Feel like the month of June went by way too fast? Extend the month just a wee bit longer by reflecting back on the most popular books of the month—and be sure to pick up a few of these summer gems before the season ends!
When you think of suspense, one place your mind might go to is mental hospitals, where horror stories often take place. Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age is the setting for this book, where Mary Engle goes to work as a secretary. But what she finds is an old friend and a terrible secret that will put everything she knew about her world into question. At its heart, this novel is a dark exploration of eugenics, and of the lengths people will go to in order to see their goals and philosophies brought to life. But the most thrilling aspect of THE FOUNDLING is that it is based on a true story, told by author Ann Leary’s grandmother!
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution—one as an employee; the other, an inmate.
It’s 1927 and eighteen-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer—brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel.
Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age forty, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care.
Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all.
Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”
The amazing natural landscapes of Australia form the backdrop of MOONLIGHT AND THE PEARLER’S DAUGHTER, which follows Eliza, the daughter of a pearl-diving boat captain looking to make his fortune in the late 1880s. When her father goes missing amid rumors of foul play, Eliza must swim treacherous waters, both literal and metaphorical. But there’s more below the surface than riches, and Eliza may not like the secrets she finds. Haunting and wild, this book will have you ready to take the plunge on a trip to Australia.
For readers of The Light Between Oceans and The Island of Sea Women, a feminist adventure story set against the backdrop of the dangerous pearl diving industry in 19th-century Western Australia, about a young English woman who sets off to uncover the truth about the disappearance of her eccentric father.
Western Australia, 1886. After months at sea, a slow boat makes its passage from London to the shores of Bannin Bay. From the deck, young Eliza Brightwell and her family eye their strange, new home. Here is an unforgiving land where fortune sits patiently at the bottom of the ocean, waiting to be claimed by those brave enough to venture into its depths. An ocean where pearl shells bloom to the size of soup plates, where men are coaxed into unthinkable places and unspeakable acts by the promise of unimaginable riches.
Ten years later, the pearl-diving boat captained by Eliza’s eccentric father returns after months at sea—without Eliza’s father on it. Whispers from townsfolk point to mutiny or murder. Headstrong Eliza knows it’s up to her to discover who, or what, is really responsible.
As she searches for the truth, Eliza discovers that beneath the glamorous veneer of the pearling industry, lies a dark underbelly of sweltering, stinking decay. The sun-scorched streets of Bannin Bay, a place she once thought she knew so well, are teeming with corruption, prejudice, and blackmail. Just how far is Eliza willing to push herself in order to solve the mystery of her missing father? And what family secrets will come to haunt her along the way?
A transporting feminist adventure story based on Lizzie Pook’s deep research into the pearling industry and the era of British colonial rule in Australia, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is ultimately about the lengths one woman will travel to save her family.
Libraries are places of peace and quiet, but not so for the reading room at the Boston Public Library. When a woman's terrified shriek rips through the peace and quiet of the room, security instructs everyone to stay where they are until they figure out what's going on. In the meantime, four strangers sitting at the same table enter into polite conversation. Well, it would be polite if one of them wasn't secretly a murderer. THE WOMAN IN THE LIBRARY tells the tale of friendship, betrayal, and how we hurt those we care about most.
Who doesn’t love a good thrill from the queen of dark mysteries herself? In Ruth Ware’s latest book, we follow Hannah Jones, a soon-to-be mother who gets an unexpected call from a journalist. Back in Hannah’s university days, her friend April was murdered, with their porter being charged for the crime and locked away. But new evidence comes to light that the porter may have been innocent, and it could have been one of April’s friends, including Hannah and her husband, Will, who killed her in cold blood. A dark academia murder mystery, THE IT GIRL will have you wondering just how well you know your closest friends.
Read more of Summer Most Anticipated: 25 New Books Coming in Hot
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.
April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.
Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.
Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.
“The Agatha Christie of our generation” (David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author) proves once again that she is “as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post) with this propulsive murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
“Jamie is charging out in a new direction with THE MANY DAUGHTERS OF AFONG MOY and yet still retaining the best qualities from his previous books: the truly wonderful writing, three-dimensional characters, terrific scenes and set pieces, and, of course, the beating heart of his books: humanity’s search for love and the deep need for it in their lives.” —Lindsay S., VP, Editorial Director
The New York Times bestselling author of the “mesmerizing and evocative” (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet returns with a powerful exploration of the love that binds one family across the generations.
Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living.
As Washington’s former poet laureate, that’s how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has truly come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.
Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America.
As painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn’t the only thing she’s inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who’s loved her through all of her genetic memories. Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, to finally find peace for her daughter, and gain the love that has long been waiting, knowing she may pay the ultimate price.
“I received LAST ONE ALIVE on submission in the afternoon, started reading it, and couldn’t stop until I was done in the evening! This utterly addictive ‘closed-door’ thriller not only had me utterly enthralled with its chills and thrills, it also compellingly explores themes of feminism and revisionist history. I cannot wait to see what Amber does next!” —Laurie G., Senior Editor
A team of researchers exploring the myth of a witch find their numbers mysteriously dwindling in this irresistible psychological thriller for fans of Ruth Ware, Shari Lapena, and Lucy Foley.
Bestselling debut novelist Penelope Berkowitz is desperate for inspiration for a second book. With the help of her new boyfriend, she embarks on a research trip with a Clue-like team of professionals, ex-lovers, and estranged family members to investigate the myth of a witch on Stone Point, a remote coastal outcropping in the Pacific Northwest.
