New fiction roundup, September 2019

9/3: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore – England, 1879: a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter earns a place among the first cohort of female students at the University of Oxford, and ultimately takes on a powerful duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

9/3: Dominicana by Angie Cruz – To help her family’s immigration prospects, 15-year-old Ana marries a man twice her age and moves with him from the Dominican Republic to New York City. Once there, she’ll balance duty to her family against her own desires.

9/3: The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine – Twins Laurel and Daphne Wolfe share an obsession with words, a love that binds them together until it pushes them apart in a war over custody of their most prized family heirloom: Merriam Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.

9/3: The Long Call by Ann Cleeves – Returning to the North Devon evangelical community he grew up in for his father’s funeral, Detective Matthew Venn is called to consult on a nearby murder. First in a new series by the author of the Vera and Shetland mystery series.

9/3: Quichotte by Salman Rushdie – Middling writer Sam DuChamp creates a Don Quixote for the modern age, a character obsessed with television who falls in love with a TV star and sets off on a quest or prove himself worthy of her. At the same time, Sam faces a midlife crisis of his own.

9/3: The Sweetest Fruits by Monique Truong – A single mother living in Ireland in 1852; an African American woman working as a cook at a boarding house in 1872; a former samurai’s daughter in 1891 Japan. Three women tell stories of their time with Lafcadio Hearn, a globetrotting writer, while also bearing witness to their own existence and their will to live unbounded by the mores of their time.

9/10: Akin by Emma Donoghue – A retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes a young great-nephew to the French Riveria, in hopes of discovering his own mother’s wartime secrets.

9/10: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – Called into service as swordswoman for the Ninth Necromancer, Gideon will have to navigate a system of swordplay, cut-throat politics and lesbian necromancers to achieve her freedom.

9/10: The Institute by Stephen King – Lured from his bedroom, Luke wakes up at The Institute, in a bedroom that looks just like his on a hallway with kids who have special talents. The director is dedicated to extracting the force of their extranormal gifts. No one has ever escaped from the Institute.

9/10: Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Pettina Gappah – The captivating story of the men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone’s body, papers and maps across Africa so his remains could be returned to England, as told by the cook, Halima, and a freed slave, Jacob Wainwright.

9/10: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – in the early 1900s, January Scaller lives as a ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke. Exploring his mansion, she finds a strange book, one that tells of secret doors, love, danger, and the fantastical journey of self-discovery that awaits.

9/10: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – In this sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood picks up Offred’s tale 15 years later, as told by three female narrators from Gilead. A Peak Pick!

9/17: A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill – Noah sees monsters. So does his father, who built a shrine to them called The Wandering Dark, an immersive horror experience that the family runs. What happens when Noah chooses to let the monsters in?

9/17: Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke – In the follow up to Bluebird, Bluebird, Texas Ranger Darren Matthews is searching for a boy who’s gone missing while reckoning with in a small Texas town still wedded to the racial attitudes of ante-bellum Texas.

9/17: Red at the Bone by Jaqueline Woodson – An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, exposing the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us. A Peak Pick!

9/17: What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr – A grandmother in her 60s emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in her worst nightmare, committed to an Alzheimer’s Unit in a nursing home with no memory of how she got there, and someone trying to kill her.

9/24: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – A novel of the indelible bond between two siblings, their childhood home, and a past that will not let them go. A Peak Pick!

9/24: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – Born into bondage, young Hiram Walker has his mother sold away and loses all memory of her, but is also gifted with a mysterious power. After his power saves him from drowning in the river, he’s inspired to escape and seek out his family. A Peak Pick!

9/24: The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste – Set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, maid Hirut comes up with a plan to maintain morale. Disguising a peasant as the emperor, Hirut rallies her fellow women in the fight against fascism.

Book descriptions adapted from publisher copy.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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