Kristin Hannah's 22 most popular books, based on Goodreads reviews

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  • Kristin Hannah is the bestselling author of over 20 books, most recently " The Four Winds ."
  • She writes romance books, historical fiction novels, and stories with magical twists.
  • Goodreads members' top favorites include " The Nightingale " and " The Great Alone ."

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Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author perhaps best known for " The Nightingale " and " Firefly Lane ," the latter of which has become a hit Netflix show . Though Hannah primarily writes moving romances with devastating twists, her more recent works have been vivid historical fiction stories that transport readers through time.

To rank Kristin Hannah's best books, we turned to Goodreads members . With over 125 million users, Goodreads lets readers rate, review, and recommend their favorite novels. So whether you're a new Kristin Hannah reader wondering where to start, or a long-time fan looking for a new read, we've ranked the best Kristin Hannah books, according to Goodreads members.

'The Nightingale'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"The Nightingale," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.15

With nearly 600,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads, "The Nightingale" is Kristin Hannah's most popular book. Set during World War II, this deeply moving novel focuses on two sisters living through the Nazi occupation of France. While 18-year-old Isabelle courageously risks her life to join the Resistance, Vianne is left at home to protect her daughter and herself as a German captain requisitions her home in her husband's absence.

'The Great Alone'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"The Great Alone ," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.69

When Ernt Allbright returns from the Vietnam war broken and volatile, he impulsively moves his family to the Alaskan wilderness, determined to live off the land amongst other fiercely independent locals. But as the brutal winter darkness sets in, the Allbright family discovers they are far less physically — and mentally — prepared than they thought.

'Firefly Lane'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Firefly Lane," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.19

In this powerful story about the magic of friendship, Tully and Kate became inseparable friends during the summer of 1974, forming a bond that would last a lifetime. As the decades pass, Tully and Kate act as buoys in each other's turbulent lives — until a devastating act of betrayal puts their bond to the ultimate test.

'The Four Winds'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"The Four Winds," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.49

As the Great Depression continues to devastate Americans in the early 1930s, a ruthless drought tears through Texas, leaving families torn between fighting for their land and heading west for the chance of a better life. A portrait of the strength of American women, this historical fiction novel follows young Elsa Martinelli as she agonizes over her own choice during the Dust Bowl era, a particularly dark period of history.

'Winter Garden'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Winter Garden," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.56

"Winter Garden" is a novel that explores the intricacies of a mother-daughter bond through Meredith and Nina, two starkly different sisters who are brought home over their father's illness. With little connection besides old memories and their mother's disdain, the sisters finally learn the devastating truth of their mother's past, revealing more about their family and themselves than they ever knew.

'Night Road'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Night Road," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.56

Jude is a stay-at-home mom who always puts the needs of her children ahead of her own. So when former foster child, Lexi, enters her twins' lives, she welcomes her in and the three kids become inseparable. But when a terrible accident happens, everyone blames Lexi and she's forced to leave behind the closest thing to family she's ever known. Years later, Lexi returns to face Jude, the past, and the night that changed their lives forever.

'Fly Away'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Fly Away," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.67

"Fly Away" is the touching sequel to "Firefly Lane" and while it can be read as a standalone novel, it's recommended to read "Firefly Lane" first to truly understand the depth of heartbreak in this book. As Kate struggles against her battle with breast cancer, her best friend, Tully, promises to be there for her children in any way she can. As Tully and Kate's family reel from grief, Tully struggles to keep Kate's daughters safe and come to terms with her own past in this story about forgiveness and redemption.

'Magic Hour'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Magic Hour," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.26

After a sudden tragedy ruined her career as a child psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Cates returned to her hometown to quietly recover. When she meets a peculiar six-year-old girl who seems to have emerged from the nearby woods, Julia dedicates herself to saving the child — even if it means asking for help.

'Home Front'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Home Front," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.89

Defense attorney Michael and soldier Jolene have been married for 12 years and are already struggling through everyday life when Jolene is sent on a dangerous deployment and Michael is left caring for their daughters back home. In this story of love, loss, war, and duty, Jolene tries to quell her family's fears from the other side of the world until tragedy strikes and leaves Michael living his worst nightmare.

'True Colors'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"True Colors," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.39

"True Colors" is a heartfelt family story that follows the Grey sisters, whose bond strengthened as they leaned on each other when their mother passed away. After a devastating event threatens to tear their sisterhood apart, the girls must fight through the tension to forgive each other in this compelling and emotional story loved for its romantic and dramatic elements.

'Between Sisters'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Between Sisters," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.49

When Meg was 16 and Claire was nine, a misunderstanding led the sisters to an estrangement that it seemed would last a lifetime. But as Claire's wedding day quickly approaches, Meg decides to take time off from her successful law career to help Claire and try to reignite their bond, hoping to become the family they always wanted.

'On Mystic Lake'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"On Mystic Lake," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.19

When Annie Colwater's husband tells her that he's in love with a younger woman, she returns to her hometown to heal and is reunited with her first love, Nick Delacrox. As Nick recovers from his own loss and tries to help his daughter do the same, the three find comfort in each other — until a shocking twist forces Annie to make an impossible choice.

'Summer Island'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Summer Island," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.35

Ruby hasn't spoken to her famous talk show-host mother in more than a decade, resentful after Nora chose to walk out of their home, leaving her husband and daughters behind. So when a shocking scandal from Nora's past is exposed, Ruby is offered a small fortune to write a tell-all book. Returning to her family home, Ruby confronts her mother's past and her own in this exhilarating Kristin Hannah read.

'The Things We Do for Love'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"The Things We Do for Love," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.27

Angela DeSaria Malone thought her life would unfold perfectly just as it had for her sisters and cousins: High school, college, marriage, motherhood. But when Angela and her husband divorce after she repeatedly fails to get pregnant, she moves back to her hometown and meets a teenage girl who will change her life forever.

'Angel Falls'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Angel Falls," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $5.98

"Angel Falls" is an inspirational romance novel about Liam Campbell, who sits at his wife's bedside every day despite the doctor's warning that she may never wake from her coma. When Liam discovers a painful secret from his wife's past — a previous marriage — he knows he must solicit the help of her ex-husband in the desperate hope for her recovery.

'Distant Shores'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Distant Shores," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.99

Elizabeth and Jackson Shore appeared to live a beautiful and happy life but when their daughters leave home, the couple finds themselves slowly drifting apart. When Jack gets an amazing job opportunity, Elizabeth decides to follow him — until a horrible tragedy forces her to question everything about her life and decide who she wants to be.

'Home Again'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Home Again," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.99

Dr. Madeline Hillyard is a famous heart surgeon whose teenage daughter feels more like a stranger to her every day: Angry, resentful, and desperate to find the father that abandoned her so many years ago. When her father, Angel DeMarco, comes back into their lives despite his devastating betrayal, it's in search of help as a patient.

'Comfort & Joy'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Comfort & Joy," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.36

In this holiday-themed story, Joy Candellaro is struggling to find her Christmas spirit after her divorce and spontaneously buys a ticket to the Pacific Northwest, hoping for an adventure that will reignite her enthusiasm for life. In a small town, Joy meets six-year-old Bobby who, along with his father, is struggling to celebrate the holidays after losing his mom. Together, Joy, Bobby, and Daniel help each other heal and find the courage to believe in love and family once again. 

'If You Believe'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"If You Believe," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.27

"If You Believe" is a demonstration of the emotional intensity Kristin Hannah is able to convey in a novel. When professional fighter Mad Dog Stone answers an ad to live and help on an apple farm before his next fight, he meets Mariah Throckmorton, self-exiled and hiding from a scandalous past. Against all odds, the two begin to fall for each other. As they confront their pasts, they must decide if they should stay in each other's lives or let their love fade with the season. 

'Waiting for the Moon'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Waiting for the Moon," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.69

Selena can't remember who she is or how she came to be in a beautiful mansion on the Maine coast, but she finds comfort in a strange physician-turned-recluse she meets nearby. Ian Carrick is haunted by a telepathic gift that destroyed his career but when he meets Selena, he finds she's the only one whose thoughts he can't hear. Selena and Ian bring light into each other's dark lives and help each other heal, even as a figure from the past threatens to end their fantasy romance.

'Once in Every Life'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"Once in Every Life," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.99

When brilliant research scientist Tess Gregory suddenly dies before she can fulfill her longings for a husband and child, an angel allows her to choose the life into which she'd be reincarnated. Waking in a hospital bed, Tess finds herself in the body of a post-Civil War woman with a husband, children, and plenty of family and marital problems that she must conquer if she wants to find her magical love story after all.

'When Lightning Strikes'

best rated books by kristin hannah

"When Lightning Strikes," available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.99

In this time-travel romance, Alaina Costanza, a romance writer, is thrust straight into the wild west of her most recent novel during a peculiar storm. When she's kidnapped by her own character, the handsome outlaw Killian, the two fall into a whirlwind romance that they know must end if Alaina has any chance of reaching her child, left behind in the present.

best rated books by kristin hannah

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Lists of the Best Books

Kristin Hannah Books: Best Rated Novels

1 Star

Last updated: January 14, 2021 by Emma Robinson

Kristin Hannah books: best rated novels

Kristin Hannah is a famous American novelist and winner of multiple prestigious awards. Her name is well recognized by readers of romance. Almost every book published by this author becomes an international bestseller. Her novels are sold in million copies, translated into more than 40 languages, formatted as Kindle editions, and adapted for screenplays.

These reviews describe the top 10 books that range from the most to the least successful novels that have received recognition from critics and high ratings on Amazon. If you are a fan reader of Hannah’s works or just want to feel a surge of romance and love, discover the following selection.

Best of Kristin Hannah: Top Books to Read

RankReviewNameFirst PublishedPagesRating
1 Night Road

2 Magic Hour

3 Home Again

4 Angel Falls

5 Winter Garden

6 Home Front

7 The Nightingale

8 Fly Away

9 Firefly Lane

10 The Great Alone


Night Road 1st Edition Text Only

Night Road

Night Road is a story about an overprotective mother, Jude Farraday, whose life revolves around her inseparable twins, Mia and Zach. One day, a former foster child Lexi enters their life. She befriends with Mia, who is a social outcast, while Zach falls in love with the girl.

One night, the three get in a car accident with Lexi being a driver. The life of the whole family is not idyllic anymore. Mia dies, and Judi charges against Lexi, who ends up pleading guilty and going to prison.

After she returns, can the two women forgive each other?

  • Deeply emotional characters
  • A heart-touching story
  • The narration is brilliant
  • Some readers find the plot a bit predictable

Magic Hour

Magic Hour is a melodramatic novel about a 6-year-old feral girl, who was presumably raised by wolves in the deep woods and appears one day on the edge of the town chased by hunger. Dr. Julia Cates, a child psychiatrist, names the girl Alice and tries to help this alone and speechless kid. Along with Dr. Max Cerrasin, they want to find a clue to the girl’s identity.

In their attempts to free Alice from fear and isolation, the doctors find out the bewildering facts about her past. While they cure the girl and work together, the romance will inevitably blossom between them.

  • Shows the triumph of hope
  • Raises a spectrum of important social problems like life after divorce, kidnapping, second chances, etc.
  • The book gets everyone involved in
  • Readers who are savvy in medicine criticize the author’s knowledge in this sphere because of a number of incorrect statements
  • Some parts seem unrealistic

Home Again: G. K. Hall Large Print Book Series

Home Again

Home Again is a best selling novel that describes the life of Madeleine Hillyard, a famous cardiologist who raised her daughter Lina alone because her lover Angel DeMarco abandoned her 16 years ago. He left in search of fortune and fame. His brother Francis DeMarco, who is a priest, has always been a helping hand for this family.

Angel becomes a famous actor. As a heart transplant patient, he meets Madeleine again. He reappears to seek help from the people he betrayed. Are they strong enough to forgive the betrayals of the past and love again?

  • The read is very captivating and impossible to put down
  • The author uses the right words that flesh out the characters
  • A lot of romance
  • The book is full of inconsistencies

Angel Falls

Angel Falls

Angel Falls is one more novel written by Kristin Hannah about passion, duty, and family bonds. Mikaela and Liam Campbell have a perfect marriage and a family with 2 children. After a tragic accident, Mikaela falls into a coma. The doctors don’t expect a recovery, but Liam believes that true love makes magic. As his wife responds to the sound of the name of her previous husband, Liam decides to contact that man.

He takes a risky step and may lose his wife forever in order to save her life. Mikaela awakes with retrograde amnesia with no memory of Liam. Nothing in their lives will ever be the same.

  • Portrays true feelings
  • A fast and interesting read with a touching plot
  • Makes readers understand what is really important in life
  • Some author’s fans find the novel too soppy as if “made for TV” movies

Winter Garden: Large Print

Winter Garden

In Winter Garden, you meet Meredith Cooper and Nina Whitson, 2 sisters raised by a cold and dispassionate mother and an adoring father. The absence of maternal love had an impact on both sisters. One of them became a famous photojournalist who runs away from family life, while the marriage life of another sister is about to be destroyed by an emotional wall she has built between herself and the spouse.

On the deathbed, their father tries to unite the three women. His daughters hear a terrifying story about their Russian-born mother and her life in war-torn Leningrad. The book is ideal to be read in the Christmas period.

  • A heartbreaking narration about the life of people during World War II
  • Illustrates intricate mother-daughter relationships
  • Vivid descriptions of the surroundings and characters
  • In the beginning, the narration is a bit slow
  • The women in the book are too unemotional

Home Front

Home Front is one of the most relevant and rated novels of the author. The story is about an average couple, Michael and Jolene Zarkades, who have normal family issues – children, work, chores, bills, etc.

Their 12-year marriage is falling apart, and the situation becomes more complicated when Jo, being a helicopter pilot, is called to active duty into a war zone in Iraq. Michael, a defense attorney, is unaccustomed to be a single parent to his 2 daughters and hardly struggles with the day-to-day routine.

In her letters home, Jolene describes her life on the front line in a rose-colored version. When a tragedy brings her home, both partners re-evaluate their feelings for each other.

  • An honest look at modern marriage
  • Describes eternal questions and values like love, honor, heroism, hope, etc.
  • An extremely emotional read
  • The story lacks originality

The Nightingale

The Nightingale

This historical fiction novel occupies the top best seller lists and is inspired by a real-life story. Plotted in 1939, the book portrays the lives of 2 sisters Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac, and their dangerous way to love and survival in German-occupied France during WWII.

