8 Best Authors Like Kristin Hannah: Get Your Chick-Lit Fix

From family to relationships to breaking glass ceilings, check out our list of authors like Kristin Hannah to find strong female characters for your next read.

California native Kristin Hannah earned her degree at the University of Washington before she began working for an advertising agency in Seattle. The author wasn’t reading the best books on writing fiction – instead, she was working toward a career as an attorney when life took a turn. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, the pair began writing a (never-published) novel together, and Hannah pivoted to a full-time writing career.

Hannah is known for bringing life to her pages, allowing readers to get to know her characters like friends. Readers love following the relationships that characters develop even as they deal with challenging issues surrounding family, romance, work, and social issues. So, if you’re searching for more of the best authors of historical fiction or authors who excellently craft female protagonists, we’ve got you covered. 

1. Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a Nantucket-based author who has written 28 novels. While in college, Hilderbrand majored in writing seminars. During her final year at Johns Hopkins, she wrote a story called Misdirection that was published in Seventeen Magazine.

After college, she began writing and teaching in New York City before transitioning to writing full-time. She won the world-renowned University of Iowa writers workshop in 1998 and wrote her debut novel, The Beach Club, in 2000. The author has enjoyed a storied career and decided to publish her final book in the summer of 2024.

If you want to read more books by Elin Hilderbrand, you might enjoy our round-up of the best books by Elin Hilderbrand! You can also explore more romance books by typing in “romance” in our search bar.

“If you love something, set it free. If it was meant to be, it will come back to you. But this, of course, was bullshit. If you loved something and let it go…it would (hello!) find something else to love.”

Elin Hilderbrand, The Castaways
Endless Summer: Stories
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Elin Hilderbrand (Author) - Erin Bennett (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/04/2022 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown & Company (Publisher)

2. Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks via Wikipedia, Public Domain

Well-known romance novelist Nicholas Sparks is a New York Times bestselling author who has published 23 fiction novels and sold more than 115 million copies worldwide. Sparks has had eleven of his novels made into major motion pictures, including The Notebook, The Last Song, The Choice, and The Lucky One. In addition to continuing to write, Sparks is also dedicated to supporting the Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a charity that works to improve education worldwide.

“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..”

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
Dreamland: A Novel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Nicholas Sparks (Author) - Austin Nichols, Thérèse Plummer, Nicholas Sparks (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 09/20/2022 (Publication Date) - Random House Audio (Publisher)

3. Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls author Martha Hall Kelly is a New York Times bestseller specializing in historical fiction. Lilac Girls follows the story of Polish women imprisoned in a concentration camp and is based on a true story. The book sold over two million copies worldwide and was published in 50 countries. For those who loved her debut novel, Lost Roses continues the story, following the story of Caroline’s mother. Kelly’s next book, The Golden Doves, takes readers back to World War II and hits bookstores in early 2023.

“It’s just a thing, Kasia. Don’t waste your energy on the hate. That will kill you sure as anything. Focus on keeping your strength. You’re resourceful. Find a way to outsmart them.”

Martha Hall Kelly, Lilac Girls
Sunflower Sisters: A Novel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Martha Hall Kelly (Author) - Saskia Maarleveld, Shayna Small, Jenna Lamia (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/30/2021 (Publication Date) - Random House Audio (Publisher)

4. Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult via Wikipedia, Public Domain

With 27 novels, American author Jodi Picoult is known for creating mysteries and family dramas that transport the reader into the lives of their favorite characters. Picoult touches on mental health, human rights, and social issues in her books, allowing the lines between present-day reality and fiction to blur. In addition to her novels, Picoult is also known as a comic book writer and has created several issues of Wonder Woman throughout her career.

“In the space between yes and no, there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you’ll tell yourself in the future.”

Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart
Mad Honey: A Novel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jodi Picoult (Author) - Carrie Coon, Key Taw, Jodi Picoult (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/04/2022 (Publication Date) - Random House Audio (Publisher)

5. Beatriz Williams

Beatriz Williams
Beatriz Williams via Wikipedia, Public Domain

Stanford graduate Beatriz Williams is a New York Times bestseller known for several historical fiction novels, including The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and The Golden Hour. Williams is known for her ability to help her readers feel fully immersed in the periods in which her novels are set, allowing them to identify with how women throughout history have struggled and managed to persevere. As a New York Times bestselling author, Williams knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats, wondering what paths their relationships and interactions with one another will take.

“You must find whatever ugliness there exists within him and have the courage to extract it, like a bad tooth, or if it cannot be extracted to actually journey inside him and gather the ugliness in your arms for metamorphosis, by the strength and the purity of your love to make him beautiful again.”

Beatriz Williams, The Summer Wives
Our Woman in Moscow: A Novel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Beatriz Williams (Author) - Nicola Barber, Cassandra Campbell (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/01/2021 (Publication Date) - HarperAudio (Publisher)

6. Kate Quinn

New York Times bestselling author Kate Quinn is a historical fiction writer who has written novels that have been translated into many languages worldwide. Quinn is best known for her Empress of Rome saga. The California native has written four historical fiction novels that have been well-received by critics and readers alike. In addition to her English novels, Quinn has also written two novels in Italian.

“Building a generation is like building a wall—one good well-made brick at a time, one good well-made child at a time. Enough good bricks, you have a good wall. Enough good children, you have a generation that won’t start a world-enveloping war.”

Kate Quinn, The Huntress
The Diamond Eye: A Novel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Kate Quinn (Author) - Saskia Maarleveld (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/29/2022 (Publication Date) - HarperAudio (Publisher)

7. Sadeqa Johnson

Originally from Philadelphia, National Book Club Award winner Sadeqa Johnson is best known for her novel Yellow Wife, which was heralded as “wholly engrossing.” The historical fiction novel tells the tale of a young woman living in a slave jail in Virginia. She works to find a way to freedom, and Johnson beautifully explains her difficult choices as she strives to regain her basic human rights. The author has written four novels and has been recognized as a Tall Poppy Writer.

“I know betrayal can unravel a man. I learned early on from watching my parents that men are capable of doing terrible things to women when they feel deceived. When the bubble of trust and honesty bursts, nothing is off-limits.”

Sadeqa Johnson, Second House from the Corner
Second House from the Corner: A Novel of Marriage, Secrets, and Lies
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Johnson, Sadeqa (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 306 Pages - 02/09/2016 (Publication Date) - Thomas Dunne Books (Publisher)

8. Mary Lynn Bracht

Mary Lynn Bracht is a German-born, American-raised, London-based writer who is a renowned historical fiction author. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin, Bracht moved across the pond to earn her master’s in creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Her most popular book, White Chrysanthemum, details the story of two sisters who are separated during World War II in Korea. One sister is sold and enslaved, while the other is left to fend for herself. The story details their lives’ different paths and has readers rooting for the pair’s reunion.

“You followed your heart. That is all I ever wished for both of my children. I’m proud of you … of your choices for your own lives. I’m happy that they were yours to make. Nothing could give me more satisfaction as your mother. You have what I never dreamed of.”

Mary Lynn Bracht, White Chrysanthemum
White Chrysanthemum
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bracht, Mary Lynn (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 314 Pages - 01/30/2018 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

FAQs About Authors Like Kristin Hannah

What is Kristin Hannah’s most popular book?

Kristin Hannah’s most popular book is The Nightingale. The book has about 600,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads. The novel focuses on the lives of two sisters during World War II.

What should I read after The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah?

If you loved The Nightingale, you’d also love Hannah’s other novels, including Winter Garden and Home Front. You may also want to check out works by Anthony Doer and Markus Zusak.

How many books has Kristin Hannah written?

Kristin Hannah has written 18 novels. Three of the author’s novels, Home Front, The Nightingale, and The Great Alone, have been optioned to be made into major motion pictures.

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best 20tth century authors!