The Strange Bird sees Jeff VanderMeer return to the world that spawned Borne, crafting a novella from the point of view of a piece of Company biotech. The story follows its eponymous bird, who escapes from the laboratory in which she was built. Once in the outside world, she cannot connect with other wildlife and struggles to know which humans she can trust in a landscape destroyed by technology and the people that created it.
Kate Weinberg’s debut novel, The Truants, pulls dark academia out of the elite and picturesque colleges of America and plunges it into a Brutalist-style university found in the east of England. Jess Walker begins her undergraduate degree enthralled by her enigmatic professor, Lorna Clay, whose class on the master storyteller Agatha Christie sets the scene for the rest of the novel and its mysteries. The Truants is a story about stories, but in particular, it’s about the reliability of our storytellers. Just how much of what they’re telling us is the truth?
In the 1980s, two rookie cops move their blossoming families to the small town of Gillam, just north of New York City. Francis Gleeson and his wife, Lena, try to welcome their new neighbours, Brian and Anne Stanhope, but they receive a frosty reception from Anne. As their families grow side by side, inevitably intertwining, their quiet suburban lives hurtle towards an act that will change all of them forever. Spanning four decades, Ask Again Yes examines relationships of all kinds; marriage, friendship, parent-child relationships. It considers how each of those relationships are tested and how powerful forgiveness can be.
Augusta Hope has never really felt like she belonged, especially not in her small, boring, English town. Too inquisitive for her down-to-earth parents, Augusta clings to the bond she has with her twin sister, Julia, despite them being complete opposites. Half a world away, Parfait is living the small African country of Burundi, dreaming of a better life for himself and his siblings, not all of whom have survived the horrific war that has torn apart his country. A terrible tragedy leaves Augusta even more lost than before, and she sets out on a journey to find out where it is she’s supposed to be.
Kayleen Schaefer’s debut takes a personal and sociological look at the way friendships between women have developed throughout history, to become more nuanced and intimate than ever. Drawing on personal experience and interviews with friends, celebrities, writers, and historians, Schaefer renders a touching account of the importance of friendship in strengthening and supporting our life experiences.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was only the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court bench, nominated in 1993. Initially considered a moderate, RBG has now become an internet phenomenon as her lawyerly prowess has impressed and inspired thousands of young feminists. Borne out of the original Tumblr blog of the same name, Notorious RBG uses interviews with family, friends, clerks and Ginsburg herself to draw an honest, intimate, and entertaining portrait of a Justice that has devoted her career to making the world a better place.
Will Dean’s debut novel elevates the Scandi noir genre with an interesting protagonist, plenty of suspense, and a shocking conclusion.
Marie-Laure is twelve years old when the Germans occupy Paris, forcing her and her father to flee to the home of her great-uncle Etienne on the coast. Marie-Laure has been blind since she was six, so her father quickly sets to learning the town and building Marie-Laure a miniature replica so that she can find her way around – not that he allows her to leave the house, for fear of her safety. But her father is hiding a secret, and a valuable one at that. Over in Germany, the young orphan Werner is building and repairing radios and catches the attention of the military. He’s immediately enlisted and begins on a path that eventually collides with that of Marie-Laure, and changes their lives forever.
La Belle Sauvage is the first book in Philip Pullman’s second trilogy to take place in the world of His Dark Materials. Pullman describes the trilogy, named The Book of Dust, as an “equel” rather than a prequel or a sequel to the events of His Dark Materials. La Belle Sauvage takes place prior to the events of the first trilogy and follows a young innkeeper’s son, Malcolm Polstead, as he tries to protect baby Lyra from the forces that seek to do her harm. This is the story of how little Lyra ended up in the care of the scholars of Jordan College.
Living alongside the violence of Pablo Escobar’s Colombia are two young girls whose lives collide in ways that neither of them will ever forget. Seven-year-old Chula Santiago lives in a gated community in Bogotá with her sister and parents, though her father’s work often takes him out of the city. She grows up in a ‘kingdom of women’, but her kingdom is haunted by stories of the car bombs and kidnappings that go on outside the walls of her community. Petrona is a teenage girl from an invasión, an impoverished area in the hills of the city, who comes to work as a maid for the Santiagos. Chula is fascinated by Petrona’s silence and as the two grow closer, Chula herself adopts this silence, keeping Petrona’s secrets as though her life depends on it. Petrona desperately tries to steer her younger siblings away from trouble, but she soon falls for a young man who sees her wealthy employers as the perfect target.