Could it be that springing the clocks forward is what really brings on the term “March Madness? ” Probably not, and we might never know for sure who is to blame for robbing people out of one hour of precious sleep, because farmers have denied any culpability in the matter. But one thing we can appreciate, besides a bit more sunshine and slightly longer days, is the precious abundance of spring fiction releases.
The list is as always long and plentiful, but this time around, I’ve chosen five novels in which the main character (s) are not quite what they seem to be, and plots that have an unexpected twist or unpredictable story lines. Because there is something to be said for a little madness in your fiction, even if loss of slumber is hardly ever a motive for gratitude.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney: What could be more frightening than waking up in a hospital with no idea of who you are and how you got there? Amber doesn’t remember much, but she does suspect that her husband has something to do with her memory loss. In a series of flashbacks and Amber’s disturbing present, we begin to realize that the truth is much more frightening than the lie. (Flatiron Books)
The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian: Hangovers and heavy drinking aren’t strangers to flight attendant Cassandra Bowden. The blackouts that follow her alcohol binges, and the heavy regret that lingers afterwards aren’t much of a deterrent. But one morning, she wakes up hazy in a Dubai hotel room with a stranger. Not an uncommon scenario for Cassandra, except this time…the man on the bed is covered in blood. From that point forward, her life becomes a string of one lie after the next, while she tries to piece together the truth. But does she really want to know? (Doubleday)
Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser: It all starts with a common scene typical of any suburban neighborhood in America. Five women gather around a fire pit in a backyard on a Saturday night, baby monitors at the ready, happy to enjoy a night of wine and spirited conversation. But as the drinking intensifies, so does the talking which soon turns into personal confessions. When Monday morning comes…one of them is missing, and the remaining women are forced to look at their own lives and wonder: how well do they really know their neighbors? (St. Martin’s Press)
Indecent by Corinne Sullivan: When the timid and somewhat skittish Imogene Abney is offered a teaching position in the Vandenberg School for Boys, an all-boys prep school in Westchester, New York she is ecstatic. Imogene had always dreamed of attending a school like Westchester, and to have this opportunity dropped in her lap so soon after college graduation, feels like a dream. Shortly after her arrival, she encounters the insanely popular Adam Kipling and she is immediately attracted to him and his brazenness in openly flirting with her. Adam and Imogene soon immerse in an illicit affair, and due to her inexperience with life and men, she fails to recognize how close she is getting to losing everything she’s ever worked for. (Wednesday Books)
The Adulterants by Joe Dunthorne: Ray Morris has a lot of growing up to do. He endlessly critiques everything and everyone around him while failing to notice the strain happening both within his marriage and in modern society being too caught up in his world of personal grudges with online trolls, property managers and open marriages. Armed with a small but dedicated group of friends and an exasperated pregnant wife, can a thirty-something tech journalist with an unremarkable face and irritating personality come to understand that there is something to be said for a bit of empathy, love and attentiveness? (Tin House Books)