1912: Ava Knight, a teen heiress, boards the Titanic to escape the shadow of her unstable mother and to fulfill her dream of becoming a photographer in New York. During the journey she meets three people who will change her life: a handsome sailor, a soldier in the secret Black Hand society that will trigger World War I, and a woman with clairvoyant abilities. When disaster strikes the ship, family betrayals come to light.
2010: When Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program, something feels off. Not only is she greeted by a young, Rolls Royce-driving chauffeur, but he invites her to tea with Lady Mae Knight of Meadowbrook Manor, an old house with a cursed history going back to the days of Henry VIII. Lady Knight seems to know a strange amount about Taylor and her family problems, but before Taylor can learn more, the elderly woman dies, leaving as the only clue an old diary. With the help of the diary, a brooding chauffeur, and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own….
Je suis une grande lectrice de romans historiques. Celui-ci me tente énormément, car il est plutôt rare que je lise autour du Titanic, pourtant un événement qui m’intéresse.
2. Mercy House – Alena Dillon
In the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn stands a century-old row house presided over by renegade, silver-haired Sister Evelyn. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, Evelyn and her fellow sisters makes Mercy House a safe haven for the abused and abandoned.
Women like Lucia, who arrives in the dead of night; Mei-Li, the Chinese and Russian house veteran; Desiree, a loud and proud prostitute; Esther, a Haitian immigrant and aspiring collegiate; and Katrina, knitter of lumpy scarves… all of them know what it’s like to be broken by men.
Little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Bishop Robert Hawkins is coming to investigate Mercy House and the nuns, whose secret efforts to help the women in ways forbidden by the Church may be uncovered. But Evelyn has secrets too, dark enough to threaten everything she has built.
Evelyn will do anything to protect Mercy House and the vibrant, diverse women it serves—confront gang members, challenge her beliefs, even face her past. As she fights to defend all that she loves, she discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.
J’aime les histoires où la maison, demeure… prend une place importante. À cela s’ajoute le destin de femmes hors du commun et que tout semble opposé pour sauver leur refuge. Je suis impatiente de pouvoir le découvrir.
3. Daughter of the Reich – Louise Fein
As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.
Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.
Il doit sortir prochainement en français. Le résumé m’a tout de suite plu, car il me rappelle les Mandy Robotham que j’aime beaucoup. Je l’avais déjà mis en avant dans un article sur les sorties en anglais qui me tentent énormément, il y a un an. Depuis, il traîne dans ma wish-list et il n’a toujours pas été acheté et lu. Sûrement un de mes prochains achats avec le prochain.
4. The Ratline – Philippe Sands
As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadeführer Otto Freiherr von Wächter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author’s grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for ‘mass murder’. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wächter went on the run. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps, assisted by his wife Charlotte, before making his way to Rome where he was helped by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the ‘ratline’ he died unexpectedly, in July 1949, a few days after spending a weekend with an ‘old comrade’.
In The Ratline Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, on the run, in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wächter’s youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man – what happened to Otto Wächter, and how did he die?
J’ai beaucoup aimé son premier essai, East West Street, sur le dévéloppement des notions de génocide, crimes contre l’humanité. Il retourne sur ce terrain fertile de la Seconde Guerre mondiale en parlant du réseau de fuite nazi. Je connais cet aspect du conflit, mais sans être réellement rentrée dans les détails. Cela fait un an qu’il est sorti et je ne l’ai toujours pas acheté, mais prochainement.
5. Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell
Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.
Ce livre a beaucoup fait parler de lui et il m’intéresse énormément, car il parle de Shakespeare. Ce dernier a toujours été un de mes auteurs préférés. Il est sorti l’année dernière et il a été traduit récemment en français, aux éditions Belfond.
The Godmothers • Camille Aubray • William Morrow • 15 juin • 432 pages
Filomena is a clever and resourceful war refugee with a childhood secret, who comes to America to wed Mario, the family’s favored son. Amie, a beautiful and dreamy French girl from upstate New York, escapes an abusive husband after falling in love with Johnny, the oldest of the brothers. Lucy, a tough-as-nails Irish nurse, ran away from a strict girls’ home and marries Frankie, the sensuous middle son. And the glamorous Petrina, the family’s only daughter, graduates with honors from Barnard College despite a past trauma that nearly caused a family scandal.
