Back in January, I did the first in a series of posts on promising new first novels. It’s time to take a peek at some being released in the next 3 months.
Celebrate the newbies with one of these debuts!
Nothing Like Love by Sabrina Ramnanan (April): Set in 1970s Trindad, the story of a young girl of promise whose future is turned upside down when she lands in the middle of a small town scandal. From the publisher, “A sparkling, witty and confident debut from a rising Canadian star whose Trinidadian roots and riotous storytelling heritage inform her completely delightful novel.”
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (April): As the title implies, at the centre of this Detroit-set novel is a house; a family home that has seen 13 children pass through it. Set to be vacated by the family matriarch, the house is only worth a small percentage of what is owed on the mortgage and the Turner children must decide what to do. Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, called it “Utterly moving and tough as nails, The Turner House is a love story as immense as the family it describes, and as complicated as the city that made them. A clear-sighted ode to the bonds that make and break us, to resilience across generations, to shared joys and solitary struggles, Flournoy’s debut is as fresh and bold as they come. Commanding and un-putdownable.”
The Mountain Can Wait by Sarah Leipciger (May): From a Canadian born author, a debut literary novel that is being compared to the books of Annie Proulx. From the UK publisher: “Tom Berry has always been a loner, a man content to live out his days in the wilderness with just enough ammunition and kerosene to last out the winter. A single father, he has raised his children with the same quiet and absolute dedication he brings to his forestry business, but now he’s discovering that might not have been enough.” Canadian Publishing magazine Quill and Quire called it a first novel that “displays a powerful facility with language, setting, and character that in future work will undoubtedly make her a master”.
White Crocodile by K.T. Medina (June): Released to positive reviews in the UK last summer, this debut thriller is now poised to capture summer readers on this side of the ocean. Tess Hardy receives a strange phone call from her ex-husband who is working in Cambodia: two weeks later he is dead and Tess travels to Cambodia to find out what happened. The Independent praised the book’s “vulnerable but tenacious heroine” and The Stylist Magazine called it “a page-turning, unsettling thriller”. For fans of Mo Hayder and readers of dark Scandinavian thrillers who are interested in stories set in a different locale.
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler (June): Lots of folks over on Goodreads are saying that this one will be great for fans of The Night Circus. The description makes it sound like the sort of Gothic Fiction readers frequently ask after at the library. Simon, a librarian, receives a package from an antique bookseller — a book of course, but a mysterious one. As he reads through the pages he finds his own family history woven into the tale. When the sister he hasn’t seen in years makes a reappearance, he realizes he must quickly determine if her fate is foretold in the book’s pages.