For over a century, the cabin on the point stood vacant after the violent death of the original owner and the disappearance of his wife—until a young couple decided to turn it into an eco-lodge. Shortly after starting renovations, however, they suddenly ceased all contact with others and were never heard from again.
Given the area’s mysterious history, Penelope is certain there’s a story to be found in the isolated region. But soon after arriving on the point’s wind-whipped shores, things begin to go awry for the team. Storms blow in. Tempers flare. The satellite phones stop working and no boats are due for days. Then people begin to disappear. When bodies turn up, it’s up to Penelope and the remaining members of the team to solve the mystery of the Stone Witch before the killer is the only one left alive.
When it comes to iconic characters, few spark as much controversy or conversation as Tracy Flick. First introduced in Tom Perrotta’s novel, ELECTION, and then brought to vivid life by Reese Witherspoon in the cult classic movie adaptation of the book, Tracy Flick has come to represent a certain kind of woman—one who is unapologetically ambitious or, as Vanity Fair put it, “a woman who is just too much—too accomplished, too hardworking, too ambitious.” Strong women like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren have been branded Tracy Flicks. The term is pejorative, shorthand for the overachiever in school who’d sit in the front row, answer all the teacher’s questions, and earn the derision of her cooler classmates. But was that Perrotta’s intention? With his darkly comedic new book, TRACY FLICK CAN’T WIN, Perrotta revisits his classic character, now middle-aged and vying to be the principal of Green Meadow High. Tracy is older, wiser, and more relatable, but the toxic masculinity she faces while trying to secure a position she is immensely qualified to fill is the same. And in her quest to succeed despite a culture and community that frowns on female ambition, women readers everywhere will find themselves hoping beyond hope that, just this once, Tracy Flick Can Win.
Tracy Flick is back and, once again, the iconic protagonist of Tom Perrotta’s Election—and Reese Witherspoon’s character from the classic movie adaptation—is determined to take high school politics by storm.
Tracy Flick is a hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. Still ambitious but feeling a little stuck and underappreciated in midlife, Tracy gets a jolt of good news when the longtime principal, Jack Weede, abruptly announces his retirement, creating a rare opportunity for Tracy to ascend to the top job.
Energized by the prospect of her long-overdue promotion, Tracy throws herself into her work with renewed zeal, determined to prove her worth to the students, faculty, and School Board, while also managing her personal life—a ten-year-old daughter, a needy doctor boyfriend, and a burgeoning meditation practice. But nothing ever comes easily to Tracy Flick, no matter how diligent or qualified she happens to be.
Among her many other responsibilities, Tracy is enlisted to serve on the Selection Committee for the brand-new Green Meadow High School Hall of Fame. Her male colleagues’ determination to honor Vito Falcone—a star quarterback of dubious character who had a brief, undistinguished career in the NFL—triggers bad memories for Tracy, and leads her to troubling reflections about the trajectory of her own life and the forces that have left her feeling thwarted and disappointed, unable to fulfill her true potential.
As she broods on the past, Tracy becomes aware of storm clouds brewing in the present. Is she really a shoo-in for the Principal job? Is the Superintendent plotting against her? Why is the School Board President’s wife trying so hard to be her friend? And why can’t she ever get what she deserves?
In classic Perrotta style, Tracy Flick Can’t Win is a sharp, darkly comic, and pitch-perfect reflection on our current moment. Flick fans and newcomers alike will love this compelling novel chronicling the second act of one of the most memorable characters of our time.
Leave it to Lisa Jewell to create one of the most gripping missing-girl stories in the genre. Nineteen-year-old Tallulah disappears one night in 2017, leaving behind her mom and her baby daughter. Two years later, Sophie comes to work as head teacher at a local school in the village where Tallulah disappeared, only to find a sign on a tree in her backyard with the ominous words “DIG HERE” written on it. THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED is a story of dueling perspectives, one of a mother desperately searching for her daughter and the other of a teacher in way over her head. With every new revelation, the narrative gets harder to put down, the perfect choice for a book club in need of a little thrill ride.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes “her best thriller yet” (Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author) about a young couple’s disappearance on a gorgeous summer night, and the mother who will never give up trying to find them.
On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.
One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite place for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”
Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?
“Utterly gripping with richly drawn, hugely compelling characters, this is a first-class thriller with heart” (Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author) that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I’ve been obsessed with speakeasies and always thought it’d be the perfect blend of glamour and conflict in which to set a novel. So, I’m very intrigued by LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTINGALE, a prohibition-era murder mystery that revolves around a New York speakeasy. A young Irish woman, Vivian, goes to a jazz speakeasy with her sister to dance and flirt and forget about her responsibilities as a seamstress. When the club gets raided, Vivian gets carted off to jail, and the club’s owner, Honor Huxley, comes to her rescue—and holds her in debt. Now, in order to pay Honor back, Vivian must solve a murder mystery—a crime that only she has the ability to solve.
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Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she thinks about her friend Elsie and wonders if a terrible secret from their past is about to come to light. If the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?
The bestselling author of THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP delivers a suspenseful and emotionally satisfying novel “infused with warmth and humor” (People) about a lifelong friendship, a devastating secret, and the small acts of kindness that bring people together.