If you need more ideas of what to read this month…
check out these new ones and add a few to your summer reading list. I am starting off with The Librarianist by Patrick deWit.
Hello Stranger by Katherine Center (July 11 – Romance/Fiction)
Love isn’t blind, it’s just little blurry.
Sadie Montgomery never saw what was coming . . . Literally! One minute she’s celebrating the biggest achievement of her life—placing as a finalist in the North American Portrait Society competition—the next, she’s lying in a hospital bed diagnosed with a “probably temporary” condition known as face blindness. She can see, but every face she looks at is now a jumbled puzzle of disconnected features. Imagine trying to read a book upside down and in another language. This is Sadie’s new reality with every face she sees.
But, as she struggles to cope, hang on to her artistic dream, work through major family issues, and take care of her beloved dog, Peanut, she falls into—love? Lust? A temporary obsession to distract from the real problems in her life?—with not one man but two very different ones. The timing couldn’t be worse.
If only her life were a little more in focus, Sadie might be able to find her way. But perceiving anything clearly right now seems impossible. Even though there are things we can only find when we aren’t looking. And there are people who show up when we least expect them. And there are always, always other ways of seeing.
The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt (July 4 – Fiction)
From bestselling and award-winning author Patrick deWitt comes the story of Bob Comet, a man who has lived his life through and for literature, unaware that his own experience is a poignant and affecting narrative in itself.
Bob Comet is a retired librarian passing his solitary days surrounded by books and small comforts in a mint-colored house in Portland, Oregon. One morning on his daily walk he encounters a confused elderly woman lost in a market and returns her to the senior center that is her home. Hoping to fill the void he’s known since retiring, he begins volunteering at the center. Here, as a community of strange peers gathers around Bob, and following a happenstance brush with a painful complication from his past, the events of his life and the details of his character are revealed.
Behind Bob Comet’s straight-man facade is the story of an unhappy child’s runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian’s vocation, and of the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Bob’s experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy; he has a talent for locating bizarre and outsize players to welcome onto the stage of his life.
With his inimitable verve, skewed humor, and compassion for the outcast, Patrick deWitt has written a wide-ranging and ambitious document of the introvert’s condition. The Librarianist celebrates the extraordinary in the so-called ordinary life, and depicts beautifully the turbulence that sometimes exists beneath a surface of serenity.
Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena (July 20 – Mystery/Thriller)
Another thrilling domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door
“Lapena is a master of manipulation.” —USA Today
Welcome to Stanhope! A safe neighborhood. A place for families.
William Wooler is a family man, on the surface. But he’s been having an affair, an affair that ended horribly this afternoon at a motel up the road. So when he returns to his house, devastated and angry, to find his difficult nine-year-old daughter, Avery, unexpectedly home from school, William loses his temper.
Hours later, Avery’s family declares her missing.
Suddenly Stanhope doesn’t feel so safe. And William isn’t the only one on his street who’s hiding a lie. As witnesses come forward with information that may or may not be true, Avery’s neighbors become increasingly unhinged.
Who took Avery Wooler?
Nothing will prepare you for the truth.
Goodby Earl by Leesa Cross-Smith (July 3 – Mystery/Thriller)
Four women take fate into their own hands in this big-hearted story of friendship, resilience, and revenge on monstrous men, from the award-winning author of Half-Blown Rose.
Taking inspiration from the infamous, empowering song, Goodbye Earl follows four best friends through two unforgettable summers, fifteen years apart.
In 2004, Rosemarie, Ada, Caroline, and Kasey are in their final days of high school and on the precipice of all the things teenagers look forward to when anything in life seems possible . . . from falling in love, to finding their dream jobs, to becoming who they were meant to be.
In 2019, Kasey has returned to her small Southern hometown of Goldie for the first time since high school—and she still hasn’t told even her closest friends the truth of what really happened that summer after graduation, or what made her leave so abruptly without looking back. Now reunited with her friends in Goldie for a wedding, she’s determined to focus on the simple joy of being together again. But when she notices troubling signs that one of them might be in danger, she is catapulted back to that fateful summer. This time, Kasey refuses to let the worst moments of her past define her; this time, she knows how to protect those she loves at all costs.
