Welcome to Shiny New Fiction. To help you find your way through the reviews, they are listed alphabetically by title on your right, or we’ve grouped them by theme below. As always, there is a selection of paperback releases in the mix:
We’ll start with a selection of contemporary literature from around the world:
India and the USA feature in Sandip Roy’s Don’t Let Him Know, Saskatchewan in Canada in the quirky Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper, Wisconsin, USA for Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler, London in Glass by Alex Christofi, an old peoples’ home in The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald, The Lake District in The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall, from London to Hollywood in Three Strange Angels by Laura Kalpakian, the English countryside in Weathering by Lucy Wood, New Jersey in Weightless by Sarah Bannan, and islands off the coast of Virginia in The Shore by Sara Taylor.
We have plenty of narratives set throughout history – chronologically, they are:
Ancient Greece in The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies by Martin Millar;
A 1255 nunnery in The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader;
The American Civil War in Neverhome by Laird Hunt;
After WWI in the case of A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale;
Late 1930s Berlin for A War of Flowers by Jane Thynne;
Japan at the end of WWII in Fire Flowers by Ben Byrne;
Starting in the 1950s for Onward Toward What We’re Going Toward by Ryan Bartelmay;
1962 for The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby;
The world of ballet in 1977 for Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead;
Looking into a near future in The Well by Catherine Chanter.
Some novels are inspired by fairy tales, myths and legends, but are not necessarily fantasies, they include:
Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville; a fine debut in Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller; and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Gawain-influenced The Buried Giant. Plus this seems an appropriate spot to add Laline Paull’s very different society portrayed in The Bees.
We have a bumper crop of novels with crossover appeal to all ages: The prize-winning Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders; Half Wild by Sally Green; I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, and Alice and the Fly by James Rice.
Contemporary crime and thrillers – we have a good and varied bunch for you:
Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman, classic noir in The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black, a railway mystery in The Case of the Hail Mary Celeste by Malcom Pryce, back to the here and now for The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, and back to 1717 for some Nordic noir in Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback.
Annabel, Fiction editor.