All four women become godmothers to one another’s children, finding hope and shelter in this prosperous family and their sumptuous Greenwich Village home, and enjoying New York life with its fine dining, opulent department stores and sophisticated nightclubs.
But the women’s secret pasts lead to unforeseen consequences and betrayals that threaten to unravel all their carefully laid plans. And when their husbands are forced to leave them during the second World War, the Godmothers must unexpectedly contend with notorious gangsters like Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano who run the streets of New York City.
Refusing to merely imitate the world of men, the four Godmothers learn to put aside their differences and grudges so that they can work together to protect their loved ones, and to find their own unique paths to success, love, forgiveness, and the futures they’ve always dreamed of.
Sisters of the Resistance • Christine Wells • William Morrow • 8 juin • 416 pages
France, 1944: The Nazis still occupy Paris, and twenty-five-year-old Gabby Foucher hates these enemies, though, as the concierge of ten rue Royale, she makes it a point to avoid trouble, unlike her sister Yvette. Until she, like her sister, is recruited into the Resistance by Catherine Dior—sister of the fashion designer, Christian Dior.
Gabby and Yvette are both swept into the world of spies, fugitives, and Resistance workers, and it doesn’t take long for the sisters to realize that their lives are in danger.
Gabby discovers an elderly tenant is hiding a wounded British fugitive, and Yvette becomes a messenger for the Resistance. But as Gabby begins to fall in love with her patient and Yvette’s impulsiveness lead her into intrigue at an ever-higher level, both women will discover that their hearts and even their souls hang in the balance as well.
The Wolf & the Woodsman • Ava Reid • Del Rey • 8 juin • 448 pages
In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.
But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.
As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.
Daughter of Sparta • Claire M. Andrews • Jimmy Paterson Book • 8 juin • 400 pages
Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior, hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis—who holds Daphne’s brother’s fate in her hands—upends the life she’s worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods’ waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother’s life will be forfeit.
Guided by Artemis’s twin-the handsome and entirely-too-self-assured god Apollo-Daphne’s journey will take her from the labyrinth of the Minotaur to the riddle-spinning Sphinx of Thebes, team her up with mythological legends such as Theseus and Hippolyta of the Amazons, and pit her against the gods themselves.
Nature of Witches • Rachel Griffin • Sourcebooks Fire • 1 juin • 362 pages
For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.
For the Wolf • Hannah F. Whitten • Orbit Books • 15 juin • 448 pages
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.
The Maidens • Alex Michaelides • Celadon Books • 15 juin • 352 pages
Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.
Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?
When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.
Une aventure de Wilde et Chase, À la poursuite de l’Atlantide (2007) ; Le tombeau d’Hercule (2008) ; Le secret d’Excalibur (2008) • Andy McDermott • Bragelonne
Après des années de recherches, Nina Wilde, une jeune archéologue new-yorkaise, est parvenue à localiser l’Atlantide.
Malheureusement, elle est désavouée par ses pairs. Alors, quand le célèbre mécène Kristian Frost lui propose de financer son expédition, elle saute sur l’occasion. En compagnie d’Eddie Chase, un ancien agent des services secrets britanniques, et de la sublime Kari, la fille de Frost, elle s’embarque dans une folle aventure archéologique. Mais le sinistre Giovanni Qobras a juré de trouver l’Atlantide avant elle et de s’emparer du secret qu’elle recèle depuis plus de onze mille ans…
De l’Iran au Brésil, des fonds de l’océan aux sommets de l’Himalaya, la quête de l’Atlantide mène à tout. A la mort, à l’amour… aux mystères les mieux protégés !
Adolescente, je lisais beaucoup de ce type de thrillers ésotériques ou romans d’aventures autour d’un grand mythe de l’Humanité. J’y reviens de temps à autre depuis quelques mois. J’avais notamment très envie de me plonger dans cette série d’Andy McDermott, dont les quatre premiers tomes ont été publiés en France, sur une quinzaine en version originale.
