Great Reading for winter travel…
Whether you are heading out to a sandy beach, to a cabin at the base of snow covered slopes, or cozying up on your well worn couch, there are a ton of great book choices to keep you engrossed this time of year. From tried and true storytellers you know and love to debut authors making a splash right out of the gate, get lost in history, mystery, memoir and romance this winter vacation!
Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor
USA Today best-selling author Jillian Cantor reimagines and expands on the literary classic The Great Gatsby in this atmospheric historical novel with echoes of Big Little Lies, told in three women’s alternating voices.
On a sultry August day in 1922, Jay Gatsby is shot dead in his West Egg swimming pool. To the police, it appears to be an open-and-shut case of murder/suicide when the body of George Wilson, a local mechanic, is found in the woods nearby.
Then a diamond hairpin is discovered in the bushes by the pool, and three women fall under suspicion. Each holds a key that can unlock the truth to the mysterious life and death of this enigmatic millionaire.
Daisy Buchanan once thought she might marry Gatsby – before her family was torn apart by an unspeakable tragedy that sent her into the arms of the philandering Tom Buchanan.
Jordan Baker, Daisy’s best friend, guards a secret that derailed her promising golf career and threatens to ruin her friendship with Daisy as well.
Catherine McCoy, a suffragette, fights for women’s freedom and independence, and especially for her sister, Myrtle Wilson, who’s trapped in a terrible marriage.
Their stories unfold in the years leading up to that fateful summer of 1922, when all three of their lives are on the brink of unraveling. Each woman is pulled deeper into Jay Gatsby’s romantic obsession, with devastating consequences for all of them.
Jillian Cantor revisits the glittering Jazz Age world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, retelling this timeless American classic from the women’s perspective. Beautiful Little Fools is a quintessential tale of money and power, marriage and friendship, love and desire, and ultimately the murder of a man tormented by the past and driven by a destructive longing that can never be fulfilled.
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
From the best-selling, award-winning author of The Buddha in the Attic and When the Emperor Was Divine comes a novel about what happens to a group of obsessed recreational swimmers when a crack appears at the bottom of their local pool—a tour de force of economy, precision, and emotional power.
The swimmers are unknown to one another except through their private routines (slow lane, medium lane, fast lane) and the solace each takes in their morning or afternoon laps. But when a crack appears at the bottom of the pool, they are cast out into an unforgiving world without comfort or relief.
One of these swimmers is Alice, who is slowly losing her memory. For Alice, the pool was a final stand against the darkness of her encroaching dementia. Without the fellowship of other swimmers and the routine of her daily laps she is plunged into dislocation and chaos, swept into memories of her childhood and the Japanese American incarceration camp in which she spent the war. Alice’s estranged daughter, reentering her mother’s life too late, witnesses her stark and devastating decline. Written in spellbinding, incantatory prose, The Swimmers is a searing, intimate story of mothers and daughters, and the sorrows of implacable loss: the most commanding and unforgettable work yet from a modern master.
Fake by Erica Katz
From the author of The Boys’ Club, a gripping novel set in the high-stakes world of art forgery that moves across the globe, from the trendy art galleries of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood to the high-flying international art fairs of Hong Kong.
Can you spot the difference?
Emma Caan is a fake.
She’s a forger, an artist who specializes in 19th-century paintings. But she isn’t a criminal; her copies are commissioned by museums and ultra-wealthy collectors protecting their investments. Emma’s more than mastered a Gauguin brushstroke and a van Gogh wheat field, but her work is sometimes a painful reminder of the artistic dreams she once chased for herself, when she was younger and before her family and her world fell apart.
When oligarch art collector Leonard Sobetsky unexpectedly appears with an invitation, Emma sees a way out – a new job, a new path for herself, and access to the kind of money she needs to support her unstable and recently widowed mother.
But every invitation incurs an obligation…and Emma isn’t prepared for what’s to come. As she’s pulled further into Leonard’s opulent scene, she will discover what’s lurking beneath the glitz and glamour. When she does, the past she’s worked hard to overcome will collide with the present, making her wonder how much of her carefully curated life is just as fake as her forgeries….