Uplifting, sharp-edged, and unapologetic, Goodbye Earl is a funeral for all the “Earls” out there—the abusive men who think they can get away with anything, but are wrong—and a celebration of enduring sisterhood.
Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead (July 18 – Historical Fiction)
Colson Whitehead continues his Harlem saga in a novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory.
It’s 1971. Trash piles up on the streets, crime is at an all-time high, the city is careening towards bankruptcy, and a shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Amidst this collective nervous breakdown furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney tries to keep his head down and his business thriving. His days moving stolen goods around the city are over. It’s strictly the straight-and-narrow for him — until he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May and he decides to hit up his old police contact Munson, fixer extraordinaire. But Munson has his own favors to ask of Carney and staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated – and deadly.
1973. The counter-culture has created a new generation, the old ways are being overthrown, but there is one constant, Pepper, Carney’s endearingly violent partner in crime. It’s getting harder to put together a reliable crew for hijackings, heists, and assorted felonies, so Pepper takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem. He finds himself in a freaky world of Hollywood stars, up-and-coming comedians, and celebrity drug dealers, in addition to the usual cast of hustlers, mobsters, and hit men. These adversaries underestimate the seasoned crook – to their regret.
1976. Harlem is burning, block by block, while the whole country is gearing up for Bicentennial celebrations. Carney is trying to come up with a July 4th ad he can live with. (“Two Hundred Years of Getting Away with It!”), while his wife Elizabeth is campaigning for her childhood friend, the former assistant D.A and rising politician Alexander Oakes. When a fire severely injures one of Carney’s tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it. Our crooked duo have to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent, and the utterly corrupted.
None of This is True by Lisa Jewell (July 20 – Mystery/Thriller)
Lisa Jewell returns with a scintillating new psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.
Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.
A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.
Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.
But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.
Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?
A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh (July 20 – Mystery/Fiction)
They say the camera never lies.
But on this show, you can’t trust anything you see.
Stranded in the Welsh mountains, seven reality show contestants have no idea what they’ve signed up for.
Each of these strangers has a secret. If another player can guess the truth, they won’t just be eliminated – they’ll be exposed live on air. The stakes are higher than they’d ever imagined, and they’re trapped.
The disappearance of a contestant wasn’t supposed to be part of the drama. Detective Ffion Morgan has to put aside what she’s watched on screen, and find out who these people really are – knowing she can’t trust any of them.
And when a murderer strikes, Ffion knows every one of her suspects has an alibi . . . and a secret worth killing for.
Someone Just Like You by Meredith Schorr (July 25 – Contemporary Romance)
Sizzling chemistry and tender friendship develops between two childhood rivals in this hilarious rom-com from the author of As Seen on TV.
Jude Stark is the bane of Molly Blum’s existence. The former neighbors and complete opposites began a rivalry in grade school that continued all the way through high school, consisting of fights, pranks, and generally one‑upping each other—until one over-the-top prank changed everything. A decade later, their siblings have forced them to collaborate on a surprise co‑wedding anniversary celebration for their parents, and soon Molly and Jude are reverting to their old tricks.
But eventually, a reluctant friendship develops…along with an unexpected spark of sexual tension. The two come to discover they have more in common than they thought, including continually dating doppelgängers of each other, raising the question why are they seeking in romantic partners what they claim to hate about each other. They finally give in to their growing feelings, but will that old competitive spirit take over, or will they finally realize being on the same team is a lot more fun?
The Block Party by Jamie Day (July 18 – Mystery/Thriller)
This summer, meet your neighbors.
The residents of the exclusive cul-de-sac on Alton Road are entangled in a web of secrets and scandal utterly unknown to the outside world, and even to each other.
On the night of the annual Summer block party, there has been a murder.
But, who did it and why takes readers back one year earlier, as rivalries and betrayals unfold—discovering that the real danger lies within their own block and nothing—and no one—is ever as it seems.
Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley (July 11 – Historical Fiction)
Acclaimed historical novelist Vanessa Riley is back with another novel based on the life of an extraordinary Black woman from history: Haiti’s Queen Marie-Louise Coidavid, who escaped a coup in Haiti to set up her own royal court in Italy during the Regency era, where she became a popular member of royal European society.
The Queen of Exiles is Marie-Louise Christophe, wife and then widow of Henry I, who ruled over the newly liberated Kingdom of Hayti in the wake of the brutal Haitian Revolution.
In 1810 Louise is crowned queen as her husband begins his reign over the first and only free Black nation in the Western Hemisphere. But despite their newfound freedom, Haitians still struggle under mountains of debt to France and indifference from former allies in Britain and the new United States. Louise desperately tries to steer the country’s political course as King Henry descends into a mire of mental illness.
In 1820, King Henry is overthrown and dies by his own hand. Louise and her daughters manage to flee to Europe with their smuggled jewels. In exile, the resilient Louise redefines her role, recovering the fortune that Henry had lost and establishing herself as an equal to the kings of European nations. With newspapers and gossip tracking their every movement, Louise and her daughters tour Europe like other royals, complete with glittering balls and princes with marriage proposals. As they find their footing–and acceptance–they discover more about themselves, their Blackness, and the opportunities they can grasp in a European and male-dominated world.
Queen of Exiles is the tale of a remarkable Black woman of history–a canny and bold survivor who chooses the fire and ideals of political struggle, and then is forced to rebuild her life on her own terms, forever a queen.
Summer Skies by Jenny Colgan (July 11 – Fiction/Romance)
New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan takes us to the gloriously windswept islands of northern Scotland, where we meet young Morag McGinty, who runs the puddle-jumper flights that serve the islands’ tiny but proudly feisty population.
Morag MacIntyre is a Scottish lass from the remote islands that make up the northernmost reaches of the UK. She’s also a third-generation pilot, the heir apparent to an island plane service she runs with her grandfather. The islands–over 500 dots of windswept land that reach almost to Norway–rely on their one hardworking prop plane to deliver mail, packages, tourists, medicine, and the occasional sheep. As the keeper of this vital lifeline, Morag is used to landing on pale golden beaches and tiny grass airstrips, whether during great storms or on bright endless summer nights. Up in the blue sky, Morag feels at one with the elements.
Down on the ground is a different matter, though. Her grandfather is considering and Morag wonders if she truly wants to spend the rest of her life in the islands. Her boyfriend Hayden, from flight school, wants Morag to move to Dubai with him, where they’ll fly A380s and say goodbye to Scotland’s dark winters.
Morag is on the verge of making a huge life change when an unusually bumpy landing during a storm finds her marooned on Inchborn island. Inchborn is gloriously off-grid, home only to an ancient ruined abbey, a bird-watching station, and a population of one: Gregor, a visiting ornithologist from Glasgow who might have just the right perspective to help Morag pilot her course.
The Joy of Politics by Amy Klobuchar (Memoir)
An intimate and revelatory memoir—on personal challenges, political turmoil, and the state of American democracy—from one of the most effective voices in politics, Amy Klobuchar.
During the past few years, as our country has faced unprecedented challenges, Senator Klobuchar has been in the room where it happens—on the Senate floor for critical votes during the pandemic, at the debate podium during one of the most critical presidential elections in US history, and in the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when insurrectionists stormed the building, interrupting the certification of the electoral college. It was well past midnight when Klobuchar stood beside then-Vice President Pence to officially certify President Biden’s victory.
In her candid, honest, and at times bitingly funny memoir, the pragmatic senator shares insider stories from these historic moments, while also inviting readers into her personal life. An underdog in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, she built surprising early momentum–only to suspend her candidacy in order to support Joe Biden. Within weeks of returning to work in the Senate, the sudden onslaught of COVID-19 hit her family directly. Her husband got very sick and spent a week in the hospital on oxygen and a month in isolation. Klobuchar shares her experience facing a cancer diagnosis while watching her beloved father succumb to Alzheimer’s. She recounts the dramatic narrative of January 6 and how close we came to losing our democracy. And, with her signature humor, she reveals what it’s like to work with some of her more…well, interesting…colleagues.