Vianne says goodbye to her husband who heads for the Front and is captured by German soldiers. Isabelle decides to join the Resistance, earns the code name “Nightingale,” and risks her life to save others.

The women’s war is a part of history that is seldom seen, but in the book, it is skillfully illuminated.

  • The narration is fast-paced
  • Full of romance
  • The characters are perfectly developed
  • The book is dark at times describing violence, death, slavery, sexual assault, etc.
  • There are some geographical and historical inaccuracies

Fly Away

Fly Away is a sequel to a story portrayed in Firefly Lane. The book is based on the same characters and starts 4 years after Kate dies from breast cancer. As the best friend of Kate, Tully promises to work on her last wish and take care of her 3 kids. Tully is overwhelmed as she knows nothing about motherhood.

The situation becomes more complicated when Tully’s mother, Dorothy, who abandoned her as a child, comes back to her.

Can we expect another book in the series?

  • A great story about forgiveness, family, and love
  • A thoughtful reading experience
  • An emotionally-driven read
  • Too much of depression and anxiety

Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane

As mentioned, this is the first book about two friends (and opposite personalities), Kate and Tully. Kate is a shy girl with thick glasses who feels lonely and has no close friends but an overbearing mother. Tully is a popular and beautiful girl with lots of friends, who was dropped by her mother at her grandma’s house.

Dealing with their own pain, the girls become best friends. This 30-year friendship continues through high school, college, work, and all their ups and downs.

  • The reading strikes and absorbs
  • The story is about a beautiful friendship
  • Emotionally charged and can bring readers to tears
  • Some chapters are dragged on
  • A new generation of readers may not understand the realities typical for the 70s and 80s

The Great Alone

The Great Alone

The action of the book is set in Alaska in 1974. The Allbrights’ are a family of three: Ernt, Cora, and their 13-year-old daughter Leni. Ernt is a damaged veteran who has come home from the Vietnam War and got some property in Alaska from his dead friend. They move to this inhospitable land. Because of the brutality of the Alaskan winter, they all need tremendous effort to survive in this place of beauty and danger.

  • Shows the strength of human spirit
  • The Alaskan landscapes are beautifully described
  • A fascinating and thought-provoking read
  • The dialogues suffer from cliches and repetitions

Interesting Facts

Interesting facts about books

Each book always has a true story behind or is inspired by certain events in the life of an author. These unknown facts about Kristin Hannah and her novels will be interesting for both regular and new readers:

  • The Nightingale is one of the most recognizable novels of the author. The book spent 20 weeks on the New York bestseller list and 45 weeks on the National Public Radio Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List. The novel was optioned by TriStar Pictures for a screen adaptation. Elle Fanning and Dakota star in the film, which is scheduled to be released in 2021.
  • Kristin Hannah graduated from a law school and practiced law before she became a writer. She confesses, she doesn’t miss her previous job.
  • The author took inspiration for The Nightingale from a real person, Andree de Jongh. This 24-year Belgian woman helped aviators and other people escape and escorted them over the Pyrenees. She saved 118 people. When the Nazis captured her and sent to a concentration camp, they didn’t believe that she was the organizer of that route. Andree died in 2007.
  • Kristin Hannah has a couple of protagonists in her own novels she likes most: Tully from Firefly Lane, Alice from Magic Hour, and Anya Whitson from Winter Garden.
  • It takes a year for Hannah to write a book. It took her up to 2 years to write The Nightingale and Firefly Lane.

These facts can inspire you to re-read her novels and notice peculiarities that you’ve missed the first time.

This list of the best Kristin Hannah books includes the latest works of the author and some novels written when she got started on this career. Her novels will always find a way to the hearts of readers because they feature strong characters and touch unique things important for every woman. They grab your attention and immerse you in the atmosphere of reality. While living life with each protagonist, you can solve a problem and find the right decision for yourself.

Are you looking forward to her next heart-touching masterpiece?

  • Kristin Hannah – Author –
  • Kristin Hannah –

Top 5 Books by Jack London (2021)

About Emma Robinson

Hi there, my name’s Emma - I’m a professional journalist and I adore reading books. Actually, they are my source of appeasement and daily energy. My personal achievement is my contribution to my friends’ willingness to develop through books. Thus, I have a huge list of the best books to be read and reviewed. Stay up-to-date with me and BooKKooks! You may also want to visit my page on Facebook - I would be glad to see new followers there, so I can share my recent reviews.

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Lists of the Best Books

All Kristin Hannah Books Ranked – Complete Reading Guide

Kristin Hannah is known for her ability to transport readers into the depths of human emotions, weave emotional narratives, and create unforgettable characters that you’ll have a hard time trying to forget!

With over twenty remarkable novels in her vault, you might struggle to choose which one to start with first! But no worries–just keep reading to find all Kristin Hannah books ranked from best to worst, and get ready to discover the magic woven within each page of Hannah’s novels with this complete reading guide!

About Kristin Hannah  

Kristin Hannah was born on September 25th, 1960, and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in communication and from the University of Puget Sound law school before becoming a full-time writer. 

She published her first novel, Handful of Heaven , in 1991 as the start of her two-decade-long career! Since then, Hannah has had multiple bestselling novels, which have sold millions of copies and have been translated into over forty languages!

Her novels–often part of the romance and historical fiction genres–cover a wide range of themes and genres which showcase her versatility. Her stories offer a unique blend of fictional narratives and real-world context and often explore various aspects of the human experience.

Sound like the kind of books that normally pique your interest? Keep reading to see all of Kristin Hannah’s books ranked from best to worst in this complete reading guide!

All Kristin Hannah Books Ranked – Complete Reading Guide

The nightingale (standalone).

Starting with an absolute must-read for historical fiction lovers, The Nightingale is a heart-wrenching yet beautiful novel about two girls, Vianne and Isabelle, who face the horrors of Nazi invasion. 

Taking place in 1939 France, the two sisters are separated by their consequential choices and unfortunate circumstances. They embark on separate paths of resistance, love, and survival, and the novel is handled with grace, written with courage, and exudes a powerful energy that only Hannah could’ve created!

You can find The Nightingale here.

The Great Alone (Standalone)

Another must-read historical fiction, The Great Alone , follows the Allbright family as they seek a fresh start in the rugged wilderness of Alaska. Leni and her mother, Cora, must navigate their treacherous surroundings while also confronting the dangers that lurk within their own home.

As they face the challenges of survival and try their best to adapt to the harsh living conditions, dark secrets, and personal demons threaten their fragile existence. 

You can find The Great Alone here.

Stories from Suffragette City (Anthology)

Stories from Suffragette City is a potent short story collection that retells the story and captures the spirit of October 23rd, 1915–a pivotal day in history. It was the day when women marched for their right to vote.

Thirteen acclaimed authors bring the struggles and triumphs of both familiar and lesser-known characters to life, highlighting their contributions to democracy. From unexpected participants to influential figures, these stories come together to create a symphony of voices, illustrating a nation’s unwavering pursuit of progress and equality.

You can find Stories from Suffragette City here.

Wild (Standalone)

In this compelling novel, a mysterious girl emerges from the darkness of the Olympic National Forest, and child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates takes on the challenge of unraveling her enigmatic past and healing her from deep-seated trauma.

Julia must confront her own demons in order to fight to create a safe haven for the girl, Alice, and their intertwined journey forces them to confront the unsettling truths that lie beneath the surface.

You can find Wild here.

The Four Winds (Standalone)

In 1921 Texas, Elsa Wolcott defies societal expectations and chooses an unconventional path. Deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak.

As the Great Depression hits in 1934, Elsa faces drought, poverty, and a crumbling marriage on the Martinelli farm. With the choice to fight for her land or seek a better life for herself and her children elsewhere, Elsa’s journey becomes a testament to her resilience and the pursuit of the American dream amidst the nation’s tumultuous divide.

You can find The Four Winds here.

Firefly Lane ( Firefly Lane Series )

One of Hannah’s most well-known and widely beloved novels, Firefly Lane, is a heartfelt journey spanning over three decades, chronicling the enduring friendship between Kate and Tully. 

In the summer of 1974, they become inseparable, despite their contrasting personalities. Tully’s pursuit of fame and success contrasts with Kate’s desire for an ordinary life, but still, for thirty years, they weather the storm of friendships–jealousy, anger, hurt, and resentment.

They think they’ve made it through the thick of it until a betrayal threatens to unravel everything and ruin their friendship once and for all.

You can find Firefly Lane here.

Winter Garden (Standalone)

In this charming tale, Meredith and Nina–two estranged sisters–are brought back together by their father’s illness. While he’s on his deathbed, their mother, Anya, begins to recount an extraordinary love story that spans decades and takes them from war-torn Leningrad to present-day Alaska. 

As Nina becomes obsessed with unraveling the truth, their family is confronted with a shocking secret that may change life as they know it forever.

You can find Winter Garden here.

Night Road (Standalone)

This psychological fiction follows Jude Farraday, who has devoted herself to her children, Mia and Zach, spending her life providing them with a safe and happy one. But when Lexi–a troubled foster child–becomes Mia’s best friend, and Zach falls in love with her, their lives intertwine, and a tragic event shatters the world Jude worked so hard to build for them.

You can find Night Road here.

Home Front (Standalone)

In-H ome Front , Michael and Jolene Zarkades’ marriage crumbles amidst the pressures of daily life. Jolene’s deployment to a war zone leaves Michael as a single parent, struggling to fill her absence. 

Meanwhile, Jolene paints a rosy picture of her experiences in the letters she sends home, shielding her family from the harsh realities of war. But when tragedy strikes, the Zarkades must confront their deepest fears and fight for what truly matters.

You can find Home Front here.

The Things We Do for Love (Standalone)

Angie DeSaria, a woman whose dreams of motherhood have been shattered, finds solace in managing her family’s restaurant. When she befriends a troubled young woman named Lauren Ribido and offers her a home, she isn’t prepared for the repercussions of this act of kindness.

You can find The Things We Do for Love here.

Fly Away ( Firefly Lane Series)

In the sequel to the Firefly Lane novel, the story of Tully and Kate continues. Spoilers ahead!

After the death of her best friend, Tully struggles to fulfill her promise to care for Kate’s children. Sixteen-year-old Marah falls into a dangerous world of grief until she finds a love that changes things completely. 

Dorothy–Tully’s estranged mother–returns to face her tumultuous past relationship with her now-deceased daughter.

You can find Fly Away here.

Summer Island (Standalone)

Ruby Bridge, a struggling comedian, finds herself reluctantly caring for her mother, Nora, after an accident. Ruby resents the intrusion, but when offered a substantial amount of money to write her mother’s biography, she delves into Nora’s past. 

Surprisingly, Ruby discovers a different side of her mother, leading to a love story that transcends generations.

You can find Summer Island here.

Between Sisters (Standalone)

In Between Sisters , Meghann Dontess carries the weight of a devastating choice she made years ago, causing her to lose her sister Claire’s love. 

A successful but emotionally guarded divorce attorney, Meghann’s perspective on intimacy shifts when she meets a man who challenges her beliefs. Meanwhile, Claire is experiencing love for the first time, preparing for her wedding while bracing for a reunion with Meghann.

You can find Between Sisters here.

True Colors (Standalone)

Another emotional novel following two sisters, True Colors, introduces readers to the Grey sisters, Winona and Vivi Anne, who grew up with an emotionally distant father on their family ranch. 

Winona, an overweight dreamer, yearned for her father’s love but felt she could never earn it. Vivi Anne, the youngest, possessed the talents and strengths their father admired. 

But when Vivi Anne chooses to follow her heart instead of fulfilling her expected role, it sets off a chain of events that challenges the sisters’ love and loyalty.

You can find True Colors here.

Home Again (Standalone)

Home Again revolves around Madelaine, a talented cardiologist who is also a devoted mother and friend. 

Despite her successes, she grapples with self-doubt as she deals with her resentful daughter, Lina, and the two men she loves: Francis, a searching priest, and Angel, a cynical man with emotional wounds. 

A tragic event brings them together, forcing them to confront past betrayals and discover the strength to open their hearts to love once more.

You can find Home Again here.

On Mystic Lake (Standalone)

Anne Colwater’s life takes an unexpected turn when her husband asks for a divorce just as their daughter leaves for college. 

Seeking solace, she returns to her hometown of Mystic, Washington, where she reconnects with her old friend Nick, who is struggling to raise his emotionally wounded daughter, Izzie, after the loss of his wife. As Anne steps in to care for them, she finds herself experiencing a deep and unexpected love for both Nick and Izzie. 

However, navigating the complexities of love becomes a challenge, and it’s not until Anne learns a valuable lesson from her own daughter that she finds the courage to embrace the happiness she deserves.

You can find On Mystic Lake here.

Angel Falls (Standalone)

An emotionally gripping novel much like Hannah’s other works, Angel Falls follows protagonist Liam as he faces an agonizing decision that could change his life forever. His wife, Michaela, lies in a coma with little hope of recovery. 

As he holds onto hope, Liam stumbles upon a shocking secret: Michaela’s first marriage to famous actor Julian True. Liam realizes that Julian is her true love, and he believes that Julian’s presence could awaken her. 

But in his quest to save his wife, Liam must confront his deepest fears and grapple with the possibility of losing her to the man who once captured her heart.

You can find Angel Falls here.

Once in Every Life (Standalone)

Tess Gregory’s life takes an unexpected turn after her untimely death. Reborn as Amaryllis Rafferty in post-Civil War America, formerly deaf, she has now been granted the ability to hear and becomes a wife and mother of three. 

However, Amarylis finds herself disoriented in her new existence and becomes entangled in the heartache that weighs heavily on her family, particularly her husband, Jack.

You can find Once in Every Life here.

Distant Shores (Standalone)

In this domestic fiction novel, Elizabeth and Jackson Shore’s marriage begins to unravel after their daughters leave home. Despite the growing distance between them, Elizabeth selflessly follows Jack when he lands an exciting job opportunity. 

However, her world is shattered by her father’s sudden passing, leading her to seek solace in an isolated beach house. As she sorts through her parent’s belongings, Elizabeth discovers a hidden past that unveils a tale of unwavering devotion, highlighting the absence of such commitment in her own marriage. 

