25 Great lesbian stories and books everyone should read

Only Once Today is a reader-supported website. We might earn a commission if you purchase something through one of our links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

What we talk about in this article

We thought it was time to share some of the best lesbian stories with you people!

Maybe I was born in a different era than some of you, or maybe not. Anyway, when I discovered about lesbian things in life, I read dozens of books about it. Yes, there was a lack of online information and lesbian books where the place to go if you wanted to learn about stuff.

These books have formed our generation! Although, some of these books are quite recent 🙂

Without further ado, these are the best lesbian stories and books everyone should read.

Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters holds the first and second place in this lesbian book list.

She’s a well-known historical lesbian fiction writer. Tipping the Velvet takes place in London around the year 1890.

Expect to be taken back in time into the lesbian and gay life in Victorian England.

Oyster vendor Nancy dives into the London nightlife, where she meets revue star Kitty. The 2 ladies soon become lovers and they start performing a gender bending male show.

Tipping the Velvet is an exciting page turner you won’t be able to put away. This book also includes some chapters filled with lesbian love scenes.

Fingersmith - Sarah Waters

More Sarah Waters and Victorian England with Fingersmith.

This book also has a movie version, which is a great film for a rainy weekend night.

But let’s start with the book!

Fingersmith is a lesbian story, set in the area of London, full of intrigue and mystery.

Orphan girl Sue is raised by a London-based ‘baby farmer’ until she gets picked up to work for a rich writer.

At his estate, she meets Maud and falls in love head over heels. But nothing is what it seems and the plot has some unexpected twists along the way.

This book is a real pageturner you won’t be able to put away.

RubyFruit Jungle - Rita Mae Brown

Next up is another classic lesbian fiction story, first published over 4 decades ago, when times where different.

In Rubyfruit Jungle, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, a beautiful young girl in the US.

Molly notices that women are drawn to her and she loves women as well. She refuses to apologise for being lesbian and with this story, a milestone in lesbian literature was created.

This book is a must read as it was an incredible milestone at the time is was published… and it still is!

The price of Salt / Carol - Patricia Highsmith

The Price of Salt is the original version of this book, which was later republished with the name Carol.

This book is a true lesbian romance novel and it became a lesbian cult classic over the years.

Carol and Therese are both single women when they meet each other. Therese is a young sales clerk and Carol is in the middle of a divorce.

They choose to leave everything behind and leave for the open road to freedom. But then Carol is forced to choose between her lover and her child. 

Patricia Highsmith also wrote popular novels like The Talented Mister Ripley and Strangers on the Train.

25 Great lesbian stories and books everyone should read

Oranges are not the only fruit - Jeanette Winterson

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is a coming out story, based on her own experiences. This semi-autobiographic novel was her debut as a writer and she wrote a few other excellent books later.

In Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, the main character grows up in a fanatically Christian family. It looks like a life as a missionary is her future. That is until she falls in love with a women and everything changes.

Jeanette Winterson also wrote: Written on the Body

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

The Color Purple is the heart breaking story of Celie, a poor black women who is abused by the man she calls father. After birthing 2 children of her father, she gets married off to a horrible man.

Her new husband keeps her close and unhappy. But Celie managed to stay positive thank to the love and inspiration she finds with the glamorous singer Shug.

The Color Purple is an emotional piece offering insights in the hard and painful life of a black women who finds strength in lesbian love.

About a Girl - Joanne Horniman

19 year old Anna believes that nobody will ever love her… until she meets Flynn!

She falls in love and spends every minute with Flynn.

But something is off. Some days Flynn is loving and caring, while other days, she seems unavailable. Then Anna discovers a secret Flynn has been hiding and she wonders if she even knows Flynn at all.

About a Girl is a lesbian romance novel about tenderness, love and the secrets that tear relationships apart.

Curious Wine - Katherine V. Forrest

In this novel, a group of women spend a friendly weekend in a cozy ski cabin in the woods near Lake Tahoe.

The beautiful Lane and one of the other women get to know each other a lot better. It will end up being a weekend they won’t likely forget.

Curious Wine is a lesbian love story full of emotion and intimacy. The novel is a relaxing and enjoyable book to read.

Forrest also wrote: Lesbian Pulp Fiction and the erotic lesbian science-fiction novel O Captain, My Captain.

Lesbian Books and lesbian stories

The Miseducation of Cameron Post - Emily M. Danforth

The Miseducation of Cameron Post tells the story of a young woman who loses her parents in a car crash. She has to move in with her super conservative aunt Ruth in Montana, where she meets a beautiful girl and falls in love.

But Aunt Ruth doesn’t comply and sends the girl to a religious conversion camp. She has to become straight as soon as possible.

This book is a controversial masterpiece which addresses issues that are still very much alive. The book is set in the USA in the 90’s, but can still be related to today.

The film version of this book won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2018.

Annie on my Mind - Nancy Garden

In Annie on my Mind, a friendship between two girls turns into a romantic relationship. Soon, they discover they don’t have to expect any support from their family and friends.

They get pressured by their family, but still promise to be true to each other and commit to their relationship.

Annie on my Mind was a groundbreaking book when it was first published in 1982, because it gave such a positive vibe to lesbian love.

Tell it to the Bees - Fiona Shaw

Tell it to the Bees is a lesbian romance story that takes place in the 50’s.

