It’s my favorite time of the month—new paperbacks day! We have a wide range releasing this April, and while I’m hoping these April showers bring May flowers, I’d also be just fine sitting inside on a rainy day catching up on a few of these page-turners. This month we have fiction based on true events, and true events that read like fiction. There are suspenseful novels and evocative modern-day stories from some truly terrific writers.
When Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, raves about a thriller, I think we all sit up and listen. Danya Kukafka’s debut is tightly wound and she unspools the tension with the skill of a seasoned author. Lucinda Hayes was beloved in her town, and when she is found murdered, the aftermath affects everyone: the boy who secretly loved her, the girl who wanted to be her, and the cop who must find her killer. Each of these characters must confront their own secrets to come to terms with Lucinda’s death and find out what happened.
When 11-year-old Deming’s mother, Polly, a Chinese immigrant, leaves for her job at a nail salon and never comes home, his life is upturned. No one can find a trace of her, and Deming is eventually adopted by well-meaning white professors, moved to a new town, and renamed Daniel. Told in alternating perspectives of mother and son, THE LEAVERS is a heart-wrenching, timely examination of borders and belonging.
Based on a true event, THE STARS ARE FIRE is a stunning, heartwarming novel from beloved author Anita Shreve. Compulsively readable with precise prose that takes you back to the 1940s, this is a story you won’t soon forget. In October 1947, five months pregnant with two young children, Grace Holland wakes in the middle of the night to find the coast of Maine on fire. She pulls her children into the ocean to escape the flames, and by the next day her life is forever changed. Homeless, penniless, and awaiting news of her husband’s fate, Grace must overcome tremendous loss to see an opportunity to rewrite her own story. Sadly, this will be the final novel from Shreve, who recently passed away.
If you’re ready to be transported to the remote mountains of China, this is the book for you. Lisa See is a master at plunging readers into a setting with immersive detail and insight into the culture. For the Akha people in a remote mountain village tradition, ritual and routine are the pillars of life. When Li-yan, a young woman in the village, conceives a child out of wedlock, she leaves the baby near an orphanage in a nearby city. As the child, Haley, is raised by her adoptive family in California, she longs for her mother, just as Li-yan longs for her lost child. A powerful and moving story about the bonds between mother and child, THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE celebrates a little-known region and its culture.
CHEMISTRY is an original outstanding debut from Weike Wang. Our main character finds herself on the cusp of her perfect life: a PhD in chemistry that will make her Chinese parents proud and a proposal from her loving, supportive boyfriend. But instead of excitement for the future that lies ahead, she feels overwhelmed and unsure, and she veers off the course her life was always set on. This is a moving tale of self-discovery and a wise look at the struggle with uncertainty. Insightful, mesmerizing, and, through it all, funny.
This book has it all: a detective tale, a shocking whodunit, a delicious mystery. And it’s all true. KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON is the real story of the members of the Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma. When oil was discovered on Osage land, they flourished, but then one by one the Osage began to be mysteriously killed off. The death toll rose and J. Edgar Hoover, director of the newly minted FBI, took on the case. Together with a former Texas Ranger and an undercover Native American agent they started to uncover a chilling conspiracy.