In an imaginative prelude to Charles Dickens' acclaimed classic, Great Expectations, Scottish novelist Ronald Frame allows readers a glimpse into the life of Catherine Havisham, a character who has chilled readers with her dour and ghostly literary presence for well over a century.
With Havisham, Frame nimbly explores what some could call hallowed literary ground—we first meet Catherine as the precocious child of a wealthy brewer and follow her through her years of growth and social refinement. Yet it is Frame's detailed account of her (infamous) relationship with the roguish Charles Compeyson that makes us truly sorry for saying such ugly things about her in our high school English classes.
Our reviewer Elizabeth Atwood gave high praise: "An excellent example of a present-day writer taking on a classic, Havisham gives the reader food for thought while reviving one of the great characters of Victorian literature."
Sounds like a true book nerd's story to us! Watch the stylish trailer below:
What do you think, readers? Have you picked up a copy of Havisham yet?
Jhumpa Lahiri is back with her second novel, The Lowland. Her debut, The Namesake, earned her plenty of critical praise, and expectations for The Lowland have been quite high. Lahiri has more than met those with this "intricately plotted, melancholy family drama" that has since been shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
The novel follows two brothers, Subhash and Udayan Mitra, as they grow to lead two very different lives and encounter conflict that drives a wedge between them. A story spanning decades and two continents, The Lowland explores the power of family and memory with Lahiri's "elegant, gently understated prose."
Watch the trailer below and learn more about this Top Pick for October!
Have you checked out The Lowland yet?
The first in an anticipated seven book series, The Bone Season is a fast-paced, suspenseful novel set in a divergent future where the struggles of one teen could affect the survival of her world.
It's 2059, and the major British cities are under the control of the Scion. Paige Mahoney works in Scion London, and because she is a clairvoyant, also known as a voyeur, her every breath is an act of treason. Paige is captured and imprisoned by an otherworldly race which abuses the power of voyeurs for their army. In a world unlike our own, Paige will have to learn to control her powers in order to escape.
Be sure to read our full review here and check out the book trailer below from Bloomsbury.
Will you be reading The Bone Season?
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?
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!
Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City, is receiving lots of literary attention for her newest thrilling novel. The Shining Girls puts a deadly spin on time travel, as a killer uses a secret portal to become untraceable after each brutal murder. That all changes when one of his victims survives.
Kirby Mazrachi barely escaped and is now determined to discover her would-be killer. As an intern for the Chicago Sun-Times, Kirby has the means to research her case and she knows that something is not quite right. Will Kirby's determination be enough to catch a murderer with a supernatural plan?
Be sure to read our full review of The Shining Girls and check out the eerie book trailer below by Hachette Book Group.
Stay tuned for more great coverage of thrillers and mysteries throughout the month of July!