This is the time of year when everyone is thinking about fall reads. Here are some fall releases I am adding to my list.
First up is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, publication date Sep 12.
Why do I want to read this? Three reasons. First, it is getting a lot of buzz, showing up EVERYWHERE, and the more I see it, the more I am convinced I should read it. Second, I read Everything I Never Told You by the same author with my book club. I enjoyed it and gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. And if that isn’t enough, the third reason is the synopsis — it sounds very good. Decide for yourself.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
The next book I am adding to my list is The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott, publiction date September 19.
I’ll be honest — I was first drawn to this book when I saw the cover with the falling snow! But that alone wouldn’t be enough for me to add it to my list. In this case it is the synopsis that hooked me. I can’t wait to read it!
A magnificent new novel from one of America’s finest writers—a powerfully affecting story spanning the twentieth century of a widow and her daughter and the nuns who serve their Irish-American community in Brooklyn.
On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove—to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his badgering, pregnant wife—“that the hours of his life belong to himself alone.” In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Savior, an aging nun, appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child.
We begin deep inside Catholic Brooklyn, in the early part of the twentieth century. Decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man’s brief existence. Yet his suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives and over the decades—testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness, even through multiple generations.
The characters we meet, from Sally, the unborn baby at the beginning of the novel, who becomes the center of the story, to the nuns whose personalities we come to know and love, to the neighborhood families with whose lives they are entwined, are all rendered with extraordinary sympathy and McDermott’s trademark lucidity and intelligence.
Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement by one of the premiere writers at work in America today.
The third book on my list is The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain, publication date October 3.
This is another one I am interested in reading because I have previous experience with the author. I read Necessary Lies with my book club and I rated the book 4½ stars. I also interact with the author on Facebook, so have been following the development of this book for awhile. The synopsis makes this one sound like another winner. I am lucky enough to have a review copy thanks to the publisher and Netgalley, so I will be reading and reviewing this one soon!
In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.
The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.
When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?
Another book I am adding to my list is Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, publication date October 3
I also have past experience with this author, Hazel Gaynor, when I read her debut novel, The Girl Who Came Home, which I gave 4½ stars. I was lucky enough to get an autographed copy of that one when my daughter met the author at the Titanic museum in Ireland! Here is the synopsis of Last Christmas in Paris.
New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.
August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…
Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?
Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…
The last fall release I am adding to my list is Code Girls by Liz Mundy, publication date October 10. This is a nonfiction book about American women helping with the war effort during WWII. I read and enjoyed The Girls of Atomic City, which I rated 5 stars, and this one has the same feel. Here is the synopsis.
In the tradition of Hidden Figures and The Girls of Atomic City, Code Girls is the astonishing, untold story of the young American women who cracked key Axis codes, helping to secure Allied victory and revolutionizing the field of cryptanalysis.
Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
And there you have my picks for Fall 2017. Do you plan to read any of these? What have I missed that you will be adding to your list?
#LittleFiresEverywhere #CodeGirls #LastChristmasInParis #TheStolenMarriage #TheNinthHour