Books Set in Ohio – Ohio Novel – Free Ohio Fiction Online

Books set in Ohio, Ohio novel. Hundreds of free online books that take place in Ohio, or were written by Ohio authors.

Ohio Fiction Collection – Books Set in Ohio

Books set in Ohio. A collection of over 180 free online Ohio novels. Most are books set in Ohio, or were written by Ohio authors. Some authors are: Toni Morrison, Mary Monroe, Richard Bachman, Robert Lawson, Jennifer Crusie, Janet Dailey, Donald Ray Pollock, Susan Donovan, Kim Harrison, Nelson DeMille, Harry Turtledove, Sarah Strohmeyer, Erin McCarthy, Sherwood Anderson, Kathleen Ernst, Sharon M. Draper, Kathleen Fuller, Michael Koryta, Michelle Jerott, Vickie M. Stringer, Salvatore Scibona, Dawn Powell, Bernard F. Conners, Trisha Alexander, Dawn Powell, Brooks Hansen, Les Roberts, Bonnie Himan, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Lynda Durrant. Books that take place in Ohio.

Collections’ take longer to appear on your screen than single books.  On a phone, only about 25 books in a collection may appear.

To Keep Us Free – Ohio Historical Fiction

Allis, Marguerite
Putnam 1952       

Ohio novel about the development of the Ohio country from 1797 to 1815; settlement at Marietta; founding of Cleveland; the first census; the Burr-Blennerhassett conspiracy; and the War of 1812.

Dark Laughter – Famous Ohio Authors

Anderson, Sherwood
Boni & Liveright 1925       

Bruce Dudley is “the spoiled child of industrialism, longing to create with his brain or with his hands, but balked by a country that asks for neither sound handling of tools nor true worlds. And Bruce leaves his newspaper and his short-story writing wife and goes drifting down the river, scarcely knowing what he wants, unless it is to see what life really is like and put it into poetry.” – Sat R
Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941), self-educated, rose to become a successful copywriter and business owner in Cleveland and Elyria, OH. In 1912 Anderson had a nervous breakdown that led him to abandon his family and business. He became a writer and moved to Chicago, where through the 1920s he published short stories, novels, memoirs, poetry and essays. “Dark Laughter”, inspired by his time in New Orleans, was his only best-seller. -Wikipedia

Poor White – Famous Ohio Authors

Anderson, Sherwood
Huebsch 1920       

This novel “describes the changes occurring in a Midwestern town when industrialism replaces the old agrarian, craft-centered society. The town itself is the protagonist of the early part of the book. and Anderson successfully depicts its shabbiness. isolation. and sterility. Hugh McVey, the central character. is an introverted inventor who does not become aware until it is too late that his own genius contributes to the corruption of his environment.” Reader’s Ency

We have thousands of free novels online in many subject collections

Winesburg Ohio; A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life – Ohio Authors and their Books

Anderson, Sherwood
NY: Modern Library 1919

“A series of twenty-three vignettes. Winesburg, Ohio is a character study of a small town. It highlights individual residents and scrutinizes who they are and why this reality often conflicts with their dreams. The short stories are linked through George Willard, a young newspaper reporter who is disenchanted with the narrow-mindedness of small towns.” Shapiro. Novels set in Ohio, books based in Ohio.

Cousin Sadie – Books That Take Place in Ohio

Anderton, Daisy
Boston: Stratford 1920

“The scene is a college town in Ohio to which the heroine, Sara Dickinson, descendant of a long line of Calvinistic forebears, returns after a long absence. She thinks she has shaken off the teachings of her childhood, but in a crucial situation, involving love between herself and the husband of a young cousin, the sharp sense of distinction between right and wrong reasserts itself.”
“The atmosphere of an Ohio college town is well done.”
– The Book Review Digest.

Johnny Appleseed – Books Set in Ohio

Atkinson, Eleanor
Harper 1915       

Story of the picturesque, half legendary character, John Chapman, ‘the Saint of American Orchards’, who planted his apple seeds throughout the Ohio Valley a century ago.” -Cleveland.

The Bandits of the Osage: A Western Romance – Books That Take Place in Ohio

Bennett, Emerson
Cincinnati: Robinson and Jones 1847

Emerson Bennett (1822-1905) was born in Massachusetts, left home at 16, and lived in various cities, including Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg, IN and Philadelphia. He published his first short story in 1843, and by 1880 had published more than 30 books and hundreds of short stories. His adventure stories about the west were very popular from the 1840s to the 1860s with an emerging mass market of readers.

Leni Leoti; or, Adventures in the far West. A Sequel to “Prairie Flower” – Ohio Novel

Bennett, Emerson
Cincinnati: James 1852

See the brief biographical sketch of Emerson Bennett at the novel The Bandits of the Osage, on this webpage.