Ces trois premiers livres s’intéressent à l’Atlantide, au héros grec Hercule et à la légendaire épée du roi Arthur, Excalibur. Ils sont dans la lignée de ceux que j’ai pu lire et l’auteur utilise les mêmes recettes déjà éprouvées : des secrets archéologiques, suivre des indices pour résoudre un mystère, une écriture très « visuelle » ou cinématographique qui rappelle les films d’action et d’aventure de Nicolas Cage, par exemple. Malheureusement, ce sont des formules redondantes et qui apparaissent clairement d’un tome à l’autre… Surtout quand la lecture de ces derniers est très rapprochée dans le temps. J’en ai quasiment lu un par semaine. J’ai beaucoup moins apprécié ma lecture du troisième tome, notamment pour cette raison. Une fois que le lecteur comprend les ficelles qui reviennent très fréquemment, il anticipe les rebondissements et les révélations. Par exemple, un des ingrédients qui revient inlassablement est qu’un des membres du groupe qui part en expédition est un traître. À chaque fois, la justification de ses actes est la volonté de dominer le monde en annihilant une partie de la population. Peut-être qu’en laissant quelques mois entre chaque tome, j’aurai plus facilement apprécié les deux suivants à leur juste valeur.
À chaque livre, le lecteur retrouve Nina Wilde et Eddie Chase. Wilde est une jeune archéologique qui pense savoir comment retrouver l’Atlantide et Chase est son garde du corps pour cette aventure. J’ai eu beaucoup plus de mal avec ce dernier et ma première impression ne s’est pas améliorée au fil des tomes, loin s’en faut.Sa vulgarité et sa grossièreté sont lassantes, tout comme son sens de l’humour lourd à souhait. Il fait une petite crise existentielle dans le troisième tome qui sonne fausse. Globalement, je n’ai pas eu l’impression qu’il évoluait, ne serait-ce qu’un peu au fil des tomes. Contrairement à Nina Wilde. Si dans le premier tome, elle est souvent montrée comme une demoiselle en détresse, cela change dans les deux suivants où elle apprend à se défendre et elle est moins dépendante de Chase (malheureusement, pas au point de le laisser au bord de la route). Dans leur relation amoureuse, j’ai eu le sentiment que c’est elle qui se remet plus facilement en question pour faire réussir et avancer leur couple. Chase n’est pas un personnage qui évolue rapidement et, qui garde son côté macho, voulant toujours avoir le rôle de protecteur. Dans le troisième tome, celui autour d’Excalibur, il fait une grosse scène de jalousie quand Nina décide de partir sans lui en exploration alors qu’il lui a explicitement interdit, soit disant pour sa protection… Bienvenue au XXIe siècle où une femme peut faire ce qu’elle veut. C’est un aspect qui m’a énormément rebuté.
À la poursuite de l’Atlantide, le tout premier tome de la série, est clairement celui que j’ai le plus apprécié. Sûrement parce qu’il avait encore l’attrait de la nouveauté et que je ne connaissais pas encore toutes les ficelles utilisées par Andy McDermott pour développer et résoudre son intrigue, justifier les actions des méchants… Il reste encore un effet de surprise dans les événements et les trahisons. J’ai également beaucoup aimé la manière dont le mythe de l’Atlantide est exploité. L’auteur propose une vraie chasse au trésor où j’ai avancé pas à pas avec les personnages, en suivant des indices.
