It’s Wednesday, that means it’s time to look at some of this month’s new releases. And let’s start right away with the fiction must-reads as determined by Goodreads. Not sure if it’s slim pickings because it’s the end of the year, but none of these really inspire me to read them. Which is why none of them ended up on my to-read list.
- Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel
Publication date: December 27th 2016
For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love. Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker after being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiance.” Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews. Somehow she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer. Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her friends are keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbour is more than he seems.
- Love, Alice by Barbara Davis
Publication date: December 6th 2016
From the author of Summer at Hideaway Key comes a sweeping new Southern women’s fiction novel about forgiving the past one letter at a time. A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buried, visiting his grave daily, waiting for answers she knows will never come. Then one day, she sees an old woman whose grief mirrors her own. Fascinated, she watches the woman leave a letter on a nearby grave. Dovie ignores her conscience and reads the letter—a mother’s plea for forgiveness to her dead daughter—and immediately needs to know the rest of the story. As she delves deeper, a collection of letters from the cemetery’s lost and found begins to unravel a decades-old mystery involving one of Charleston’s wealthiest families. But even as Dovie seeks to answer questions about another woman’s past—questions filled with deception, betrayal, and heartbreaking loss—she starts to discover the keys to love, forgiveness, and finally embracing the future.
- The Show House by Dan Lopez
Publication date: December 13th 2016
Quirky Orlando retirees Thaddeus and Cheryl, and new parents Steven and Peter, come together for a family weekend, where Cheryl anxiously hopes to repair the dysfunctional and toxic relationship between her husband and their son, Steven. Their adoptive granddaughter Gertie, everyone hopes, might just do the trick. Meanwhile, when news of a serial killer that targets gay men at nightclubs rocks the community, over-worked pharmacist Laila grows concerned for her handsome and arrogant younger half-brother, Alex. Sunshine leads to darkness as the calculating murderer’s own life, hidden away in a show house, is spiralling out of control after falling for a would-be victim. When Orlando’s manicured lawns turn deadly, the two families find themselves on a collision course in this page-turning psychological thriller.
- All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon
Publication date: December 1st 2016
Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time. But then everything changes: Nancy’s mum and dad split up, her father Patrick moves away. And Nancy stops talking. Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She didn’t expect to be the third wife of a much-loved household name, but it was the love of a lifetime for them both – until Mickey dies suddenly, leaving Eva alone. While Nancy’s parents negotiate their separation, the question of weekend contact is solved when Patrick volunteers his sister Eva’s house. Patrick is sure that Nancy not speaking is just a phase but his soon-to-be-ex-wife is worried that something more traumatic lies at the heart of their daughter’s selective mutism. Meanwhile, Eva begins to read through Mickey’s diaries, and with every page she’s forced to confront a view of her marriage that turns everything she believed about her late husband, her self – and her own heart – on its head. As spring turns into summer, a trust slowly begins to form between an anxious little girl with a heartbreaking secret, and a woman who has realised too late that what her soul yearns for is the love of a child.
- In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper by ed. Lawrence Block
Publication date: December 6th 2016
Lawrence Block has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy. Contributors include Stephen King, Gail Levin, Kris Nelscott, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. In a beautifully produced anthology as befits such a collection of acclaimed authors, each story is illustrated with a quality full-colour reproduction of the painting that inspired it.
Do you disagree? Are you excited for any of these books? Let me know! Other new releases of December 2016 can be found by genre right here on Goodreads.