Confronting her disillusionment, she makes a daring choice, risking everything in pursuit of a renewed chance at happiness.

You can find Distant Shores here.

A Handful of Heaven (Standalone)

Ending this ranking with the beginning of Hannah’s extensive writing career, her debut novel, A Handful of Heaven , has a summary that speaks for itself!

“Devon O’Shea comes to the Yukon Territory in search of gold, but instead, she finds Stone Man McKenna, a mountainous slab of animosity who believes the Yukon is no place for a lady. When he attempts to convince her of this with a savage kiss, she finds herself feeling, for the first time in her life, feminine and alive. And Devon begins to wonder if she may have struck gold after all….”

You can find A Handful of Heaven here.

Other Books by Kristin Hannah (In order from best to worst)

  • If You Believe (Standalone) 
  • Waiting for the Moon (Standalone) 
  • Comfort and Joy (Standalone) 
  • The Enchantment (Standalone) 
  • When Lightning Strikes (Standalone)

Final Thoughts

Kristin Hannah has the power to touch hearts and leave a lasting impact with her exquisite writing, carefully crafted characters, and extraordinary plot lines. Hopefully, this ranking has made it even easier for you to delve into her remarkable works!

Is Firefly Lane Based on a true story?

No. Some of the material in the story is inspired by Kristin Hannah’s real life, and some of the characters are somewhat inspired by Kristin as well, but the story is not autobiographical and is not based on true events.

What is the most recent Kristin Hannah book?

Published in 2021, The Four Winds is currently Kristin Hannah’s most recent book. However, in 2024, she plans to publish a book titled The Women !

How many books are in the Firefly Lane series?

Only two! The first book, Firefly Lane , was published in 2008, while the second book of the series, Fly Away , was published in 2013.

What kind of books does Kristin Hannah write?

She predominantly writes in the romance and historical fiction genres. Her stories often contain magical twists and tales of love, loss, and survival.

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23 Best Kristin Hannah Books of All Time [to Read in 2024]

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Kristin Hannah has a way with words that makes us readers feel seen, cherished, and understood. From the complexities of love to the challenges of friendships.

She has a unique ability to touch into the most intimate corners of human relationships, revealing raw emotions and moments that strike a chord with anyone who’s ever loved, lost, or simply lived.

This overview will guide you through the best of Kristin Hannah’s. And who knows? By the end, you might just find a piece of yourself between her pages.

Best Kristin Hannah Books

• reader’s choice: the nightingale, • editor’s choice: night road, • best historical fiction: the great alone, • best romance: firefly lane, 1. the nightingale.

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Genre s : Historical Fiction, World War II

The Nightingale is a journey of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, during World War II in France. Vianne fights to keep her family safe in an occupied town, while her fiery sister Isabelle risks everything joining the French Resistance.

Their story showcases the depths of love, courage, and sacrifice pulling you into the sisters’ contrasting worlds. It’s a powerful snapshot of history where love defies fear.

Seeking a read that moves and inspires? The Nightingale is your pick. Experience bravery, sacrifice, and the strength of sisterhood.

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.

What You Might Love:

  • Beyond romance, it celebrates the bonds of family, friendships, and unexpected allies.
  • Both sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, show strength in different ways, challenging traditional roles.
  • Witness the incredible development and transformation of characters as they navigate life’s harshest realities.

What Might Not Be For Everyone:

  • The book moves between past and present, which might confuse some.
  • Some might find the emotional depth overwhelming, making it a challenging read.
  • The portrayal of war and its atrocities can be graphic and distressing for sensitive readers.

2. The Great Alone

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Genre s : Historical Fiction, Romance

Step into the wilds of 1970s Alaska, where the Allbright family, led by troubled Vietnam vet Ernt, relocates to Alaska’s remote corners, seeking a fresh start.

But as winter’s darkness descends, so do Ernt’s moods, and you’ll quickly see that the wilderness isn’t the only challenge they face.

You’ll root for young Leni, with her coming of age in this wild, unpredictable environment and battling nature’s extremes and the turbulent world within her home.

At its heart, The Great Alone delves into survival, love, and resilience. Looking for a powerful tale of trials and triumphs? This Hannah classic is a must-read.

In the silence, Leni wondered if one person could ever really save another, or if it was the kind of thing you had to do for yourself.
  • The story’s focus on resilience, both emotional and physical, can be deeply inspiring.
  • The post-Vietnam War era influences the story uniquely, adding depth to the narrative.
  • The novel tackles PTSD and its effects on families in a nuanced manner, prompting reflection and understanding.
  • While many find Hannah’s descriptions beautiful, others might find them lengthy.
  • Some readers might find certain choices made by characters frustrating or unrealistic.
  • The intricate family dynamics and dark underpinnings might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

3. The Four Winds

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Genre s : Historical Fiction, Domestic Fiction

The story unfolds in the 1930s, with the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl as its somber backdrop. Texas, where once fertile lands are now barren.

Facing tough times, Elsa decides it’s time for a change. With her children, she faces a tough choice: stay in a withering homeland or chase hope in California. But California brings its own trials.

Why should this be your next read? This book is about resilience and hope, a tale that warms the heart. Perfect if you need a dose of inspiration.

  • The novel has a lot of characters that are multi-faceted, each battling their own demons and desires.
  • The descriptions of the dusty plains and the struggles of everyday life create an immersive atmosphere.
  • The book sheds light on societal issues of the time, such as poverty, workers’ rights, and the American Dream.
  • Certain choices made by protagonists may frustrate or puzzle some readers.
  • The story includes several tragic moments which might be hard for some to digest.
  • The somber and sometimes bleak atmosphere of the book might not be everyone’s preference.

4. Firefly Lane

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Genre s : Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

Ever had that one friend who’s been there through everything? That’s what Kate and Tully are to each other. Spanning decades, the story follows them from their teens to adulthood, through the highs and the lows, joys and heartaches.

While their paths are wildly different—with Tully soaring into the limelight of her career and Kate choosing a quieter family life—their friendship remains.

Firefly Lane celebrates deep friendships and life’s twists. The book stands out in Kristin Hannah’s collection as it captures the essence of friendship. It’s a heartwarming story you won’t want to miss.

She waited for you in a thousand different ways.
  • Beyond friendship, the book delves into mother-daughter relationships, love, and loss.
  • Conversations between characters feel real and genuine, making them even more relatable.
  • The story covers the 1970s to the early 2000s, allowing readers to journey through multiple eras of music, fashion, and culture.
  • The novel has some soap-opera-esque twists, which might not be everyone’s preference.
  • The intricacies of the relationships, especially the challenges, can be distressing for some.
  • With its adaptation into a TV series, some might draw comparisons between the two, potentially influencing their reading experience.

5. Winter Garden

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Genre s : Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary

Meredith and Nina, two sisters living different lives, reunited after their father’s death, are now left with a distant mother. The only thing that connects them? Their bedtime tales from war-torn Leningrad.

Prompted by their father’s dying wish, the sisters delve deep into Anya’s history. Soon, they discover that tales are true stories revealing family secrets and bridging emotional gaps between mother and daughters.

Why should you step into this garden? Because this book is a testament to the power of stories in bridging gaps and healing old wounds.

How could any woman know her own story until she knew her mother’s?
  • The revelation of family secrets keeps the narrative suspenseful and intriguing.
  • Amidst wartime adversities, the narrative celebrates human endurance and the will to survive.
  • Set against the Siege of Leningrad, the novel provides a heart-wrenching glimpse into WW II-era Russia.
  • Not everyone will relate to Russian culture and history.
  • The intense emotions may be overwhelming for those looking for a lighter read.
  • Readers wanting quick answers may get frustrated by the gradual unveiling of family secrets.

6. Night Road

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Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Drama

Meet Lexi Baill, a teenager once in foster care who moves to a small town. Soon, she becomes friends with Mia, an introverted twin, and becomes inseparable from the Farraday family.

As the years pass, relationships deepen, secrets emerge, and an unexpected love blossoms with Mia’s twin brother, Zach. But beneath this calm surface lies a pivotal moment—a single night—that changes everything.

Why read this? Because it offers a vivid depiction of adolescence, motherhood, and the pains of growing up. Drawing you in, making you question: How far would you go for the ones you love?

Maybe time didn’t heal wounds exactly, but it gave you a kind of armor, or a new perspective. A way to remember with a smile instead of a sob.
  • The depiction of teenage life, from relationships to mistakes, is authentic and resonant.
  • Topics like forgiveness, guilt, and the consequences of our choices make for introspective reading.
  • The narrative showcases the power of healing and personal growth amidst tragedy.
  • Some may find the focus on family tensions too relatable.
  • The story centers on a major tragedy, which might upset some.
  • The book’s intense emotions may be too much for fans of lighter reads.

7. Home Front

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Genres: Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary

Home Front follows Jolene Zarkades, a wife, mother, and National Guard pilot, as she is deployed to Iraq, leaving her husband, Michael, to hold down the home front.

While she faces war’s reality, her husband, Michael, deals with the home challenges of single parenthood and a distant relationship. Their love is tested as they navigate trauma, separation, and reconnection.

It’s a book that shows the unseen battles of military families. If you want a heartfelt read on love and resilience, this is it.

Marriages go through hard times. Sometimes you have to get in there and fight for your love. That’s the only way for it to get better.
  • The novel emphasizes hope, healing, and the human spirit’s resilience.
  • The story prompts readers to think about war’s impact on personal lives and choices.
  • The exploration of marriage, friendship, and parental bonds is both moving and relatable.
  • The marital difficulties showcased might not resonate with or appeal to everyone.
  • The novel’s focus on strained family dynamics can be tough for readers who find it too relatable.
  • The depiction of war, even from a home front perspective, might be distressing for some.

8. Magic Hour

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Drama, Mystery

In the small town of Rain Valley, a mysterious young girl appears from the woods, unable to speak or explain her origins. This child draws the attention of Dr. Julia Cates, a once-renowned child psychiatrist with a tarnished career.

As she uncovers the girl’s secrets, Julia reconnects with her estranged sister, police chief Ellie. She discovers the beauty of second chances and the bond of sisterhood while rediscovering her purpose.

Looking for a story that tugs at the heartstrings, presents layered characters, and paints a picture of nature in its raw form? Magic Hour delivers just that.

She didn’t know that some hurts were like a once-broken bone. In the right weather, they could ache for a lifetime.
  • The evolving bonds, especially between the child and the psychologist, touch the heart.
  • The novel dives deep into themes of love, trust, and redemption, resonating with many.
  • Readers witness the tight-knit community’s reactions and interactions, emphasizing the importance of unity.
  • The book explores intense themes like trauma, which might be too heavy for some.
  • Some parts of the book focus heavily on emotions, possibly feeling slow for action-seekers.
  • The novel dives deep into the characters’ psychology, which might bore fans of external drama.

9. Fly Away — Firefly Lane #2

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Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

“Fly Away” continues the book “Firefly Lane,” revisiting the story of Tully Hart and her inseparable bond with Kate Ryan.

[ Spoiler Alert ! ] In the wake of Kate’s tragic passing, Tully is devastated, struggling with immense guilt and grief. The once confident and vibrant Tully is spiraling, lost without her anchor.

[Continue reading here] It’s a journey of redemption as Tully, with the help of Kate’s daughter Marah and her own estranged mother Cloud, confronts her past and seeks a path toward healing and self-forgiveness.

Fly Away will remind you of the enduring power of friendship and the ways love can guide us back from the darkest corners. This is a heartfelt read you shouldn’t miss.

Sometimes you simply made the wrong choice and you had to live with it. You could only change the future.
  • The dynamics between friends, family, and lovers are explored deeply, making them relatable.
  • Readers get to reconnect with beloved characters from “Firefly Lane,” offering continuity and depth.
  • Themes such as forgiveness, acceptance, and the enduring bond of friendship are powerfully conveyed.
  • Some might find the complex relationships confusing.
  • The detailed depiction of grief might upset those with personal loss.
  • The book’s focus on grief and loss might overwhelm fans of lighter reads.

10. Between Sisters

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Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Women’s Fiction

Meet Meghann Dontess, a top attorney who has everything except the family ties she once cherished. Her younger, free-spirited sister, Claire, lives far away from Meghann’s glamorous world.

Years have passed since they last connected. But as Claire prepares for her wedding day, their paths cross again, sparks fly, secrets resurface, and the fragile bond is tested.

Between Sisters is a heartwarming story of family ties, misunderstandings, and rekindled bonds. If you want to explore the depths of sisterly bonds and the journey to reconnection, this book will surely resonate with you.

Sometimes love means trusting people to make their own decisions. In other words, shutting up.
  • Amidst the drama, there are sprinkles of humor, making the narrative well-balanced.
  • The novel delves into the challenges of mature relationships, moving beyond just youthful romances.
  • Themes like love, trust, regret, and forgiveness are explored, resonating with many real-life experiences.
  • Some may find the relationship conflicts too relatable.
  • Some readers might find the introspective parts slow-paced.
  • The book’s emotional depth might overwhelm fans of lighter stories.

11. Summer Island

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In Summer Island, you’ll meet Nora Bridge, once a beloved advice columnist, who sees her reputation crumble overnight. Where does one go when the world seems to turn its back? To Summer Island, her hometown.

Her estranged daughter Ruby, an aspiring comedian, joins her. Initially eager to expose her mother through a tell-all article, Ruby soon discovers hidden depths to Nora’s story.

The book dives deeper into the complexities of mother-daughter bonds. The narrative reminds you that revisiting old wounds, however painful, can sometimes be the path to healing.

A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones.
  • Dialogues touch the heart, evoking genuine emotions.
  • The use of memories adds depth to the narrative, helping readers understand the characters’ motivations.
  • The book portrays real challenges, such as betrayal and regret, making characters’ journeys authentic.
  • Some might find the gradual unfolding of family secrets a tad slow.
  • Certain decisions by protagonists might be frustrating or perplexing to some.
  • The secluded island setting might not captivate those who prefer urban backdrops.

12. The Things We Do for Love

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Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Family

You’ll meet Angie Malone, navigating the rough tides of life. Heartbroken after numerous failed IVF treatments and a divorce, she returns to her hometown, seeking solace and a fresh start.

Enter Lauren Ribido, a young girl with an uncertain home life and distant dreams. As their path meets, their growing bond shines a light on the many faces of motherhood and the great lengths we go to for love.

