Every month, librarians across the country highlight the upcoming titles they’re most excited to read. This month’s picks include a horror novel set in early 20th century Montana, a retelling of the Greek myth of Clytemnestra, and a coming-of-age novel set in Prohibition-era Virginia.
Top Pick: Lone Women by Victor LaValle
A homestead far from prying eyes offers Adelaide a fresh start in 1915 Montana. She makes a few female friends–after all, lone women need to stick together. But a secret that won’t be contained or silenced soon threatens her new life. Horror mixed with resilient characters in complex relationships make this a must-read for fans of A Dangerous Business and When Women Were Dragons.
—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX
All That Is Mine I Carry with Me by William Landay
One afternoon in November 1975, ten-year-old Miranda Larkin comes home from school to find her house eerily quiet. Her mother is missing. Nothing else is out of place. There is no sign of struggle. Her mom’s pocketbook remains in the front hall, in its usual spot.
So begins a mystery that will span a lifetime. What happened to Jane Larkin?
Investigators suspect Jane’s husband. A criminal defense attorney, Dan Larkin would surely be an expert in outfoxing the police. But no evidence is found linking him to a crime, and the case fades from the public’s memory, a simmering, unresolved riddle. Jane’s three children–Alex, Jeff, and Miranda–are left to be raised by the man who may have murdered their mother.
Two decades later, the remains of Jane Larkin are found. The investigation is awakened. The children, now grown, are forced to choose sides.
Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati
Queens are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…
You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own. Because this was not the first offence against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot. But when your husband returns in triumph, you become a woman with a choice. Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands in the game of retribution. For you understood something long ago that the others never did. If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself.
The Gospel of Orla by Eoghan Walls
Orla manages the best she can with a little sister and an alcoholic dad, but she misses her mother, who died too soon. When she meets a man who seems to have the power of resurrection, she plans to bring him to her mother’s grave, beginning a heartbreaking journey into adulthood and acceptance. Readers of this lyrical debut will wish spunky Orla all the best. —Katharine Phenix, Boulder Public Library, Boulder, CO
Hang the Moon by Jeanette Walls
Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of the biggest man in a small town, the charismatic Duke Kincaid. Born at the turn of the 20th century into a life of comfort and privilege, Sallie remembers little about her mother who died in a violent argument with the Duke. By the time she is just eight years old, the Duke has remarried and had a son, Eddie. While Sallie is her father’s daughter, sharp-witted and resourceful, Eddie is his mother’s son, timid and cerebral. When Sallie tries to teach young Eddie to be more like their father, her daredevil coaching leads to an accident, and Sallie is cast out.
Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him. So it’s a relief when his skill on the basketball court earns him a scholarship to college, far away from his childhood home. He soon meets Julia Padavano, a spirited and ambitious young woman who surprises William with her appreciation of his quiet steadiness. With Julia comes her family; she is inseparable from her three younger sisters: Sylvie, the dreamer … Cecelia, the family’s artist; and Emeline, who patiently takes care of all of them. Happily, the Padavanos fold Julia’s new boyfriend into their loving, chaotic household.
But then darkness from William’s past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia’s carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters’ unshakeable loyalty to one another.
A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
“Mom seems off.”
Her brother’s words echo in Sam Montgomery’s ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone. She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam’s excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.
But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.
The London Séance Society by Sarah Penner
- At an abandoned château on the outskirts of Paris, a dark séance is about to take place, led by acclaimed spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire. Known worldwide for her talent in conjuring the spirits of murder victims to ascertain the identities of the people who killed them, she is highly sought after by widows and investigators alike.
Lenna Wickes has come to Paris to find answers about her sister’s death, but to do so, she must embrace the unknown and overcome her own logic-driven bias against the occult. When Vaudeline is beckoned to England to solve a high-profile murder, Lenna accompanies her as an understudy. But as the women team up with the powerful men of London’s exclusive Séance Society to solve the mystery, they begin to suspect that they are not merely out to solve a crime, but perhaps entangled in one themselves…
The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles
Abandoned by his father as a small child, Sir Gareth Inglis has grown up prickly, cold, and well-used to disappointment. Even so, he longs for a connection, falling headfirst into a passionate anonymous affair that’s over almost as quickly as it began. Bitter at the sudden rejection, Gareth has little time to lick his wounds: his father has died, leaving him the family title, a rambling manor on the remote Romney Marsh…and the den of cutthroats and thieves that make its intricate waterways their home.
Joss Doomsday has run the Doomsday smuggling clan since he was a boy. His family is his life…which is why when the all-too-familiar new baronet testifies against Joss’s sister for a hanging offense, Joss acts fast, blackmailing Gareth with the secret of their relationship to force him to recant. Their reunion is anything but happy and the path forward everything but smooth, yet after the dust settles, neither can stay away.
Weyward by Emilia Hart
Across the centuries, the Weyward women struggle against those who would control them. In 1619, Altha Weyward faces a trial for witchcraft after a local farmer dies. In the early 1940s, Violet chafes under her father’s control, longing for a real education, like the one afforded her younger brother. She also hopes to learn more about her mother, but all she has to go on is a locket and the gossip of the household staff. In 2019, Kate flees London to escape her abusive ex-boyfriend, finding a refuge in the cottage left to her by her great aunt. As her stay there extends, she learns more of the women who have come before her and the power that binds them all together.
See the full list here: LibraryReads March 2023
Descriptions provided by the publishers unless otherwise noted.