Secrets of Our House by Rea Frey
A thrilling domestic drama set against the power of the wilderness, Rea Frey’s Secrets of Our House is a deeply felt novel of long-held secrets and the strength of family.
Desi is the mastermind behind her dream getaway house. Nestled high into the mountains of North Carolina, it is a sleek place, a luxurious place, a dark place.
A place full of secrets.
Secrets about the man she longs for, a man who is not her husband. Secrets about the roots of her family that must never, ever, see the light of day. When Desi and her family arrive from Chicago to spend the summer in the mountains, the seeds for the tumultuous months to follow are planted – her marriage on the rocks, not knowing which way they’ll go. Her 17-year-old daughter, Jules, falling in love for the first time with a local boy – and forging a new path that will take her to uncharted places. And Carter – a man Desi knew long ago, before she expunged him from her life for good.
All hurtling toward events none of them can undo.
Engaging, propulsive, and with a dramatic, heart-pounding final act, Secrets of Our House is a dazzling audiobook, richly drawn, that shows no matter how hard outside forces may shake you, the bonds of family are stronger than the harshest winds.
The Liz Taylor Ring by Brenda Janowitz
“Brenda Janowitz writes with extraordinary humor and heart.” (Jane Green, New York Times best-selling author)
Three siblings. A priceless family ring. One legendary love story.
In 1978, Lizzie Morgan and Ritchie Schneider embark on a whirlwind romance on the bright beaches and glamorous yachts of Long Island. Over the years, their relationship has its share of ups and downs, including a nine-month hiatus that ends with a stunning 11-carat ring – one that looks just like the diamond Richard Burton gifted Liz Taylor after their own separation. Like the famous couple, despite the drama that would unfold throughout the Schneiders’ marriage, the ring would be there as a symbol of their love…until it wasn’t.
Decades later, when the lost ring unexpectedly resurfaces, the Schneiders’ three children gather under one roof for the first time in years, eager to get their hands on this beloved, expensive reminder of their departed parents. But determining the fate of the heirloom is no simple task, unearthing old wounds and heartaches the siblings can’t ignore. And when the ring reveals a secret that challenges everything they thought they knew about their parents’ epic love story, they’ll have to decide whether to move forward as a family or let the ring break them once and for all.
City of the Dead by Jonathan Kellerman
The past comes back to haunt psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis when they investigate a grisly double homicide and uncover an even more unspeakable motive in this riveting thriller from the number one New York Times best-selling master of suspense.
Los Angeles is a city of sunlight, celebrity, and possibility. The LA often experienced by Homicide Lt. Detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Alex Delaware is a city of the dead.
Early one morning, the two of them find themselves in a neighborhood of pretty houses, pretty cars, and pretty people. The scene they encounter is anything but. A naked young man lies dead in the street, the apparent victim of a collision with a moving van hurtling through suburbia in the darkness. But any thoughts of accidental death vanish when a blood trail leads to a nearby home.
Inside, a young woman lies butchered. The identity of the male victim and his role in the horror remain elusive, but that of the woman creates additional questions. And adding to the shock, Alex has met her while working a convoluted child custody case. Cordelia Gannett was a self-styled internet influencer who’d gotten into legal troubles by palming herself off as a psychologist. Even after promising to desist, she’s found a loophole and has continued her online career, aiming to amass clicks and ads by cyber-coaching and cyber-counseling people plagued with relationship issues.
But upon closer examination, Alex and Milo discover that her own relationships are troublesome, including a tortured family history and a dubious personal past. Has that come back to haunt her in the worst way? Is the mystery man out in the street collateral damage, or will he turn out to be the key to solving a grisly double homicide? As the psychologist and the detective explore LA’s meanest streets, they peel back layer after layer of secrets and encounter a savage, psychologically twisted, almost unthinkable motive for violence and bloodshed.
This is classic Delaware: Alex, a man Milo has come to see as irreplaceable, at his most insightful and brilliant.
The Fashion Orphans by Randy Susan Meyers
Two estranged sisters find that forgiveness never goes out of style when they inherit their mother’s vintage jackets, purses… and pearls of wisdom
Estranged half-sisters Gabrielle Winslow and Lulu Quattro have only two things in common: mounds of debt and coils of unresolved enmity toward Bette Bradford, their controlling and imperious recently deceased mother.