The Things We Do for Love is proof of the human spirit and the bonds that tie us together. The book portrays the struggles and joys of love, family, and second chances.

Sometimes we have to forgive the people we love, even if we’re mad as hell. That’s just how it is.
  • The story tackles real issues like infertility and parenting.
  • Characters evolve and uncover deep truths about themselves.
  • It highlights deep bonds, from friendships to mother-daughter relationships.
  • The book focuses on sacrifice and loss, which might be too heavy for some.
  • The book delves deeply into family conflicts, which some might find overwhelming.
  • The descriptive writing style might not appeal to readers wanting a straightforward story.

13. True Colors

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Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Adult Fiction

Winona, the eldest, craves her father’s approval. Aurora, the peacemaker, is the bridge between her sisters. Vivi Ann, the youngest, shines brightly, capturing the heart of everyone she meets, including the town’s golden boy, Dallas.

But when a stranger, Luke, comes to town and captures Vivi Ann’s heart, the bonds between the sisters are tested. A tale unfolds with love, betrayal, and a haunting mystery threatening to tear them apart.

Discover the strength and fragility of family bonds and the shades of love. This story shows us how choices shape our destinies and the colors we add to life.

It was true that sometimes the support of only one person could make a difference.
  • The book tackles timely topics like prejudice and justice.
  • The story explores love, betrayal, and redemption deeply, stirring emotions.
  • Readers explore the intricate dynamics of family and romantic relationships.
  • Not everyone enjoys a blend of family drama with suspenseful mystery.
  • Certain introspective moments might feel slow to those craving consistent action.

14. On Mystic Lake

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On Mystic Lake, Annie Colwater’s life shatters, sending her back to her hometown in Mystic, Washington. There, she reconnects with childhood friend Nick, a single dad with his own sorrows.

Together, they navigate the murky waters of grief, regret, and newfound love, discovering healing in each other’s company and new beginnings.

If you’re after a touching, transformative read, this book is your perfect escape. Let the story of Mystic Lake embrace you.

People left, and if you loved too deeply, too fiercely, their swift and sudden absence could chill you to the soul.
  • Readers can relate to the well-drawn, multidimensional protagonists.
  • The novel portrays genuine challenges and triumphs in relationships.
  • The story showcases the beauty of healing and finding oneself again.
  • Some might find the novel’s progression a bit slow or contemplative.
  • Themes of infidelity and marital strife might be sensitive subjects for some.

15. Angel Falls

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult Fiction, Drama

Angel Falls is a touching story of love tested by fate. Mikaela, a former actress, lies in a coma, leaving her devoted husband, Liam, hoping for her recovery.

But when Mikaela’s former flame, Julian, reappears, the past and present collide, raising questions and rekindling old emotions, and the family faces challenges and choices.

Angel Falls shows love’s resilience and the ties that bind a family, offering readers a profound reflection on life, choices, and second chances. Wondering if “Angel Falls” is worth the read? It absolutely is.

Some chances came and went, and if you missed them, you could spend the rest of your life standing alone, waiting for an opportunity that had already passed you by.
  • Conversations between characters are heart-wrenching and memorable.
  • The mix of real-life issues with a hint of the supernatural keeps the narrative intriguing.
  • Topics like grief, hope, and redemption are relatable to many, making readers feel deeply connected.
  • Readers not fond of romance might find certain story aspects less engaging.
  • The novel is deeply emotional, which might be too heavy for readers seeking a light read.

16. Home Again

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Dr. Madelaine Hillyard is a top cardiologist with a personal life nothing short of a heartache. From being abandoned by her love and raising a daughter solo, her journey is rich with trials and triumphs.

Soon, she was given the daunting challenge of saving the life of the very man who once broke her heart. Her story will make you question: What does it truly mean to go home again? Can love find its way home after being lost?

So, next time you’re hunting for a story that speaks to the heart, let this book serve as a reminder that home isn’t just a place—it’s where the heart finds its true calling.

Sometimes you have to turn the world upside down to see it right side up.
  • The novel beautifully highlights the idea of rediscovery and new beginnings in life and love.
  • The complexities of family, both by blood and choice, are explored in depth, resonating with many.
  • The budding romances are both sweet and intense, sure to enchant lovers of romance.
  • There’s a significant amount of backstory for certain characters, which might not be to everyone’s taste.
  • The novel poses ethical dilemmas that might leave some readers uncomfortable or conflicted.

17. Distant Shores

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary

Distant Shores introduces you to Elizabeth and Jackson Shore, a once-enviable couple who, over the years, have drifted apart. Their dreams, once aligned, now pull them in opposing directions.

Elizabeth seeks more from life, while Jackson is deep into his career. Facing a crisis, the couple must decide: pursue their own paths or meet halfway.

If you’re seeking a story about love’s complexities, sacrifice, and self-discovery, this book is a perfect match.

It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most daunting distances are those that grow between two hearts.

Promises were a lot like impressions. The second one didn’t count for much.
  • It prompts readers to reflect on their own lives, decisions, and the paths not taken.
  • The story captures a woman’s journey of self-discovery, making it deeply relatable.
  • The intricate portrayal of a marriage in transition resonates with anyone who’s navigated relationship challenges.
  • The focus on midlife issues might not engage younger readers.
  • The story often revisits the past, which may not appeal to fans of present-focused tales.

18. Once in Every Life

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Genres: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Romance

In “Once in Every Life”, you meet Tess Gregory, a woman ready to begin a new chapter. However, a sudden accident sends her back to the 19th century.

Suddenly, she’s another woman living a completely different life. Amidst the challenges of this past world, she finds love, purpose, and a deep connection she never expected.

So, if you’ve ever daydreamed about a past life or wished for a do-over, Once in Every Life will give you just that and show you how love transcends time.

  • Those who enjoy a touch of the supernatural will appreciate the mysticism in the narrative.
  • Set in post-Civil War America, history buffs will appreciate the rich backdrop against which the story unfolds.
  • It offers an intriguing take on the concept of reincarnation, drawing in readers fascinated by past lives.
  • The novel raises tough moral questions that may unsettle some readers.
  • Central themes like destiny and past traumas might feel heavy for those wanting a lighter read.

19. Comfort & Joy

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Fantasy, Romance, Holiday

Joy Candellaro, once a woman filled with holiday spirit, finds her world upended after a heartbreaking betrayal. On an impulse, she boards a plane, only to land in a mysterious, remote town named “Hope”.

She finds herself drawn to a man who’s equally lost, forming a bond over shared pain and mutual healing. Their heartwarming story brings the true meaning of love, redemption, and, most importantly, the magic of Christmas.

When you’re snuggled up with a blanket and a cup of cocoa, make sure this book is in your hand. It’s one of Hannah’s finest and truly captures the essence of its title.

We have always been the witnesses of each other’s lives. Isn’t that what family is? Even broken and betrayed and bleeding, we are connected.
  • Set during Christmas, the novel envelops readers in the festive spirit, making it a perfect holiday read.
  • The book strikes a balance between reflective moments and active scenes, ensuring that readers remain engaged from start to finish.
  • Joy Candellaro undergoes personal challenges that many can relate to, from heartbreak to the search for meaning.
  • Some readers might not like open-ended endings.
  • Introspective sections of the story might bore action-seeking readers.

20. Waiting for the Moon

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Historical Fiction

Imagine being trapped in a life where memories of the past are locked away, and every day feels like a puzzle. This is the reality for Selena.

Following a tragic accident, she finds herself with amnesia, surrounded by the unfamiliar. The only person who appears to hold the key to her past is Ian, a man she doesn’t remember but is inexplicably drawn to.

Will Selena rediscover her lost memories? And can love truly heal all wounds? Flip through the pages and remember that sometimes, the heart knows things that the mind has forgotten.

  • Set in the early 1900s, the novel offers a rich dive into a bygone era.
  • The narrative underscores the power of love and time in healing old wounds.
  • The book beautifully portrays various feelings, giving readers an emotional journey.
  • The story’s flashbacks might confuse some readers.
  • Mixing romance with mystery might not appeal to everyone.

21. When Lightning Strikes

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Historical Fiction, Time Travel

Alaina Costanza is a romance writer disillusioned with the notions of dreams and fairy tales. On a storm-ridden night, a mystical occurrence pulled her back in time, landing her in the Wild West depicted in her recent novel.

The adventure escalates when Alaina is kidnapped by Killian, an outlaw she herself birthed on paper. The twist is that Killian isn’t just a figment of her imagination but is also her soulmate.

This story is a story of self-discovery and an invitation to witness a love story that proves love can transcend the shackles of time and the pages of a novel.

Fleetingly, he wondered what the man’s life had been like, where it had gone so desperately wrong.
  • The backdrop of the 1890s Montana offers a vivid and authentic portrayal of the Old West.
  • The interactions between characters, from budding romances to rivalries, are intricate and engaging.
  • Themes of love, sacrifice, and resilience resonate deeply, making the story both entertaining and thought-provoking.
  • Some readers might find certain romance tropes in the story predictable or clichéd.
  • The book poses moral questions, which might leave readers feeling conflicted or unsettled.

22. If You Believe

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Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

Mariah, ensnared by her scandal-ridden past, finds her life taking an unexpected turn with the arrival of Mad Dog, a wanderer with a carefree spirit, who steps into her apple farm seeking a few days’ work.

The tale is a challenging yet endearing journey of this unlikely pair towards finding love. Their affection, sprouting against the backdrop of societal judgment, symbolizes the essence of hope and the transformative power of second chances.

Why open this book? Because it tenderly iterates a truth: love is boundless if you have the courage to believe.

There are always times in life that you don’t fit in. But you have to go forward and make a place for yourself. That’s what growing up is all about. Being strong and believing in yourself even when you’re most afraid.
  • Themes of self-belief, perseverance, and love make it an uplifting read.
  • The evolving romance is tender and genuine, pulling at the heartstrings of romance enthusiasts.
  • Exploring familial relationships, especially between parents and children, is touching and relatable.
  • Some character choices might frustrate readers who can’t relate.
  • While some love the romance, others might find it overwhelming.

23. The Women — Coming this 2024

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Genres: Historical Fiction, War, Adult Fiction

Final Thoughts

Going through Kristin Hannah’s works feels like retracing the steps of humanity itself, with its highs, lows, and all the in-betweens.

Her talent lies not just in crafting stories but in sculpting worlds that readers can lose themselves in, find themselves in, and sometimes even heal themselves in.

As we round off this roundup, know that whether you’re a seasoned Hannah reader or a newbie, there’s always a fresh insight, a new tear, or a hearty laugh awaiting you.

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Erika Maniquiz

Erika Maniquiz is a certified teacher and librarian with a Library and Information Science degree. She cherishes the calm moments reading books as much as the dynamic discussions she has in her classroom. Beyond her career, she is a fan of Kdrama and loves Kpop's lively beats.

best rated books by kristin hannah

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The Best Kristin Hannah Books


Kristin Hannah has become a household name in the world of contemporary fiction. With numerous best-selling novels under her belt, this critically acclaimed author knows how to weave tales that resonate deeply with readers. From historical dramas to emotional family sagas, Hannah's literary prowess is on full display in her captivating works, making it nearly impossible to put them down. This comprehensive collection showcases some of the best Kristin Hannah books.

These best Kristin Hannah books highlight the author's ability to navigate themes of love, loss, and resilience. Each novel is a testament to the author's skill at creating immersive universes populated by complex individuals who tug at readers' heartstrings while challenging their perspectives. Among these narratives are stories that inspire deep reflection on life's most poignant moments. 

Some standout examples of books by Kristin Hannah include The Nightingale, which transports readers back to World War II-era France where two sisters navigate the darkness of war with courage and determination. Another must-read title is The Four Winds, set during the Great Depression. It chronicles one woman's indomitable spirit as she battles against overwhelming odds for the sake of her family. Additionally, Home Front delves into the realities faced by military families when a mother is deployed overseas - a powerful exploration of love, duty, and sacrifice. There are many more outstanding titles worth discovering within Kristin Hannah's oeuvre. 

The Nightingale

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The Nightingale

The Nightingale is a novel by Kristin Hannah. It follows a pair of sisters who are separated in German-occupied, war-torn France each having to take risks and make sacrifices for their own survival as well as for the good of the world.

Home Front

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Home Front is a novel by Kristin Hannah. It tells the story of the Zarkades family who are having problems at home when its matriarch, Jolene, is deployed overseas. Decisions stateside and abroad shape the family's future.

On Mystic Lake

On Mystic Lake

On Mystic Lake is a novel by Kristin Hannah. With her child off a boarding school and her husband announcing he is in love with another woman, Annie Colwater returns to her roots in Mystic. Here she attempts to rediscover herself, and love, but life has a way of turning things upside down.

Winter Garden

Winter Garden

Winter Garden is a novel by Kristin Hannah. Sisters Meredith and Nina Whitson return home after their father falls ill. He makes a deathbed request of them and their disapproving mother that opens the door to past while potentially changing the future.

The Great Alone

The Great Alone

The Great Alone is a novel by Kristin Hannah. Under the leadership of husband and father Ernt Allbrigt, a family moves to rural Alaska. The elements may be tough, but the atmosphere within the family household proves to be its own brand of difficult.

Night Road

Night Road is a novel by Kristin Hannah. Jude Farraday is the mother of twin teenagers who, along with their best friend/girlfriend, make a fateful decision that changes everything.

best rated books by kristin hannah

10 Best Kristin Hannah Books to Read When You Finish Watching ‘Firefly Lane’

Including the "Firefly Lane" sequel.

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Anyone who loves historical fiction will want to grab a copy of The Nightingale right away. It's an emotional tale of two sisters during World War II, and it's also getting its very own movie adaptation this year. Other popular picks include The Four Winds , True Colors , and Night Road which tackle love, loss, and life-altering decisions. Powerful stuff!

No matter which title you choose, a cozy night in is in the cards for you when you open up a Kristin Hannah novel. And if you're after other adaptations, check out these TV shows and movies based on books !

Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane

If you finished  Firefly Lane on Netflix but never read the book, now is the perfect time to start! See where it all began for Tully and Kate in Kristin's 2008 novel. Any fan will love comparing the two and guessing what might take place in a second season . After all, the show has only covered half of the story so far!

The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Historical buffs will cherish  The Nightingale , a  New York Times bestseller that follows two sisters in France at the onset of World War II. One is forced to let a German captain occupy her home while the other joins the Resistance. Tissues are very, very necessary. 