At the crux of these stories is a narrative of resilience – of personal resilience and the resilience of a nation – and, improbably, joy.
The Woman in the Castello by Kelsey James (July 25 – Historical Fiction)
In this beguiling midcentury historical fiction novel set in 1960s Italy, an ambitious American actress and single mother snags the starring role in a mysterious horror movie shooting on location in a crumbling medieval castle outside Rome…
Readers who enjoy the moody gothic allure of Kate Morton and Silvia Moreno-Garcia or the immersive settings of Lucinda Riley and Fiona Davis will be enthralled by Kelsey James’ spellbinding web of intriguing mystery, family secrets, forbidden love, and midcentury Italian flair.
Rome, 1965: Aspiring actress Silvia Whitford arrives at Rome’s famed Cinecitt� Studios from Los Angeles, ready for her big break and a taste of la dolce vita. Instead, she learns that the movie in which she was cast has been canceled. Desperate for money, Silvia has only one choice: seek out the Italian aunt she has never met.
Gabriella Conti lives in a crumbling castello on the edge of a volcanic lake. Silvia’s mother refuses to explain the rift that drove the sisters apart, but Silvia is fascinated by Gabriella, a once-famous actress who still radiates charisma. And the eerie castle inspires Silvia’s second chance when it becomes the location for a new horror movie, aptly named The Revenge of the Lake Witch–and she lands a starring role.
Silvia immerses herself in the part of an ingenue tormented by the ghost of her beautiful, seductive ancestor. But when Gabriella abruptly vanishes, the movie’s make-believe terrors seep into reality. No one else on set seems to share Silvia’s suspicions. Yet as she delves into Gabriella’s disappearance, she triggers a chain of events that illuminate dark secrets in the past–and a growing menace in the present .
One Summer in Savannah by Tear Shelton Harris (July 4 – Contemporary Fiction)
A compelling debut that glows with bittersweet heart and touching emotion, deeply interrogating questions of family, redemption, and unconditional love in the sweltering summer heat of Savannah, as two people discover what it means to truly forgive.
It’s been eight years since Sara Lancaster left her home in Savannah, Georgia. Eight years since her daughter, Alana, came into this world, following a terrifying sexual assault that left deep emotional wounds Sara would do anything to forget. But when Sara’s father falls ill, she’s forced to return home and face the ghosts of her past.
While caring for her father and running his bookstore, Sara is desperate to protect her curious, outgoing, genius daughter from the Wylers, the family of the man who assaulted her. Sara thinks she can succeed—her attacker is in prison, his identical twin brother, Jacob, left town years ago, and their mother are all unaware Alana exists. But she soon learns that Jacob has also just returned to Savannah to piece together the fragments of his once-great family. And when their two worlds collide—with the type of force Sara explores in her poetry and Jacob in his astrophysics—they are drawn together in unexpected ways.
The Forger of Marselle by Linda Joy Myers (July 11 – Historical Fiction)
It’s 1939, and all across Europe the Nazis are coming for Jews and anti-fascists. The only way to avoid being imprisoned or murdered is to assume a new identity. For that, people are desperate for papers. And for that, the underground needs forgers.
In Paris, Sarah, a young Jewish artist originally from Berlin, along with her music teacher and father figure, Mr. Lieb, meet Cesar, a Spanish Republican who knows well the brutality of fleeing fascism. He soon recognizes Sarah’s gift. She will become the underground’s new forger.
When the war reaches Paris, the trio joins thousands of other refugees in a chaotic exodus south. In Marseille, they’re received by friends, but they’re also now part of a resistance the government is actively hunting. Sarah, now Simone, continues her forgery work in the shadows, expertly creating false papers that will mean the difference between life and a horrifying death for many. When Mr. Lieb is arrested and imprisoned in Les Milles internment camp, Simone, Cesar, and their friends vow to rescue him, enlisting the help of American journalist Varian Fry, known for plotting the escapes of high- profile people like Andre Breton and Marc Chagall. In this enlightening and thrilling story of war, love, and courage, author Linda Joy Myers explores identity, ingenuity, and the power of art to save lives.
