You may want to try these well reviewed books that may not make it to the bestseller list, but shouldn’t be missed.
When the Plums are Ripe: a novel / Patrice Nganang
After the fall of France in 1940, Cameroon found itself caught between Vichy and the Free French at a time when growing nationalism advised allegiance to neither regime, and was ultimately dragged into fighting throughout North Africa on behalf of the Allies. Nganang questions the colonial record, recenters African perspectives at the heart of Cameroon’s national history, and challenges not only the legacies of colonialism but the intersections of language, authority, and history itself.
The Fountains of Silence: a novel / Ruta Sepetys
At the Castellana Hilton in 1957 Madrid, eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson connects with Ana Moreno through photography and fate as Daniel discovers the incredibly dark side of the city under Generalissimo Franco’s rule.
Akin: a novel / Emma Donoghue
A retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes a young great-nephew to the French Riviera in hopes of uncovering his own mother’s wartime secrets.
Red at the Bone / Jacqueline Woodson
It is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s birthday celebration in her grandparent’s Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, escorted by her father to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special, custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own sixteenth birthday party and a celebration which ultimately never took place.
Ducks, Newburyport / Lucy Ellmann
Peeling apples for tartes tatin, an Ohio mother wonders how to exist in a world of distraction and fake facts, besieged by a tweet-happy president and trigger-happy neighbors, all of them oblivious to what Dupont has dumped into the rivers and what’s happening at the factory farm down the interstate–not to mention what was done to the land’s first inhabitants. It is a torrent of consciousness, narrated in a single sentence by a woman whose wandering thoughts are as comfortably familiar as they are heartrendingly honest.
Frankly in Love / David Yoon
High school senior Frank Li takes a risk to go after a girl his parents would never approve of, but his plans will leave him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.
Cantoras / Carolina De Robertis
Enduring the rampant violence against women and the LGBTQ community in the decades of the Uruguayan dictatorship, five women heartbreakingly unite as lovers, friends and family.
The Secrets We Kept / Lara Prescott
A tale of spy craft, love and sacrifice inspired by the true story of Doctor Zhivago follows the efforts of two CIA agents to help publish Boris Pasternak’s censored masterpiece against a backdrop of Cold War politics in Moscow.
The Shadow King: a novel / Maaza Mengiste
Tending the wounded when her nation is invaded by Mussolini, an orphaned servant in 1935 Ethiopia helps disguise a gentle peasant as their exiled emperor to rally her fellow women in the fight against fascism.
Hope is Our Only Wing / Rutendo Tavengerwei
After her journalist-father’s mysterious death in 2008, fifteen-year-old Shamiso must leave England for boarding school in Zimbabwe, where she and Tanyaradzwa, who is fighting cancer, form an unexpected friendship.