Le tombeau d’Hercule m’a quelque peu déçue par son aspect mythologique. Ce n’est pas tant par le choix de l’histoire, adorant la mythologie gréco-romaine depuis toute petite, mais par la façon dont l’auteur semble oublier pendant une bonne partie du roman que ses personnages sont à la recherche du tombeau d’Hercule, alors que dans le premier tome, l’objectif, l’Atlantide, est constamment mentionné. Le lecteur le garde à l’esprit. J’ai souvent perdu de vue cette quête et les explications ne sont pas aussi bien développées que dans le premier livre à mon goût. Je reste sur ma faim concernant cet aspect. Quelques chapitres avant la fin, l’auteur semble se réveiller et se remettre dans les rails. Par ailleurs, la justification du camp des « méchants » (c’est clairement des histoires très manichéennes) ressemble beaucoup trop à celle du premier tome : une élite veut dominer le monde et tuer une partie de la population…
Enfin, je pensais que Le secret d’Excalibur allait remonter un peu le niveau et que j’allais réellement l’apprécier. Le mythe du roi Arthur fait partie également de mes préférés. C’est un des premiers que j’ai lu. Partir à la découverte et à la recherche d’Excalibur était un rêve, un retour en enfance. Mon reproche pour le second tome concernant le manque d’explications autour de la figure d’Hercule ou de son tombeau est totalement oubliée ici. L’objectif n’est jamais perdu de vue, on est retourné dans une quête au trésor, par étape, avec des indices. Ma déception tient plus à l’intrigue. Le schéma est exactement le même que pour les livres précédents en termes de rebondissements et de final qui se voit venir à des kilomètres à la ronde. La cerise sur le gâteau est qu’Eddie Chase est tout bonnement insupportable dans ce tome. J’ai réellement fait une overdose de ce dernier et quand il ne vient pas pour l’exploration d’un site, j’en étais soulagée. Je ne comprends également pas ce que l’auteur a avec les femmes enceintes jusqu’aux yeux, qui viennent en renfort de Chase, avec des sous-entendus graveleux sur sa paternité et le fait qu’il ait une femme dans chaque pays. C’est plus que moyen la première fois, mais au bout de la troisième ou quatrième fois, c’est usant et énervant. Ça n’apporte rien à l’intrigue.
Ces trois premiers tomes m’ont quelque peu vacciné pour lire la suite, même en version originale. Je n’ai pas envie de retrouver le personnage principal masculin, j’ai encore aussi trop en tête les trames de l’intrigue pour pouvoir me plonger dans un. Le quatrième tome vient d’être publié, L’Alliance de la Genèse.Cependant, Andy McDermott ne m’a pas totalement détourné de mon envie de me replonger dans des thrillers ésotériques, ayant les romans de Steve Berry, Jacques Ravenne et Éric Giacometti dans ma liste d’envie.
The Ladies of the Secret Circus • Constance Sayers • RedHooks • 23 mars • 469 pages
Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder-a world where women tame magnificent beasts, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. But each daring feat has a cost. Bound to her family’s strange and magical circus, it’s the only world Cecile Cabot knows-until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate love affair that could cost her everything.
Virginia, 2005: Lara Barnes is on top of the world-until her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. Desperate, her search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother’s journals and sweeps her into the story of a dark circus and a generational curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations.
In the Quick • Kate Hope Day • Random House • 2 mars • 272 pages
June is a brilliant but difficult girl with a gift for mechanical invention, who leaves home to begin a grueling astronaut training program. Six years later, she has gained a coveted post as an engineer on a space station, but is haunted by the mystery of Inquiry, a revolutionary spacecraft powered by her beloved late uncle’s fuel cells. The spacecraft went missing when June was twelve years old, and while the rest of the world has forgotten them, June alone has evidence that makes her believe the crew is still alive.
She seeks out James, her uncle’s former protégée, also brilliant, also difficult, who has been trying to discover why Inquiry’s fuel cells failed. James and June forge an intense intellectual bond that becomes an electric attraction. But the love that develops between them as they work to solve the fuel cell’s fatal flaw threatens to destroy everything they’ve worked so hard to create–and any chance of bringing the Inquiry crew home alive.
Under the light of the Italian Moon • Jennifer Anton • Amsterdam Publishers • 8 mars • 396 pages
Fonzaso Italy, between two wars
Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.
When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.
As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…
The phone booth at the edge of the world • Laura Imai Messina • The Overlook Press • 9 mars 416 pages
When Yui loses both her mother and her daughter in the tsunami, she begins to mark the passage of time from that date onward: Everything is relative to March 11, 2011, the day the tsunami tore Japan apart, and when grief took hold of her life. Yui struggles to continue on, alone with her pain.
Then, one day she hears about a man who has an old disused telephone booth in his garden. There, those who have lost loved ones find the strength to speak to them and begin to come to terms with their grief. As news of the phone booth spreads, people travel to it from miles around.
