As the seasons turn, we all need a selection of good books to read while basking in the remains of sunlight or recuperating after an autumnal walk. These novels are chock full of intriguing friendships, family drama, mysterious societies, sibling secrets, and corporate misdeeds. Each of these current novels will transport you to another time and place, and provide you with great recommendations to share with your own family and friends. Try them!
by Amy Belding Brown
Berkley, 384 pages, $17.00
The house belongs to an eccentric young woman named Emily Dickinson and the tale is told by her maid, Margaret. The two women form a relationship of sorts, despite their disparate backgrounds and personalities. Maggie was a real person: an Irish immigrant who took the job temporarily but ended up staying for thirty-five years. Instructed by Emily to burn her poems after her death, it is to Margaret’s credit and our benefit that she disobeyed. This novel brings both women vividly to life.
A Hand to Hold in Deep Water
by Shawn Nocher
Blackstone Publishing, 372 pages. $29.99
Lacey was lovingly raised by a stepfather after her mother, May, vanished so it makes sense that when her daughter is seriously ill, Lacey goes home for his support. Told both through her point of view and through her mother’s diary entries, we learn the truths that have been hidden from Lacey for thirty years. As she copes with her young child’s medical crisis, she explores what truly matters when it comes to family—whether it was created by biology or by choice.
by Ash Davidson
Scribner, 464 pages, $28.00
In rugged northern California in the 1970s, the Gundersens have long been a family of loggers. The risks that Rich takes in cutting down the huge redwoods are as frightening as the miscarriages and birth defects that his wife and other local women suffer. The toxic pesticides that the logging company uses seem to be to blame. But if the environmentalists win their battles to save the forest, the Gundersens and their neighbors will lose their livelihoods, their way of life. With beauty and danger, tension and heartache, this novel deftly presents the dilemmas that arise in a fiercely independent region.
A Special Place for Women
by Laura Hankin
Berkley, 368 pages, $26.00
The special place of the title is “Nevertheless”: a women’s only secret club in New York City rumored to be expensive, exclusive, and elite. Freelance journalist Jillian needs a juicy story and decides that working her way into the secret society will give it to her. But she soon learns that powerful people don’t take kindly to being mocked, questioned, or infiltrated! They’ll go to great lengths to protect the darker secrets in their society. A witty novel with a twist that you won’t see coming.
We Are the Brennans
by Tracey Lange
Celadon Books, 288 pages, $26.99
If you like family dramas—the secrets they carry and the support they offer even after estrangement—We Are the Brennans is for you. When Sunday Brennan is involved in a drunk-driving crash, one of her brothers brings her home to recuperate. She needs more than mending her body though: she hasn’t been back for five years—not since she abruptly left then-boyfriend Kale. Now married, her return creates problems for Kale. Brother Denny owes money to the wrong people as he struggles to open a bar while the other two brothers add their own bits to the family dynamics at work in this uplifting read.