An ambitious and evocative debut novel about one brilliant but lonely NASA secretary’s relentless drive to live a big life in a world that would keep her small.
How far would you travel for love?
Intelligent but isolated physics graduate Annie Fisk feels an undeniable pull toward space. When she lands a job as a NASA secretary during the Apollo 11 mission, she feels certain this path is her destiny. Her memories of childhood darkened by loss, she’s left behind her home, her mother, and her first love. And now she’s finally found her purpose. Even typing dictation, the work is everything she dreamed, and despite her budding attraction to one of the engineers, she can’t let herself be distracted. Not now.
So when her inability to ignore an engineer’s mistaken calculations propels her into a new position, Annie finds herself torn between her ambition, her heart, and a mysterious discovery that upends everything she knows to be scientifically true. Can she overcome her fears and reach toward the limits of human advancement? Will she chase her ambitions, and risk losing herself in them? Affectingly achronological in its telling, Shoot the Moon daringly explores one woman’s quest for both intellectual fulfilment and romantic love, the price paid for scientific progress, and the heart’s persistent yearning for home.
Nineteen-year-old Ada adores spending every summer in a Turkish seaside town with her mother and grandmother at the family villa. The glittering waters, picturesque olive groves, and her spirited friends make it easy for Ada to leave her idle life in California behind. But no matter how much Ada feels she belongs to the country where her mother grew up, deep down, her connection to the culture feels as fleeting as the seasons.
When Levent, a mysterious man from her mother’s past, shows up in their town, Ada can’t help but imagine a different future for her mother—one that promises a return to home, to love, to happiness. But while playing matchmaker, Ada has to come to terms with her own intensifying attraction to Levent. Does the future she’s fighting for belong to her mother—or to her alone?
Lush and evocative, Inci Atrek’s Holiday Country is a rapturous meditation about what it means to experience being of two worlds, the limitations and freedom of a life in translation, and the intricacies of a love triangle that stretches across generations and continents.
A debut novel of female friendship and coming-of-age from Jazmina Barrera, acclaimed author of nonfiction titles Linea Nigra and On Lighthouses, translated by Christina MacSweeney.
It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime. Mila, Citali, and Dalia, childhood friends now college aged, leave Mexico City for the England of The Clash and the Paris of Courbet. They anticipate the cafés and crushes, but not the early signs that they are each steadily, inevitably changing.
That feels like forever ago. Mila, now a writer and a new mother, has just published a book on needlecraft—an art form so long dismissed as “women’s work.” But after learning Citali has drowned, Mila begins to sift through her old scrapbooks, reflecting on their shared youth for the first time as a new wife and mother. What has come of all the nights the three friends spent embroidering together in silence? Did she miss the signs that Citali needed help? Jazmina Barrera’s Cross-Stitch, in Christina MacSweeney’s taut translation, encounters its characters hesitating before the specter of adulthood.
Spanning from England’s anti-fascism protests of 1936 through the aftermath of WWII, this moving, intricately wrought historical novel brings together a young Irish Catholic photographer and a British Jewish medical student, each discovering the price of love, art, and ambition:
In the autumn of 1936, Irish Catholic Kate Grifferty is making her way as a photojournalist in Fleet Street, an unusual job for a woman. At an anti-fascism protest in East London, she meets David Rabatkin, a lanky, brilliant Jewish medical student as ambitious as she is. Their three-month love affair exposes Kate to the dangers and demands of David’s world, where marrying within the Jewish faith is seen as not only preferable, but key to survival. Kate neither expects nor wants to be any man’s wife, hampered by convention. And though she and David are both outsiders, as war looms, other differences between them are thrown into sharp relief: Four years later, Kate is a single mother in Brighton working at her sister’s seaside boarding house, while David tends patients at a busy London hospital as the Blitz rages. But Kate’s challenges and disappointments have only deepened her desire to capture images of life unfurling around her, the beauty and violence, struggles and surprising joys. And soon fate and ambition will align, providing her with the chance to make her mark at last.
At 24, Hera is a violently unsatisfied disaster. To her, the future is nothing but an exhausting thought exercise, one depressing hypothetical after another. She’s a mean little thing, adrift in her own smug malaise, until her new job as an “online community moderator” of a news outlet’s online comment section—a job even more mind-numbing than it sounds—introduces her to Arthur, a middle-aged journalist. Though she’s preferred women to men for years now, she relishes becoming a cliché as their mutual infatuation quickly festers into affair. She is coming apart with want and loving every second of it! Well, except for the tiny hiccup of Arthur’s wife — and that said wife has no idea Hera exists. With her daringly specific and intimate voice, Gray has created an irresistible and messy love story about the terrible allure of wanting something that promises nothing; about the joys and indignities of coming into adulthood against the pitfalls of the 21st century; and the winding, torturous, and often very funny journey we take in deciding who we are and who we want to be.
Cedric The Entertainer’s debut novel Flipping Boxcars is a valentine to close-knit black families and tightly woven communities during the Depression and World War II. The story is also an homage to Cedric’s grandfather, who in this tale emerges as Babe. He is a charismatic and widely loved man. He is also a gambler, whose gift of gab often gets him out of tricky situations, which is often. Babe is also a dreamer, something he shares in common with his patient and loving wife. They both yearn for financial stability and need to hold on to their land as insurance for future generations. However, when Babe and a few comrades enlist in a scheme that improbably falls apart, Babe places his family on the verge of losing everything. What’s a family man to do? Babe decides to go for one more big scheme involving railroad boxcars. In breakneck speed, Cedric the Entertainer pulls readers in and never lets them go until the last page. Will Babe succeed? Will Rosie continue to support her husband? Are the Feds on to Babe’s scheme? Flipping Boxcars is a page-turner anchored by rich, multi-dimensional characters, and oozing with Cedric The Entertainer’s inimitable charm.
Evie Porter has everything a nice, Southern girl could want: a perfect, doting boyfriend, a house with a white picket fence and a garden, a fancy group of friends. The only catch: Evie Porter doesn’t exist.
Jonathan Abernathy is a loser . . . he’s behind on his debts, he has no prospects, no friends, no ambitions. But when a government loan forgiveness program offers him a literal dream job, he thinks he’s found his big break. If he can appear to be competent at his new job, entering the minds of middle-class workers while they sleep and removing the unsavory detritus of their waking lives from their unconscious, he might have a chance at a new life. As Abernathy finds his footing in this new role, reality and morality begin to warp around him. Soon, the lines between life and work, love and hate, right and wrong, even sleep and consciousness, begin to blur.
The boy who couldn’t love and the girl who wouldn’t. Ginny Murphy is a total guy’s girl. She’s always found friendships with boys easier to form and keep drama-free — as long as they don’t fall for her, and she doesn’t fall for them. She and her best guy friends have stuck to that. But then she meets Adrian Silvas, the only one who’s ever made her crave more, and Ginny begins to question her own rules. Piece by piece, Ginny and Adrian begin to fall into something intoxicating, something dangerous. Ginny threatens to destroy the belief Adrian’s held ever since witnessing his own mother’s heartbreak: that love isn’t worth the risk. For Ginny, the stakes could be even higher. Letting Adrian get close could mean exposing a secret she’s long protected: her disordered eating. Ginny isn’t looking to be saved by someone. But maybe she and Adrian can help each other — if they don’t destroy each other first. Heartfelt and evocative, Guy’s Girl is a powerful story about true love, self-love, and growing up.