This Week’s Spotlight Fiction
Here’s our guide to some of the best new fiction out this week. Happy reading!
Fans of historical fiction will love Teresa Messineo’s remarkable debut novel, The Fire by Night. The book follows two military nurses during World War II, offering a glimpse of the untold heroism of the women who risked their lives caring for fallen soldiers. In war-torn France, in a cold, cramped tent dangerously close to a German camp, Jo cares for gravely wounded soldiers with the few resources she has. One of the only comforts she has is remembering simpler times with her best friend from nursing school, Kay. But Kay is trapped in a Japanese POW camp in Manila, clinging to those same memories. Once the war is over, the friends struggle to navigate their harsh new realities in the post-war world. Messineo’s novel tells of the pain of war and the importance of friendship. Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.
New this week from bestselling author Beatriz Williams is The Wicked City. In modern-day Manhattan, Ella Gilbert moves to a studio in an old Greenwich Village building after discovering her husband’s infidelity. But the quaint building isn’t quite what it seems: after midnight, the building’s empty basement erupts with the sounds of clinking glasses, piano music, and laughter. Ella digs deep into the strange history of the building—which was once one of the most notorious speakeasies of the Roaring Twenties. Beatriz Williams has a knack for transporting her readers into another time and place, and this new book does not disappoint. Alternating between 1924 and 1998, Williams paints a captivating portrait of the “Wicked City.”
In another love letter to New York City, Kathleen Rooney’s Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk offers a full, funny, and honest portrait of the changing city through the eyes of 85 year old Lillian Boxfish on the last night of 1984, as she is walking to a party. The city in the mid-eighties is grittier than the New York Lillian took by storm in the 1930s, when she was working her way up the ranks to eventually become the country’s top advertising woman. Inspired by real-life poet and copywriter Margaret Fishback, Rooney’s novel is a powerful tribute to a remarkable woman in a changing America.
If you’re looking for a complex, politically relevant thriller, check out Juakim Zander’s The Believer. Yasmine Ajam has made a new life for herself in New York after a rough upbringing in Bergort, a borough of Stockholm. But when she hears rumors that her brother, Fadi, was radicalized and died in Syria fighting for ISIS, she returns to Stockholm to find out what really happened. Zander’s novel is part atmospheric, slow-burning suspense, part fast-paced conspiracy thriller, and is sure to keep you entertained.