The new year has effectively deployed its landing gear and will be shortly upon us. For many reasons we are eagerly waiting 2016’s departure, and we can safely say that it will definitely not be missed. However, we cannot deny that although this year that’s about to end has been horrendous in countless ways, it has also gifted us with truly remarkable fiction; some were debut novels from first-time published authors, while others were a product of multi-fiction writers who added new work to their growing list of noteworthy publications.
Will 2017 be able to match this year’s score? These ten new novels say, bring it on.
Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh: The Fever Tree, McVeigh’s previous work closely resembled the plot of W. Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil in portraying all the past glory and cruelty of British colonialism in South Africa. With Leopard at the Door McVeigh centers the plot around Rachel, the daughter of a wealthy landowner who after years of absence returns to Kenya, the country of her childhood, and her father’s farm. But Rachel begins to realize that everything has changed; her father has a new companion who is intolerant and ruthless with the natives, while the country is submerged in political and social turmoil. As Rachel struggles to find her place in Kenya, she soon engages in a secret relationship that will irrevocably change her life and the lives of those around her. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Publication Date-January, 2017).
Class by Lucinda Rosenfeld: Karen Kipple and her husband are wholeheartedly dedicated to the non-profit sector. They don’t hesitate to demand from themselves the same sacrifices faced by the disadvantaged families they help. This includes sending their daughter Ruby to an integrated school in their Brooklyn neighborhood. But when Ruby’s class is targeted by a bully, Karen will begin to question her ideals and their lessening importance in the face of her daughter’s well-being. (Little Brown and Company; Publication Date-March, 2017).
Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato: This is the gripping story of eight-year-old Edgar, whose loyalties and attention are torn between a mother who isn’t sure how to be one, and a grandmother who can’t live without him. When Edgar’s grandmother dies suddenly and his mother begins to be courted by a new admirer, Edgar himself becomes the sudden focus of an obscure man’s rather disturbing attention. (St. Martin’s Press, March 2017).
The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman Gill: In 1974 New York, thirteen-year-old Griffin Watts is roped in by his father to participate in his shady architectural salvage business of stealing gargoyle sculptures from abandoned tenement buildings all over the city. Wanting to bond with his father, Griffin becomes increasingly affected by his father’s obsession with both the preservation of the city’s architecture and Griffin’s mother, while the future he wants to carve out for himself may require him leaving everything behind. (Knof Doubleday, March 2017).
My Last Lament by James William Brown: This is the evocative story of Aliki, a Greek woman and a relic of her society, a lamenter whose job is to mourn and celebrate the passing of life. But in the aftermath of World War II, she must begin to accept the changes within her native Greece, including having to survive with a family that is not her own, bonded together by common tragedy. The journey that they take will truly put to the test Aliki’s capacity for love, forgiveness, and the strength to move forward. (Berkley Publishing Group, April 2017).
The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George: The bestselling author of epic fictional biographies (The Memoirs of CleopatraElizabeth: The Virgin Queen), Margaret George brings to life the shocking story of Emperor Nero. How he quickly has to shed his innocence and learn from a very young age that ruthlessness and cruelty are the sole key to survival in imperial Rome, while his most dangerous enemies are closer to him than he thinks. (Berkley Publishing Group, March 2017).
The Map that Leads to You by J.P. Monninger: Heather and Jack meet unexpectedly in Europe, as Heather is celebrating her last summer after graduation before the responsibilities of adulthood begin to alter her life. Jack, who is in Europe on a journey of his own but burdened with a massive secret, begins to fall for Heather but knows it’s unlikely they can be together. But as their relationship develops and starts to become more intimate, it threatens to succumb under the pressure of their very different lives and Jack’s undisclosed truth. (St. Martin’s Press, June 2017).
The Cutaway by Christina Kovac: News producer Virginia Knightly suspects that a huge cover-up is at the heart of the disappearance of a young Washington D.C. attorney. As Knightly begins to investigate what she believes is the story of her career, the looming shadow of political influence in Washington and the corrupted forces embedded deep within the branches of government and the press threaten her investigation. Knightly soon begins to fear for her career, her sanity, and even her own life. (Atria Books, March 2017).
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman: A heart-warming comedy about what we think we want out of life and what we actually need is the center of this new novel by Elinor Lipman, author of The Family Man and The View from Penthouse B. When Faith Frankel returns to a peaceful life in her suburban hometown, she begins to feel that her life is not as centered as she thought; with a fiancé who prefers going on crowd-funded cross-country walks than spend time with her, parents who for different reasons overwhelm her and a foolish boss, Faith’s sole comfort is her unexpected friendship with a gregarious co-worker. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, February 2017).