2019 is an amazing year for magical realism, with fantastic releases from both debut authors and some of the biggest names in the genre. Narrowing down this list was a challenge, particularly since the genre encompasses such a wide variety of stories. These are eight can’t-miss magical realism books of 2019. 

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Desperate to protect her 12-year-old daughter from the Nazi regime, Hanni Kohn seeks help from an unlikely source. Ettie, a renewed rabbi’s daughter, creates a golem to protect Lea, Hanni’s daughter. As the war continues, these three women forge their own path in an attempt to find freedom. 

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

January Scaller is just one of many curiosities that Mr. Locke has acquired over the years. Although she is taken in as his ward, January is mostly ignored and left to own devices. Then her real father goes missing, leaving behind only a mysterious book. In her quest to find him, January must confront her past and figure out her place in the world. Luckily, the answers she seeks may lie just beyond the door. 

The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris

A death, a confession and a mysterious new shop bring unexpected change to sleepy Lansquenet-sous-Tannes. After having finally settled in, Vianne must face the secrets that lie in her past. Joanne Harris returns to the world of Chocolat with this intriguing tale that combines mystery and magic. 

Lovely War by Julie Berry

After being caught having an affair, the goddess Aphrodite attempts to explain to her jealous husband why Love and War are always drawn together. However, the tale that Aphrodite tells may reveal more than she bargained for. Set during World War I and World War II, The Lovely War is the story of a pianist and a solider. It’s also the story of two musicians on opposite sides of the war. This is a story about prejudice, tragedy, friendship and the power of love. 

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

Natalie Tan never expected to return home again. Then she’s drawn back into the neighborhood she left behind when her estranged mother leaves her the family restaurant. With the help of some delicious recipes, an unexpected romance and just a bit of magic, Natalie begins to see that maybe it’s good to be home. 

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Casiopea Tun should never have opened that box. After she accidentally frees the Mayan god of death, he enlists her help in reclaiming his throne. On a journey that leads everywhere from the Yucatán jungles to the Mayan underworld, Casiopea must navigate a web of conspiracies both mortal and divine. Success will lead to everything she’s ever wanted. Too bad that failure will lead to her death. 

The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia

Since the day he was found abandoned as a baby, Simonopio has always been different. As he grows up, he uses his ability to see the future and his protective swarm of bees to protect his adoptive family from harm. But even his miracles may not be enough as revolution and an influenza epidemic change everything. 

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

A severed finger abandoned on the dance floor. A deathbed request. The fates of Ji Lin and Ren become intertwined in this intriguing mystery that blends Malaysian history with mythology and superstition.

(Feature image courtesy of @spinatale)

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.