5 Historical Fiction Novels Under 300 Pages You Can Read In A Single Sitting

by Sadie Trombetta

All March long, its Women's History Month, and you know what that means: 31 days dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of women and their incredible contributions to history. If you're looking for a fun and bookish way to mark the occasion this weekend, we've rounded up five short historical fiction novels about inspiring women that you can finish before the weekend's over. Featuring fictional suffragettes, real-life journalists, and everything in between, these inspiring stories will remind you of the many things that make women worth celebrating all year long.

Historical fiction novels are notoriously long, which means they aren't usually the kind of book you can finish in one sitting. Often times, their narratives span years, if not centuries, and feature even the most minute details about the time period they're set in. That's what makes historical fiction novels so engaging, after all: their ability to sweep readers off of their couches and transport them to another time and place entirely.

Not all historical fiction novels are 500 pages, though. In fact, some of the genre's best titles of the year have been shorter, but no less engaging, than those that reach more traditional page counts. What's even better is that many of them are about incredible women, real and made up, who will fascinate, inspire, and empower you for Women's History Month and beyond.

Whether you have the entire weekend to devote to your bookish pleasures, or just a few hours to spare in between grocery shopping, spring cleaning, and weekly brunch, here are five short historical fiction novels you can read over the weekend.

'The Which Way Tree' by Elizabeth Crook

Hardcover Page Count: 288

Samantha barely survived the panther attack that took her mother's life and left her own face permanently scarred, but she won't let her trauma or anything else hold her back from tracking down the beast and avenging her mother's death. With the help of her half brother Benjamin, a Tejano outlaw, and a mysterious preacher and his dog, Samantha tracks the panther across the Texas frontier, all the while being pursued by a Confederate soldier who has unfinished business with a member of her hunting party. A gripping page-turner, readers will want to devour The Which Way Tree in one sitting.

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'White Houses' by Amy Bloom

Hardcover Page Count: 240

When journalist Lorena Hickok was first introduced to Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932, she could never have imagined that meeting would lead her to the love of her life. After moving into the White House to serve FDR's administration, Lorena's relationship with the first lady and her status as "first friend" is an open secret, but that doesn't shield either women from the outside forces that threaten to tear them apart. A beautiful and utterly mesmerizing love story, White Houses is a fresh and compassionate portrayal of one of America's most misunderstood female figures, and one of the nation's greatest unspoken romances.

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'Carnegie's Maid' by Marie Benedict

Hardcover Page Count: 288

They say behind every great man is a great woman supporting him, and that may have been the case with famed American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Or at least, that is the fascinating story Carnegie's Maid tells about Clara, a young American immigrant working in Carnegie's house. As their relationship evolves into something more than employer-employee, Clara's indomitable spirit helps inspire cutthroat industrialist's transformation from a ruthless businessman to a soft-hearted altruist.

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'Impossible Saints' by Clarissa Harwood

Hardcover Page Count: 304

Set in London in 1907, Impossible Saints tells the story of England's suffrage movement through the experiences of Lilia Brooke, a fiery young woman who shatters the notion that girls are fragile, genteel beings. Determined to secure the right to vote, Lilia will stop at nothing to change women's lives, even if it means missing out on the greatest love of her life.

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'White Rose, Black Forest' by Eoin Dempsey

Hardcover Page Count: 258

Political dissenter Franka Gerber wants nothing more than to live out the rest of her depressing life, alone and unbothered, in the darkness of Germany's Black Forest. That is, until she discovers an injured airman not far from her family's isolated cabin and decides, against her best judgement, to try and save his life. Soon enough, Franka is caught up in a dangerous plot that could change the course of the war, and both of their lives, forever. A captivating tale about compassion, bravery, and redemption, White Rose, Black Forest is the kind of historical fiction novel that proves you don't need to detail the entire world in order to tell a gripping story.

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