Jenni L. Walsh’s Must-Read Books from 2016

This week the Debs are sharing their favorite reads from 2016.

I tend to read various age groups, drawn to a book because of a must-read premise, so my fave books from 2016 are both adult and young adult. Though, it just so happens all of these novels are historical fiction. Looks like I did quite a bit of reading in my own genre.

Without further ado – and in no particular order – here are my favorite novels from this past year.

SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

THE LOST GIRLS by Heather Young

A stunning debut novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house.


Set in the glamorous 1920s, A FINE IMITATION is an intoxicating debut that sweeps readers into a privileged Manhattan socialite’s restless life and the affair with a mysterious painter that upends her world, flashing back to her years at Vassar and the friendship that brought her to the brink of ruin.

MODERN GIRLS by Jennifer S. Brown

“Brown pens the story of a Jewish immigrant mother and unmarried daughter, both pregnant and neither planning on it, in 1930s New York City. The result is a thought-provoking tale of parents and children and the sacrifices they make for one another.  Exploring our dreams and choices and the way they intersect to form our lives, MODERN GIRLS is a heartwarming, haunting and memorable debut.”—Pam Jenoff, international bestselling author of THE LAST SUMMER OF CHELSEA BEACH


Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

Also, A CRIMINAL MAGIC was just ordered by The CW for an hour-long drama. I’m super excited about seeing this novel come to life!


“Full of beautiful turns of phrase, lessons in Chinese customs and superstitions, and a refreshing protagonist representing intersectional diversity, this is a must-read for followers of historical fiction . . . .  powerful, evocative, and thought-provoking.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


“A disarmingly charming story of a young woman determined to make her dreams a reality… as sweet as a love song, as energetic as a tap dance and full of dazzling details about life in London after the disasters of the Great War. I won’t soon forget Dolly Lane…”—Jeanne Mackin, author of THE BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN


Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Did any of these titles make your list of Top Books of 2016? You’ll also notice a few of these novels are set during the 1920s, like my own novel, BECOMING BONNIE. Guess I had the Roaring Twenties on the brain 🙂

Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at