Summertime has arrived! And with it come long days, high temperatures, and adventure-filled travel. Whether you are on the move or staying still this month, take one of these eleven new-in-paperback titles with you on the ride. They all feature their own takes on an adventurous getaway, whether that means an escape to the dangerous streets of Restoration-era London or the salty-sweet air of Charleston, South Carolina. And the best part? Each of these titles offers something distinctly different: pulse-pounding suspense, poignant family drama, horror to make your skin crawl, and more! So, take a trip through time or space with these books to kick off your summer adventure, whatever it may be.
In this engrossing historical debut, it’s 1843, and Lydia Robinson is devastated after the death of her daughter and mother. Her son’s new tutor, Branwell Brontë—the brother of the three writerly Brontë sisters—is handsome and passionate but has demons of his own as he struggles to make a name for himself. When Branwell and Lydia fall into a passionate love affair and Branwell becomes increasingly unmoored, the threat of discovery—particularly by Branwell’s protective and clever sisters—seems inevitable, and Lydia must find a way to protect her reputation before it’s too late.
“[A] meticulously researched debut novel…In a word? Juicy.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
The scandalous historical love affair between Lydia Robinson and Branwell Brontë, brother to novelists Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, gives voice to the woman who allegedly brought down one of literature’s most famous families.
Yorkshire, 1843: Lydia Robinson has tragically lost her precious young daughter and her mother within the same year. She returns to her bleak home, grief-stricken and unmoored. With her teenage daughters rebelling, her testy mother-in-law scrutinizing her every move, and her marriage grown cold, Lydia is restless and yearning for something more.
All of that changes with the arrival of her son’s tutor, Branwell Brontë, brother of her daughters’ governess, Miss Anne Brontë and those other writerly sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Branwell has his own demons to contend with—including living up to the ideals of his intelligent family—but his presence is a breath of fresh air for Lydia. Handsome, passionate, and uninhibited by social conventions, he’s also twenty-five to her forty-three. A love of poetry, music, and theatre bring mistress and tutor together, and Branwell’s colorful tales of his sisters’ imaginative worlds form the backdrop for seduction.
But their new passion comes with consequences. As Branwell’s inner turmoil rises to the surface, his behavior grows erratic, and whispers of their romantic relationship spout from Lydia’s servants’ lips, reaching all three Brontë sisters. Soon, it falls on Mrs. Robinson to save not just her reputation, but her way of life, before those clever girls reveal all her secrets in their novels. Unfortunately, she might be too late.
The second book in beloved storyteller Philippa Gregory’s Fairmile Series, DARK TIDES brings 1670s London, Venice, and the American frontier to life. James Avery, a wealthy man in favor with King Charles II, arrives at a warehouse in search of the woman he deserted years earlier and the child she begot. Meanwhile, an enigmatic widow also arrives at the warehouse, on a mission to tell the warehouse owner, Alinor, that her son drowned in the Venice Lagoon. Suspicious of both visitors, Alinor must prove the widow a liar and a fraud.
#1 New York Times bestselling author of Tidelands—the “searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages” (People)—returns with an evocative historical novel tracking the rise of the Tidelands family in London, Venice, and New England.
Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy nobleman seeking the lover he deserted twenty-one years earlier. Now James Avery has everything to offer: a fortune, a title, and the favor of the newly restored King Charles II. He believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing he cannot buy—his son and heir.
The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and tells her of the death of Rob—Alinor’s son—drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.
Meanwhile, Alinor’s brother Ned, in faraway New England, is making a life for himself between in the narrowing space between the jarring worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move towards inevitable war. Alinor writes to him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter. But how can she prove it?
Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home.
For years, Esther and Joseph Adler have rented out their home in Atlantic City to vacationers and lived in a small apartment with their two daughters, Fannie and Florence. But the summer of 1934 is different: Fannie is bedridden with a risk pregnancy, Florence is being courted by an anti-Semitic hotel heir, and Joseph has offered to house a mysterious recent émigré from Nazi Germany. When things go awry, Esther must betray those she loves most in order to protect that which she holds dear in this heartbreaking family drama.
“The perfect summer read” (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.
*A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice * One of USA TODAY’s “Best Books of 2020” * One of Good Morning America’s “25 Novels You'll Want to Read This Summer” * One of Parade’s “26 Best Books to Read This Summer”
Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.
Now, Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.
Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.
When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.
“Readers of Emma Straub and Curtis Sittenfeld will devour this richly drawn debut family saga” (Library Journal) that’s based on a true story and is a breathtaking portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.