The Prairie Flower – Ohio Novel

Bennett, Emerson
Cincinnati: James 1852

See the brief biographical sketch of Emerson Bennett at the novel The Bandits of the Osage, on this webpage.

The Phantom of the Forest: A Tale of the Dark and Bloody Ground – Books Set in Ohio

Bennett, Emerson
Philadelphia: Potter 1868

See the brief biographical sketch of Emerson Bennett at the novel The Bandits of the Osage, on this webpage. Books set in Ohio, novels set in Ohio.

Plain People: A Story of the Western Reserve – Historical Fiction Set in Ohio Western Reserve

Branch, Edward P.
New York: Publishers’ Print. Co 1892

The Farm – Ohio Historical Fiction

Bromfield, Louis
Harper 1946       

“In this chronicle of four generations of his family, Mr. Bromfield has written a social history of the Middle West, especially of Mansfield, the background of his early book. (The Green Bay Tree). He tells the story of the family from 1815, when the great-grandfather, the Colonel, settled in Ohio, to the time when the great-grandson departs for the [first] World War. About the grandfather’s farm centered the life of the entire family—a vast array of aunts and uncles. Throughout the book [the author] laments the disappearance from American life of integrity and idealism, destroyed, he believes by an unscrupulous New England industrialism, a nostalgia, often bitter, flavors the whole tale. It lacks conversation and story interest but many readers will find it a fine and stirring narrative. ‘ ‘ Booklist. Books set in Ohio.

When the Bough Breaks – Ohio Novel

Carney, Otis
Houghton 1957       

Bud Floyd, son of Middle Western tycoon Lee Floyd, makes an effort to prove his own worth after Princeton and the service by starting a magazine with his college roommate, Alec. In New York he meets and marries Deb, rebellious daughter of the Midwestern upper middle class. The magazine appears to Bud to be hopeless, so he withdraws against the wishes of Deb and Alec, to join big business in Deb’s home town, putting their marriage under the surveillance of her parents and in the midst of suburbia. Alec wanders around the world seeking himself, until his return precipitates action between Deb and Bud. Concern with contemporary Americana and criticism of the ramifications of our culture give general interest. ” -Library J

The Bishop’s Son: A Novel – Ohio Female Authors

Cary, Alice
NY: Carleton 1857

Alice Cary (1820-1871) was born near Cincinnati in 1820. She grew up on Clovernook farm; land that her grandfather received in lieu of pay as a Revolutionary War veteran in 1803. The Cincinnati press first published her verse when she was 18, to an enthusiastic reception. Alice remained at Clovernook until 1850, when she and her sister Phoebe moved to New York. In the same year her first volume of poems was published, launching a highly successful literary career. There is a biographical chapter about her in Venable, Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley, on the Great Lakes Cultural History page of this site.

See also: Books about 19th Century American Women Authors

Clovernook; or Recollections of our Neighborhood in the West – Books Set in Cincinnati

Cary, Alice
NY: Lovell 1852

See the biographical note of Cary at The Bishop’s Son, on this page.

See our Century Past page on Ohio Society to read about immigrants, crime, ethnic groups, women, African Americans, pioneer life, and social issues.

Married, not Mated, or, How they Lived at Woodside and Throckmorton Hall – Ohio Female Authors

Cary, Alice
Cincinnati: Derby 1856

See the biographical note of Cary at The Bishop’s Son, on this page.

Pictures of Country Life – Ohio Female Authors

Cary, Alice
NY: Derby & Jackson 1859

See the biographical note of Cary at The Bishop’s Son, on this page.

Flatboats and Wagon Wheels – Children’s Historical Fiction of Ohio

Comfort, Mildred H, and Dirk Gringhuis
Chicago: Beckley-Cardy 1948

Juvenile fiction from the mid-20th century. The story is about two children of the 1780s who, with their parents, leave their Pennsylvania farm and travel to the Ohio frontier by flatboat to start a new life near Losantiville (Cincinnati). Books set in Ohio, books based in Ohio, novels set in Ohio.

