“Anna was a good wife, mostly.” So opens Jill Alexander Essbaum’s remarkable debut novel, the mesmerizing story of Anna Benz, an American expatriate who has lived in Zurich for nine years with her husband, Bruno—a Swiss banker—and their three children.
Readers looking for another end of days, survivalist tale with the same trite conclusions will be out of luck with British author Claire Fuller’s debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days.
Debut novelist Daniel Torday puts a fresh spin on World War II in The Last Flight of Poxl West, a page-turning literary tale about truth, lies and forgiveness. Eli Goldstein idolizes his uncle Poxl, a Hungarian Jew who served in Britain's Royal Air Force during WWII. The novel alternates between the adult Eli's voice and the pages of Poxl's memoir as the two coming-of-age stories converge.
So much can happen in one day. And when it comes to Eddie Joyce’s first novel, so much is remembered in one day: Small Mercies is the story of the Amedolas, an Irish-Italian family living on Staten Island. The story is set in the current day, but it stretches back through generations with a particular emphasis on September 11, 2001, the day they lost Bobby—he was a firefighter, but he was also a son, brother, father and husband.
When Nica Baker, a gorgeous, popular 16-year-old, is found dead on the campus of her prestigious private high school, her family, friends and community are shocked and devastated. While the case is closed neatly and quickly—an awkward classmate with an unrequited crush and a bad temper—Nica’s older sister Grace has the sick suspicion that the obvious answer is not always the right one. She goes on a quest to find out what really happened to Nica—and ends up discovering far more than she ever wanted to know about her family, her friends and herself.
Kitty Miller is living the dream. OK, so maybe her life isn’t picture-perfect according to society’s standards; it’s 1962, and she’s an unmarried woman. But after a failed long-term relationship, Kitty has come to accept that life isn’t always meant to be as we imagine. Instead of being married with kids, she and her best friend, Frieda, own a bookshop in Denver. They’re not rich—in fact, sometimes it’s hard to make ends meet—but the pair is so close they refer to one another as Sister. It’s a good life.
In Welcome to Braggsville, four Berkeley college friends decide to protest a Civil War re-enactment by staging a “performative intervention.
A victim of a violent post-apartheid attack narrates from beyond the grave Miranda Sherry's unnerving debut novel Black Dog Summer, named for the "black dog" as an ill omen in local folklore.
Love by the Book is a hilarious romp of a read that finds expat Lauren desperate enough to turn to the self-help shelf once her ne'er do well UK boyfriend dumps her. We asked Pimentel a few questions about fact vs. fiction, the bright side of a bad date and more.
New Orleans-based writer Tom Cooper’s The Marauders is a debut novel that does nothing in half measures. It isn’t afraid to take risks, dabble in darkness and skirt the edge of ruin, and this is what makes it such an exciting read.