Whether you’re looking for a juicy coming-of-age story perfect for your book club, a laugh-out-loud mother-daughter duo who defy expectations at every turn, or a “diabolical” thriller, these debut novels captured our attention this month.
Maame by Jessica George
A novel with all the feels, Maame follows a young twenty-something woman trying to get a hold of her life. After years of living with and taking care of her ailing father, Maame is moving in with roommates her own age, but she’s just gotten fired, her mother is a constant pain in her neck, and she’s looking for love. By turns funny and sad, Maame is a book with a character you root for, and just might identify with, because let’s face it, who hasn’t felt, for just a moment, like everything is going wrong
A Country You Can Leave by Asale Angel-Ajani
Filled with kick and quirk, this exuberant novel about how we are more than what we look like and where we come from will have you laughing out loud one moment and swallowing back tears the next. Here’s the one liner: a Russian Italian mother (who wears sparkly shirts that say things like ”slut” and prefers to dole out sex advice or wax poetic about the great Russian writers) and her Black teenage daughter move into a trailer park in California and try to make ends meet. There is so much to savor, so much to laugh about and learn in this punchy novel about America, family, immigrants, love, sex, and what it means to be responsible for the people you care about.
Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft
Fans of Pretty Things and Darling Rose Gold won’t want to miss Stone Cold Fox, in which Bea, the younger half of a mother/daughter con-artist duo, rolls out a retirement plan which involves marrying into a filthy rich, blue blood family. Wealthy Collin is willing to put a ring on it, but Bea’s mother is reluctant to let go of her partner in crime. Still, out of Bea’s 99 problems, the biggest is Gale, the snobby one-percenter who still carries a torch for Bea’s intended, who happens to be Gale’s childhood bestie. It’s complicated. But it’s also diabolical, twisted fun, all air kisses and pearls in public, while behind the scenes, old money tries to lock Cinderella out of the castle without getting a stiletto in the eye in this one-sitting, tell-your-friends read.
The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz
The Writing Retreat is one of the buzziest books of the new year, and no wonder. Alex is about to mothball her dreams of being a published author when the chance to participate in an exclusive writing retreat at the estate of her favorite author drops into her lap. Even the news that Wren—a friend with whom Alex had a nuclear falling out—has also secured a spot can’t dim her excitement. But when they arrive, they are told they must each complete a novel and the rivalry begins. Then, one of the young women disappears. A plot that takes knot-inducing anxiety—social and otherwise—and weds it to a psychologically intricate look at female friendship, ambition, and competition, makes this a standout thriller.
River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer
A powerful story of loss, love, and adventure. Rachel is a mother on a mission. Set in the days, weeks, and months after the British Emancipation Act of 1834, Rachel leaves her plantation and travels across the Windward Islands of Barbados, British Guiana and Trinidad to find each of her five children taken during enslavement. Uneducated and with no resources, Rachel depends on her instinct, work ethic, and the sheer kindness of strangers along the way. Step-by-step, Rachel embarks on a love driven mission to be reunited with each child—she will not stop until the mission is complete. In a story that is emotional, haunting, and beautifully written, Eleanor Shearer showcases the strength freedom brought to former slaves across the islands–but also shows the struggle many faced going against slave owners unwilling to accept the new reality. Despite struggles along the way, Rachel shows a mother’s love and determination is unmatched.
Michael Kozlowski is the editor of Amazon News Feed. A website devoted to the latest Amazon News. You will find a cohesive editorial direction. Michael covers the latest occurrences in AWS, Kindle, Fire Tablets, Fire TV, audiobooks, ebooks and company news.