When a woman leaves her husband and moves to another town with her young son Charlie, she meets the local doctor Jean. The 2 women engage in a forbidden romance, but secret can never stay secrets for long.

The young Charlie discovers that his mothers’ love life has a large impact on his life as well.

Tell it to the Bees is a historic story which provides an isight into the local culture of small town life in the 50’s.

Sing You Home - Jodi Picoult

Sing You Home isn’t a typical lesbian love story, but the subject is definitely also covered in this book!

In this novel, a young straight couple tries to conceive a baby, but they don’t manage to get pregnant. Due to the situation, tensions drive the young couple apart and Zoë and Max eventually split up.

Later, Zoë meets Vanessa and the girls fall in love. They too want to have a baby. So using the frozen embryos Zoë and Max have stored, seems like a perfect idea. But Max doesn’t feel the same way.

Sing You Home is a modern story about love, marriage and parenthood.

Keeping you a secret - Julie Anne Peters

Keeping you a Secret is a modern tale about a classic love story.

De young and successful Holland seems to have everything together. She has a cute boyfriend, a scholarship to a prestigious university, etc.

But then a new student comes along at her school and she completely messes up Hollands’ emotions!

Keeping you a Secret is a compelling story about new love.

Crush - Jane Pillow Futcher

Crush is a modernized version of a classic lesbian story.

The plot is set in a boarding school in the 60’s.

Lexie and Jinx are 2 young women who meet in boarding school. Soon they become best friends and it looks like the story will have a romantic turn.

But then both girls make interesting choices and the love story turns into an epic disaster.

The Girls in 3B - Valerie Taylor

Valerie Taylor is known for writing lesbian pulp and The Girls in 3B is one of her best works.

The story is set in Chicago in the 50’s, when being a lesbian wasn’t something you could openly discuss.

3 Women move to Chicago where they share an apartment. One of the ladies: Barby, is a lesbian woman who falls head over heels for a colleague.

An interesting and exciting femme fatale story.

25 Great lesbian stories and books everyone should read

Bait - Loren Stone

Loren Stone is a renowned writer of dozens of successful lesbian books. Bait is just one of the lesbian novels she wrote. Other novels include: Torches: a Seduction, which is more of an erotic story, and Boy, a novel about masculin-of-center women.

Bait tells the story of a lesbian woman, Jax, who hasn’t had contact with her conservative family for years. She only talks with her brother, even though he’s not too happy about her ‘lesbian lifestyle’ either.

One day, her brother introduces her his new girlfriend Jenn, who also appears to be the women of Jax’ dreams.

In Bait, you’ll discover how Jax handles loyalty, love, and rivalry. Jenn shows romantic interest for Jax, as well as for her brother and the situation turns into a question about how far you will go and where your boundaries are.

Missed Her - Ivan E. Coyote

Missed Her is just one of the top novel Ivan E. Coyote wrote.

Ivan is a master in storytelling and in this novel, you can read fun and beautiful stories about growing up as a butch lesbian in Canada.

Other novels by Ivan E. Coyote: Tomboy Survival Guide and One in Every Crowd.

All Ivan E. Coyote novels offer insight in the life of a gender non-conform person who doesn’t comply with the binary gender expectations. All of these books are accessible for everyone and they’re written for a broad audience.

Lost Boi - Sassafras Lowrey

Lost Boi is a quirky, queer punk version of the classic Peter Pan.

This book will take you to a world of orphan and runaway bois in the service of Peter Pan.

Lost Boi is a relaxing and entertaining lesbian fantasy novel about gender queer and gender bending bois.

I can’t think straight - Shamim Sarif

In I Can’t Think Straight, Shamim Sarif exposes the cultural difference between East and West in a lesbian love story.

The Palestinian Tala lives in London while she prepares for her Middle Eastern wedding with a Palestinian man. But she meets the Indian Christian, with whom she becomes friends. The romantic attraction to Christian is immediate and she falls in love with the woman.

I Can’t Think Straight is a heartwarming and romantic love story.

Shamim Sarif also wrote: The World Unseen.

Extra tip: Wattpad

Wattpad is an app for your smartphone or tablet where you can find thousands of free ebooks.

When looking for novels, you can check reviews by other reader to find awesome new books.

All stories on Wattpad are written by independent writers without the interference of a publisher.

If you already read all the books in this list, make sure to check out Wattpad.

Searches with ‘lesbian’, ‘girlXgirl’, or ‘gxg’ are the most popular searches to find thousands of lesbian stories.

Conclusion: Lesbian books and lesbian stories

As you can read, there’s no shortage in lesbian books to entertain you on a rainy evening.

Aside from the all time classics, modern love stories and coming of age stories are widely available. But there are also a lot of novels which expose cultural differences.

We really hope that you found your perfect book in this list.


Pin this article for later!

25 Great lesbian stories and books everyone should read
25 Great lesbian stories and books everyone should read
Start planning your trip

Plan your trip

Step-by-step guide to plan your trip

Find accommodation

Upgrade your trip & sleep comfortably

Get travel insurance

The best travel insurance for Europeans

Get a global travel card

Get cash & pay anywhere

"I need 6 months of holiday, twice a year"

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse on this website, you accept the use of cookies for the above purposes.