80 books like The Yellow Wife

By Sadeqa Johnson,

Here are 80 books that The Yellow Wife fans have personally recommended if you like The Yellow Wife. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Lori Duffy Foster Author Of Never Let Go

From my list on thrillers with twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my years on the crime beat, I often met good people who did bad things and criminals with good intentions and good hearts. We tend to draw a line between good and evil, putting ourselves on the good side. From that perspective, we sit in judgment, believing we are incapable of evil because it’s “over there.” Inaccessible. Unfathomable. But that line is fictional. We redraw it constantly to feel good about ourselves and avoid empathizing with the worst of human nature. What I love about these five novels is that they expose that truth. The twists remind me that even my own line is blurred and ever-shifting.

Lori's book list on thrillers with twists

Lori Duffy Foster Why did Lori love this book?

I love historical fiction, especially when authors throw in a touch of crime. So, that’s what first drew me to this book.

What kept me reading and what made me rank this novel so highly is the gradual unlayering of the main character as the story progresses. Sure, Kya is a victim and a survivor, but she is so much more, and she is capable of more than I could have anticipated. As in some of my other favorite novels, it’s that loyalty to human nature, the understanding that circumstances can make good choices wrong and poor choices right, that pulled me in.

If I had known the ending when I started the book, I might not have believed it possible, but Delia Owens made it work.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…

Book cover of The Great Alone

Candace Simar Author Of Follow Whiskey Creek

From my list on historical stories with great character development.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always liked to imagine how things might have been. In my thinking, a good historical novel is a story set inside the larger world of the time, like a nesting doll with a story inside a story. I look for accurate research, well-developed characters, a unique storyline, and dialogue that comes alive on the page. I expect the history to be a backdrop for a story of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. This is what I like to read and how I have written my novels set during the Civil War, Great Sioux Uprising of 1862, and the home front of World War 2.

Candace's book list on historical stories with great character development

Candace Simar Why did Candace love this book?

This historical novel is about a Viet Name vet with PTSD who moves his wife and daughter to a wilderness area of Alaska in the 1970s.

It’s hard enough to survive during the light of summer, but when the dark winter days fall on them, the father’s mental health deteriorates. He becomes embroiled in conspiracy theories. The family fears for their safety. The characters are unique and perfectly written.

The storyline is imaginative and captivating. You know it can’t end well. The last pages left me bawling uncontrollably.

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Great Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.

#1 New York Times Instant Bestseller (February 2018)
A People “Book of the Week”
Buzzfeed’s “Most Anticipated Women’s Fiction Reads of 2018”
Seattle Times’s “Books to Look Forward to in 2018”

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter…

Book cover of The Poisonwood Bible

Kevin Chen Author Of Ghost Town

From my list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have 7 sisters and 1 brother. I was the 9th child in my family. To get a son who would carry on the family heritage, my parents tried 7 times without any success. After 7 unwanted daughters, my brother finally arrived. Then they had me as the second boy in the family. The plot twist was: I am gay. I turned out to be the 8th unwanted daughter because of my sexuality. Coming from this small-town big family full of superstitions and secrets, I am naturally drawn to dramatic family stories with many dark and psychological twists.

Kevin's book list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets

Kevin Chen Why did Kevin love this book?

At first, I was scared by the thickness of the book. More than 600 pages? I didn’t think I would have the patience and time to finish it. My book club chose the book as a reading challenge for everyone. A challenge indeed. But a colorful one.

I remember carrying the book with me everywhere I went. As I finally reached the last page of this riveting family saga set in Africa, I felt older and wiser. Wow, I actually finished the thick novel. It was a great achievement.

I was never bored or tired. I did not want the story to end. It could have been 6000 pages and I still would have thrown myself into this epic story.

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Poisonwood Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



An international bestseller and a modern classic, this suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and their remarkable reconstruction has been read, adored and shared by millions around the world.

'Breathtaking.' Sunday Times
'Exquisite.' The Times
'Beautiful.' Independent
'Powerful.' New York Times

This story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959.

They carry with them everything they believe they will…

Book cover of The Girl with the Louding Voice

Kimberly Garret Brown Author Of Cora's Kitchen

From my list on celebrate the global resoluteness of Black women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been drawn to stories where I see aspects of myself in the characters since I was an adolescent and found comfort in the pages of Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. As a Black woman, I find validation and encouragement in novels where other Black women navigate life's obstacles to reach the desires of their hearts. It makes my life feel more manageable, knowing that I am not alone in the face of fear, loneliness, and self-doubt or more challenging social issues like racism, sexism, and classism. These stories give me hope and insight as I journey toward living life to its fullest. 

Kimberly's book list on celebrate the global resoluteness of Black women

Kimberly Garret Brown Why did Kimberly love this book?

This story, set in Nigeria, is a commentary on social economics and gender without sounding like one.

Fourteen-year-old Adunni wants an education to actualize her voice and make a difference but is seen as a commodity by her father and sold to be an old man's third wife. When tragedy hits her new household, she is backhandedly sold as a domestic servant.

