Perfect Little World / Kevin Wilson
When Isabelle Poole meets Dr. Preston Grind, she’s fresh out of high school, pregnant with her art teacher’s baby, and totally on her own. Izzy knows she can be a good mother but without any money or relatives to help, she’s left searching. Dr. Grind, an awkwardly charming child psychologist, has spent his life studying family, even after tragedy struck his own. Now, with the help of an eccentric billionaire, he has the chance to create a “perfect little world”–to study what would happen when ten children are raised collectively, without knowing who their biological parents are. He calls it the Infinite Family Project and he wants Izzy and her son to join. This attempt at a utopian ideal starts off promising, but soon the gentle equilibrium among the families disintegrates: unspoken resentments between the couples begin to fester; the project’s funding becomes tenuous; and Izzy’s growing feelings for Dr. Grind make her question her participation in this strange experiment in the first place.
Little Deaths: a novel / Emma Flint
It’s 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone–a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress–wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy’s body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.’s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth. As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth’s life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth’s little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman–and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children’s lives. Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case.
Transit / Rachel Cusk
In the wake of family collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The process of upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions–personal, moral, artistic, practical–as she endeavors to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city she is made to confront aspects of living she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life.
A Book of American Martyrs / Joyce Carol Oates
When evangelical Luther Dunphy assassinates abortion doctor Augustus Vorhees, the two grieving families find their lives intricately linked.
The Next / Stephanie Gangi
Turning away from the loved ones she believes disappointed her before succumbing to breast cancer, Joanna DeAngelis becomes a ghost bent on revenge against her ex and is eventually forced to reevaluate her life choices and the qualities of a proper death.
My Husband’s Wife / Jane Corry
When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start, to leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe, convicted murderer whom Lily is strangely drawn to. For whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything. But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants. When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.
The Fifth Petal: a novel / Brunonia Barry
When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween, chief of police John Rafferty suspects it may be linked to the triple homicide twenty-five years earlier involving three descendants of Salem Witch Trial victims.