Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby BrownInspired by her own family history, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown's debut novel tells the story of Nellie Morris, a young woman in London's East End trying to survive the Blitz, her romance with a dashing American airman, and the tragic 1943 Bethnal Green disaster, where 173 people were crushed to death trying to enter an air raid shelter.
Beyond the Door of No Return by David DiopBeginning in Paris in 1806 where celebrated botanist Michel Adanson lays dying, this sophomore effort by All Night Blood is Black author David Diop follows Michel's daughter Aglaé to Senegal in pursuit of her father's legacy and raises thought-provoking questions about slavery and colonialism.
The House of Doors by Tan Twan EngSet in 1920s Malaysia, this lush and character-driven portrait of secrets and colonial excess centers on writer W. Somerset Maugham and his personal, political, and professional entanglements with a pair of English expats whose frosty marriage gets even more fraught during his extended visit to their home.
Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman FooteIn this sweeping family saga and "bibliomythography", two young Black women, Lucy Grimes and Celia Coleman, become friends traveling in the Great Migration north to escape the struggles of life in the Jim Crow South -- a friendship deepened by shared losses and tested by circumstances in their respectable new community Vauxhall, New Jersey.
The Oceans and the Stars by Mark HelprinWhen interpersonal politics see Navy captain Stephen Rensselaer assigned to a patrol ship far below his rank, he resolves to honorably do his duty despite the insult. But when a nearby hostage situation puts civilians at risk and he's ordered not to interfere, Captain Rensselaer decides that saving lives is worth the risk of a court martial.
The Maniac by Benjamín LabatutThis well-researched and thought-provoking biographical novel centers on John von Neumann, a Hungarian-American polymath known for his revolutionary work in mathematics, physics, engineering, and computer science, his contributions to the Manhattan Project, and his later tenure at the Pentagon and on the Atomic Energy Commission.
One Blood by Denene MillnerIn this lyrical and moving family saga, three Black women reckon with joys and burdens of motherhood and its connections to womanhood in the midst of the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Era, and the ever-present struggle for women's equality. Read-alikes: They Say So by Julia Franks and An Autobiography of My Skin by Lakiesha Carr.
Under the Java Moon by Heather B. MooreWhen the Japanese military invades the Dutch East Indies in 1941, Mary Vischer is forcibly relocated with her two children and her mother-in-law to a POW camp. Not only do the miserable conditions make every day a fierce battle to survive, but Mary has no way to reach her husband, who is serving with the Dutch navy, to let him know that they're alive.
The Square of Sevens by Laura Shepherd-RobinsonSet in Georgian England, this compelling and intricately plotted story follows Red, an orphaned fortune teller who uses her wits and her cartomancy (card divination) skills to seek the truth about her deceased mother's mysterious identity. Red's investigation will take her from Cornwall to London's seedy underbelly, and into high-society inheritance battles.
Fair Rosaline by Natasha SolomonsIn this thought-provoking feminist retelling of Romeo and Juliet, off-screen character Rosaline takes center stage with a spirited and strong-willed nature, hidden romance with Romeo, and a desperate desire to avoid being sent to the convent her father is determined to consign her to in a week's time.
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