The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Taking place in Alaska in the 1970s,  The Great Alone tackles love, loss, and the fight for survival. It follows Ernt Allbright, a Vietnam veteran who relocates his family to the vast wilderness of Alaska. There, he, his wife, and their 13-year-old daughter battle not only the unrelenting darkness outside but the darkness within as well.

The Four Winds

The Four Winds

Kristin's newest release,  The Four Winds , is a captivating novel about a woman's fight to protect her family when struggling to survive the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. She's caught between staying and protecting the land she loves, or giving it up to move West for a better life.

Fly Away

Can't get enough of the  Firefly Lane folks? Grab a copy of the sequel. It takes place years later, bringing new characters into the story and expanding Tully and Kate's universe even more. 

Winter Garden

Winter Garden

This spellbinding novel jumps between the past and present, as Anya Whitson tells the story of Leningrad in World War II to her captivated daughters. Along the way, her children uncover a shocking secret, one that will change the fabric of their family forever.

Home Front

Weaving a story of both love and war,  Home Front will have you hooked from start to finish. Michael and Jolene struggle with the usual issues of every married couple until Jolene is suddenly whisked away and deployed to the frontlines of war. Meanwhile, Michael struggles to acclimate to life as a single parent—especially when tragedy strikes. 

Night Road

Jude Farraday's life is flipped upside down one night when an accident occurs involving her twins, who she's always fiercely protected. The town then turns on 18-year-old Lexi, a newcomer with a difficult past. Years pass, and Lexi returns to town, forcing Jude to decide whether she can forgive or if it's better to never forget.

Magic Hour

Fleeing a troubled past, child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates has relocated to Washington state. She's set on helping six-year-old Alice who was found one night deep within the forest alone. Julia works to uncover her shocking past while trying to make a home for them both, enlisting the help of her estranged sister along the way. 

True Colors

True Colors

After their mother's death, the three Grey sisters were inseparable. Their father, however, became withdrawn, holding his daughters to impossible standards. When the youngest of the three decides to go her own way, suddenly each of the sisters are pitted against each other. Ultimately, the Greys are forced to grapple with what it really means to be a family.

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Erin Cavoto is the Editorial Assistant at, covering food, holidays, home decor, and more.

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It's Impossible to Pick a Favorite, but Here Are Our Picks For Kristin Hannah's Best Books

best rated books by kristin hannah

If you haven't already watched Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke's new series on Netflix yet, then you probably should. Firefly Lane (which premiered on Feb. 3) follows the relationship between two childhood friends through adulthood, and like so many other excellent TV shows, it's based on a book of the same name. Firefly Lane author Kristin Hannah has written 24 books since her career began, and her latest novel, The Four Winds , came out just a day before Netflix's Firefly Lane series debuted. Though you really can't go wrong with a Kristin Hannah book, here are just some of our favorites from the author.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane traces the relationship between two best friends from its beginning in the summer of 1974 over three decades. Though Kate and Tully believe their friendship can weather any challenge, a single betrayal threatens to ruin their 30-year bond forever, and if you like this one, then you should definitely read the second book in the series, Fly Away .

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Set in France on the cusp of World War II, The Nightingale tells the story of two sisters who must fight to survive when Nazis invade and occupy their country. One sister, Vianne, is forced to let a German soldier live in her home, while her younger sister, Isabelle, is inspired to join the Resistance.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

In The Great Alone , an impulsive Vietnam War vet who recently lost his job decides to move his wife and 13-year-old daughter north to live off the grid in Alaska in 1974. Little does the Allbright family know how difficult the transition will be — or how much Ernt's mental state will deteriorate as their first winter approaches.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden revolves around Anya Whitson, an old woman who — as she nears the end of her life — decides to reach out to her estranged daughters, Nina and Meredith, to tell them the epic 60-year story of her journey, starting from her childhood in war-torn Leningrad in 1941. However, in the course of recounting her story, Anya reveals a secret that makes her daughters question everything they once knew.

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

In Night Road , a former foster child with a dark past moves to a new neighborhood as a teen, and she forms an instant bond with her two new neighbors, who are twins. The three become inseparable as they make their way through high school up until senior year, when a terrible decision is made that will change the course of both families' lives forever.

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Home Front revolves around married couple Michael and Jolene, who find their already rocky marriage challenged when Jolene is unexpectedly deployed to Iraq. With Jolene gone, Michael must take care of their two girls alone, and when tragedy strikes, his courage and strength are pushed to their limits.

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah

Set in the Pacific Northwest, Magic Hour tells the story of a child psychiatrist who — after a scandal leaves her career tarnished — takes on a fascinating new patient: a six-year-old girl who mysteriously emerged from the Olympic National Forest. Dr. Julia Cates becomes determined to discover the truth about Alice's past, even if it means reaching out to her estranged sister, who's a local police officer, for help.

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

In Between Sisters , two estranged siblings prepare to face each other for the first time in over two decades on the younger sister's wedding day. Though divorce attorney Meghann believes she has nothing in common with her younger sister Claire, the two attempt to repair their bond and become the family they never had growing up.

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  • Firefly Lane
  •   Kristin Hannah’s books: a complete guide

Kristin Hannah’s books: a complete guide

Kristin hannah is the bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the nightingale and firefly lane . whether you are new to kristin hannah, or already a fan, discover your next read with our guide to her works. .

best rated books by kristin hannah

A New York Times bestselling author, Kristin Hannah’s books are beloved the world over. Kristin Hannah’s novels are known for their explorations of hope, the strength of the female spirit, and the vital and unique magic of female friendships . Here, we’ve curated your essential reading list.

What is Kristin Hannah's new book?

Out now in hardback, The Women is Kristin Hannah's much-anticipated new book. Discover what The Women is about below. 

by Kristin Hannah

Book cover for The Women

Frankie McGrath, a nursing student in 1965 California, has her world transformed when she's told "women can be heroes, too." Joining the Army Nurses Corps to follow her brother to Vietnam, Frankie faces the harsh realities of war and its aftermath. Amidst chaos and heartbreak, she finds strength in female friendship and learns the value of sacrifice and commitment. This emotionally charged novel illuminates the often-forgotten stories of women who bravely served their country. With a memorable heroine, searing insights, and lyrical beauty, The Women is a poignant tale of courage. 

Other books by Kristin Hannah

The nightingale.

Book cover for The Nightingale

Set in France during the Second World War, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale is a story of two sisters, Viann and Isabelle. The pair are reunited after Viann’s husband is sent to fight, with Isabelle travelling from Paris to rural France to support her sister. Together, they face extraordinary hardships and heartbreak. A multi-million-copy bestseller, this heartbreaking historical romance is being adapted into a film starring Elle and Dakota Fanning. 

The Great Alone

Book cover for The Great Alone

Kristin Hannah’s beautiful novel about love and loss is the story of Leni, a teenage girl growing up in the shadow of her parent’s tumultuous marriage. Her mother will do anything for the man she loves, and Leni dares to hope that a move to Alaska will lead to a better future for her family. And soon Leni meets Matthew – thoughtful, kind and brave, he makes her believe there’s a better life out there . . . Kate Morton called it, ‘a rich, compelling novel of love, sacrifice and survival, as epic as the Alaskan landscape it so vividly describes.’

The Four Winds

Book cover for The Four Winds

Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing , called Kristin Hannah's novel ‘powerful and compelling.’ Elsa Martinelli finally has everything she had wished for – a family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens her family and community, Elsa must decide whether to stay and fight for the land she loves or flee to California in search of a better life. 

Winter Garden

Book cover for Winter Garden

When Meredith and Nina’s father falls ill, they are brought back together with their cold, disapproving mother Anya. Their father asks the three women in his life for one more promise, and a story unfolds which spans sixty-five years and moves from war-torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska. The story brings the three women together in a way they never expected, as Meredith and Nina finally learn the secret of their mother’s past. 

Book cover for Home Front

This intimate portrait of a disintegrating marriage and the aftermath of war is full of hope, honour, loss and forgiveness. Michael and Jolen appear to have it all, but after twelve happy years together their relationship is in trouble. Then an unexpected deployment tears their family apart. When the worst happens, can they face their fears and fight for their family? 

Firefly Lane

Book cover for Firefly Lane

Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane opens in 1974. Kate Mularkey has accepted her place on the bottom rung of her school's social ladder. But then 'the coolest girl in the world,' Tully Hart, moves in across the street and wants to be Kate's best friend. The pair are inseparable for thirty years, until a terrible betrayal tears them apart. Firefly Lane has been adapted into a Netflix series starring Katherine Heigl as Tully Hart and Sarah Chalke as Kate Mularkey. Season two is out now.

Book cover for Wild

When a six-year-old girl, speechless and alone, emerges from the impenetrable darkness of the Olympic National Forest, there is no clue to her identity. Child psychologist Dr Julia Cates begins working with the girl, but the shocking truth of her past will test the limits of Julia’s faith and strength.

Book cover for Fly Away

This touching novel is the story of three lost women who need one another to find their way again. When Tully Heart loses her best friend and sixteen-year-old Marah loses her mother, they both hit rock bottom. Tully’s mother, Cloud, wants to help, but she’s lived in a world of her own for most of her life, dependent on drugs, and Tully isn’t sure she can forgive her. But then something happens to make the three women realise what they have become. 

Book cover for Night Road

Lexi and Mia don’t have a lot in common, but this doesn’t stop them becoming best friends from the moment they start high school. Mia’s incredibly good-looking twin brother Zach sails through life – until he falls in love . . . The summer they graduate will be one they never forget, because one moment will change them all forever. This Kristin Hannah book is a heartbreaking family tragedy which will have you shedding a tear before the last page.

True Colours

Book cover for True Colours

  Kristin Hannah’s novel is an unforgettable story of jealousy, betrayal, passion and forgiveness. The Grey sisters, Winona and Vivi Ann, have always looked after each other. But when Vivi Ann makes a fateful decision everything changes – and a terrible crime threatens to tear their whole community apart.

Between Sisters

Book cover for Between Sisters

Kristin Hannah’s book Between Sisters is a funny, tender and moving exploration of a close relationship and the mistakes we make for love. Claire and Meghann have been estranged since Meghann made a terrible choice that cost her everything. Now the sisters are reuniting for Claire’s wedding, but can these sisters finally become a family? 

Photo credit: ©Kevin Lynch

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October 9, 2023

Kristin Hannah’s Best Books: A Definitive List and Guide

Kristin Hannah, an award-winning and bestselling author, has captured the hearts of readers worldwide with her captivating stories and emotionally complex characters. With over 20 novels to her name, Hannah’s works cover various themes such as love, family dynamics, courage, and the resilience of the human spirit.

One of her most popular novels, “The Nightingale,” earned the title of Goodreads Best Historical Fiction for 2015 and won the People’s Choice Award for Best Fiction in the same year. Set during World War II in France, this gripping tale of two adult sisters demonstrates Hannah’s exceptional storytelling skills.

Throughout this article, we will explore some of the best books written by Kristin Hannah, discussing their unique features and strengths. From historical fiction to emotional family dramas, readers can expect to delve into some of the most highly acclaimed novels in contemporary literature.

Kristin Hannah: An Overview

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author who has captured the hearts of readers around the world with her compelling stories and relatable characters. With over two decades of writing experience, Hannah has published numerous novels that explore intricate relationships, human emotions, and historical events.

Perhaps best known for her novels “The Nightingale” and “Firefly Lane”, Hannah has delved into various genres, including historical fiction, contemporary drama, and romance. “The Nightingale” has gained immense popularity as a New York Times bestseller , and “Firefly Lane” was recently adapted into a hit Netflix show , showcasing her talent for writing stories that translate well to other media formats.

Throughout her career, Kristin Hannah has been recognized for her exceptional writing, receiving numerous awards and accolades. Her books have consistently drawn praise from critics and readers alike, which has helped to solidify her reputation as one of the most prominent writers of our time.

Hannah’s ability to create complex, thought-provoking stories and endearing characters has led to an extensive and dedicated fan base who eagerly anticipate each new release. With a wide range of novels spanning different genres and themes, there is certainly a Kristin Hannah book for everyone.

kristin hannah best books1

The Unmatched Style of Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling American novelist known for her distinctive voice and emotive storytelling. Her unique writing style has captivated readers worldwide and made her one of the most beloved authors in contemporary literature.

One of the hallmarks of Hannah’s writing is her ability to create vivid and relatable characters. She often focuses on women’s experiences, exploring their resilience and strength within their personal lives, relationships, and the wider world. Kristin’s characters tackle challenges and overcome adversity, allowing readers to become emotionally invested in their journeys.

Another key element that distinguishes Kristin Hannah’s writing style is her aptitude for capturing historical settings and intricate family dynamics. Her novels frequently explore critical moments in history, which are meticulously researched and skillfully recreated. This attention to detail, paired with her compelling narrative, transports readers to places and times they would otherwise not experience, such as World War II in “The Nightingale” and the Great Depression in “The Four Winds.”

Kristin’s prose is both engaging and evocative, showcasing her talent for descriptive language and imagery. Her skillful use of sensory details and emotional cues allows readers to connect deeply with her stories and fully immerse themselves in the worlds she creates. This, along with her thought-provoking themes and powerful characterizations, results in an unmatched reading experience.

In summary, the exceptional style of Kristin Hannah is characterized by her ability to bring characters and stories to life, her in-depth exploration of historical events, and her captivating use of language and imagery. This combination has earned her a devoted following and solidified her place in the literary world as a master of emotive, character-driven storytelling.

Significant Novels

The great alone.

In “ The Great Alone “, Kristin Hannah brings her readers to the wilds of Alaska. The novel follows the story of the Allbright family, with Leni, a young girl, and her parents, Cora and Ernt. The family moves to Alaska in search of a fresh start as they struggle with Ernt’s PTSD from his time as a Vietnam War POW. This gripping tale of survival and resilience in the Alaskan wilderness has earned its place among Kristin Hannah’s best novels.

The Nightingale

“The Nightingale” is an enthralling historical fiction novel set in France during World War II. The story revolves around two sisters, Isabelle and Vianne, who navigate the perils of Nazi occupation and are involved in the French resistance. With nearly 600,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads, “The Nightingale” remains one of Kristin Hannah’s most popular novels, showcasing her talent for crafting powerful stories of courage and hope in the face of adversity.