In the second installation of Signe Pike’s spellbinding historical fantasy series, THE LOST QUEEN, Queen Languoreth must hide her connection to the Old Ways to survive her marriage to the new Christian king in 573 AD Britannia. Meanwhile, she has no idea that her daughter, Angharad, has been lost in the chaos of war and is putting her training to be a Wisdom Keeper to the test to survive the wilds of Scotland. The only one who can save them all may be Languoreth’s warrior brother, Lailoken, but the quest to do so may change him forever.
From the author of The Lost Queen, hailed as “Outlander meets Camelot” (Kirsty Logan, the author of The Gloaming) and “The Mists of Avalon for a new generation” (Linnea Hartsuyker, the author of The Golden Wolf), a “rich, immersive” (Kirkus Reviews) new novel in which a forgotten queen of 6th-century Scotland claims her throne as war looms and her family is scattered to the winds.
AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history abandons its survivors to the wilds of Scotland, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her to follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.
In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the warring groups together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”
“Intrigue, rivalry, and magic among the mists of old Britain—The Forgotten Kingdom is an enchantment of a read” (Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network).
Bestselling suspense author Megan Miranda’s THE GIRL FROM WIDOW HILLS follows Olivia, once known as Arden, as the anniversary of her disappearance after sleepwalking as a child approaches. As she had been missing for days, it was considered a miracle that she was found. Now, as the media spotlight seeks Olivia out again, she finds herself sleepwalking for the first time in years. When she awakes one night to find herself with a man she once knew dead at her feet, she must revisit the traumatic events of her past to discover what is happening in her present.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last House Guest—a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick—comes a “hauntingly atmospheric and gorgeously written page-turner” (Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of A Good Marriage) about a young woman plagued by night terrors after a childhood trauma who wakes one evening to find a corpse at her feet.
Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and help vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking up outside her home. Until late one night, she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.
The girl from Widow Hills is once again at the center of this story in this “compulsive page-turner” (Booklist).
After his wife’s death, Danny both loses his job and becomes a single father to eleven-year-old Will. Desperate to pay rent, Danny buys a ragged panda costume and begins working as a street performer in the park, where he watches Will get bullied every day. When he begins chasing bullies away from Will without revealing his identity, they form an unexpected bond. And while Will hasn’t spoken to Danny in the year since his mother’s death, he begins to open up to his new panda-clad friend in this charming, heart-warming story of overcoming grief.
A “refreshing,” (Kirkus Reviews) unpretentious, and uplifting story about a father and son reconnecting and finding happiness in the most unlikely circumstances—for fans of Nick Hornby and The Rosie Project.
Danny’s life is falling apart. His eleven-year-old son, Will, hasn’t spoken since the death of his mother in a car crash a year earlier, and Danny has just been fired from his construction job. He’s behind on the rent and his nasty landlord is threatening to break his legs if he doesn’t pay soon. Danny needs money, and fast.
After observing street performers in a local park, Danny spends his last few dollars on a tattered panda costume, impulsively deciding to become a dancing bear. While performing one day, Danny spots his son being taunted by a group of older boys. Danny chases them off, and Will opens up for the first time since his mom died, unaware that the man in the panda costume is his father. Afraid of disclosing his true identity, Danny comforts his son. But will Danny lose Will’s trust once he reveals who he is? And will he be able to dance his way out of despair?
Filled with a delightful cast of characters, Bear Necessity is “a moving, sensitive story that is also very funny, and a perfect literary antidote to anxious, troubled times” (Shelf Awareness).
Whether you’re a newcomer to the master storyteller Stephen King or a longtime fan, IF IT BLEEDS is the perfect companion collection to add to your bookshelf. Bringing together King’s most memorable and hair-raising novellas from over the years, this collection is a testament to King’s expertise in the form. Including everything from classics like the titular “If It Bleeds,” a sequel to THE OUTSIDER, to haunting and oft-overlooked stories like “Rat,” this book will keep you up at night (in the best way).
Watch Stephen King read from IF IT BLEEDS!
*#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
From the legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new “exceptionally compelling novellas that reaffirm [King’s] mastery of the form” (The Washington Post).
Readers adore Stephen King’s novels, and his novellas are their own dark treat, briefer but just as impactful and enduring as his longer fiction. Many of his novellas have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand By Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption).
Four brilliant new tales in If It Bleeds are sure to prove as iconic as their predecessors. Once again, King’s remarkable range is on full display. In the title story, reader favorite Holly Gibney (from the Mr. Mercedes trilogy and The Outsider) must face her fears, and possibly another outsider—this time on her own. In “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” an intergenerational friendship has a disturbing afterlife. “The Life of Chuck” explores, beautifully, how each of us contains multitudes. And in “Rat,” a struggling writer must contend with the darker side of ambition.
