As the news gets worse and the days stay cold, March can begin to feel like a long slog rather than the start of spring. Get your mind off what’s got you down by escaping into one of these ten page-turners, all new to paperback this March. Whether you are in the mood for something light and rollicking, dark and shocking, or sweeping and inspirational, all ten of these titles offer unforgettable characters and thought-provoking premises. What’s more, each offers an insightful investigation into the darkness that undergirds our everyday realities—and the unexpected acts of courage, resistance, and resourcefulness that may allow us to survive.
New in Paperback: 10 March Releases to Lift Your Spirits
It is 1939 in Paris, and librarian Odile’s idyllic life is destroyed when the Nazis invade. Odile becomes part of the Resistance, determined to defend the library and the city she loves. But when the war ends, she faces a betrayal that destroys the life she’s built all over again. Decades later, in 1983, lonely teen Lily, living in Montana, strikes up a friendship with her mysterious elderly neighbor. Connecting over their shared love of languages, they discover they have much more in common than they ever thought possible in this heart-rending tale of loss and forgiveness.
An instant New York Times, Washington Post, and USA TODAY bestseller—based on the true story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War II—The Paris Library is a moving and unforgettable “ode to the importance of libraries, books, and the human connections we find within both” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).
Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet seems to have the perfect life with her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into the city, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.
Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.
“A love letter to Paris, the power of books, and the beauty of intergenerational friendship” (Booklist), The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest places.
THE MISSING TREASURES OF AMY ASHTON is a bighearted, gentle book to soothe the soul. Amy Ashton, who once dreamed of being an artist, has been through an unthinkable tragedy. Since then, her house has become crammed with beautiful objects that she collects obsessively. As the days go by, she grows more convinced that surrounding herself with things instead of people will keep her safe. But when two young boys move in next door, Amy will have a hard time keeping her heart—and her door—closed for long.
For fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Evvie Drake Starts Over comes a “heartwarming and tender…good-humored and uplifting” (BookPage) debut about a reclusive artist whose collection has gotten out of control—but whose unexpected friendship with her new neighbors might be just what she needs to start over.
Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist and creating beautiful objects. But now she simply collects them. Aquamarine bottles, bright yellow crockery, deep Tuscan red pots (and the odd slow cooker) take up every available inch of space in her house. Having suffered a terrible tragedy—one she staunchly refuses to let herself think about, thank you very much—she’s decided that it’s easier to love things instead of people.
But when a new family moves in next door with two young boys, one of whom has a collection of his own, Amy’s carefully managed life starts to unravel, prompting her to question why she began to close herself off in the first place. As Amy embarks on a journey back into her past, she has to contend with nosy neighbors, a meddlesome government worker, the inept police, and a little boy whose love of bulldozers might just let Amy open up her heart—and her home—again.
Quirky and charming, big-hearted and moving, The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton proves that it’s never too late to let go of the things that don’t matter...and welcome the people who do.
Three women, three time periods, one chateau. In 1774, noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s revolutionary political partner, until the threat of the guillotine forces her to face an impossible choice. In 1914, New York socialite Beatrice Chanler is determined to convince Americans to join the war after witnessing France’s devastation. And in 1940, teacher and artist Marthe Simone wants to remove herself from the war, hiding in her childhood castle, until a discovery challenges her isolationism. THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE is a sweeping epic exploring unexpected bravery and love.
In this stunning and provocative debut novel, Opal is an up-and-coming musician in Detroit. When famed singer/songwriter Neville Charles meets her at an amateur night, the two agree to come together to make world-changing rock music. But one night, Opal’s daring statement at a concert sets off a series of catastrophic events. Years later, it’s 2016 and music journalist Sunny wants to interview Opal. But the deeper she digs, the more darkness she uncovers about the beloved music world she thought she knew.
An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2021 BY BARACK OBAMA * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * ESQUIRE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * GOODREADS * THE MILLIONS * READER’S DIGEST * PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER * EERIE READER * PUBLIC RADIO TULSA * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY * KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.
In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.
Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.
Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.
1906, San Francisco. Vera Johnson is the clever and sly teenage, illegitimate daughter of the city’s most infamous bordello owner. Her life has always been split between the dark underbelly of her mother’s profession and the violent hardships of the family who is paid to raise her. But after the great quake wrecks the city and transforms it into the underworld of her nightmares, Vera, her innocent sister, and her onetime rival team up to forge a new world from disaster in this cinematic tale of reinvention.
