11 Fiction Titles To Lose Yourself In
As we approach the end of summer, we may well be taking those final chances for afternoons in the garden or last-minute staycations outside of the city. So we’ve delved into the latest fiction releases to curate a reading list to lose yourself in throughout this month and the next.
Born in 1954 to a Cherokee father and white mother, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit is one of poverty and violence – both from outside the family and also, devastatingly, from within. When her family’s darkest secrets are brought to light, Betty has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills, as well as the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters in her rural town of Breathed, Ohio.
Despite the hardship she faces, Betty is resilient. Her curiosity about the natural world, her fierce love for her sisters, and her father’s brilliant stories are kindling for the fire of her imagination, and in the face of all she bears witness to, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write.
Jessie, the devil’s daughter, arrives on the doorstep of an imposing Edinburgh tenement building and knocks on a freshly painted wooden door. She has been sent by her father to bear a child for a wealthy couple, but when things go wrong, she curses the building and all who live there. The residents of 10 Luckenbooth Clos are caught in the crossfire, and they all have their own stories to tell. While the world outside is changing, inside, the curse creeps up all nine floors and through each door. Soon, the building’s longest-kept secret – the truth of what happened to Jessie – will finally be heard.
White Ivy is both a love triangle and a coming-of-age story – as well as a dark glimpse at what can happen when we yearn for success at any cost. Ivy Lin, a Chinese immigrant growing up in a low-income apartment complex outside Boston, is desperate to assimilate with her American peers. Her parents disapprove, berating her for her mediocre grades and what they see as her lazy, entitled attitude. But Ivy has a secret weapon, her grandmother Meifeng, from whom she learns to shoplift to acquire the things she needs to fit in. Ivy develops a taste for winning and wealth. As an adult, she reconnects with the blond-haired golden boy of a prominent political family and thinks it’s fate. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the almost-perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.
Mathilde finds herself falling deeply in love with Amine Belhaj, a Moroccan soldier billeted in her town fighting for the French. After the Liberation, she leaves her country to follow her new husband to Morocco, but life here is unrecognisable. Suffocated by the heat of the Moroccan climate, her loneliness on the farm, the mistrust she inspires as a foreigner, and by their lack of money, Mathilde grows restless and yearns for independence. How can Mathilde – a woman whose life is dominated by the decisions of men – hold her family together in a world that is being torn apart?
On a spring day, a small village in Western Germany wakes up to an omen: Selma has dreamed of an okapi. Someone is about to die – but who? As the village residents begin acting strangely, Selma’s granddaughter Luise looks on as the imminent threat brings long-carried secrets to the surface. When death comes, it comes in a way none of them could have predicted. What You Can See From Here is a story about the absurdity of life and death, a bittersweet portrait of village life and the wider world that beckons beyond.
After three years of marriage, young seamstress Marcela Caretto has finally had enough. Her husband, Michael, an ambitious tailor, has become cruel and controlling, and she is determined to get a divorce. But, while awaiting the judges’ decision on the custody of their two small boys, Michael receives news that changes everything. Meanwhile, fun-loving New York socialite Margaret Hays is touring Europe with some friends. Restless, she resolves to head home aboard the RMS Titanic. As the ship sets sail for America, carrying two infants with false names, the paths of Marcela, Michael and Margaret cross – and nothing will ever be the same again. From the Sunday Times bestselling author, Celia Imrie, Orphans of the Storm dives into the waters of the past to unearth a sweeping, epic tale of the sinking of the Titanic that radiates with humanity and hums with life.
She Who Became the Sun reimagines the rise to power of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor. In a famine-stricken village on a dusty plain, a seer shows two children their fates. There is potential greatness for a family’s eighth-born son, and for the second daughter, there is nothing. In 1345, China lay restless under harsh Mongol rule, and when a bandit raid wiped out their home, the two children must somehow survive. Can Zhu escape what’s written in the stars as a rebellion sweeps the land? Or can she claim her brother’s greatness – and rise as high as she can dream?
The Island Home is a tale about friendship, community, and finding where you truly belong. Lorna’s world is small but safe. She loves her daughter, and the two of them are all that matters, but after nearly twenty years, she and Ella are suddenly leaving London for the Isle of Kip – the tiny remote Scottish island where Lorna grew up. Likewise, Alice’s world is small but full. She loves the community on Kip, her yoga classes drawing women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past.
The stories in Emma Cline’s first collection consider the dark corners of human experience, exploring the fault lines of power between men and women, parents and children, past and present. They examine masculinity, male dominance and broken relationships while revealing those moments of misunderstanding that can have life-changing consequences. There is unexpected violence, ever-present but unseen, depicting the complicated interactions between men, women, and families. Subtle, sophisticated and displaying an extraordinary understanding of human behaviour, these stories are unforgettable.
Meet Eva Martinez-Green, an only child full of questions about her beginnings. Between her emotionally absent mother and her physically absent father, there is nobody to answer them. Yet, Eva is convinced that all is not as it seems. Why are there no baby pictures of her? Why do her parents avoid all questions about her early years? When her parents’ relationship crumbles, Eva begins a journey to find these answers for herself. Her desire to discover where she belongs leads Eva on a journey spanning decades and continents – and, along the way, she meets women who challenge her idea of what a mother should be and someone that will change her life forever.
Once the muse of an infamous painter, Eve Laing is now – forty years later – an artist herself but has sacrificed her career for her family. She resents the global success of her old college roommate and begins slowly unravelling. When Eve embarks on her most ambitious work yet, she takes a wrecking ball to her comfortable life, jettisoning her marriage for a beautiful young lover who seems to share her single-minded creative vision. This timely novel explores sexual politics, asking if the true artist must relinquish the ordinary human need for love and connection to pave the way for desire and ambition, leading to a fatal awakening.