If you're worried about being starved for good fiction once this fall ends—fear not. We're already hearing about plenty of intriguing early 2014 releases. The latest: Anna Quindlen's new novel—her first since 2010's Every Last One—coming from Random House in February.
Still Life with Bread Crumbs is billed as "a love story," and centers on a New York City photographer who hits rock bottom and strikes out for an isolated country cabin. There, with the help of a charismatic younger man, she manages to pick herself back up.
Her main character's self-exile from NYC is likely complete fantasy for Quindlen, who told us in a recent interview that she and her husband couldn't see life outside the Big Apple. “My metabolism and the metabolism of New York City are the same,” she laughed. Overall, the novel sounds like a change of pace for Quindlen, who often writes about more serious issues in her fiction. Are you looking forward to this one?
As her trilogy concludes, Margaret Atwood takes readers through the months after the Waterless Flood. Gene splicing has resulted in new animal species, while humans have become nearly extinct. The characters from Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood are struggling among themselves and others as war threatens. In a world full of danger, MaddAddam is a dystopian story of community and love.
Ten years after Oryx and Crake began the MaddAddam trilogy, readers will finally have answers. With characters revealing truths and coming together as never before, Atwood builds a creative world with MaddAddam.
Be sure to read our full review and watch the book trailer from Knopf Doubleday below.
Are you ready for the end? Will you find answers in MaddAddam?
Depicting a culture that is a mystery to many, The Rathbones takes place among the whaling industry along the New England coast. Mercy Rathbone's father has been missing at sea for seven years, after he went hunting the last whale seen off Connecticut's shore. Mercy lives with her uncle until a violent visitor forces them to flee to the sea. What follows is a journey of discovery as Mercy uncovers the secrets of her family's past.
Janice Clark's Gothic-inspired novel reflects the writing of past greats. Beyond the search for a whale, Clark delivers a tale of mystery that will drag readers deep into the unforgiving sea. For more about the Rathbone family, watch the book trailer below from Knopf, and be sure to read our full review.
Will you be reading The Rathbones? Let us know what you think, readers.
In his debut novel, Kevin Maher offers a story of challenges faced head-on with humor and the strength of family. The Fields depicts the struggles of 14-year-old Jim Finnegan as he navigates family, friends and girls while growing up in Dublin during the 1980s. Coming across situations he never imagined, Jim looks to his family for solutions as he faces the realities of becoming a man.
Dublin native Kevin Maher brings truth to his characters as Jim travels from Dublin to London in search of redemption. To learn more about Kevin Maher and his writing of The Fields, watch the book trailer below from Hachette Book Group and be sure to read our full review.
What do you think, readers? Will you be reading The Fields?
Every author finds their calling—and their material—differently. Sarah Bruni, whose first novel, The Night Gwen Stacy Died, was published just last month, shares her path to publication in a guest blog post. Perhaps it's not surprising that such a fresh and unusual story—which blends the Spider-Man mythology with the story of two unconventional loners—didn't present itself in a normal way!
I didn’t set out to write a novel at all. If I had I known from the start that’s what I was doing, I probably would have approached the task very differently. I began writing a collection of short stories set in Chicago in 2006. In one of them, a lonely young woman working in an Iowa gas station, eager for escape, allowed herself to be kidnapped by a gun-wielding taxi driver who called himself Peter Parker. Making a pact to rob her gas station and drive to Chicago in his stolen taxi, these two outcasts were my collection’s only characters who behaved so oddly: borrowing identities from comic books, acting out on the fringes of society. I didn’t know what to make of them; neither did my readers.
"Writing short fiction, I was always anxious to get into a new character’s headspace each time I finished a story. Working as a novelist taught me a particular kind of patience."