Gabrielle, the firstborn, was raised in relative luxury on Manhattan’s rarefied Upper East Side. Now, at fifty-five, her life as a Broadway costume designer married to a heralded Broadway producer has exploded in divorce.
Lulu, who spent half her childhood under the tutelage of her working-class Brooklyn grandparents, is a grieving widow at forty-eight. With her two sons grown, her life feels reduced to her work at the Ditmas Park bakery owned by her late husband’s family.
The two sisters arrive for the reading of their mother’s will, expecting to divide a sizable inheritance, pay off their debts, and then again turn their backs on each other.
But to their shock, what they have been left is their mother’s secret walk-in closet jammed with high-end current and vintage designer clothes and accessories – most from Chanel.
Contemplating the scale of their mother’s self-indulgence, the sisters can’t help but wonder if Lauren Weisberger had it wrong: because it seems, in fact, that the devil wore Chanel. But as they being to explore their mother’s collection, meet and fall in love with her group of warm, wonderful friends, and magically find inspiring messages tucked away in her treasures – it seems as though their mother is advising Lulu and Gabrielle from the beyond – helping them rediscover themselves and restore their relationship with each other.
Joan is Okay by Weike Wang
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • Awitty, moving, piercingly insightful new novel about a marvelously complicated woman who can’t be anyone but herself, from the award-winning author of Chemistry
“A deeply felt portrait . . . With gimlet-eyed observation laced with darkly biting wit, Weike Wang masterfully probes the existential uncertainty of being other in America.”—Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Esquire, BuzzFeed, Bustle, Town & Country, Ms. magazine, The Millions, Electric Lit, Lit Hub
Joan is a thirtysomething ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital. The daughter of Chinese parents who came to the United States to secure the American dream for their children, Joan is intensely devoted to her work, happily solitary, successful. She does look up sometimes and wonder where her true roots lie: at the hospital, where her white coat makes her feel needed, or with her family, who try to shape her life by their own cultural and social expectations.
Once Joan and her brother, Fang, were established in their careers, her parents moved back to China, hoping to spend the rest of their lives in their homeland. But when Joan’s father suddenly dies and her mother returns to America to reconnect with her children, a series of events sends Joan spiraling out of her comfort zone just as her hospital, her city, and the world are forced to reckon with a health crisis more devastating than anyone could have imagined.
Deceptively spare yet quietly powerful, laced with sharp humor, Joan Is Okay touches on matters that feel deeply resonant: being Chinese-American right now; working in medicine at a high-stakes time; finding one’s voice within a dominant culture; being a woman in a male-dominated workplace; and staying independent within a tight-knit family. But above all, it’s a portrait of one remarkable woman so surprising that you can’t get her out of your head.
To Paradise by Handa Yanagihara
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the author of the classic A Little Life—a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.
In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist’s damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him—and solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearances.
These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly paradise, and the gradual realization that it can’t exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.
To Paradise is a findesiecle novel of marvelous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius. The great power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love—partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens—and the pain that ensues when we cannot.
The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis
Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, returns with a tantalizing novel about the secrets, betrayal, and murder within one of New York City’s most impressive Gilded Age mansions.
Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Carter’s life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists’ models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate—the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion—a building that, ironically, bears her own visage—Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family—pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.
Nearly fifty years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career—and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home—within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City’s most impressive museums. But when she—along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua—is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica’s financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.
I Came All This Way to Meet You by Jami Attenberg
A Most Anticipated Title from: USA Today * The Guardian * Alma * Fodor’s * AV Club * Vogue * KatieCouric.com * BookRiot * Lithub * BuzzFeed
From New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg comes a dazzling memoir about unlocking and embracing her creativity—and how it saved her life.
In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Jami Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and the “poet laureate of difficult families” (Kirkus Reviews)—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it?
As the daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg was drawn to a life on the road. Frustrated by quotidian jobs and hungry for inspiration and fresh experiences, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually on travels around the globe. Through it all she grapples with questions of mortality, otherworldliness, and what we leave behind.
