Remember back when we said that this fall was one of the biggest ever? Well, that is especially true for fiction. Here are our favorite books from among the dozens going on sale today–click on the title to read our review. Which one are you most looking forward to reading?
Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBois (Dial). This second novel from a promising new talent is loosely based on the story of Amanda Knox. When a young exchange student is murdered, her roommate falls under suspicion. Is Lily Hayes guilty?
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (S&S). The sequel to The Shining is here! And good news: It lives up to the legacy. Dan Torrance's continued adventures involve creepy supernatural crew called the True Knot, who travel around the country trying to find—and kill—children with "the shine."
Local Souls by Allan Gurganus (Liveright). The author of The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All makes a return to fiction with this collection of three linked novellas that are set in Falls, North Carolina, the mythical town he's made his own.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf). The Pulitzer Prize-winning author returns to longform fiction with a second novel that tells the story of two very different brothers.
The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent (Little, Brown). Known for her historicals set in 17th century New England, Kent branches out into Texas territory in her new novel, which stars a down-on-her-luck woman of fortune.
Today’s Debut of the Day pick is The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent. Set during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the story follows the real-life Carrier family, whose sharp-tongued matriarch is accused of consorting with the devil.
A descendent of the Carriers, Kent relates the story quietly, with moments of beauty that give way to horror, then to redemption. The Heretic's Daughter not only chronicles the insanity of the witch trials, but a family learning—maybe too late—to truly value each other.
Read the full review from our September 2008 issue here, and keep a lookout for Kent's next novel, The Outcasts, coming in October.
Kathleen Kent's two historical novels, set in 17th-century New England, have been big hits with BookPage readers. Both were based on the lives of her ancestors—she told us a little more about one of them in a Behind the Book story last fall.
Her upcoming novel is set in her home state of Texas, and it's a big leap forward for the author—history-wise, at least. It's set during the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. Kent described the book on her Facebook page as something "very different in tone [that] confronts a lot of issues that are still with us today."
At the Texas Book Festival last year, she told readers, "I love Texas history. I'd been working on those books for seven years—the first two—and I needed, I wanted to do something different, to take a fresh approach to writing fiction."
The Reconstruction is a fascinating time period that is still relatively underexposed in fiction (Paulette Jiles' Enemy Women being a remarkable exception). We're looking forward to seeing what Kent does with it when her book is released next year.
Her first two books, twisting history with mysticism, traced back through Kent's own heritage, who is a tenth-generation descendant of her heroine Martha Carrier. Check out The Wolves of Andover Behind the Book by Kent, whose research is only second to her lovely prose in crafting a memorable story.
Middle Bayou is reportedly set in 19th-century Texas. It continues with Kent's gift for mixing history with legend (or perhaps superstition) as it includes pirates, buried treasure and murder. Not to mention it features another tough female protagonist, which sounds like Kent at her best.
Are you excited for Kent's next book? What is your favorite so far?
Coming in October from Little, Brown—The Wolves of Andover, the prequel to the 2008 hit The Heretic's Daughter. Dallas novelist Kathleen Kent tells the story of Martha Allen and Thomas Carrier, who in her earlier novel experienced the Salem Witch Trials. Their courtship sounds equally daunting: Thomas, who played a significant role in the English Civil War, finds himself pursued by assassins sent to the New World from London, while Martha navigates the complicated world of a household servant.
Related in BookPage: Our review of The Heretic's Daughter.