The Parting Glass by Gina Marie GuadagninoA tangled web: Lady's maid Mary Ballard is in love with her mistress -- who's having an affair with stablehand Johnny Prior. Unbeknownst to their employers, Mary is an Irish immigrant named Maire O'Farren, and Johnny is her twin brother Seanin.
Why you might like it: The Parting Glass offers a suspenseful Upstairs, Downstairs plot and a vivid recreation of 1830s New York City.
For fans of: the atmospheric, LGBTQIA-themed historical fiction of Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue.
The Parisian by Isabella HammadIntroducing: Midhat Kamal, the Sorbonne-educated son of a wealthy Palestinian textile merchant who finds himself caught between cultures.
What happens: Known as "the Parisian" in his hometown of Nablus, a small village "north of Jerusalem, south of Damascus," Midhat has a front-row seat to history as colonial powers squabble over his homeland.
Reviewers say: a "dazzling debut novel" (The New York Times).
American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie ThorntonStarring: Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt. Just 18 when her father is elected president, spirited Alice becomes a celebrity, a fashion icon, and a walking scandal who smokes, gambles, and rides in automobiles with men.
Why you might like it: Alice's lively narration describes her coming-of-age in the public eye while capturing her larger-than-life personality.
You might also like: Jerome Charyn's The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King, in which Teddy Roosevelt recounts his adventurous life.
The Quintland Sisters: A Novel by Shelley WoodWhat it's about: In 1934, quintuplets are born to a poor family in rural Ontario. Teenage midwife Emma Trimpany, who helps deliver all five girls, tells their story.
Inspired by: the real-life Dionne sisters of Canada, the first known quintuplets to survive infancy and reach adulthood.
You might also like: Ami McKay's The Birth House, another engaging, well-researched historical novel about rural Canadian midwives.
I Always Loved You: A Story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas by Robin OliveiraStarring: artists Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas.
What it's about: their complicated relationship, which begins when Edgar invites Mary -- rejected by the Paris Salon -- to exhibit her paintings with the Impressionists.
Try this next: Harriet Scott Chessman's Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, about Cassatt's relationship with her sister; Cathy Marie Buchanan's The Painted Girls or Kathryn Wagner's Dancing for Degas, which focus on Degas and his dancer-models.
The Collector's Apprentice: A Novel by B.A. ShapiroStarring: 19-year-old Paulien Mertens, who becomes Vivienne Gregsby and finds a job with an American art collector who shares her passion for post-Impressionist art. Little does he know she's got an ulterior motive.
Why you might like it: Cameos by famous artists and evocative details of Paris in the 1920s add atmosphere to a slow-burning tale of passion, murder, and revenge.
Did you know? Although this novel's characters are fictitious, its featured works of art form the core of the collection at the real-life Barnes Foundation museum in Philadelphia.
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic SmithWhat it's about: A 17th-century Dutch masterpiece is stolen from a Manhattan residence in 1957 and replaced with a skillfully executed forgery. The switch remains a secret for decades -- until the museum curator who created the fake is confronted by both versions.
Why you might like it: Parallel narratives unfold and eventually converge in this atmospheric novel, which reveals surprising connections among individuals separated by time and geography.
The Girl Between by Lisa StrømmeInspired by: the life of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch and the creation of his iconic painting, The Scream.
What happens: Hired as a housemaid by the wealthy Ihlen family, 16-year-old Johanne becomes the confidante of youngest daughter Tullik and reluctantly helps the girl pursue an ill-fated love affair with Munch.
For fans of: Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, Nellie Hermann's The Season of Migration.
Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe by Dawn TrippWhat happens: Once aspiring artist Georgia O'Keeffe becomes the muse and mistress of photographer Alfred Stieglitz, she struggles to be recognized as an artist in her own right -- especially after Stieglitz revives his own flagging career by exhibiting nude portraits of Georgia.
Why you might like it: Emphasizing O'Keeffe's rich inner life, this lyrical novel presents a nuanced portrait of an iconic American artist.
Want a taste? "This is not a love story. If it were, we would have the same story. But he has his, and I have mine."
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