It is during these adventures that she begins to reflect on the experiences of her youth—the trauma, the challenges, the risks she has taken. Driving across America on self-funded book tours, sometimes crashing on couches when she was broke, she keeps writing: in researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, she grows as an artist and increasingly learns to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself.
Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.
Small World by Jonathan Evison
A New York Times Editor’s Choice!
One of the LA Times’s 10 Books to Add to Your Reading List
One of Book Culture’s Most Anticipated Reads
“A bighearted, widescreen American tale.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Masterpiece…the quintessential Great American Novel.”—Booklist (starred)
“A vivid mosaic.”—BookPage (starred)
Jonathan Evison’s Small World is an epic novel for now. Set against such iconic backdrops as the California gold rush, the development of the transcontinental railroad, and a speeding train of modern-day strangers forced together by fate, it is a grand entertainment that asks big questions.
The characters of Small World connect in the most intriguing and meaningful ways, winning, breaking, and winning our hearts again. In exploring the passengers’ lives and those of their ancestors more than a century before, Small World chronicles 170 years of American nation-building from numerous points of view across place and time. And it does it with a fullhearted, full-throttle pace that asks on the most human, intimate scale whether it is truly possible to meet, and survive, the choices posed—and forced—by the age.
The result is a historical epic with a Dickensian flair, a grand entertainment that asks whether our nation has made good on its promises. It dazzles as its characters come to connect with one another through time. And it hits home as it probes at our country’s injustices, big and small, straight through to its deeply satisfying final words.
Somebody’s Home by Kaira Rouda
A quiet neighborhood. A lovely home. A promising new beginning. In a heartbeat everything can change in this propulsive novel of suspense by USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda.
Julie Jones has left her suffocating marriage. With her teenage daughter, Jess, she’s starting over. Their new house in Oceanside is the first step toward a new life. Even if it does come with the unexpected. The previous owners, a pastor and his wife, have left something―or rather someone―behind…
Tom Dean has a bitter hatred for the father who considers him a lost cause, and for the woman who’s moved into their family’s house. The only home he’s ever known. He’s never going to leave. She thinks he’ll be gone in three days, but Tom has the perfect plan.
For a newly single mother and her daughter, a fresh start is the beginning of a nightmare. Before the weekend is over, somebody is going to get exactly what they deserve.
What Might Have Been by Holly Miller
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird meets This Time Next Year in a sliding-doors style romance and coming-to-self story about fate, chance, and the choices we make.
What if “meant to be” happened twice?
Lucy is at a crossroads. The same night she quits her thankless job she meets Caleb, a local photographer in her seaside town, and has a run-in with Max—the once love of her life. As Lucy decides the right path forward—finally pursue her dream of becoming a writer, or move to London and revive her career—her choice will change her life in unimaginable ways.
Stay. After a decade of trying to run from her dream, Lucy is finally facing her fears and putting pen to page. With her budding romance with handsome, artistic Caleb, she has more inspiration now than ever. But can Lucy and Caleb open themselves up after their past heartbreaks? And will their different paths take them to the same place?
Go. Lucy can’t believe her luck when a room in her best friend’s London house share opens up and she lands a job at the prestigious Supernova. It gives her the courage to face Max, who’s serendipitous encounter still has her reeling, and ask what really happened almost a decade ago? But does she really want to know, when being together feels like fate?
In concurrent storylines that track what would have happened if Lucy chose to Stay or Go, What Might Have Been is a sweeping story that poses the questions: is it destiny or chance that decides who we are meant to be, and who we are meant to love? And is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK of 2022 by TIME, HipLatina, Parade, The Rumpus, Angela Lashbrook, Vogue.com, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bustle, Kirkus, Book Riot, Popsugar, Barnes & Noble, The Stacks, Russh, Boston Globe, and more!
“Don’t underestimate this new novelist. She’s jump-starting the year with a smart romantic comedy that lures us in with laughter and keeps us hooked with a fantastically engaging story.” ―The Washington Post
A blazing talent debuts with the tale of a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots―allin the wake of Hurricane Maria
It’s 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo, are boldfaced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn, while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers.
Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the 1 percent but she can’t seem to find her own. . . until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long-held family secrets.
Olga and Prieto’s mother, Blanca, a Young Lord turned radical, abandoned her children to advance a militant political cause, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Now, with the winds of hurricane season, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives.
Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, Xochitl Gonzalez’s Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream―all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.
No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib
From the author of The Girls at 17 Swann Street comes a “masterful story of tragedy and redemption” (Hala Alyan, author of Salt Houses) “written in soul-searing prose” (BookPage, starred review) about a young Syrian couple in the throes of new love on the cusp of their bright future when a travel ban rips them apart on the eve of their son’s premature birth.
Sama and Hadi are a young Syrian couple in love, dreaming of their future in the country that brought them together. Sama came to Boston years before on a prestigious Harvard scholarship; Hadi landed there as a sponsored refugee from a bloody civil war. Now, they are giddily awaiting the birth of their son, a boy whose native language will be freedom and belonging.
When Sama is five months pregnant, Hadi’s father dies suddenly, and Hadi decides to fly back to Jordan for the funeral. He leaves America, promising his wife he’ll be gone only for a few days. On the date of his return, Sama waits for him at the arrivals gate, but he doesn’t appear. As the minutes and then hours pass, she becomes increasingly alarmed, unaware that Hadi has been stopped by US Customs and Border Protection, detained for questioning, and deported.
Achingly intimate yet poignantly universal, No Land to Light On is “a tense, moving novel about the meaning of home, the risks of exile, the power of nations, and the power of love” (Kirkus Reviews).
Wahala by Nikki May
“Contemporary female friendship goes glam in this lively debut novel with remarkable depth.” — Washington Post
“Great fun and extremely smart.” — npr.org
NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2022 BY Vogue * Marie Claire * Glamour * Essence * Oprah Daily * Entertainment Weekly * Bustle * PopSugar * CrimeReads * and more!
An incisive and exhilarating debut novel following three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the lethally glamorous fourth woman who infiltrates their group—the most unforgettable girls since Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha.
Ronke wants happily ever after and 2.2. kids. She’s dating Kayode and wants him to be “the one” (perfect, like her dead father). Her friends think he’s just another in a long line of dodgy Nigerian boyfriends.
Boo has everything Ronke wants—a kind husband, gorgeous child. But she’s frustrated, unfulfilled, plagued by guilt, and desperate to remember who she used to be.
Simi is the golden one with the perfect lifestyle. No one knows she’s crippled by impostor syndrome and tempted to pack it all in each time her boss mentions her “urban vibe.” Her husband thinks they’re trying for a baby. She’s not.
When the high-flying, charismatic Isobel explodes into the group, it seems at first she’s bringing out the best in each woman. (She gets Simi an interview in Shanghai! Goes jogging with Boo!) But the more Isobel intervenes, the more chaos she sows, and Ronke, Simi, and Boo’s close friendship begins to crack.
A sharp, modern take on friendship, ambition, culture, and betrayal, Wahala (trouble) is an unforgettable novel from a brilliant new voice.
The Maid by Nita Prose
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • “A twist-and-turn whodunit, set in a five-star hotel, from the perspective of the maid who finds the body. Think Clue. Think page-turner.”—Glamour
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Glamour, W magazine, PopSugar, The Rumpus, Book Riot, CrimeReads, She Reads
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY • In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past—a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake.
“At turns delightfully juicy and then stunningly wise, Black Cake is a winner.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Glamour, Bustle, Marie Claire, Essence, Parade, Business Insider, Town & Country, Vulture, PopSugar, W magazine, BookPage
In development as a Hulu original series produced by Marissa Jo Cerar, Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Films), and Kapital Entertainment
We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child, challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage, and themselves.
Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?
Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.
The Violin Conspiracy by Bendan Slocumb
GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK, FEBRUARY 2022! A riveting page-turner about a Black classical musician’s desperate quest to recover his lost family heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world.
