Whether you’ve read Beatriz Williams’ previous Schuyler sister (no, not the ones from Hamilton) novels or you are reading the Tiny Little Thing author for the first time, you won’t be able to put down this transportive tale. It’s 1960s America: After a brief affair with a powerful politician, Pepper Schuyler is pregnant and in need of money. Too ashamed to ask for assistance from her well-to-do parents, she restores and sells a vintage Mercedes at auction. Pepper sells the car to Annabelle Dommerich, a wealthy widow with a deep attachment to the car—it is the same vehicle she fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Annabelle takes Pepper under her wing, and as the women grow closer, Annabelle shares her own heartbreaking love story. With rich atmospheric descriptions and plenty of action, Along the Infinite Sea delivers a beautiful story of love, loss, and friendship.
As the title suggests, this poignant novel opens with 40-year-old Mia “Rabbit” Hayes entering hospice after a four-year battle with cancer. Right off the bat, it’s clear this book won’t have a “happy ending,” but Irish author Anna McPartlin writes with such genuine wit and with such a delicate touch, that you will find yourself laughing in the face of tragedy. Through Rabbit’s family (especially her tough-as-nails Irish mother, Molly), you are treated to a heartwarming (and heartbreaking) portrait of unconditional love and how we manage to cope with losing someone we love. Yes, you will need a box of tissues on hand, but you will also laugh and smile at this surprisingly uplifting story.
Harriet Woolf wrote six novels before her death. The “Wonder Series” follows the lives of two young star-crossed lovers, Daisy and Weldon. It’s book seven, we’re told, that “should have answered whether the entire series was a tragedy or a love story, whether humanity is basically good or doomed.” As Harriet’s fame grew, she became more reclusive, leaving her millions of fans waiting for that final book, but she died before releasing it. Left to grapple with the expectations of fans, critics, and academics, are Harriet’s daughter, Eleanor, and her granddaughters, Tilton and Ruth. All four women help share the story as the novel unfolds, delivering a powerful story about the sacred, though often complicated, bond between mothers and daughters.
Set at Lark House, a retirement home in San Francisco, The Japanese Lover follows one of its residents, Alma Belasco. Alma has arrived at Lark House under somewhat mysterious circumstances. She is still healthy and sharp as a tack, but she has willfully chosen to leave her mansion and her family’s philanthropic organization behind. At Lark House, she often takes off for day trips in her car, leaving her assistant, Irina, wondering where she goes every day. And who sends her flowers each week? Alma’s past unfolds over flashbacks that take the reader to World War II Poland when, at age 8, Alma is sent by her parents to live with her wealthy American aunt and uncle in San Francisco. There, Alma befriends her cousin Nate and Ichimei Fukado, the son of the family’s gardener. A secret romance blossoms between Alma and Ichimei, but they are torn apart after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Their forbidden love story, which spans decades, enchants.
As Elisabeth Egan’s debut novel opens, Alice Pearse is working three days a week as a books editor at You magazine and spending the rest of her time with her three school-aged children and their aging, Prozac-taking dog. When her husband, Nicholas, loses his job at top New York City law firm, Alice suddenly needs a full-time gig herself. Enter Scroll, a high-tech bookselling venture that aims to “reinvent reading the way Starbucks reinvented coffee.” Making Alice’s struggle to balance her professional and domestic life even more challenging is her father, who is suffering from cancer; her best friend, who owns a bookstore and loathes Alice’s new job; and Nicholas, who has been drinking too much since leaving his firm. Egan, a books editor at Glamour, packs a lot of heart and humor into this “can women have it all?” tale.
If you haven’t read the psychological thriller that took the world by storm last year (it was Amazon’s most popular book of 2015), this is your chance. Now in paperback, Paula Hawkin’s debut book will add a dose of adrenaline to your morning commute. Recently divorced, Rachel is an alcoholic and still rides the train each day to London, where she no longer has a job. On the commuter train, she spies on her ex-husband and his new wife, Anna, a woman he had an affair with during his marriage to Rachel, as well as the seemingly perfect couple who lives next door. When the neighbor, Megan, mysteriously disappears, Rachel thinks she might know why. Problem is, can Rachel, who is prone to blackouts, be trusted? Hawkins brilliantly bounces between the perspectives of Anna, Megan, and Rachel, keeping the reader on the edge of her seat in a Hitchcockian thriller than will keep you guessing until the end. The movie starring Emily Blunt comes out October 7, so get reading!