New York Times bestselling author Carol Edgarian delivers “an all-encompassing and enthralling” (Oprah Daily) novel featuring an unforgettable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe, and her quest for love and reinvention.
Meet Vera Johnson, fifteen-year-old illegitimate daughter of Rose, notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s most legendary bordello. Vera has grown up straddling two worlds—the madam’s alluring sphere, replete with tickets to the opera, surly henchmen, and scant morality, and the quiet domestic life of the family paid to raise her.
On the morning of the great quake, Vera’s worlds collide. As the city burns and looters vie with the injured, orphaned, and starving, Vera and her guileless sister, Pie, are cast adrift. Disregarding societal norms and prejudices, Vera begins to imagine a new kind of life. She collaborates with Tan, her former rival, and forges an unlikely family of survivors, navigating through the disaster together.
“A character-driven novel about family, power, and loyalty, (San Francisco Chronicle), Vera brings to life legendary characters—tenor Enrico Caruso, indicted mayor Eugene Schmitz and boss Abe Ruef, tabloid celebrity Alma Spreckels. This “brilliantly conceived and beautifully realized” (Booklist, starred review) tale of improbable outcomes and alliances takes hold from the first page, with remarkable scenes of devastation, renewal, and joy. Vera celebrates the audacious fortitude of its young heroine, who discovers an unexpected strength in unprecedented times.
In this dark and twisty international bestseller, one woman is determined to find out who wants her dead. Jennifer is shocked to discover that she has terminal cancer—and only six weeks to live. After finding out that someone attempted to poison her a year earlier, she becomes obsessed with tracking down the culprit, convinced it is likely her soon-to-be ex-husband. But her three adult daughters, all reacting in different ways to their mother’s diagnosis, are reluctant to believe their father is guilty . . . but suspiciously eager to help with Jennifer’s investigation.
In this international bestseller, a “twisty tale of secrets and lies that reverberate across generations of a dysfunctional family” (Michele Campbell, author of The Wife Who Knew Too Much), a woman diagnosed with cancer sets out to discover if someone poisoned her before her time is up.
Jennifer Barnes never expected the shocking news she received at a routine doctor’s appointment: she has a terminal brain tumor—and only six weeks left to live.
While stunned by the diagnosis, the forty-eight-year-old mother decides to spend what little time she has left with her family—her adult triplets and twin grandsons—close by her side. But when she realizes she was possibly poisoned a year earlier, she’s determined to discover who might have tried to get rid of her before she’s gone for good.
Separated from her husband and with a contentious divorce in progress, Jennifer focuses her suspicions on her soon-to-be ex. Meanwhile, her daughters are each processing the news differently. Calm medical student Emily is there for whatever Jennifer needs. Moody scientist Aline, who keeps her mother at arm’s length, nonetheless agrees to help with the investigation. Even imprudent Miranda, who has recently had to move back home, is being unusually solicitous.
But with her daughters doubting her campaign against their father, Jennifer can’t help but wonder if the poisoning is all in her head—or if there’s someone else who wanted her dead. “Part whodunnit, part family drama, this textured and utterly spellbinding story unravels in surprising ways you won’t see coming” (Christina McDonald, USA TODAY bestselling author).
Kevin Gogarty’s eighty-three-year-old mother can’t stop shoplifting. Which is why Kevin decides he needs to hire a caretaker, especially since Kevin himself has his hands full with his troublesome teenage daughter while his wife is away for work (again). At first, Sylvia, their upbeat home aide, seems sent from heaven. That is, until she invites a whole new catastrophe into the Gogarty house. A charming, exuberant debut, GOOD EGGS is a unique family redemption tale full of laughs.
When a home aide arrives to assist a rambunctious family at a crossroads, simmering tensions boil over in this “witty, exuberant debut” (People) that is an “absolute delight from start to finish” (Sarah Haywood, New York Times bestselling author)—perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Evvie Drake Starts Over.
When Kevin Gogarty’s eighty-three-year-old mother is caught shoplifting yet again, he has no choice but to hire a caretaker to keep an eye on her. Kevin, recently unemployed, is already at his wits’ end tending to a full house while his wife travels to exotic locales for work, leaving him solo with his sulky, misbehaved teenaged daughter. Into the Gogarty fray steps Sylvia, the upbeat home aide, who appears at first to be their saving grace—until she catapults the Gogarty clan into their greatest crisis yet.
