Perhaps, your favorite author has left you yearning for more but doesn’t have a new book on the horizon, so read one of the following books written by these debut fiction authors. One of them may become your next go to favorite.
The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger-This epistolary novel contains memos, emails, newspaper articles and court pleadings. A young criminal attorney’s boss asks her to do the initial interview with a wealthy client whose husband wants a divorce and then the client insists on having this unseasoned attorney represent her. It’s fresh, often moving and funny (in spite of the subject matter) and you begin to care about these characters and their lives even though there is no dialogue. A remarkable feat! This may well become a breakout book this year.
Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall-Set in the 1960s, this 2013 debut features Starla, the 9 year old narrator who runs away from her grandmother’s house to find her Mother, who has gone off to Nashville to become a country music star. She’s accompanied by an older African American woman who teaches her a lot about life on their journey. The little girl is a determined, memorable character in a story that is reminiscent of The Secret Life of Bees and The Help.
North of Boston by Elizabeth Elo-Fans of Dennis Lehane will enjoy the gritty Boston setting and the feisty lead character, Piro Kasparov, daughter of two Russian expats. She narrowly escapes death and miraculously survives when the boat she is on is struck by a much larger one in the Boston Harbor, killing her friend and forcing her into the icy water for hours. Piro investigates the accident putting herself and other friends at risk. Elo weaves together the perfume and fishing industries, hypothermia survival and environmentalism into the plot, but leaves some personal questions unanswered so that readers will be clamoring for a sequel.
I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe-Based on a true Civil War incident, Rosetta, a young newlywed, disguises herself as a male soldier and follows her husband as he goes off to fight for the North. She trains along side him and his fellow soldiers sharing monotonous days and sleepless nights until the fighting begins. McCabe’s realistic portrayal of Rosetta’s strength and determination and the love and devotion she and her husband share are tempered by the descriptions of the bloody ravages of war. With attention to historical detail and the inclusion of real life characters, this is a story well done.