Firefly Lane

“Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah is a heart-wrenching story of friendship and the passage of time. Spanning over three decades, the novel tells the story of Tully and Kate, two friends who promise to always be there for one another. Their relationship is put to the test as they face obstacles in their personal lives. The book is so well-loved that it was adapted into a popular Netflix series, starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke.

Winter Garden

Another one of Kristin Hannah’s significant novels is “ Winter Garden .” This powerful family drama centers around sisters Nina and Meredith, who try to connect with their cold and distant mother, Anya. As they uncover a hidden tragedy in their family history, they unearth a story of love, loss, and sacrifice set against the backdrop of Leningrad during World War II. “Winter Garden” is an unforgettable portrayal of the lengths people go to in the pursuit of love and survival.

Other Noteworthy Works

In “ Home Front ,” Kristin Hannah tells the story of Jolene, a military wife and mother who is unexpectedly deployed to Iraq. The novel focuses on the challenges faced by military families, delving into the emotional turbulence that comes with being a soldier and a family member. The romance and family aspects of the story resonate with readers who appreciate emotionally driven narratives. This gripping portrayal has earned it a place among Kristin Hannah’s best books.

Kristin Hannah’s “Night Road” tells the story of Lexi, a girl who faces life-altering consequences after a devastating high school accident. This novel explores themes of love, loss, and the power of forgiveness. The emotional journey of the characters, combined with the gripping storyline, has made Night Road an unforgettable read, earning high praise on platforms like Goodreads.

Between Sisters

“Between Sisters” explores the relationship of two estranged sisters, Meghann and Claire. The novel follows their emotional journey as they navigate past hurts and misunderstandings to find their way back to each other. Delving deep into the intricacies of family relationships, this book highlights the power of love and connection. Its rich, character-driven narrative has garnered considerable praise from readers, securing it a spot among Kristin Hannah’s best works.

Dr. Julia Cates, a child psychiatrist, takes center stage in Kristin Hannah’s “Magic Hour” . In this heartfelt novel, Dr. Cates works to help a young girl found abandoned and traumatized in the woods, propelling the story with a blend of emotion and mystery. Magic Hour explores themes of loss, redemption, and love amidst adversity. This emotionally captivating story has resonated with many readers, further establishing Kristin Hannah as a skilled storyteller.

Angel Falls

Set in the small town of Grey Sisters, “Angel Falls” follows the lives of two twins who are struggling with the aftermath of a tragic accident. As one twin lies in a coma, the other, a nursing student, is forced to confront her own emotional wounds. The novel showcases the resilience of the human spirit through a challenging journey of self-discovery, love, and forgiveness. Like many of Kristin Hannah’s other works, Angel Falls has touched the hearts of readers, cementing its place among her best books.

Reception and Rankings

Kristin Hannah is a renowned American novelist who has authored numerous books, many of which have garnered high praise and impressive rankings. Among her most popular and highly-ranked novels are “The Nightingale,” “The Great Alone,” “Firefly Lane,” and “The Four Winds.”

“The Nightingale,” for instance, has been described as a gripping and unforgettable story of two adult sisters during World War II in France. Receiving a 5-star review and being ranked as both a #1 New York Times bestseller and a Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, this novel has touched the hearts of many by intertwining themes of love, loss, and betrayal.

Another highly-ranked Kristin Hannah novel is “The Great Alone,” which has captured the attention of readers for its haunting portrayal of love and loss in the Alaskan wilderness. This powerful novel, along with “The Nightingale,” has secured a prominent place among the top 25 Kristin Hannah books on Goodreads.

“Firefly Lane,” which also boasts a great deal of popularity, has recently been adapted into a Netflix series. Readers and viewers alike have been enthralled by its exploration of friendship, love, and betrayal shared between two women over the course of several decades. As a result, this novel has received accolades as one of Hannah’s top works.

Another prominent book in her collection, “The Four Winds,” has been praised for its engrossing historical fiction narrative centered on love and resilience during the Great Depression. Its status as a Goodreads and Amazon bestseller further solidifies Kristin Hannah’s position as an influential and well-regarded contemporary author.

In summary, Kristin Hannah’s novels continue to captivate readers with compelling stories that tackle themes of love, loss, and betrayal. Earning high rankings and positive reviews, her works are an enduring testament to her talent as a writer.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Kristin Hannah is an accomplished author with a wide range of captivating novels to her name. Taking the time to explore her works leads to a rewarding and enriching learning experience. Readers often connect deeply with her characters, navigating through beautifully narrated stories and relatable emotions.

One of her most popular books, “The Nightingale,” is a heart-wrenching tale of two sisters struggling to survive during World War II in Nazi-occupied France. This powerful story stays with readers long after the final page.

Another moving title is “Firefly Lane,” which has gained renewed attention due to its recent adaptation as a Netflix series. The novel delves into the deep bond between two friends, Tully and Kate, from their teenage years to mid-life, examining their joys, sorrows, and the complexities of female friendship.

Kristin Hannah’s books often focus on the resilience of the human spirit, well-developed characters, and an immersive storytelling style. For those interested in diving into a new literary journey, her novels provide a rich selection to choose from, each offering its own unique perspectives and emotional depth.

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Home » 10 Best Kristin Hannah Books That are a Must-Read

10 Best Kristin Hannah Books That are a Must-Read

By Author Rena Meyer

Posted on Published: March 7, 2021  - Last updated: January 8, 2024

Categories Books

10 Best Kristin Hannah Books That are a Must-Read

So, you’ve binged Netflix’s Firefly Lane, but have you read the book? Firefly Lane is based on Kristin Hannah’s best-selling book of the same name, which also has a sequel you can get your hands on right now.

With over twenty books of emotionally compelling fiction to her name, Hannah has proven that she’s in a league of her own. She masterfully portrays interpersonal relationships, writes special characters that genuinely speak to women, and breathtakingly beautiful stories of love, survival, and loss.

So it’s no wonder that the lawyer-turned-writer has a few more book adaptations on the way, including the feature film The Nightingale , starring the Fanning sisters, Elle and Dakota. So if you haven’t yet read any of Kristin Hannah’s novels, now would be the right time.

If you’re a new reader looking to jump into Kristin Hannah’s writing, our hand-picked list will be your perfect introduction. And if you’re looking for your next book from the author, our ranking will help you choose.

Either way, we’re sure you’ll enjoy our list of 10 best Kristin Hannah books  that captured the hearts of readers all over the world.

1. The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah The Nightingale book quote

What’s it about: Set in France during the Second World War, The Nightingale is a riveting story of two sisters, Viann and Isabelle. Both of them embark on their own dangerous paths toward survival in their Nazi-occupied country. The sensible Vianne and her daughter are forced to house a German soldier, while the rebellious younger sister, Isabelle, refuses to stand aside and joins the Resistance.

What makes it good: In her WWII historical fiction, Kristin Hannah highlighted the important yet often-unspoken part of history: women in wartime. Romance takes a back seat in The Nightingale ; this is primarily a story of the incredible women and their strength, sacrifice, and resilience during the darkest part of their lives. The Nightingale is a heart-wrenching and powerful novel that doesn’t shy away from the horrors of war. But at the same time, it’s an inspiring story that celebrates the durability of women and the triumphant power of the human spirit.

2. The Great Alone

Kristin Hannah The Great Alone book

What’s it about: Ernt, a Vietnam war POW, returned home a changed man and has a hard time settling down. He decides to move his wife Cora, and 13-year-old daughter Leni to the Alaskan wilderness which represents a fresh start for him, while Leni and Cora hope it will save Ernt from his inner demons. But Little does the Allbright family know how woefully unprepared they are for the transition — or how Ernt’s demons will come back with a vengeance as the Alaskan winter approaches.

What makes it good: The Great Alone is a harrowing family drama set in America’s final frontier in the ‘70s. The story encompasses dysfunctional family relationships, friendships, love, and survival, complete with vivid descriptions of the beautiful but unforgiving Alaskan landscape. It also captures the spiritual wounds of war – Ernt is a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD at a time before it was acknowledged. With The Great Alon e, Kristin Hannah crafted an extraordinary and heart-pounding story with a wonderful sense of place – also making it a testament to all the resilient people who call Alaska their home.

3. The Four Winds

Kristin Hannah The Four Winds book

What’s it about: After a hard life of challenges, Elsa Martinelli finally has everything she always wanted – a home and loving family, and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when the Dust Bowl era arrives, burning winds and endless drought ravage the land, driving her family and community to despair and starvation. Elsa is faced with an agonizing choice – to stay and fight for her precious land that is now buried in dust, or head west and try her luck in the promised land of California.

What makes it good: This story about survival in one of the darkest periods of the Great Depression is often painful to read because Hannah brings this slice of American history into life with excruciating detail. This historical novel is a tribute to all the people who lived through the environmental disaster, economic collapse, migration, massive unemployment, and degradation, but at its core, it’s a celebration of motherhood. You’ll be in awe of Elsa, a remarkable woman who persevered through the absolute worst to save her children and to make sure that someday they’ll have better opportunities than she ever did.

4. Winter Garden

Kristin Hannah Winter Garden book quote

What’s it about: The loss of their father brings Meredith and Nina Whitson together again with their distant and cold-hearted mother Anya. But before he died, their father made Anya promise to finally finish the fairy tale she told the girls as children, and sisters to really listen. The truth that unfolds behind the fairy tale spans over six decades, moving from the Siege of Leningrad to modern-day Alaska. The Whitson women slowly grow closer as Meredith and Nina finally uncover the shocking secret of their mother’s past.

What makes it good: Winter Garden is an intriguing and powerful saga of family, love, and strong women that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. You’ll love Anya’s fairy tales, rich in Russian folklore and interwoven with real historical events; it’s where the book really comes to life. The sisters not only discover more about their mother, who never expressed much love or affection for them, through the stories, but they also find themselves along the way too. Winter Garden is a great book and a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to salvage broken family relationships.

5. Night Road

Kristin Hannah Night Road book quote

What’s it about: After a traumatic childhood and a string of foster homes, teenager Lexi Baill is taken in by her long-lost elderly aunt. When she moves into her new home and starts high school, Lexi befriends Mia Farraday and is embraced by Mia’s family and hyper-involved mother Jude. Mia’s handsome and popular twin brother Zach falls in love with Lexi, and the three kids become inseparable. But just before their graduation, one moment and a terrible decision will change the three young lives forever.

What makes it good: Love, friendship, grief, forgiveness, and healing are prevalent themes in Night Road . It’s Kristin Hannah at her best – a character-driven and emotionally-charged story, the kind that grabs your heartstrings and doesn’t let go. It’s told from both a young adult (Mia) and adult perspective (Jude) perspective, which makes it even more compelling. But be warned, this tragic story is not an easy read – it will leave you with a huge dent in your heart, especially if you’re a parent yourself.

6. Firefly Lane

Kristin Hannah Firefly Lane book

What’s it about: Firefly Lane traces the relationship between two mismatched girls from its beginning in eighth grade in the 1970s, all the way to adulthood. The introverted Kate and adventurous Tully’s friendship endured through thick and thin, and the duo believes that nothing can break them apart. But then a single betrayal puts their 30-year bond to the ultimate test.

What makes it good: Firefly Lane is a heartfelt story of two lifelong friends and their journey through life. You’ll get to relive the ’70s,  ’80s, and ’90s with Tully and Kate, or if those were before your time, you’d get to see what life was like before the Internet and smartphones. Kristin Hannah gifted us with many pop culture references in Firefly Lan e – even the chapters are titled after songs! You just might find yourself humming along as you flip the pages. And after you devour this excellent book, there’s a sequel to the story – it’s called Fly Away, and it’s just as good.

7. Home Front

Kristin Hannah Home Front book quote

What’s it about: Married couple Michael and Jolene “Jo” Zarkades find their already troubled marriage challenged when Jolene, a military pilot, is unexpectedly deployed to Iraq. With Jolene gone, workaholic Michael is left to care for their two girls alone and starts to regret what he said to his wife before she left because he now knows how much he has taken for granted. When Jolene finally returns, there’s no happy little reunion because no one is prepared for the fallout of war.

What makes it good: With Home Front , Hannah gave us a well-researched and insightful read about the world of Iraq veterans and an unapologetic portrayal of PTSD. She highlighted the impact of war far beyond the battlefield, particularly its toll on a family. This story will speak to the military families and anyone who has experienced complicated and challenging love, dealt with loss and pain, and it will move anyone who needs a little bit of hope.

8. Magic Hour

Kristin Hannah Magic Hour book quote

What’s it about: A child psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Cates, faces a career crisis when her estranged sister Ellie calls her back to her small hometown, Rain Valley. Ellie, the local police chief, informs her that a six-year-old mute child has mysteriously emerged from the deep woods nearby and believes Julia can help them with this baffling case. The sisters and local townsfolk are determined to rehabilitate the feral child now called Alice and unearth the truth about her past, as secrets and heartbreaking revelations come to light.

What makes it good: Magic Hour is an engaging and touching read about love lost and found and self-discovery. As we experience Alice’s growth, everyone around her is also maturing, learning about themselves, and banding together as a community. However, with the intrigue surrounding the true identity of a child who’s been living outside of civilization for years, this is also an engrossing mystery. Another thing that stands out is Hannah’s ability to capture an entire small town in the remote Pacific Northwest so beautifully that it will feel like home.

9. Between Sisters

Kristin Hannah Between Sisters book quote

What’s it about: Claire and Meghann are half-sisters who grew up together until the 16-year-old Meg made an unfortunate decision that not only separated them but cost Meg her younger sister’s love. Claire is getting married two decades later, and the two sisters, who have become strangers by choice, are getting ready to face each other and their self-absorbed mother once more. But in the face of Claire’s big day, an unexpected health crisis breaks the ice between the sisters, and they attempt to repair their bond and become what they never were: a family.

What makes it good: This is a wonderfully moving and bittersweet story of two sisters in and out of love. It looks at how siblings can hurt, damage, and even shape one another. It also encompasses fractured family relationships and the healing power of overcoming past difficulties with love. Between Sisters is an uplifting book in which everything works out in the end, yet tears are inevitable because it was written by Kirstin Hannah.

10. True Colors

Kristin Hannah True Colors book quote

What’s it about: The Grey sisters, Winona, Aurora, and Vivi Ann, have always been close. They lost their mother when they were young, and their father only cares about his reputation, but they always had each other. But when a stranger comes into their small town, everything is about to change. The sisterly bonds are tested, secrets are revealed, and a terrible crime threatens to shatter the Grey family and their community.