If these novellas show King’s range, they also prove that certain themes endure. One of King’s great concerns is evil, and in If It Bleeds, there’s plenty of it. There is also evil’s opposite, which in King’s fiction often manifests as friendship. Holly is reminded that friendship is not only life-affirming but can be life-saving. Young Craig befriends Mr. Harrigan, and the sweetness of this late-in-life connection is its own reward.
“Exactly what I wanted to read right now,” said Ruth Franklin in a rave on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. “Phenomenal," said Brian Truitt in USA TODAY. “King still owns the fright business like none other.”
After three years of intensive visits with child psychologist Roan Fours, Saffyre Maddox feels betrayed when Roan says their sessions are at an end. When she begins to drop by his office and home unexpectedly, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about his picture-perfect life, and one night, she goes missing. Meanwhile, Owen Pick’s life is in shambles after he’s accused of sexual misconduct with a student. As Owen falls into a black hole of incel forums online, the Fours—his neighbors—begin to suspect that Owen might be more dangerous than pathetic.
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“I absolutely loved Invisible Girl—Lisa Jewell has a way of combining furiously twisty, utterly gripping plots with wonderfully rich characterization—she has such compassion for her characters, and we feel we know them utterly… A triumph!” —Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone returns with an intricate thriller about a young woman’s disappearance and a group of strangers whose lives intersect in its wake.
Young Saffyre Maddox spent three years under the care of renowned child psychologist Roan Fours. When Dr. Fours decides their sessions should end, Saffyre feels abandoned. She begins looking for ways to connect with him, from waiting outside his office to walking through his neighborhood late at night. She soon learns more than she ever wanted to about Roan and his deceptively perfect family life. On a chilly Valentine’s night, Saffyre will disappear, taking any secrets she has learned with her.
Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.
Owen lives across the street from the Fours family. The Fours have a bad feeling about their neighbor; Owen is a bit creepy and suspect and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night. Could Owen be responsible? What happened to the beautiful missing Saffyre, and does her disappearance truly connect them all?
Evocative, vivid, and unputdownable, Lisa Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).
After sixteen years apart, the Rutledge clan will once again all return home to Charleston, South Carolina, for Cara’s blowout second wedding. But much lies beneath the surface: Cara’s still struggling with past tragedies, her cousin Linnea is anxious about starting a new career and relationship, and Linnea’s parents are attempting to recover from bankruptcy with construction of a new home. But when a devastating diagnosis comes to light, the family will have to pull together to support each other and prove the worth of their family legacy.
This instant New York Times bestseller from the author of The Summer Guests is set on the Isle of Palms and offers “magical depictions of the lowcountry and the charms of her characters” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author) in a breathtaking novel that recounts one family’s summer of forging new beginnings against the enduring beauty and resilience of the natural world.
It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.
Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt. It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.
Like the sea turtles that come ashore annually on these windswept islands, three generations of the Rutledge family experience a season of return, rebirth, and growth. “A heartwarming story of lowcountry love, loyalty, and longstanding friendships” (Booklist), On Ocean Boulevard is Mary Alice Monroe at her very best.
In this fantastical fantasy novel about a world based on Pre-Columbian Americas civilization, everyone in the holy city of Tova is anticipating the winter solstice, which this year will coincide with a rare solar eclipse. Disgraced ship captain Xiala, who has the ability to control the waters around her, has been tasked with transporting Serapio, a man described as harmless, to Tova in time for the solstice. But while Serapio may be scarred and blind, Xiala suspects there’s more to him than meets the eye and must protect herself from whatever lies beneath the surface.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the “engrossing and vibrant” (Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Riot Baby) first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.
A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun
In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial even proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.
Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created a “brilliant world that shows the full panoply of human grace and depravity” (Ken Liu, award-winning author of The Grace of Kings). This epic adventure explores the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in this “absolutely tremendous” (S.A. Chakraborty, nationally bestselling author of The City of Brass) and most original series debut of the decade.
In this critically acclaimed debut novel from poet Ocean Vuong, protagonist Little Dog explores his past in Vietnam to reveal parts of his personal history and present identity to a mother he loves but who may not truly know him. Written as a letter to his mother, who cannot read, Little Dog must confront what it means to live a lifestyle his mother cannot understand and face a future beyond all imagining. ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS is a poetic exploration of life writing and what it means to tell a story that may never be heard.
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