Must-read Sapphic love stories

From out and out romance novels to uplifting YA and dazzling literary fiction, here are some of the best Sapphic love stories to read now. 

Whether you're looking for a romance novel to escape into, or just a great book with a Sapphic relationship at its heart, you're in the right place. Here are our favourite books featuring Sapphic love stories.

Can't Spell Treason Without Tea

by Rebecca Thorne

Reyna, the private guard to the queen, and Kianthe, the most powerful mage in existence, have one wish, and that’s to open a cosy little bookshop where folk can drink tea before an open fire, surrounded by plants and company while reading their favourite books. However, furious monarchs, magical creatures, and the citizens of Tawney all have other ideas. Combining high stakes with cosy fantasy, this hugely anticipated read wraps sapphic representation, healthy relationships, powerful women and comfortable fireside chats into a warm hug of a story. With dragons. Don’t forget the dragons.

The Amendments

by Niamh Mulvey

Moving between three generations of women in Ireland, this book takes in a time of sweeping cultural and societal change. Nell and her partner Adrienne are about to have a baby. For Adrienne, it’s the start of a new life. For Nell, it’s the reason the two of them are sitting in a therapist’s office. Because she can’t go into this without dealing with the truth: that she has been a mother before, and now she can hardly bring herself to speak to her own mother, let alone return home.

Our Wives Under the Sea

by Julia Armfield

'Part bruisingly tender love story, part nerve-clanging submarine thriller . . . heart-slicing, cinematic.' - The Times.

When Leah finally returns home to Miri from a catastrophic deep sea mission, it seems she may have come back wrong. Whatever happened out at sea, and whatever it was they were supposed to be studying, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home. This strange, haunting book sits between the boundaries of horror, sci-fi and literary fiction.


by Hannah Kent

A stunning study of faith and suspicion, and a glorious love story, set in nineteenth-century Prussia. In a small village populated by Old Lutherans, worship must be done secretly – this is a community under threat. No wonder then, that they are quick to take up the chance of safe passage to Australia, where they can pray without fear. In the village lives Hanne: a child of nature, who prefers the rush of the river to domesticity, the wind in the trees to the friendship of the other girls in her village. Until she meets Thea, a kindred spirit. But can they both survive the long and brutal journey to the other side of the world?

Sorry, Bro

by Taleen Voskuni

My Big Fat Greek Wedding but make it bi – and Armenian. When the style and location of his marriage proposal makes Nar realise that her boyfriend really isn't right for her, her mother is more than happy to help her find someone new. Armed with a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked eligible Armenian men, she encourages Nar to attend 'Explore Armenia', a month-long festival of events in the city. There Nar meets and starts to fall for Erebuni. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual.

The Mercies

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The storm comes in like a finger snap . . . and Vardø is now a place of women.

1617. The sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a vicious storm. A young woman, Maren, watches as the men of the island, out fishing, perish in an instant. Eighteen months later, the sinister Absalom Cornet arrives with his wife, Ursa, sent to force the women of Vardø into submission. In her new home, and in Maren, Ursa encounters something she has never seen before: independent women. But where Ursa finds happiness, even love, Absalom sees only a place flooded with a terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs . . .

She Drives Me Crazy

by Kelly Quindlen

Seventeen-year-old Scottie Zajac just lost to her ex-girlfriend in the first basketball game of the season and crashed her car into the worst possible person: Irene Abraham, head cheerleader. And now they have to carshare every day to get to school. But then an opportunity arises for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex so she somehow convinces Irene to take part in an elaborate fake-dating scheme, that, in the end, threatens to reveal some very real feelings. 

The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

Book cover for The Color Purple

The classic, Pulitzer Prize winner. Set in the deep American South between the wars, this is the story of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, and Celie slowly discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

The Women Could Fly

by Megan Giddings

What do you do when the State mandates that all women marry by the age of thirty – or enrol in a registry that allows them to be monitored – and you're more than a little ambivalent about marriage? Set in a world where magic is real, and women who 'transgress' from traditional societal expectations are tried as witches, The Women Could Fly follows Jo as she tries one last time to find the mother who disappeared fourteen years ago, and discovers more than she ever expected. This powerful work of dystopian speculative fiction explores the limits women face – and the powers they have to transcend them.

A Restless Truth

by Freya Marske

The follow-up to Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light is another enormously entertaining magical romp, featuring Maud Blyth, who had been hoping for an adventure until the adventure started happening, a rude parrot and an outrageous partner-in-(solving)-crime-come-love-interest called Violet Debenham. It’s a murder-mystery-comedy sapphic Titanic. Kind of. There's an ocean liner involved, at least. . .

One Last Stop

by Casey McQuiston

You had me at time-travel-featuring New York City-set romance. A cynical twenty-three year old meets a beautiful woman on the train. It soon emerges that Jane (the beautiful woman) is displaced in time from the 1970s, and August (aforementioned cynic) is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things after all.

Solo Dance

by Li Kotomi

Book cover for Solo Dance

An intimate and powerful account of a search for hope after trauma, and a moving portrait of coming of age as a gay woman in Taiwan and Japan. Cho Norie works an office job in Tokyo. While her colleagues worry about the economy, life-insurance policies, marriage, and children, she is forced to keep her unconventional life hidden – including her sexuality and the violent attack that prompted her to leave her to leave Taiwan.