See our free Reading Guides to Historical Fiction

Faking It – Ohio Novels

Crusie, Jennifer
St. Martin’s 2004       

“Minerva Dobbs thought David Fisk might be the one she’s been waiting for, until he dumps her three weeks before her sister Diana’s wedding. Min soon realizes just how lucky she is to be rid of David when she overhears him at her favorite bar betting a handsome stranger, Calvin Morrisey, that Cal couldn’t bed Min in a month. At first Min debates the idea of giving them both a piece of her mind, but then she remembers she still needs a date for the wedding. Why not use the all-too charming Cal just like he was going to use her, and then dump him? Of course, Min never expected that Cal might turn out to be the ‘one.’ . Finding exactly the right balance between cynicism and optimism, Crusie deftly blends snappy dialogue; quirky, irrepressible secondary characters; and two beautifully matched protagonists struggling against their romantic fate.” Booklist

Chronicle of an Old Town – Ohio Novel

Cunningham, Albert Benjamin
NY: Abingdon 1919

“A Methodist minister who has grown old in the service of an eastern church is turned out by his trustees with rather callous cruelty, because after a long period of domestic affliction he has lost much of his earlier vigor. The men in authority in his denomination also seem to have little use for him now that he has grown old, but by pure luck he is assigned to the church in a little Ohio town. His congregation is composed of simple, easy-going country people who show him and his family the greatest kindness. Men and women are drawn in a lifelike manner with all their peculiarities of speech and behavior. There is a youthful romance in which the minister’s daughter finds her happiness.”
“Its unimportant love story, leisurely told, lets the minister and two other mellow philosophers talk rustic wisdom that is richly flavored.”
– The Book Review Digest

The Broad Aisle; A Realistic Tale of Early Ohio – Historic Fiction of Ohio

Daggett, Mary Stewart
London: Neely 1899

Spencerville – Book That Takes Place in Ohio

DeMille, Nelson
Warner 1994       

“Keith Landry, his Cold War intelligence job a victim of the Soviet collapse, returns to the little Ohio town where he grew up and begins to tinker with thoughts of reviving the family farm. A former sweetheart, Annie, despondent after Keith went off to Vietnam, had married aggressive, good-looking Cliff Baxter on the rebound, but Keith and Annie had never ceased to correspond. Now that he’s back. the old interest is rekindled in both, but Baxter, now police chief and a womanizing petty tyrant, is fiercely jealous—and the novel takes off as a deadly struggle between a man trained in the arts of deception and one with all the built-in advantages of police power in a remote spot.” Publ Wkly. Books set in Ohio.

The Evidence Against Her – Books Set In Ohio

Dew, Robb Forman
Little, Brown 2001       

This novel is “set in the small town of Washburn, Ohio. The story begins with three children born on the same September day in 1888, and it ends with those same three, grown and with children of their own, in the summer of 1927. Lily Scofield, her cousin Warren Scofield and Robert Butler, son of the Methodist pastor, grow up as an inseparable group. Even after Lily marries Robert in June 1913, she assumes that Warren will still somehow always be close by. (But he meets) Agnes Claytor, who was a 14-year-old guest at Lily’s wedding.” N Y Times Book Rev
“A marvel of lyrical understatement, the narrative flows like a river—smooth, with surprising depths, some turbulence and the inexorability of time’s passing.” Publ Wkly. Books set in Ohio.

The Truth of the Matter – Ohio Novel

Dew, Robb Forman
Little, Brown 2005       

Second title in a trilogy about the Scofield family of Washburn, Ohio; begun with: The Evidence Against Her. “Agnes Scofield has raised her children as a widow, having lost husband Warren in a car accident in 1930. This loss permeates the way in which Agnes recalls her life—she does not feel, she represses—and affects the relationships she has with her children. During World War II, her children leave home, and Agnes adjusts to single life only to have to readjust when they return to their small Ohio town with spouses and children in tow. The family ultimately finds the homecoming unsettling, as if they are just meeting one another for the first time. Dew’s plain writing highlights the characters’ inner lives and the wartime environment, yet it carries the reader along effortlessly.” Libr J. Books that take place in Ohio.

Through the Ivory Gate – Book Set in Akron Ohio

Dove, Rita
Pantheon 1992       

“Virginia King, a talented young black woman. returns to her hometown of Akron, Ohio, as artist-in-residence at an elementary school. The story moves back and forth the present, which finds her teaching puppetry to children, and her past, which includes memories of a constricting community and family life and the liberation offered by college and her stint with a communal puppet theater.” Publ Wkly
“Whether she is evoking look of a landscape or depicting the nuances of a family quarrel. Dove sees with the keen eye of an artist and writes with the finely honed diction of a poet. In Virginia King, she has created a distinctive, highly individualized heroine.” Christ Sci Monit. Novels set in Ohio.

Tales and Sketches of the Queen City – Short Stories Set in Cincinnati

Drake, Benjamin
Cincinnati: Morgan 1838

This volume contains thirteen tales or sketches, several of which were published in the Hesperian and other periodicals in the 1830s.

-The Queen City
-The Novice of Cahokia
-Putting a Blackleg on Shore
-The Baptism
-The Yankee Colporteen
-The Grave of Rosalie
-The Burial by Moonlight
-A Kentucky Election
-Visit to the Blue Licks
-Trying on a Shoe
-The Battle of Brindle and the Buckeyes
-The Buried Canoe
-The Flag-Bearer

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