The best time travel novels dealing with women’s issues

Linda Wisniewski Author Of Where the Stork Flies
By Linda Wisniewski

Who am I?

I’m an avid lifelong reader who became a librarian, my dream job that kept me close to books and everything about them. I’ve seen so many changes in women’s lives since then. My oldest known ancestor was a woman born in 1778. What was her life like compared to mine? What would she think of me? In my time travel novel, I try to answer those questions. I’m drawn to stories that deal with universal women’s themes – family, love, fulfilling work, inequality, domestic abuse, motherhood, sisterhood, daughterhood – the list seems endless, as are the many ways authors use time travel to explore them.   


I wrote...

Where the Stork Flies

By Linda Wisniewski,

Book cover of Where the Stork Flies

What is my book about?

Kat is at loose ends after her husband ditched her and their daughter followed suit. When a lost time traveler appears in her Pennsylvania kitchen, she grasps at the chance to give her life meaning by helping the woman find her way home. But a mysterious stranger insists they are together for a purpose. Slipping through a portal to an 1825 Polish village, Kat meets her own ancestors and discovers how her own mistakes derailed her life. Can she bring her new understanding of forgiveness and unconditional love back to the present and heal her family before it’s too late?

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

This Time Tomorrow

By Emma Straub,

Book cover of This Time Tomorrow

Why this book?

I secretly believe that authors who write time travel are speculating about their own lives. What if we could travel back to our teen years? Emma Straub does just that in her novel, This Time Tomorrow. Straub grew up with a famous, loving, and supportive father in New York City, and so she takes her character, Alice, back there in the 90s to revisit herself at 16, hanging out with friends, going to the school where she now teaches. Except that this time, she might be able to save her dying father. Can she do it? Should she? Full of questions we all ask ourselves about the meaning of family love. 

This Time Tomorrow

By Emma Straub,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Time Tomorrow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“The pages brim with tenderness and an appreciation for what we had and who we were. I could not have loved it more."—Ann Patchett

“The kind of book that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you call the people you love. Exceptional."—Emily Henry

"Delightful"—Boston Globe

"Poignant"—New York Times

What if you could take a vacation to your past?

With her celebrated humor, insight, and heart, beloved New York Times bestseller Emma Straub offers her own twist on traditional time travel tropes, and a different kind of love story.

            On the eve of her 40th…

The Midnight Library

By Matt Haig,

Book cover of The Midnight Library

Why this book?

Is it time travel? Maybe. What if we made different choices? Do we regret the ones we made? Nora Seed’s portal between life and death is a library full of books with all her regrets and missed opportunities. The former librarian in me loved the idea of going back to fix our past mistakes – or were they? This is one of the most uplifting books I have ever read.  

The Midnight Library

By Matt Haig,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Midnight Library as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon

Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year

"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."-The Washington Post

The dazzling reader-favorite about the choices that go into a life well lived, from the acclaimed author of How To Stop Time and The Comfort Book.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of…

A Tale for the Time Being

By Ruth Ozeki,

Book cover of A Tale for the Time Being

Why this book?

This one is “meta-fiction,” a fascinating concept to me, in which the author becomes one of the characters. Also, it’s about parallel universes, which is a sister to time travel, right? I loved getting lost in the story of Ruth, the American novelist who discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox containing the diary of Nao, a Japanese teenager who writes about her own grandmother’s life. A sweet, lovely way to think about women between generations, and what we want to keep. 

A Tale for the Time Being

By Ruth Ozeki,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Tale for the Time Being as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness

Finalist for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a…

The Dream Daughter

By Diane Chamberlain,

Book cover of The Dream Daughter

Why this book?

Carly is pregnant but her baby has a fatal heart defect. Her brother-in-law knows how to fix this: travel from 1970 to a future time where fetal surgery will save her child’s life. And the portals are all over the place! All you have to do is find one on his computer, go there and step off a roof or ledge. The scientific explanation for this is so believable I was half-convinced it’s real. Of course, it’s not that simple. What will a mother do to save her child? This brought back all the sleepless nights when my kids were sick or going through tough times. Mothers do what we have to do.

The Dream Daughter

By Diane Chamberlain,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Dream Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Dream Daughter is a page-turning and unforgettable story of love and hope from bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before - and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.…


The King in the Stone

By Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban,

Book cover of The King in the Stone

Why this book?

I love learning about other cultures, and this Spanish-born author delivers. This book is the sequel to Two Moon Princess, but you can read it first or by itself. Billed as a young adult romance, it touched this older woman’s heart. Two young lovers travel back in time to the Arab occupation of Spain, with the full moon as a portal. I love reading about other authors’ time portals! The beautiful descriptions of the mountains in northern Spain convey the author’s love of her home, and made me want to go there – in the current century, of course! 

The King in the Stone

By Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The King in the Stone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A full moon, a silver key,
and the forbidden passion of two young lovers
will bring hope to a defeated kingdom
and, through their sorrow, deliver a king
who will change its fate

Sent back in time through a portal the full moon opens,
Julian and Andrea, two lovers from a parallel universe, are
caught in opposite sides of the battle between the last
Spanish stronghold and the Arabian invaders. A battle for
survival that will determine the fate of a kingdom and
demand of them the ultimate sacrifice: As the Arabs close
on the mountains, Julián makes a decision…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in time travel, decision making, and choice and choosing?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about time travel, decision making, and choice and choosing.

Time Travel Explore 180 books about time travel
Decision Making Explore 43 books about decision making
Choice And Choosing Explore 16 books about choice and choosing

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Good Omens, Never Let Me Go, and The Hunger Games if you like this list.