Thank goodness for writers like Nancy Garden and Patricia Highsmith because they show us what good lesbian fiction looks like.
Authors all approach these books in a unique way: some intertwine their personal experiences into those of their fictional characters while others come up with plots and storylines from who knows where.
The point is that you want to read the best lesbian fiction books and leave the lame reads on the shelf where they belong, so join us as we explore ten read-worthy titles in our list below.
Choosing that next book to immerse yourself can be difficult with all of the great options before you.
There isn’t just one “best lesbian fiction book” out there, either, so here are a few tips to help you narrow down the choices.
What Type of Storyline Do You Want? Not all lesbian books focus on the romance; there are plenty of storylines that involve romance without letting it dominate the book.
Do you prefer a coming of age story? A historical romance? Something set in modern times?
Some fiction novels highlight the protagonist’s struggle to come out and others focus on society’s views of lesbians in the particular time setting of the novel.
You have choices, so make sure you explore all of the options!
Cult Classics or Fresh and New? “Annie on My Mind” and “The Price of Salt” are two awesome lesbian fiction novels that you must read at some point in your life, but don’t forget the new and upcoming talent in this genre or you might miss out on something good!
If you’ve just started reading lesbian fiction, then Annie on My Mind has to be on your “to read” list.
It was first published in 1982 – so we consider it a groundbreaking novel in the genre and one that broke down barriers in a decade when the LGBT community was still struggling to be accepted. In fact, this book was actually burned in front of the Kansas City School Board building (1993), but it hasn’t stopped from helping generations of teens relate to the two main characters: Liza and Annie.
Their story is somewhat like a tale of the town mouse and the country mouse. Liza is a student at a private school and comes from a well-to-do family while Annie attends public school and lives in a low-income area of Manhattan.
From their high school years and the initial discoveries of their sexual orientation to their separation once college comes into view, this coming of age story has a plot that many can relate to, especially young adolescents.
We really liked the way that author Nancy Garden packs in the details; the book is totally relatable to younger readers and will bring back swarms of memories to adult readers who will probably reflect on their high school days as they read. It is a page turner and a heartfelt read, so we hope that Nancy Garden can see the importance of this book as the years pass from somewhere up above (she passed away in 2014). Thank you, Nancy!
As a new release, this book doesn’t yet have many reviews or discussion surrounding it, which is exactly why we wanted to introduce it to you!
You’ll love the two main characters – Gwen and Dana – and author Duncan also does an excellent job of making the secondary characters feel special, too. Gwen is a cellist and Dana a swim coach, and after a random meeting at a wedding in Maui, their romance begins.
There were times when the story was a bit on the slow side, but we plugged through it anyway and are so glad that we did. It is one that we wouldn’t mind re-reading every now and then!
Don’t let the book summary throw you off because it doesn’t do the book justice. If you’re looking for something new and fresh in the lesbian fiction genre, then pick up this book!
Our third suggestion is another classic that was first released in 2000 by author Sarah Waters. It was even adapted into a stage play.
It will take you through a whirlwind of emotions thanks to the way that the author balances sex, love, excitement, stimulation, shock and intrigue.
It highlights the passionate romance between Nancy and Kitty, set in the music halls of London.
We will forewarn you that the author is rather explicit when it comes to the sex scenes and definitely falls in the erotica category. If this is the kind of read that you’ve been craving, then have at it! It has exciting twists and turns that will keep you on your toes from the first to the last page.
If you’re interested historical romance novels and would like one centered around lesbians specifically, then you will enjoy this immensely.