The thing that’s struck me most about the novelist’s task this first time through is the incredible sense of commitment that it requires to spend so much time in a single created world. Writing short fiction, I was always anxious to get into a new character’s headspace each time I finished a story. Working as a novelist taught me a particular kind of patience. It was sometimes a challenge to stay committed to these characters I had first encountered nearly seven years ago, to continue to find new ways to move with them through their experiences. But being a long and imperfect form, a novel allows opportunities for digression and experimentation that are different from those available in shorter fiction. I was surprised by how much my characters were able to change and develop with me as a writer, how their behaviors shifted along with my interests—that’s in some way what made me stick with them for so long.
This morning has revealed the cover for John Grisham's upcoming novel, Sycamore Row. The long-awaited sequel to Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, will be available October 22. In our XTRA newsletter reader poll, Sycamore Row was voted the #1 most anticipated book of the fall—quite a feat, given this great group of upcoming releases.
Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger
by Beth Harbison
St. Martin's • $25.99 • ISBN 9780312599133
On sale July 2013
Ashley Barton was ready to walk down the aisle when the best man broke the news that her fiance had been cheating. Unsure of her next step, she chose escape with the best man—also the groom's brother. Ten years later, Ashley is working in her family's bridal shop after neither relationship worked out. Recent gossip says both brothers will be back in town for a wedding, and emotions collide when they are reunited. What is that little spark she still feels? Is that love, anger—or heartburn from lunch?
Here is a brief excerpt depicting the moments just after Ashley has been told—minutes before her wedding—that her fiance has been cheating on her.
It can't be true, it can't be true, it can't be truuuue, it can't be true.
That beat carried her all the way up to the altar. She was aware of the eyes on her, but she met no one's gaze. Not even Burke's, though she knew—she could just feel—it was questioning.
What's wrong? What's going on?
No clear answer formed in her head. She didn't know what was going on, exactly. She was dazed, being carried on a rickety raft by an ocean of adrenaline.
She didn't know what she was going to do until she was right there by his side.
That's when it all came clear.
She drew her hand back and slapped him with all the power of every unacknowledged hurt he'd ever inflicted on her.
The she turned and ran back down the aisle, out of the church, followed, not by the undoubtedly stunned Burke, but by his best man. His brother.
Spanning world wars and two continents, Letters from Skye introduces Elspeth Dunn, a published poet who receives her first letter of fan mail from an American student named Davey. During the resulting correspondence, love slowly builds, long-distance love during WWI is not easy. Thirty years later, Elspeth disappears after a nightly air raid during WWII, and the newly discovered letters become her daughter’s only clue to finding her.
As summer quickly comes to an end, Jessica Brockmole's beautiful debut novel is a perfect way to slow down and enjoy the final days of summer. Be sure to read the full review of Letters from Skye and check out the book trailer below from Random House.
Will you be spending your last days of summer slowing down with Letters from Skye?
The Rosatis thought they were safe from the war hidden away in their ancient villa, until two soldiers walked into their lives. Twelve years later, the Rosatis are being targeted by a serial killer. Serafina Bettini begins investigating the case, but every step closer to an answer brings back her own hidden past. In a world that is trying to recover from the pain of war, Bohjalian expertly knots the threads of his characters, creating a story of love and revenge.
Chris Bohjalian, New York Times best-selling author of The Sandcastle Girls, delivers another mysterious novel, this one set in the beautiful hills of Tuscany. Our reviewer calls The Light in the Ruins "a brilliant blend of historical fiction and a chilling serial killer story."
Be sure to read the full review here and check out the trailer below from Knopf Doubleday for more:
Will you read The Light in the Ruins? What other mysteries have you read during Private Eye July?
Throughout her murder trial, Noa P. Singleton never spoke a single word in her own defense. Ten years later, Noa is six months away from her execution when she is visited by her victim's mother, who offers to change Noa's sentence to life in prison in exchange for only one thing, but that is the one thing that Noa will never do: tell her story.
In her debut novel, Elizabeth Silver has created an emotionally striking story that will cause readers to reflect on their own decisions. An engrossing rumination on the search for truth, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton will leave readers looking deep within at their own truths and deceptions.
For more about the literary psychological thriller, check out our full review and watch the book trailer below from Headline Books.
See what else is going on during Private Eye July!