row

Still getting situated after boll weevils terrorized South Carolina, Gertrude is looking for a new and safe home for her daughters. At the same time, Retta is living as the first in her family to not be enslaved, and Annie is trying to save her family. The women’s lives are intertwined in a small South Carolina town.

Believe it or not, I had no idea what a boll weevil was before looking it up while reading Call Your Daughter Home. Deb Spera effortlessly weaves these ladies’ lives together in a story that will make you cry and laugh. Gertrude, Annie, and Retta narrate the novel.

‘The Light Between Oceans’ by M.L. Stratford

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Scribner

I really wanted to find more books set during the Jazz Age that weren’t in the typical Chicago, New York City, or London, and I came across The Light Between Oceans. It’s set in Australia, specifically Janus Island. I genuinely wish there were more historical fiction novels set in Australia.

Tom Sherbourne comes back from war to move his wife to a remote island to take care of a lighthouse. The island is secluded away, and guests rarely make appearances – in fact, the most they see is the supply boat every few months.

One day, after trying for years for a baby and never being able to have one, a newborn washes up on the shore in a boat. With it was a dead man. Two years later, the couple and the baby head home, but none are ready for what’s to come.

‘Mrs. Dalloway’ by Virginia Woolf

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Did you think I would make this list without including the iconic Virginia Woolf? She made the literature from the Roaring Twenties so interesting to me to begin with. So, of course, I’m recommending Mrs. Dalloway to everyone I can.

This classic novel follows Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for a party for Septimus Warren Smith. It takes place in less than 24 hours, from the morning to the end of Clarissa’s party. It’s been described as “plotless,” but it’s still entertaining.

‘Radio Girls’ by Sarah-Jane Stratford

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford
NAL

When I think of the Jazz Age, my mind immediately goes to New York or Chicago. So, when I came across this recommendation a few years ago and saw it was set in London, I had to check it out. Reading it made me actually interested in history and set off my Roaring Twenties rabbit hole journey.

Maisie has been working towards her secretary position at the British Broadcasting Corporation. But when she finally starts there, it’s not quite what she was expecting. Torn between her bosses, Maisie doesn’t know where she’ll end up when the dust settles.

‘The Diviners’ by Libba Bray

The Diviners four-book series by Libba Bray
Little, Brown and Company | Atom

The Diviners is the first in a four-book series of the same name. It’s a novel that has become lost to the masses as A Court of Thorns and Roses and Crave gain popularity, but it will definitely stand the test of time. The series starts with Evie being shipped off to New York City to live with her occult-obsessed uncle.  

Not long after moving in, her uncle is called in to help with a strange murder case. Evie realizes her secret powers could be the answer to solving the issue, but she needs to be careful with her abilities and those that would kill for it.

See related: Completed Series Perfect for Your Next Binge Read

‘The Other Typist’ by Suzanne Rindell

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
Penguin

Yes, I love crime shows. And yes, that leads to a love of mystery and crime-based novels. So it’s no surprise I loved The Other Typist. It quite literally merges two things I love – crime and the Roaring Twenties. I also just want a friend like Odalie, too.

In Rose Baker’s life, she’s heard it all – she’s a typist for the New York City Police Department that takes down every criminal’s confession. And Rose has been able to balance her work and personal life nicely – until Odalie comes along. The newcomer pulls Rose into a world full of flappers, danger, and addiction.

‘The Girls at the Kingfisher Club’ by Genevieve Valentine

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
Atria Books

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club is “Twelve Dancing Princesses” meets the Roaring Twenties. And as someone whose favorite Barbie movie is Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I couldn’t have been happier finding this book.

Jo, the eldest of twelve daughters, helps her siblings sneak out every night to dance at speakeasies all across the city. It’s all they can do to escape their father’s watchful eye for a few more nights. However, one night at the Kingfisher, they are caught in a raid. And Jo has a lot more to balance than her father’s expectations and her sister’s happiness.

‘Gods of Jade and Shadow’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Del Rey

There’s only one other fantasy book on this list, but where that one took place in New York, Gods of Jade and Shadow takes place in Mexico. It also seems like it would be the first in a series, but that’s only because the characters have so much left to tell. Hopefully, Moreno-Garcia will give us more tales like this.

In Gods of Jade and Shadow, Casiopea is working hard to follow her dreams to the big city. One day, she accidentally unleashes the Mayan god of death and is sent on a quest. If she succeeds, Casiopea will be granted everything she’s ever dreamed of; fail, and she won’t make it home.

‘The Mystery of Mrs. Christie’ by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
Sourcebooks Landmark

If you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, you might have heard about her short disappearance in 1926. Nobody knew where she was – not her husband, not her daughter, and not her friends. Marie Benedict tells the fictionalized story of where the woman went in those eleven days.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is one of my favorite books, and I definitely need to reread it because I can’t stop thinking about her mysterious getaway. The novel itself led me down a YouTube rabbit hole of people trying to piece together this unsolved mystery.