I immediately fell in love with Adunni, savoring her simple but insightful descriptions. I identified with the grief she felt for her mother. Though heartbreaking at times, her determination was inspirational and encouraging as I continue on my own grief journey. She never loses hope and fights for what she wants for herself.

I felt the urge to applaud when I finished reading this book. 

By Abi Daré,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Girl with the Louding Voice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most uplifting debut of 2020

'Unforgettable' New York Times 'Impressive' Observer 'Remarkable' Independent 'Important' Guardian 'Captivating' Mirror 'Luminous' Daily Mail 'Sparkling' Harper's Bazaar 'Beautiful' Herald


I don't just want to be having any kind voice . . .
I want a louding voice.

At fourteen, Adunni dreams of getting an education and giving her family a more comfortable home in her small Nigerian village. Instead, Adunni's father sells her off to become the third wife of an old man. When tragedy…

Book cover of Homegoing

Janice Weizman Author Of Our Little Histories

From my list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing fiction is a way of tackling issues of fate and identity through storytelling. I believe we’re each the result of an intersection between personality and history and I’m interested in the way our time and place impacts us and creates a backdrop for our lives. My first novel, The Wayward Moon, is historical fiction set in the 9th-century Middle East. My second novel follows a Jewish family back six generations to Belarus. But no matter what period I’m writing about, the most important thing is always to tell a good story.

Janice's book list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective

Janice Weizman Why did Janice love this book?

I really admire how this book traces two lines of a tumultuous family history through a series of short stories.

Opening in Ghana 250 years ago, the book follows two trajectories: one family branch that is kidnapped into slavery in America, and a second that remains in Africa while collaborating with slave traders.

This is a brave book that is not afraid to pose difficult questions, but in doing so, it opens a clear-eyed perspective on the way that history shapes us.

By Yaa Gyasi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A BBC Top 100 Novels that Shaped Our World

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.…

Book cover of The Other Einstein

Kathleen Stauffer Author Of Thou Shalt Not

From my list on women’s rights, roles, and limitations over time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with five brothers in the 1950-60s and never felt that I could not do whatever they desired to do. Later, I developed a heart for women and children’s rights and a desire for real-life stories about authentic people and their struggles. As I watch the news, television, and observe my daughters and granddaughters, I am intrigued by women’s ever-evolving roles and the courage and perseverance it took for progress. Mary Meier, in Thou Shalt Not, did not  change the world; however, she did give her community much to think about when only the town blacksmith seemed to take an interest in her dire situation—which ultimately leads to a murder.

Kathleen's book list on women’s rights, roles, and limitations over time

Kathleen Stauffer Why did Kathleen love this book?

Is it any wonder that Einstein’s wife, Maric, and he drifted apart as the years passed when we learn the story behind the story? His wife was a brilliant physicist in her own right. In fact, the theory of relativity may have been inspired by her profound intellect. It is my impression that in a relationship, one is more outgoing than the other. Relationships where partnerships co-exist and each person’s skills and intellect are validated and appreciated may be outside the norm. Maric’s story encourages me to affirm my own gifts.

By Marie Benedict,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Other Einstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From beloved New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Benedict comes the story of a not-so-famous scientist who not only loved Albert Einstein, but also shaped the theories that brought him lasting renown.
In the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Paula McClain, Marie Benedict's The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. This novel resurrects Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated. Was she simply Einstein's sounding board, an assistant performing complex mathematical…

Book cover of Girl in Disguise

Erin Lindsey Author Of Murder on Millionaires' Row

From my list on lady sleuths and spies to transport back in time.

Why am I passionate about this?

So look, I’m going to admit something: I’ve been casting myself as the heroine in historical adventures and mysteries since the age of six. I’ve been Sherlock Holmes’s daughter, Elizabeth Bennett’s slightly disreputable sleuthing cousin, the lone lady Pinkerton hunting down Butch and Sundance. These youthful fantasies combined three things I adored: puzzles, adventure, and geeking out on history. When I got a little older, I left off imagining myself in the starring role in favour of something even more immersive: becoming someone else entirely. Whether I’m writing them or reading them, books like the ones on this list transport me, and I hope they’ll transport you, too.

Erin's book list on lady sleuths and spies to transport back in time

Erin Lindsey Why did Erin love this book?

I have a thing for Pinkertons. They’re so often portrayed as villains, but this one is a hero: Kate Warne, the (real-life) first female Pinkerton detective. Kate’s story is fascinating and tense, full of surprising twists—some real and some fictional. At times Girl in Disguise reads more like a spy novel than a detective story, especially when it comes to a certain real-life assassination attempt I’d never heard about, and which literally dropped my jaw. Readers interested in fascinating women largely forgotten by history will devour this one.