What makes it good: True Colors is an enjoyable read that touches on some interesting issues about family dynamics – sibling rivalry, betrayal, loyalty, and forgiveness. There’s also tragedy and romance to keep you on your toes – it’s a real page-turner. Given that the Grey family owns a ranch, horses are an exemplary aspect of the book. If you’re an animal lover, you’ll appreciate how animal emotions are written adequately and accurately. I mean, is there anything Kristin Hannah can’t do?

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7 Heartfelt Novels Recommended by Kristin Hannah

best rated books by kristin hannah

Kristin Hannah’s novels are the perfect blend of emotional character development and masterful storytelling, and her book recommendations hold that same gripping blend. We’re always excited to read a new recommendation from her so we’ve rounded up seven powerful novels she’s gushed about over the years. We hope these stories of heart and bravery keep you reading away. For more, check out our list of books to read for Kristin Hannah fans .

Tiffany Blues

“A lush, romantic historical mystery with a unique setting. TIFFANY BLUES explores an interesting lost bit of American history and gives us a heroine to root for." —Kristin Hannah

Set in Jazz Age New York, TIFFANY BLUES follows twenty-four-year-old gifted painter, Jenny Bell, who’s invited to a prestigious summer artists’ colony run by Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. fame. But Jenny’s traumatic past creeps in and haunts her in the hallways. The competition grows in intensity between the artists until, one night, amid a secret romance and extravagant parties, the threads in Jenny’s life come to a head, threatening everything she holds dear.

best rated books by kristin hannah

The New York Times bestselling author of The Library of Light and Shadow crafts “an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York” (Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train ) about a young painter whose traumatic past threatens to derail her career at a prestigious summer artists’ colony run by Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. fame.

New York, 1924: Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid all distractions and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her there. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone else knows about Jenny’s childhood trauma.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

“This fast-paced mystery, star-crossed romance, and love letter to Louis Comfort Tiffany will captivate Rose’s many fans and readers of 20th-century historical fiction” ( Library Journal , starred review).


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Love and Other Consolation Prizes

“An evocative, heartfelt, beautifully crafted story that shines a light on a fascinating, tragic bit of forgotten history.” —Kristin Hannah

Inspired by a true story about Seattle's 1909 World's Fair, LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES follows twelve-year-old orphan Ernest Young who is given the opportunity to attend the fair, but is quickly dismayed to learn that he was only there to be raffled off. The winning bidder is the madam of a brothel, and Ernest becomes her new houseboy. Against all odds, Ernest finds a home there and a family in the madam’s daughter and a housemaid. Fifty years later, Ernest is struggling to reckon with the events of the past, and his wife’s declining memory, but the truth threatens to break free.

best rated books by kristin hannah

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Lonesome Dove

“One of my top ten novels of all time. Gus and Call are marvelous, unforgettable characters.” —Kristin Hannah

A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, this Pulitzer Prize–winning classic is one of the grandest novels ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic this is a book to that will make you laugh, weep, and dream.

best rated books by kristin hannah

A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, this Pulitzer Prize— winning classic is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic this is a book to that will make you laugh, weep, and dream.

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Fifty Words for Rain

“FIFTY WORDS FOR RAIN is a lovely, heartrending story about love and loss, prejudice and pain, and the sometimes dangerous, always durable ties that link a family together.” —Kristin Hannah

Set in post–World War II Japan, Nori Kamiza is only eight years old when she’s abandoned by her mother—a married Japanese aristocrat who had an affair with an African American GI. As Nori grows up, she’s confined and abused by her grandparents. But then Nori meets Akira, her half-brother and future inheritor of her grandparents’ estate. Their bond allows Nori to question her destiny and stand up for herself, for once taking hold of her future.

best rated books by kristin hannah

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Lightning Strike

"This is a beautifully written novel that packs a powerful punch.  I loved it." —Kristin Hannah

William Kent Krueger’s prequel to his Cork O’Connor series follows a young boy in the summer of 1963, following a young boy grappling with a puzzling murder mystery in town. As Cork doubts the main murder suspect committed the crime, his mistrust place him at odds with his sheriff father and the rest of the townspeople. He sets out to prove them wrong and attain true justice for his murdered friend.

best rated books by kristin hannah

The author of the instant New York Times bestseller This Tender Land returns with a powerful prequel to his acclaimed Cork O’Connor series—a book about fathers and sons, long-simmering conflicts in a small Minnesota town, and the events that echo through youth and shape our lives forever.

Aurora is a small town nestled in the ancient forest alongside the shores of Minnesota’s Iron Lake. In the summer of 1963, it is the whole world to twelve-year-old Cork O’Connor, its rhythms as familiar as his own heartbeat. But when Cork stumbles upon the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp, it is the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family, and himself.

Cork’s father, Liam O’Connor, is Aurora’s sheriff and it is his job to confirm that the man’s death was the result of suicide, as all the evidence suggests. In the shadow of his father’s official investigation, Cork begins to look for answers on his own. Together, father and son face the ultimate test of choosing between what their heads tell them is true and what their hearts know is right.

In this masterful story of a young man and a town on the cusp of change, beloved novelist William Kent Krueger shows that some mysteries can be solved even as others surpass our understanding.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing

“Readers have asked for more book recommendations. Here’s a longtime favorite." —Kristin Hannah

Living in poverty along the coast of Mississippi, thirteen-year-old Jojo serves as the caretaker to his toddler sister, Kayla. His absent white father has been in jail and his Black mother, Leonie, has a history with drugs. The only father figure Jojo can rely on is his grandfather, Pop, who teaches Jojo the importance of love, compassion, and survival. When Jojo's father is released from prison, Leonie packs up the kids and makes way across the state as danger, destruction, and the truth about Leonie’s family unfolds.

best rated books by kristin hannah


A finalist for the Kirkus Prize, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Aspen Words Literary Prize, and a New York Times bestseller, this majestic, stirring, and widely praised novel from two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, the story of a family on a journey through rural Mississippi, is a “tour de force” ( O, The Oprah Magazine ) and a timeless work of fiction that is destined to become a classic.

Jesmyn Ward’s historic second National Book Award–winner is “perfectly poised for the moment” ( The New York Times ), an intimate portrait of three generations of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. “Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love… this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it” ( Buzzfeed ).

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic and unforgettable family story and “an odyssey through rural Mississippi’s past and present” ( The Philadelphia Inquirer ).

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The Invisible Hour

"Alice Hoffman's  The Invisible Hour  is a rich, immersive, magical reading experience. This beautiful novel is about the stories women tell each other and the ones that save us, about the price and peril of motherhood, and the difficulties women have faced throughout history in controlling their own fates. Alice Hoffman, the reigning queen of magical realism, takes her readers on a fantastic, mystical journey that celebrates the joy and power of reading and dares to believe in the impossible." —Kristin Hannah

best rated books by kristin hannah

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and the Practical Magic series comes an enchanting novel about love, heartbreak, self-discovery, and the enduring magic of books.

One brilliant June day when Mia Jacob can no longer see a way to survive, the power of words saves her. The Scarlet Letter was written almost two hundred years earlier, but it seems to tell the story of Mia’s mother, Ivy, and their life inside the Community—an oppressive cult in western Massachusetts where contact with the outside world is forbidden, and books are considered evil. But how could this be? How could Nathaniel Hawthorne have so perfectly captured the pain and loss that Mia carries inside her?

Through a journey of heartbreak, love, and time, Mia must abandon the rules she was raised with at the Community. As she does, she realizes that reading can transport you to other worlds or bring them to you, and that readers and writers affect one another in mysterious ways. She learns that time is more fluid than she can imagine, and that love is stronger than any chains that bind you.

As a girl Mia fell in love with a book. Now as a young woman she falls in love with a brilliant writer as she makes her way back in time. But what if Nathaniel Hawthorne never wrote The Scarlet Letter ? And what if Mia Jacob never found it on the day she planned to die?

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote: “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

This is the story of one woman’s dream. For a little while it came true.

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Best Books by Kristin Hannah

These Are the Best Kristin Hannah Books to Start With

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Kristin Hannah is an American bestselling author who has written over 20 standalone novels. Furthermore, her writing spans multiple genres and includes works of historical fiction , coming-of-age stories, family sagas, and women’s domestic life fiction. Hannah has written multiple bestsellers and has won several awards for her novel, The Nightingale . In addition to this, Firefly Lane was adapted into a Netflix TV series, while The Nightingale , Home Front , and The Great Alone have all been optioned for films.

Surprisingly, Hannah hadn’t originally intended to become an author. Instead, she worked as a lawyer for several years after graduating from the University of Puget Sound law school. However, 30 years ago, she quit being a lawyer to pursue a full-time career in writing. The decision, though, was a bittersweet one that was initially born from heartbreak. During her last years in law school, Hannah’s mother had progressed to the last stages of breast cancer. It was during this time that Hannah and her mother composed a historical romance novel together, which has never been published. However, years later, Hannah would revisit that novel and make the decision to continue writing.

Today, a little bit of that heartbreak is entwined in each of Hannah’s novels, making them poignant and powerful. Hanna’s books broach a wide variety of subjects and have touched on cancer, grief, friendship, family bonds, betrayal, parenthood, war, and PTSD. Her crossing of genres and topics means there’s a Hannah book for almost everyone. If you’re looking where to start with the prolific author’s works, here are six of her very best.

1. Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane is one of Hannah’s most recognizable novels, partly because it was adapted into a Netflix series , and partly because it is an astounding take on friendship. Published in 2008, the novel gives a very intimate look into a friendship that spans decades. Viewers are taken along for a whirlwind, heartbreaking, and heartwarming journey from the very commencement of a friendship, all the way to its end.

Firefly Lane follows Tully Hart and Kate Mularkey, who are as close as friends can be. The two are exact opposites when they meet as children, on Firefly Lane in the summer of 1974. Kate is a socially awkward 8th grader with an embarrassingly loving family and Tully is the epitome of popularity but is hiding a terrible secret. However, the two make a pact to be best friends forever and their friendship carries them through 30 years of ups and downs. Despite their history together, a single act of betrayal may just be enough to tear them apart.

While the novel is a bit long, the themes in the book are very powerful. Readers get an intimate look into the development of relationships, how friends deal with betrayal, the crushing reality of cancer, and the impact of sexual assault. Tear-jerking twists and turns are lurking everywhere in this book, but overall, it will leave you with a positive and uplifting perspective on friendship.

2. The Great Alone

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

If you’re looking for something that runs a little deeper and darker than Firefly Lane , The Great Alone might just be the book for you. This heartbreaking family saga was published in 2018 and quickly became a New York Times Bestseller. It also won a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction novel in 2018.

The Great Alone follows the Allbright family, dealing with their father’s PTSD after he returns from the Vietnam War. Ernt Allbright is a deeply changed man when he returns, and he makes the impulsive decision to move his family to the Alaskan wilderness. His wife, Cora, is a woman who loves her husband enough to do anything for him. Meanwhile, their daughter, Leni, must survive both the harsh Alaskan wilderness and her father’s deteriorating mental state.

The novel is both an ode to the landscape of Alaska, as well as an exploration of PTSD, abuse, and human willpower. Alongside the vivid portrayal of an Alaskan homestead, is the story of a family’s fight for survival—wrapping you up in a tale of a family who paid a hefty price for a war they didn’t start.

3. The Nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale , published in 2015, is Hannah’s #1 bestselling novel. The novel has been translated into 45 languages and has sold over 4.5 million copies. Additionally, it scooped up a number of awards, including both a Goodreads and People’s Choice Award. This tale of two sisters living during WWII will especially appeal to historical fiction enthusiasts.

The Nightingale follows two sisters, Vianne Mauriac and Isabelle Rossignol, living in France during WWII. Vianne lives in the town of Carriveau and struggles for survival after her husband is drafted. She begins to raise and hide Jewish children, while also raising her own daughter, and suffering abuse from sadistic soldiers when her home is used as a billet. Elsewhere in France, Isabelle has joined the French Resistance and formulates a plan to help downed, Allied soldiers. However, her role in the French Resistance lands her in a concentration camp—where she will face unspeakable horrors. Both sisters took different paths in WWII, but are united in their bravery, courage, and survival.

The Nightingale is a historical fiction novel that captures the women’s war in a way that will take your breath away. We often forget the roles women played in wars at home. And many of these women, like Andrée de Jongh (the inspiration for Isabelle), also found ways to fight in the war, putting their lives in danger. The Nightingale is a tear-jerking reminder of the war that women fought and the prices they paid for their bravery and courage.

4. Between Sisters

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Between Sisters was published in 2003 and is another story that examines the intricate bonds of family. This book will especially resonate with anyone who has experienced estrangement from a family member or who is haunted by the past.

Between Sisters follows two adult sisters, Meghann Dontess and Claire Cavenaugh, as well as their mother. As Claire’s wedding date approaches, the three women prepare to see each other for the first time in two decades. Dontess has a successful career, but is haunted by the choice that broke her and her sister’s bond. Meanwhile, Cavenaugh has found love for the first time, but is daunted by her sister’s judgment. On top of that, their mother is an alcoholic who cares for herself far more than her daughters. Now, as these three women meet, they must work to put all their pieces back together and form themselves into a family.

Between Sisters does not just speak about sisters, but about family bonds in general. It tackles family estrangement, absent parents, and the loss of special bonds. Additionally, the novel shows what happens when one inevitably must confront the past, and the family they tried to leave behind.

5. True Colors

True Colors by Kristin Hannah

True Colors , published in 2009, is another Hannah novel that brings sisterhood into the spotlight. However, whereas Between Sisters is an emotional tale of a broken family, True Colors is a juicy, fast-paced exploration of what happens when jealousy and betrayal descend upon sisters. In True Colors , a family saga, a murder mystery, and romance all intersect into a delightful tale.

True Colors is about the three Grey sisters—Winona, Aurora, and Vivi Ann. Ever since the sisters were children, they banded together and carried each other through life. However, while their bond survives their mother’s passing and their alcoholic father’s indifference, it might not withstand jealousy. When Winona’s best friend (and secret crush) chooses Vivi Ann over her, it will kick off a series of betrayals and poor choices. However, when Vivi Ann is at her lowest moment, Winona must choose between old grudges or love for her family.

