Courtney Maum's debut novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You asks a heart-wrenching question: Can you fall back in love with your spouse?
Seven years have passed since Richard Haddon, a well-known British artist, met his stunning French wife, Anne. The passion and fierce devotion the couple shared has faded, and when Anne learns of her husband's affair with an American, she kicks him out of their home, leaving Richard to discover the full weight of his mistakes.
Maum's portrayal of a modern marriage on the rocks is honest and touching, with plenty of wit to spare.
Watch the trailer below:
What do you think, readers?
Josh Malerman infuses his apocalyptic tale, Bird Box, with an element of the "thrilling dread of yesteryear;" the menacing "monster" in his tale is never fully revealed to the reader.
Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Malorie, her present and more recent past unfold, and we discover just why her two four-year-old children—Boy and Girl—have never been outside of their own home. There's something roaming the world, and it drives whoever sees it violently and irreparably mad, even with a single glimpse.
Malerman's creation of a menace that can never be fully perceived—by his characters or his readers—makes this a blood-curdling and incredibly thrilling read unlike anything in recent memory.
If you're feeling brave, then watch the spooky trailer below:
What do you think, readers? Are you interested in picking up a copy of Bird Box?
In an inventive debut that hits shelves today, Laline Paull blends dystopian fiction with a surprisingly sympathetic cast of insect characters in The Bees.
Flora 717 is a worker bee from the lowest caste in her hive, and her sole motto is to accept, obey and serve the Queen. When an environmental crisis strikes, Flora's uniqueness comes in handy as she's assigned to new tasks—much to the dismay of the hive's elite. Soon Flora's new knowledge and experience land her at odds with the Queen herself, and she must decide where her loyalties lie.
Paull's tale certainly dips into the fantastical, but the extreme concepts of the novel, such as the fertility police and the hive mind, are all true to bee behavior, and our reviewer promises, "you will never look at the activity in your flower garden the same way again."
Check out the beautifully designed trailer below:
What do you think of the, ahem, buzz around this debut, readers?
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Laline Paull about The Bees!
Author Justin Go is winning high praise for his "ambitious, sprawling and compelling debut novel," The Steady Running of the Hour.
The adventure begins as Tristan Campbell, young postgrad in California, receives a letter from an English law firm suggesting that he may be next in line to inherit millions. The original beneficiary disappeared in 1924, and now it's up to Tristan to find some solid evidence linking him to this beneficiary—his possible great-grandmother Imogen Soames-Andersson.
Armchair travelers will delight in the fast-paced action as it swings from America to England, France, Sweden, Germany, Iceland and even into the Himalayas, while the time period alternates between the present and pre-WWI England.
With plenty of mystery, romance, adventure and race-against-time excitement, The Steady Running of the Hour has plenty of charm and appeal. Watch as Go breaks down his novel's epic quest in the trailer below:
What do you think, readers? Is this unique debut going on your TBR list?
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?
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!
In M.L. Stedman's debut novel The Light Between Oceans, a husband and wife are faced with a choice: to keep an abandoned baby as their own or to go to the local authorities to find the truth, ruining their chance at parenthood. Intriguingly, the author does not lobby for a right or wrong answer and instead explores the consequences of their life-altering decision.
In a Q&A with BookPage, Stedman explains:
I don’t think there are any “bad guys” in the book, just some poor choices made on the basis of imperfect information or perspective (i.e. the lot of the standard-issue human)... I didn’t want there to be any “safe place” in the book where the reader could relax and say, “I’m completely sure of what the right thing to do is here.”
The book trailer, narrated by Stedman, speaks further about the questions of right and wrong the author is asking:
Will you check out The Light Between Oceans? What would you do in the couple's situation?
I love stories of writers coming out of nowhere—and I mean nowhere—like the author of Pigeon English (HMH). Englishman Stephen Kelman worked jobs from house-cleaner to warehouse operative until he was inspired by news stories about British youth violence to write his debut.
Combining street inspiration with stories from his own childhood, Kelman crafted the tale of Hari Opuku, the narrator of Pigeon English, whose life changes when he and his friend Dean decide to solve a crime.
Our reviewer found the 11-year-old narrator compelling and believable, and this trailer from Bloomsbury gives a glimpse of his voice:
For more on the child narrator, check out our interview with Kelman.
Pigeon English is not only one of our favorite debuts of the season, but it's also on the longlist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Who's grabbing a copy of Kelman's debut?
It's sinister, it's dark -- it's everything we'd hope from a debut thriller. S.J. Watson has crafted "unquestionably a suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller" of Before I Go to Sleep (Harper).
Its premise is familiar yet decidedly unique -- an amnesiac woman begins to spiral into paranoia, as each morning she awakes, she cannot remember her own life. How can she possible figure out the truth about her life, her marriage, anything, when she can't remember any of it?
Sounds intense, and so is this cool trailer:
Be sure to check our our interview with S.J. Watson!
Debut author David Whitehouse's Bed (Scribner) carries some serious weight -- and not just because it tells the story of the bedridden fattest man in the world. It's a mix of intense, eccentric characters and the "merry revelry in the grotesque," as Whitehouse delves into the life story of the huge man to exhume his reasons for choosing a horizontal life.
The following trailer from Simon & Schuster captures the balance of tenderness and despair in Bed:
Bed is one of our top debut novels in our August issue. It comes out today! Will you be picking up a copy of Whitehouse's novel?