By Greer Macallister,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Girl in Disguise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Electrifying...a rollicking nineteenth-century thrill ride." -Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits with Gun
Inspired by the real story of investigator Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective's rise during one of the nation's times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman whose forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.
With no money and no husband, Kate Warne finds herself with few choices. The streets of 1856 Chicago offer a desperate widow mostly trouble and ruin-unless that widow has a knack for manipulation and an unusually quick mind. In a bold move…

Book cover of Circling the Sun

Leslie Johansen Nack Author Of The Blue Butterfly: A Novel of Marion Davies

From my list on powerful women in the 1920s and 1930.

Why am I passionate about this?

First, I'm a woman and I'm inspired by women from the past who overcame the rules of the day in which they lived. It doesn’t matter where they lived, or what they tried to overcome, but to have bucked the patriarchal system and achieved some measure of success, is phenomenal. Second, I became inspired by silent film star Marion Davies, and I wrote a book about it. I never intended to write historical fiction. My first book was a memoir about sailing to Tahiti at fourteen with my father and two sisters. But life has a funny way of directing us where we need to go. Here I am: inspired by women from the past! 

Leslie's book list on powerful women in the 1920s and 1930

Leslie Johansen Nack Why did Leslie love this book?

Wild Africa is romantic and daring and I loved the danger and inspiration of 1920s Africa, when British born real life woman Beryl Markham becomes one of the first female pilots. It’s a bit of Out of Africa and riveting.

Markham encounters many obstacles and has several disastrous relationships but eventually she overcomes and succeeds. She becomes the first person (not woman) to fly solo from Britain to North America. 

By Paula McLain,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Circling the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller

As a young girl, Beryl Markham was brought to Kenya from Britain by parents dreaming of a new life. For her mother, the dream quickly turned sour, and she returned home; Beryl was brought up by her father, who switched between indulgence and heavy-handed authority, allowing her first to run wild on their farm, then incarcerating her in the classroom. The scourge of governesses and serial absconder from boarding school, by the age of sixteen Beryl had been catapulted into a disastrous marriage - but it was in facing up to this reality that she…

Book cover of Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Jenni L. Walsh Author Of A Betting Woman: A Novel of Madame Moustache

From my list on women paving their way in a man’s world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written ten books for children and adults inspired by women throughout history, ones about American outlaws, war-time heroes, resistance groups, and activists. I enjoy learning, researching, and shining a spotlight on the women who shape our world today. In A Betting Woman, the presence of three names for a single woman intrigued me. I wondered how one name bled into the next and how life winded to a seemingly unappealing nickname, given to Eleanor after she’d taken a man’s last dime during a card game. Still, Eleanor kept the moniker for over a decade as she carried on. I hope you’ll enjoy her story, along with the other strong women featured on this list!

Jenni's book list on women paving their way in a man’s world

Jenni L. Walsh Why did Jenni love this book?

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is the improbable love story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. And, at the novel’s onset, their coupling truly feels improbable. While in an unhappy marriage, Joy is very much married. She has young children. Joy has health issues. Joy and C.S. Lewis are separated by a body of water. Yet, Joy is also a very tenacious woman, which also included Joy inserting herself into conversations and places women at that time didn’t frequent. I wholly respect how Joy creates a new life for herself.

By Patti Callahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Mrs. Lewis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestseller! Meet the brilliant writer, fiercely independent mother, and passionate woman who captured the heart of C.S. Lewis and inspired the books that still enchant and change us today.

When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis-known as Jack-she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn't holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford professor and the beloved writer of The Chronicles of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters.

Embarking on the adventure of her…

Book cover of A Most Precious Gift

Sinmisola Ogunyinka Author Of I loved a slave

From my list on historical stories on love and slavery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who loves to create stories across cultures and time periods. Writing a historical romance novel involves a lot of reading about the history and the times. After reading a few historical novels, I started toying with the idea of writing one. I loved a slave is my second historical romance novel and I have started work on two more. Being transported into the time period gives me a lot of excitement and I hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have! I have a master’s in liberal arts and an MFA in Creative Writing.

Sinmisola's book list on historical stories on love and slavery

Sinmisola Ogunyinka Why did Sinmisola love this book?

One of the reasons I recommend this book, besides being a book in a genre I enjoy, well-written, is the inspiration it gave from a place of peace and hope that even when everything seems contrary, love will make a way. If you are looking for a book that provides a balance between love and faith, then this is a book for you.

By Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Most Precious Gift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Previously published as A Most Precious Gift by Mantle Rock Publishing.

Dinah Devereaux, New Orleans-born slave and seamstress, suddenly finds herself relegated to a sweltering kitchen on the Natchez town estate of Riverwood. Having never cooked a day in her life, she is terrified of being found out and banished to the cotton fields as was her mother before her. But when she accidentally burns the freedom papers of

Jonathan Mayfield, a handsome free man of color to whom she’s attracted, her fear of the fields becomes secondary. A gifted cabinetmaker, Jonathan Mayfield’s heart is set on finally becoming a…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Virginia, plantations, and African Americans?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Virginia, plantations, and African Americans.

Virginia Explore 104 books about Virginia
Plantations Explore 29 books about plantations
African Americans Explore 727 books about African Americans