Hannah’s True Colors is entertaining, shocking, and heartbreaking all at once. The characters are well developed and very realistically flawed. Filled with redemption, True Colors is a reminder that sometimes love can forgive even the worst of choices and actions.

6. The Four Winds

Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds is Hannah’s latest novel, published in 2021, and is another foray into the genre of historical fiction. However, this time, Hannah hones in on The Great Depression for the novel’s backdrop. In The Four Winds , she brings the Great Depression to life through the eyes of one woman struggling to grasp the American dream.

Elsa Wolcott’s story begins in 1921—when the American economy is surging and the future looks bright. However, since she is a woman, Wolcott feels she must marry to ensure a future. Hence, she hastily marries a man she doesn’t know—a choice she will come to regret. By 1934, both Wolcott and her country are suffering. The Great Plains are devastated by the Dust Bowls, and (an abandoned) Wolcott must fight daily for her and her children’s survival. However, as things continue to deteriorate, her only option is to journey west in search of a better life for her and her children.

Hannah’s novel illustrates a side of The Great Depression you’ve never seen before. It will bring the trials of migrants and the Dust Bowl to life in incredible detail. Additionally, the story eerily parallels today’s world in its depiction of uncertainty, isolation, and fear for the future. However, it is also a very touching story about one woman’s unbreakable resilience and courage.

(featured image: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, Ballantine Books)

A pride bookmark inside of a yellow book

10 Best Kristin Hannah Books (2024)

If you have heard the name of this amazing author before, you probably know her through her most popular novel, The Nightingale. We will talk about that one shortly, but first, let us introduce you to Hannah. She is an American author who releases a new novel almost every year with the next as exciting as the previous.

Not many people have that big of an imagination to work with that constant flow of writing, but Hannah sure manages to pull it off. An interesting fact about her is that she did not intend to be a writer. Hannah actually graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in communications and then worked at an advertising agency in Seattle.

Best Kristin Hannah Books

Another thing she did just before becoming a full-time writer was getting another degree in law at The University of Puget Sound. After that, Kristin devoted her time and energy to writing very interesting novels, and as we can see it worked out perfectly. So, now it’s time for you to check out the best Kristin Hannah books.

The Nightingale


Of course, we are going to start with probably Hannah’s best novel, which has won multiple awards and even made it into a famous blockbuster movie. The Nightingale, one of her many amazing historical novels , has such an inspiring story that it just had to be made into a movie. It is also one of Kristin Hannah’s best-reviewed books.

Hannah writes a story about the power of women and everything that they can endure when it comes to the ultimate goal, survival. It’s one of Hannah’s best books that simply anyone will find inspiring and can relate to as the characters face the immensely hard times of war.

Vianne Mauriac

It’s during the period of World War II, France is occupied and overtaken by the German nazis. We meet some of the first characters in the book as Antonie leaves to fight at the front and says goodbye to his wife Vianne Mauriac.

Vianne did not actually believe that the Nazis were invading France and find it ridiculous. However, soon she witnesses countless soldiers marching in, trucks coming from all sides, tanks shaking the ground, planes dropping bombs from everywhere, and killing innocent people. Everything suddenly becomes a war zone and we have all seen how horrible war is.

Hard Choices

Vianne finds that her house is taken by force by a German captain. Having no other choice for herself and her daughter, she is forced to live with the enemy. Now we see all the choices she must make to survive, most of which are extremely hard.

In the following pages, you will meet her sister Isabelle, who is eighteen years old and as rebellious as she can be. You will have a lot of fun on the adventures with these characters and see what else is going to happen. If we made this list of Kristin Hannah’s novels ranked, it would be, without a doubt, one of the top-rated Hannah novels.

The Great Alone

Story of survival.

Similar to The Nightingale, it is another one of the top Hannah’s novels that hold a story about what it takes for someone to survive in this world, to face difficult times, and to make bold choices.

It takes place in 1974 mostly in Alaska, but before that, we meet some of the characters in a different place as we see Ernt Allbright, who was previously a prisoner of war, finally coming home to his family after the Vietnam war. Those times certainly did a number of things to Ernt’s mentality in a way that made him a very volatile man who was very unpredictable and impulsive. If we sorted Hannah’s novels in order of popularity, The Great Alone would be among the top Kristin Hannah novels.

Just a Normal Life

He’s looking for a normal life after the war, where he just wants to have a regular old job and spend time with his family without doing anything out of the ordinary. But when he starts losing job after job, Ernt makes a bold and impulsive decision to move to Alaska with his entire family in hopes of a better future where he can get off the grid and live in peace.

New Life Awaits

Ernt has a wife who would do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, and her thirteen-year-old daughter who can not wait to see more of the world. The interesting part of this novel starts after they move to Alaska. After all, it is one of the most popular Hannah books and maybe even the best Hannah novel for a reason.

You will have an exciting time witnessing everything this family has to go through to survive the long cold nights in Alaska and everything it takes for someone to live there. It’s probably the best of Kristin Hannah.

The Four Winds

It’s 1934 in Texas and things are chaotic, with a drought and millions of people out of work. Farmers are fighting to not only keep their land, but also for their livelihood. With no water, the crops are dying, and the endless dust is threatening to bury everyone. This is one of the darkest periods in the Great Depression.

This is a dangerous and uncertain time for everyone, and there’s a decision to be made. Elsa Martinelli finds herself having to make an agonizing choice: does she stay and fight for the land she loves, or does she go to California and try to make a better life for herself and her family?

Hope And Sacrifices

This is an ineffaceable portrait of America and the American Dream, a story that takes the reader on a journey through the eyes of one determined woman. This is a woman whose sacrifices and courage defined a generation. It is an epic novel about love and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most poignant times in history.

It is no surprise that this Kristin Hannah book is one of her best rated; it is a truly beautiful and moving story. It’s a story of a family trying to survive, and I felt myself rooting for them every step along the way. The book is not a short one, but I finished it way quicker than expected because I just couldn’t put it down! This is the perfect book if you’re looking for a new historical fiction.

Winter Garden

Mother and daughter.

This is another one of the best Hannah novels that we are sure most mothers and daughters will like. It’s a tale from the best-selling author who writes wonderful words about the precious relationship between a mother and her daughter.

Different mothers and daughters have different relationships, some more loving than the other, but in this story, we meet two sisters who are far from being alike and have very few things in common. It is one of the most popular Kristin Hannah novels, maybe even the best Hannah book for many of her fans.

Meredith and Nina

Their names are Meredith and Nina Whitson, one of which has chosen to be a stay-at-home mother who spends her time taking care of her children and the other one became a famous photojournalist who is traveling the world.

After not seeing each other for a while, they get the tragic opportunity to become close again when their father falls ill. We meet their mother Anya, a mother who has not shown much love, and even now, in a time of crisis, is still very cold towards her daughters.

Beautiful Drama

You will certainly have a wonderful time reading about the lives of these people as it is quite interesting and full of drama. You will learn about a different kind of mother-daughter relationship and see how they all handle it. After all, it is one of Kristin Hannah’s best books.

Firefly Lane

Something different.

The next book on our list is slightly different from the books reviewed above, but that does not mean this is not one of the best Kristin Hannah novels. Kristin knows how to write amazing stories on many topics, and you can now find out for yourself what we mean.

Firefly Lane is one of the best-selling Hannah books about love, loss, and the wonderful emotional values of true friendship, set in 1974. In this story, we meet an eighth-grader named Kate Mularkey, who is not having the best time in school and has accepted the fact that she is at the bottom of the popularity scale.

Lucky Coincidence

Just as Kate is giving up hope, Kristin introduces her to the new girl at school who instantly becomes one of the most popular kids. As luck would have it, Tully has just moved there and they happen to be neighbors.

Tully was looking forward to making new friends and luckily for Kate, so was she. Now, these girls were anything but similar. Kate, a great underdog, with nothing close to being cool but only a wish, and not having any friends, and Tully, a popular girl who seemed to have it all, beauty, ambition, intelligence. Something just clicked between these girls and they eventually made a pact to be best friends forever. Speaking of best friends, have we mentioned that this is one of the best books written by Kristin Hannah? Yeah, we most likely did.

Friendship Through the Years

You will certainly learn a lot more about these interesting characters as this story spans over three decades. Firefly Lane is a great story about friendship through the years that true Kristin’s fans can’t wait to get their hands on. It is one of the best books by Kristin Hannah that we have on our list.

Happy and Tragic

Last but not least, we present another one of the amazing novels by Hannah, filled with strong emotions between a variety of people who care deeply for each other. It is a story that shifts from happy to tragic as the characters go through good and bad times, like most of the novels from Hannah book list. It is a story that really touches readers as it talks about family, love, loss, and support from the people we love. Let’s now look deeper at Hannah’s next book on our list of the best books by Kristin Hannah.

Jude Farraday

In this last suggestion from our review of the best books from Kristin Hannah, we get to know a few characters who are all part of a family. One of them is Jude Farraday, a happily married mother whose job is to take care of things around the house and her children, putting the needs of those she loves above her own, like any loving mother.

Then there are her twins, Zach and Mia, who are both well-behaved children with fairly normal and happy lives. Then a new family member enters their lives, Lexi Baill, a former foster child with a somewhat dark past.

Lifechanging Twist

Everyone is supportive of Lexi and things seem to be going pretty well for everyone. Just when everything seems normal, Hannah comes up with a life-changing twist that affects everyone. Make sure to find out how they deal with the new problems they face as you begin to unveil the secrets of this book yourself. It is also one of the best-selling Hannah books, which only proves its quality.

The Girl From The Woods

If you’re looking for a story that will move you (maybe even to tears), then look no further than the book ‘Magic Hour’ from the best-selling Kristin Hannah. The story follows a woman named Dr. Julia Cates, who was a well-respected and well-known child psychologist throughout the country. That is, until a tragedy ruins her career.

Julia decides to retreat back to her small hometown in Washington, hoping to move on from everything. This is where she meets a six-year-old girl who emerges from the nearby woods, trapped in a world of fear and isolation. There is nothing more important to Julia than saving this girl, who she calls Alice.

Finding Home

Saving Alice is not something Julia is going to be able to do on her own. She’s going to need help from those around her, including the sister she barely knows and the handsome doctor who is surrounded by secrets. While trying to find a home for Alice, Julia finds her faith and strength put to the test. Through all of this, will she be able to find a home for herself, too?

This is an impossibly beautiful story, and it ticks all the boxes of things I want in a fiction novel: romance, mystery and drama . The plot itself is also very interesting and nothing like I have ever read before. Everything works together perfectly, from the charming small town to the vivid descriptions and colorful characters. This is not a book that you will want to skip!

Falling Apart

All marriages have their breaking point, all families have wounds and all wars come at a cost. In this best book, Kristin Hannah tells the intimate story of a husband and wife in a troubled marriage , in love and at war with each other. Many couples have their issues, and it’s no different for Michael and Jolene Zarkades.

They face the pressures of everyday life the same as everyone else, trying to balance their careers, children, bills and chores. All of this while their 12-year marriage is slowly falling apart. Then Jolene gets a deployment that puts her in harm’s way, and defense attorney Michael finds himself stuck at home, a single parent to their two daughters.

The Front Lines

Michael finds himself in unchartered waters operating as a single parent and it kills Jolene to leave her family, but as a soldier, she knows that she has a duty. She continues to write letters to home, painting a picture of her life on the front lines that won’t worry her family as much. But this war is going to change Jolene in ways she never would have expected, and Michael will find himself facing his worst fears.

This is very profound and honest look on marriage, as well as the toll that war takes on American families. There are so many messages to take away from this novel, but the biggest ones are love and hope. It would be rude of me to not give you a heads up, so I will leave it at this: this story will make you cry, but you will be glad you read it.

True Colors

Three sisters.

Here we have another top book from Kristin Hannah, and it may just be her most heart-wrenching story. This is a story about the three Grey sisters, who have always been very close. Their bond became even stronger after their mother died, standing together against their disapproving father who cares more about his reputation than his own children.

Winona is the oldest and she needs her father’s approval the most. She knows her father doesn’t value the qualities she has, but as the best lawyer in town, she won’t stop trying to prove her worth. Aurora is the middle sister, the peacemaker who tries to keep everyone happy while she hides her own pain.

Truth Comes Out

The youngest sister is Vivi Ann, the star of the family. Stunningly beautiful with a huge heart, she is adored by everyone. Everything comes easy to Vivi Ann. That is, until a stranger shows up in town. That’s when everything changes. The Grey sisters will find themselves pitted against one another. Their loyalties will be tested, and secrets will be revealed.

But the biggest secret of all is the truth about a shocking crime ; one that may just shatter their sisterly bond for good. I am dying while reviewing this book because it just has so much drama and I am here for it! It’s beautifully written and really homes in on what it means to be a family. You might find yourself heartbroken at times, but I promise that the ending will make it worth it.

Between Sisters


Everybody makes mistakes, but some mistakes have bigger consequences than others. Which is the case for Meghann Dontess, whose terrible choice years ago cost her everything, including a relationship with her sister, Claire. Now a highly successful attorney, Meghann has put any thoughts of love on the backburner – but then she meets a man who thinks he can change her mind.

Claire Dontess has fallen in love and is getting married. As her wedding day draws closer, Claire steadies herself to face her older sister, Meghann. Finally reunited after two decades apart, these sisters who think they have nothing in common will find themselves trying to become what they should have been the entire time: a family.

Together Again

The sisters may just start to realize that the thing that put a wedge between their relationship was all a misunderstanding. Each are holding on to the hurt and resentment from past decisions, but both secretly wish they were closer. Their story highlights how it is never too late to make amends, and you will regret it if you don’t.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it made me cry more than once (especially the last 30 pages – you’ve been warned). The storyline changed a few times and I honestly didn’t expect where the story ended up, but I was more than happy with the ending. The characters also had great development which is always a win! This is a bit slower than some of Kristin Hannah’s other books, but it still well worth the read.

Final Thoughts

Hannah has proven herself why she is the bestselling author and why she has won awards for her books, as she truly writes some of the best novels out there, with some amazing stories to share with everyone. Her amazing imagination brings out some great fictional characters and stories for all to enjoy. That’s all folks! We hope our review has answered your question about what the Hannah’s best book is!

best rated books by kristin hannah

Alissa Wynn

Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.

Kate Morton Featured


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