The Door to Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn (July 4 – Contemporary Fiction)
The charming international bestseller about an elderly bookseller who delivers his recommendations door-to-door and an unlikely friendship with a nine-year-old girl that changes his life, for fans of The Midnight Library and A Man Called Ove.
The bookseller Carl Christian Kollhoff delivers books to special customers in the evening hours after closing time, walking through the picturesque alleys of the city. These people are almost like friends to him, and he is their most important connection to the world.
When Kollhoff unexpectedly loses his job, it takes the power of books and a nine-year-old girl to make them all find the courage to rebuild their bonds with each other.
A bestselling phenomenon internationally, Carsten Henn’s The Door-to-Door Bookstore is a feel-good novel about books and friendship.
The House Keepers by Alex Hay (July 4 – Historical Fiction)
The night of London’s grandest ball, a bold group of women downstairs launch a daring revenge heist against Mayfair society in this dazzling historical novel about power, gender, and class.
Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running the grandest home in Mayfair. The place is packed with treasures, a glittering symbol of wealth and power, but dark secrets lurk in the shadows.
When Mrs. King is suddenly dismissed from her position, she recruits an eclectic group of women to join her in revenge: A black market queen out to settle her scores. An actress desperate for a magnificent part. A seamstress dreaming of a better life. And Mrs. King’s predecessor, with her own desire for vengeance.
Their plan? On the night of the house’s highly anticipated costume ball—set to be the most illustrious of the year—they will rob it of its every possession, right under the noses of the distinguished guests and their elusive heiress host. But there’s one thing Mrs. King wants even more than money: the truth. And she’ll run any risk to get it…
After all, one should never underestimate the women downstairs.
The Second Chance Store by Lauren Bravo (Contemporary Fiction)
If clothes can get a second chance, why can’t we? Brimming with life, love, and the stories bound up in even the most everyday items, The Second Chance Store is a tale of friendship, loss, and dusting yourself off and starting over—a novel filled with humor and a testament to the enduring power and joy of charity shops.
City dweller Gwen feels like she’s living a secondhand life. She’s thirty-eight, perpetually single, and in dire need of a dentist’s appointment. Her friends are busy procreating in the country, and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around hedge borders and the trash pickup schedule. Above all she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?
Then she’s let go from a job she drifted into a decade ago and never left, and Gwen realizes it’s time to make a change, starting with cleaning out her apartment. In the charity shop where she literally and metaphorically unloads her baggage, she discovers a group of weird and wonderful people devoted to finding a new home for donated items that have lost their use elsewhere. Gwen volunteers there—and finds a new home for herself among her fellow workers while discovering joy in the untold stories of secondhand things.
Now it’s time for Gwen to get out of her life in pause, and to find a way to move forward with bravery and humanity—and more regular dental care.
The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding (Mystery/Thriller)
The bestselling author of The Party returns with a deliciously twisted story of friendship, retribution, and betrayal about a homeless woman fleeing a dangerous past—and the wealthy society wife she saves from drowning, who pulls her into a dark web of secrets and lies.
Lee Gulliver never thought she’d find herself living on the streets—no one ever does—but when her restaurant fails, and she falls deeper into debt, she leaves her old life behind with nothing but her clothes and her Toyota Corolla. In Seattle, she parks in a secluded spot by the beach to lay low and plan her next move—until early one morning, she sees a sobbing woman throw herself into the ocean. Lee hauls the woman back to the surface, but instead of appreciation, she is met with fury. The drowning woman, Hazel, tells her that she wanted to die, that she’s trapped in a toxic, abusive marriage, that she’s a prisoner in her own home. Lee has thwarted her one chance to escape her life.
