Coming in September
Posted by: Kaite Stover
This is the time of year when I start compiling the titles to promote to book groups for next year. I always look at the current prize winners, but I also look for a couple of “under the radar” titles. These are the books I suggest for groups who enjoy discovering new authors and spreading the word to other groups.
Look for these novels to publish in September. All have potential to be book group favorites.
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G Haghenbeck is an intriguing and magical mix of fact and fiction. Iconic Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, kept many private diaries and in this novel, one of them has gone missing on the eve of its exhibition.
This notebook of daily musings, recipes, ideas for paintings and whimsical drawings provides the compelling and lively story of Frida’s life, work, struggles and relationships. The journal entries are especially interesting as each recipe comes a memory, an idea, or an observation. Readers who enjoy fictionalized biography and memoir will appreciate getting to know one of the foremost artists of the modern period and her remarkable relationships with other artists, authors, and politicians. The novel has a quick pace and layered characters.
Fans of book group favorite Adriana Trigiani will appreciate an introduction to debut novelist, Rosanna Chiofalo. Her first book, Bella Fortuna, is an excellent readalike for Trigiani’s Valentine series.
Chiofalo’s central character, also named Valentina, is a hard-working Italian-American wedding dress designer. When Valentina is unexpectedly jilted weeks before the elaborate wedding to neighborhood boy Michael, she does an even more unexpected thing. Valentina decides to take her honeymoon trip to Venice–alone. All manner of Old World delights await the tentative Valentina and the author describes the magic and romance of this floating city in a style that will make readers feel they are drifting on a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs. A warm, life-affirming domestic drama about the faith and love of family and friends.
For a reading group with a penchant for classics, consider pairing The Forgetting Tree by Tatjana Soli with Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys with some support from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Soli’s story opens with a California ranch family struggling with a terrible tragedy. The matriarch of the family, Claire, finds solace in her citrus groves, even as she becomes estranged from her daughters and husband. Another piece of devastating news leads Claire to hire a caretaker, Minna, a mysterious woman from the Caribbean. Full of lush language and complex plot twists, book groups with a preference for literary fiction will find much to discuss in The Forgetting Tree.
The books of autumn promise to deliver as much color and depth as New Hampshire.