“[A] galvanizing blend of thriller, coming-of-age drama, and probing portrait of racism … This flawless debut will do for classical music what The Queen’s Gambit did for chess.” —Booklist
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022: A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Mystery/Thriller for Spring 2022 * Goodreads: Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2022 * Book Riot: The 15 Best New Mystery Books of 2022 * Medium: The Most Exciting Book Releases of 2022 * Pop Sugar: 35 Must-Read Thrillers and Mystery Books to Keep You Chasing Clues in 2022 * The Millions: Most Anticipated Books of 2022
Film rights acquired by Sony, with The Hate U Give director George Tillman, Jr. attached
Growing up Black in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian’s life is already mapped out. If he’s lucky, he’ll get a job at the hospital cafeteria. If he’s extra lucky, he’ll earn more than minimum wage. But Ray has a gift and a dream—he’s determined to become a world-class professional violinist, and nothing will stand in his way. Not his mother, who wants him to stop making such a racket; not the fact that he can’t afford a violin suitable to his talents; not even the racism inherent in the world of classical music.
When he discovers that his great-great-grandfather’s beat-up old fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, all his dreams suddenly seem within reach. Together, Ray and his violin take the world by storm. But on the eve of the renowned and cutthroat Tchaikovsky Competition—the Olympics of classical music—the violin is stolen, a ransom note for five million dollars left in its place. Ray will have to piece together the clues to recover his treasured Strad … before it’s too late.
With the descendants of the man who once enslaved Ray’s great-great-grandfather asserting that the instrument is rightfully theirs, and with his family staking their own claim, Ray doesn’t know who he can trust—or whether he will ever see his beloved violin again.
The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang
One of Literary Hub’s and The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of 2022
A Goodreads Readers’ Most Anticipated Mystery of 2022
An acclaimed storyteller returns with “a gorgeous and gripping literary mystery” that explores “family, betrayal, passion, race, culture and the American Dream” (Jean Kwok).
The residents of Haven, Wisconsin, have dined on the Fine Chao restaurant’s delicious Americanized Chinese food for thirty-five years, content to ignore any unsavory whispers about the family owners. Whether or not Big Leo Chao is honest, or his wife, Winnie, is happy, their food tastes good and their three sons earned scholarships to respectable colleges. But when the brothers reunite in Haven, the Chao family’s secrets and simmering resentments erupt at last.
Before long, brash, charismatic, and tyrannical patriarch Leo is found dead―presumed murdered―and his sons find they’ve drawn the exacting gaze of the entire town. The ensuing trial brings to light potential motives for all three brothers: Dagou, the restaurant’s reckless head chef; Ming, financially successful but personally tortured; and the youngest, gentle but lost college student James. As the spotlight on the brothers tightens―and the family dog meets an unexpected fate―Dagou, Ming, and James must reckon with the legacy of their father’s outsized appetites and their own future survival.
Brimming with heartbreak, comedy, and suspense, The Family Chaooffers a kaleidoscopic, highly entertaining portrait of a Chinese American family grappling with the dark undercurrents of a seemingly pleasant small town.
What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris
A Marie Claire Book Club pick
Named A Most Aniticipated Book of 2022 by *Marie Claire* Buzzfeed*Essence* Bookriot* Bookbub and more!
“Harris rewrites the coming-of-age story with Black girlhood at the center.”
—New York Times Book Review
In the vein of Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, a coming-of-age novel told by almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB), as she and her sister try to make sense of their new life with their estranged grandfather in the wake of their father’s death and their mother’s disappearance.
An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through KB’s eyes, What the Fireflies Knew follows KB after her father dies of an overdose and the debts incurred from his addiction cause the loss of the family home in Detroit. Soon thereafter, KB and her teenage sister, Nia, are sent by their overwhelmed mother to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing, Michigan. Over the course of a single sweltering summer, KB attempts to navigate a world that has turned upside down.
Her father has been labeled a fiend. Her mother’s smile no longer reaches her eyes. Her sister, once her best friend, now feels like a stranger. Her grandfather is grumpy and silent. The white kids who live across the street are friendly, but only sometimes. And they’re all keeping secrets. As KB vacillates between resentment, abandonment, and loneliness, she is forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice.
A dazzling and moving novel about family, identity, and race, What the Fireflies Knew poignantly reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up–the realization that loved ones can be flawed and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.