This month’s roundup begins with a book that slipped past the July new fiction roundup, and continues on to the story of a dancer in the court of Korea’s last royal dynasty, a pregnant mistress on the run, a reclusive detective that comes down from the hills for one last case, and much more.
7/31: This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us by Edgar Cantero – Twins Adrian and Zooey Kimrean couldn’t be more different: Adrian icily logical, Zooey impulsively creative. But they share a private investigator business, and also one body. Their new case has them tracking down the killer of a crime boss’s son.
8/7: The Court Dancer by Kyung-Sook Shin – In the final years of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, orphan-turned-dancer Yi Jin is caught up in the dizzying sweep of court life.
8/7: The Last Hours by Minette Walters – When the Black Death enters England in June of 1348, Lady Anne decides to quarantine her estate of Develish, both nobility and serfs. When food stocks run low, tensions rise.
8/7: This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga – Tambudzai, the protagonist from Dargarembga’s first novel, Nervous Conditions, is now an adult in post-independence Zimbabwe. She struggles to find a job that will deliver the future she imagines in this novel about the way hope and potential can sour over time, for both and individual and a nation.
8/7: Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood – In 1948, Sally Horner is kidnapped by a man pretending to be an FBI agent and kept as a sex slave for two years. This is a fictionalization of the true story that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita, but told from the perspective of Sally. If you want a nonfiction treatment of this story, place a hold for The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman, coming out Sept. 11.
8/7: The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg – In Cuba for a film festival, Claire sees her dead husband Richard standing outside a museum. Stunned, she follows him, as the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur.
8/7: Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day – Recent widow Eden’s life has been narrowed by grief, to the extent she’s even afraid of the dark. Deciding to shed her fear, she goes to a dark sky park. When another guest is murdered and mishaps befall others, Eden must make it out alive.
8/14: Last Looks by Howard Michael Gould – Once LAPD’s top detective, Charlie Waldo went off the grid, living on a hilltop and obsessing over owning no more than 100 possessions. When his ex-partner needs help on a high-profile case, he descends into the city to help.
8/14: The Line That Held Us by David Joy – While out hunting, Darl Moody accidentally shoots and kills a man from a notoriously violent family. The cover up goes awry, and revenge comes calling.
8/14: Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper – With the fish disappearing, the Connor family is one of the few left in their small fishing village. Told they must soon leave, 11-year-old Finn concocts a plan to lure both the fish and the scattered villagers back.
8/14: A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua – Scarlett, a Chinese factory clerk pregnant by her boss, is sent to America to give birth. Discovering that her boss intends her to give the baby to his legitimate wife, Scarlett and another mother-to-be go on the run.
8/14: Severance by Ling Ma – Meandering her way through adulthood, office drone Candace Chen discovers that she may have just the skills needed to survive the apocalypse when she proves immune to the fever decimating the world’s population.
8/14: Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear – A young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried in her estranged father’s past in order to solve a murder connected to a long-ago disappearance.
8/21: City of Ink by Elsa Hart – Li Du, exiled librarian in 18th century China, must return home to Beijing to unravel the mystery surrounding his mentor’s execution.
8/28: French Exit by Patrick deWitt – In the wake of scandal and financial disintegration, a wealthy widow and her adult son flee New York for Paris in this darkly comic novel. A Peak Pick!
8/28: Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice McFadden – Nine-year-old Abeo Kata lives a pleasant life in a fictional 1970s West African country. When bad luck befalls her family, she is given to a religious shrine as atonement. Surviving 15 harrowing years, Abeo is freed and must learn how to trust and love again.
~ posted by Andrea G.