Beautyland by Marie-Helene BertinoAdina Giorno, an alien in human form, is born in 1977 Philadelphia. She lives a regular life, growing up in an Italian neighborhood, going to college, and moving to New York. But all the while, she's sending observations to space via an old fax machine in this funny, moving novel. For another offbeat, wise novel with touches of humor, try Jonathan Carroll's Mr. Breakfast.
Dead in Long Beach, California by Venita BlackburnCoral, the lonely author of a popular dystopian graphic novel, finds her brother dead by suicide. Overwhelmed by the loss, she answers texts he receives as if he's alive and makes social media accounts for him, but her lies -- and her life -- spiral out of control in this debut novel that's "intelligent, bizarre, and brilliantly written" (Kirkus Reviews).
Family Family by Laurie FrankelActress India Allwood -- an adoptive mother of twins -- creates a PR nightmare by saying her latest film gets adoption wrong. A second timeline also shows India in high school, dreaming of Broadway while pregnant with a baby she places for adoption. Other witty novels about complex families: Emma Straub's All Adults Here; Steven Rowley's The Guncle.
The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzalez JamesIn this supernatural western, Antonio Sonoro robs a train in 1895 Texas and the violent aftermath still reverberates in 1964 Mexico, where renowned actor and singer Jaime Sonoro discovers a book detailing his ancestors' crimes over the centuries. Read-alikes: Oscar Hokeah's Calling for a Blanket Dance; Victor LaValle's horror-tinged Lone Women.
Orbital by Samantha HarveyOver the course of 24 hours, six astronauts from five countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and Russia) navigate life with each other and ponder their pasts and their futures while orbiting earth in a final space station mission. Read-alikes: The Wanderers by Meg Howrey; How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu.
All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-BarlowSunday Forrester, who's autistic, lives with her headstrong 16-year-old daughter in the English Lake District house she grew up in. When a rich London couple move next door, they quickly upend Sunday's careful life and drive a wedge between her and her daughter. Longlisted for the Booker Prize, this thought-provoking own voices book is Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow's first novel.
River East, River West by Aube Rey LescureThis richly detailed debut and moving coming-of-age novel set in China explores themes of home, family, and belonging, and is narrated by both Lu Fang, an unhappy young husband and clerk in 1985, and by his mildly rebellious half-American stepdaughter in 2007. For fans of: Belinda Huijuan Tang's A Map for the Missing.
Familia by Lauren E. RicoOnly child Gabby DiMarco, a fact-checker for a New York magazine, is asked along with her co-workers to take a DNA test for a story in this character-driven dual timeline novel. But Gabby's results are surprising and lead her to visit Puerto Rico to meet a woman whose sister was abducted as a baby. For fans of: The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Wrentham-Fiske Public Library
110 Randall Rd.
Wrentham, Massachusetts 02093