“Bracing, hilarious, warm” (Judy Blundell, New York Times bestselling author), Good Eggs is an irresistibly charming study in self-determination; the notion that it’s never too late to start living; and the unique redemption that family, despite its maddening flaws, can offer.
In this haunting and claustrophobic thriller, Dahlia has been trying to escape her isolated, true crime–obsessed family ever since the mysterious disappearance of her twin, Andy, when they were sixteen. But when she returns home for her father’s funeral only to find Andy’s body—with his skull split open by an ax—already buried in the family plot, Dahlia realizes she won’t be able to get away so easily. As her mother and siblings all begin to act in strange ways, Dahlia must discover what happened to her twin and uncover the true darkness at the root of her eccentric family.
“Exceedingly entertaining.” —The New York Times
“Umbrella Academy meets Tana French. Dark, claustrophobic, and beautifully written.” —Andrea Bartz, author of We Were Never Here
From the author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door, a family obsessed with true crime gathers to bury their patriarch—only to find another body already in his grave.
At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse is haunted by her upbringing. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she is unable to move beyond the disappearance of her twin brother, Andy, when they were sixteen.
After several years away and following her father’s death, Dahlia returns to the house, where the family makes a gruesome discovery: buried in their father’s plot is another body—Andy’s, his skull split open with an ax.
Dahlia is quick to blame Andy’s murder on the serial killer who terrorized the island for decades, while the rest of her family reacts to the revelation in unsettling ways. Her brother, Charlie, pours his energy into creating a family memorial museum, highlighting their research into the lives of famous murder victims; her sister, Tate, forges ahead with her popular dioramas portraying crime scenes; and their mother affects a cheerfully domestic facade, becoming unrecognizable as the woman who performed murder reenactments for her children. As Dahlia grapples with her own grief and horror, she realizes that her eccentric family, and the mansion itself, may hold the answers to what happened to her twin.
Within the exclusive Green Book—a diary kept by the social secretary of Edith Roosevelt’s niece—are the names of the most aristocratic and influential families in American history. Over the generations, these bloodlines have become inseparable from the social fabric of Washington, DC. But when one of these families is held hostage and murdered in their own home, the world of power and privilege they’ve all resided in is threatened. A sharp and satirical page-turner, THE CAVE DWELLERS is akin to THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES-turned-thriller.
This “delicious take on the one percent in our nation’s capital” (Town & Country) and clever combination of The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Nest explores what Washington, DC’s high society members do behind the closed doors of their stately homes.
They are the families considered worthy of a listing in the exclusive Green Book—a discriminative diary created by the niece of Edith Roosevelt’s social secretary. Their aristocratic bloodlines are woven into the very fabric of Washington—generation after generation. Their old money and manner lurk through the cobblestone streets of Georgetown, Kalorama, and Capitol Hill. They only socialize within their inner circle, turning a blind eye to those who come and go on the political merry-go-round. These parents and their children live in gilded existences of power and privilege.
But what they have failed to understand is that the world is changing. And when the family of one of their own is held hostage and brutally murdered, everything about their legacy is called into question in this unputdownable novel that “combines social satire with moral outrage to offer a masterfully crafted, absorbing read that can simply entertain on one level and provoke reasoned discourse on another” (Booklist, starred review).
In this horror masterpiece by New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones, one girl will use her obsessive knowledge of slasher films to help her survive a small-town murder spree. Jade Daniels is a half-Indian outcast who escapes the reality of her abusive father and uncaring hometown by cheering on wronged serial killers in movies. But when real victims begin to appear in Indian Lake, Jade’s reality will become a nightmarish homage to revenge as she attempts to find her way out of trauma and into a place she can call home.
In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest chilling novel that “will give you nightmares. The good kind, of course” (BuzzFeed) from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.
“Some girls just don’t know how to die…”
Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th in My Heart Is a Chainsaw, written by the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians Stephen Graham Jones, called “a literary master” by National Book Award winner Tananarive Due and “one of our most talented living writers” by Tommy Orange.
Alma Katsu calls My Heart Is a Chainsaw “a homage to slasher films that also manages to defy and transcend genre.” On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life.
Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.
Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.
Photo credit: iStock / snowflock