Out of options, Hazel retreats to her gilded cage, and Lee thinks she’s seen the last of her, until her unexpected return the next morning. Bonded by disparate but difficult circumstances, the women soon strike up a close and unlikely friendship. And then one day, Hazel makes a shocking request: she wants Lee to help her disappear. It’ll be easy, Hazel assures her, but Lee soon learns that nothing is as it seems, and that Hazel may not be the friend Lee thought she was.
Sinners of Starlight City by Anika Scott ( July 18 – Historical Fiction)
From the author of the international bestseller The German Heiress , a gripping historical drama about a woman determined to avenge the crimes against her family, set at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. “The magnificent Anika Scott has written a lush and beautifully rendered novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.” —Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Left Undone Vengeance is in the family, and the family is a bond like no other… It’s the worst year of the Great Depression, and America needs all the hope it can get. The Chicago World’s Fair, a glittery city-within-a-city, becomes a symbol of the good that’s yet to come. But every utopia has a seedy side—and that’s Rosa Mancuso’s world. As the mysterious Madame Mystique she mixes magic with a dose of bare skin burlesque, bringing customers to the home of the Fair’s carnival rides and spectacles. Rosa doesn’t perform for fame, though. She has come from Mussolini’s Italy to America, where she’s plotting her revenge for the murders of her family. The perpetrator will soon arrive at the World’s Fair via a celebrated Italian air fleet, and Rosa is determined to be prepared. But when her estranged cousin, Mina, comes to her desperate for help, with a dangerous mobster close on her heels, Rosa agrees to protect Mina and her new baby, born across the color line. With the clock ticking, Rosa decides the only way to survive is to make vengeance a family affair and prompt everyone to, at last, confront the sins from their pasts. A gripping story of retribution, belonging, and survival, Sinners of Starlight City boldly explores the complexity of identities straddling ethnic lines and asks, who gets to decide who we are and where we belong?
Wanderlust by Elle Everhart (July 4 – Contemporary Romance)
People We Meet on Vacation meets The Unhoneymooners in this sparkling debut romantic comedy about two near strangers—and complete opposites—who win a radio contest for a trip around the world.
Love’s about to take flight .
Feeling stuck at work and tired of London’s dreary weather, magazine writer Dylan Coughlan impulsively rings a radio station one day only to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world. The catch? Her travel partner must be a contact randomly selected on her phone. And of course this stressful game of contact roulette lands on a number listed only as Jack the Posho , an uptight, unbearably posh guy she met on a night out and accidentally ghosted.
The two couldn’t be more different, and as the trip kicks off, Jack seems like he’d sooner fling himself into the sun than have a conversation with Dylan. But more is hinging on this trip than the chance to see the world. For the past two years, Dylan’s been relegated to writing quizzes (and only quizzes) at her lifestyle magazine after an article about her past abortion went viral—and not in the good way. If she’s able to make a series about their trip successful, her overbearing boss will give her a chance at a permanent column. Dylan’s willing to do anything to make the series a hit, even if it means embellishing her and Jack’s relationship to satisfy readers. But as the column’s popularity grows, so does the bond between Dylan and Jack, and Dylan is forced to consider if the one thing she thought she always wanted is worth the price she’ll have to pay to get there.
The Better Half by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans (July 1 – Contemporary Fiction)
After a difficult five years, at age forty-three, Nina Morgan Clarke’s time has finally arrived. With an ex-husband relocated across the country, her father bouncing back after the loss of his beloved wife, and her daughter, Xandra, thriving at boarding school, Nina is stepping into her dream job as a trifecta: a first-generation, Black female head of the storied Royal-Hawkins School. To mark the moment, Nina and her best friend, Marisol, take a long-overdue girls’ trip to celebrate the second half of Nina’s life—which is shaping up to be the best part of her life.
As Nina’s school year gets underway, all seems to be progressing as planned. Before long, wunder-hire Jared Jones, two hundred pounds of Harvard-educated ego, relentlessly pushes Nina to her ethical limits. Soon after, dutiful Xandra accuses one of her teachers of misconduct. And most alarming, the repercussions of her trip with Marisol force Nina into a life-altering choice. Time is of the essence, and Nina must decide if she will embrace a future she never could have predicted.