PositiveLibrary JournalWeiner’s ability to take a complex, painful situation and spin it into an engaging, thoughtful story about women’s inner lives is showcased throughout this novel. The beautiful beachside settings and aspirational lifestyles that women’s fiction readers gravitate toward are on full display, but the depth of the story is what shines. A likely summer blockbuster, this will have readers looking forward to the third volume in trilogy.
Sofia Lundberg tr. by Nicola Smalley
RaveBooklistElin is a complex character with a compelling story, and Lundberg avoids the obvious resolutions that readers may expect in favor of a deeper exploration of the meaning of love, forgiveness, and family. This satisfying novel will appeal to fans of Lisa Duffy and Patti Callahan Henry.
PositiveBooklistPenner finds clever parallels between Nella and Caroline, and avoids the pitfall of one storyline outshining the other—all three women have compelling tales, and while Nella’s business may not be on the up-and-up, her motives are understandable. Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut.
PositiveBooklistFox deftly moves between generations as she illuminates the ways that choices echo through the lives of those who came after. This thoughtful, character-driven exploration of the unbreakable bonds of motherhood will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and Elizabeth Berg.
PositiveBooklist\"McLaughlin’s debut takes some time to coalesce, but as the plot moves forward, the connections become clearer. The art-world mystery is nicely balanced with family and interpersonal drama, and the climactic ending is authentic and believable. Readers who enjoy Maggie O’Farrell and Ann Patchett will be drawn into Nessa’s story.\
Cecily Von Ziegesar
PositiveBooklist... thoughtfully observed and frequently funny, and von Ziegesar expertly shifts perspectives to give readers insight into each character’s unique point of view. Readers of ensemble fiction by Emma Straub and Amy Poeppel—as well as grown-up fans of Gossip Girl—will enjoy this inside look at the lifestyles of the creative class.
Elissa R. Sloan
PositiveBooklistSloan deftly shifts between the meteoric rise of Gloss in the early aughts and the current day ... This pop-culture-inspired debut reads like an exposé that explores the dark side behind the carefully styled images presented to the public, or a particularly tragic episode of Behind the Music.
PositiveBooklist... a charming comedy of errors full of unexpected revelations and unusual events. Poeppel’s...lighthearted family story casts a thoughtful eye on the intricacies of relationships while exploring the intersection of art and life. Readers of upmarket ensemble fiction with a dash of humor, à la Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney or Emma Straub, will enjoy Poeppel’s latest.
PositiveBooklistThird-person narration gives the reader equal time inside each character’s head, exposing their insecurities and vulnerabilities. Each woman is both endearing and exasperating—there are no heroes or villains, only ordinary, flawed people. This insightful character study will appeal to fans of Sue Miller and Anne Tyler.
RaveLibrary JournalThe combination of an appealing lead, a glamorous setting, and relatable, funny portrayals of relationships and workplace politics make this debut one of the must-read escapist pleasures of the summer. Fans of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game will be dazzled.
Mary Pauline Lowry
RaveBooklistThe Roxy Letters reimagines the tropes of chick lit for a new generation, complete with absurdly funny situations, ambivalence about adulthood, and the desire for connection and fulfilling relationships. But Roxy is far more than a cooler Bridget Jones—she’s a big-hearted, awkward, uproariously funny woman whose endearing antics and odd-yet-relatable struggles will resonate with millennial and Gen X readers.
PositiveBooklistNunn’s U.S. debut is an engaging, dual-period narrative that unravels slowly ... The romance is unexpected yet authentic, and the ending highlights the enduring power of love and forgiveness. Ideal for readers of Lucinda Riley and Sarah Jio.
RaveBooklistOakley keeps readers wondering \'will they or won’t they\' about Mia and Oliver, while the emotional journey of infertility and the strain that it places on a relationship is realistic. Keep a box of tissues handy—the ending is a gut-punch that will leave readers who have invested in these beautifully drawn characters reeling. Fans of relationship fiction that explores women’s inner lives and choices by Jennifer Weiner or Amy Hatvany will be unable to put this book down.
PositiveBooklistBrown excels at bringing the complexities of women’s lives to the page, and her latest novel questions how much has really changed for women over the last 60 years. The pacing is brisk, the characters are appealing, and both time lines are equally well realized. Thoughtful, clever, and surprisingly dark, this could be a breakout hit for Brown.
PositiveBooklistLaya’s grief is potent and powerful, and Micah is a kind person. That said, readers’ opinion of his early missteps will set the tone for the rest of the book. This second-chance-at-love story is perfect for hopeless romantics and fans of thoughtful relationship fiction.
PositiveBooklistRichards...deftly shifts from women’s fiction into domestic suspense, but she doesn’t sacrifice the emotional acuity that her fans expect. Ryan’s relationships are at the heart of the story, and the few shocking reveals are sensitively handled and presented as part of the difficult process of coming to terms with longstanding family secrets. Readers of relationship-focused domestic-suspense authors such as Lisa Jewell will enjoy Richards’ pivot into the genre.
RaveLibrary JournalWhile the love story is the heart of this delightful novel, Jalaluddin also delves into deeper themes, including workplace discrimination, the role of religion in modern society, and the meaning of love and marriage in contemporary culture ... There’s an overabundance of Pride and Prejudice retellings, but few are as thoughtful and creative as this stellar debut from an author to watch ... The story of Ayesha and Khalid will leave readers swooning, but it will also get them thinking.
RaveBooklist\"In high school, Ava was bullied by a clique of girls who pretended to be her friends, then betrayed and humiliated her. Since that time, the focus of her life is systematic revenge ... Snoekstra’s latest is another fast-paced, exciting read, featuring a protagonist who chooses to stoop to the level of her tormentors. The result is a sinister revenge fantasy laced with jaw-droppingly creepy moments, both in the harassment Ava endures and the punishment she doles out in return. The Spite Game is ideal for readers looking for a fresh take on the twisty psychological thriller featuring unpredictable (and unreliable) female leads.
RaveBooklist OnlineFiona Lawson’s picture-perfect life started to fall apart when she caught her husband, Bram, cheating. Newly separated, the Lawsons agree on a bird’s-nest custody arrangement, alternating their time in the house to minimize disruption to their two sons. Sharing the house goes smoothly—until one afternoon, Fiona returns home to find all of her possessions missing and a new family moving in ... dark secrets, unreliable narrators, a fast-moving plot, and a terrifyingly plausible premise.