Soon Yui makes her own pilgrimage to the phone booth, too. But once there she cannot bring herself to speak into the receiver. Instead she finds Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of her mother’s death. Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World is the signpost pointing to the healing that can come after.
The Girl in the painting • Tea Cooper • Thomas Nelson • 9 mars • 384 pages
Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship— having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.
Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.
But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late.
From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.
The Vietri Project • Nicola DeRobertis-Theye • Harper • 23 mars • 240 pages
Working at a bookstore in Berkeley in the years after college, Gabriele becomes intrigued by the orders of signor Vietri, a customer from Rome whose numerous purchases grow increasingly mystical and esoteric. Restless and uncertain of her future, Gabriele quits her job and, landing in Rome, decides to look up Vietri. Unable to locate him, she begins a quest to unearth the well-concealed facts of his life.
Following a trail of obituaries and military records, a memoir of life in a village forgotten by modernity, and the court records of a communist murder trial, Gabriele meets an eclectic assortment of the city’s inhabitants, from the widow of an Italian prisoner of war to members of a generation set adrift by the financial crisis. Each encounter draws her unexpectedly closer to her own painful past and complicated family history—an Italian mother diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized during her childhood, and an extended family in Rome still recovering from the losses and betrayals in their past. Through these voices and histories, Gabriele will discover what it means to be a person in the world; a member of a family and a citizen of a country—and how reconciling these stories may be the key to understanding her own.
Murder & Magic, The Conductors • Nicole Glover • Del Rey • 4 mars • 432 pages
As an escaped slave, Hetty Rhodes helped dozens of people find their own freedom north using her wits and her magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband, Benjy, still fight for their people by solving the murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch.
When they discover one of their friends brutally murdered in an alley, Hetty and Benjy mourn his loss by setting off to find answers. But the mystery of his death soon brings up more questions, more secrets, more hurt. To solve his death, they will have to not only face the ugly truths about the world but the ones about each other.
After Alice fell • Kim Taylor Blakemore • Lake Union Publishing • 1 mars • 288 pages
New Hampshire, 1865. Marion Abbott is summoned to Brawders House asylum to collect the body of her sister, Alice. She’d been found dead after falling four stories from a steep-pitched roof. Officially: an accident. Confidentially: suicide. But Marion believes a third option: murder.
Returning to her family home to stay with her brother and his second wife, the recently widowed Marion is expected to quiet her feelings of guilt and grief—to let go of the dead and embrace the living. But that’s not easy in this house full of haunting memories. Just when the search for the truth seems hopeless, a stranger approaches Marion with chilling words: I saw her fall.
Now Marion is more determined than ever to find out what happened that night at Brawders, and why. With no one she can trust, Marion may risk her own life to uncover the secrets buried with Alice in the family plot.
The Women of Chateau Lafayette • Stephanie Dray • Berkley • 30 Mars • 576 pages
A founding mother… 1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.
A daring visionary… 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing–not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what’s right.
A reluctant resistor… 1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan’s self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.
Red Island House • Andrea Lee • Scribner • 23 mars • 288 pages
Shay is surprised when her husband Senna declares his intention to build her a spectacular dream house on an idyllic beach in the tropical island nation of Madagascar.
But the Red Island House casts a spell from the moment she sees it, and before she knows it Shay has become the somewhat reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and education, and her connection to the continent of her ancestors.
At first, she’s content to be an observer of the passionate affairs and fierce ambitions and rivalries around her. But as she and her husband raise children and establish their own rituals on the island, Shay finds herself drawn ever deeper into an extraordinary place with its own laws and logic, a provocative paradise full of magic and myth whose fraught colonial legacy continues to reverberate. Soon the collision of cultures comes right to Shay’s door, forcing her to make a life-altering decision.
Vera • Carol Edgarian • Scribner • 2 mars • 336 pages
Meet Vera Johnson, the uncommonly resourceful fifteen-year-old illegitimate daughter of Rose, notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s most legendary bordello and ally to the city’s corrupt politicians. Vera has grown up straddling two worlds—the madam’s alluring sphere, replete with tickets to the opera, surly henchmen, and scant morality, and the violent, debt ridden domestic life of the family paid to raise her.
On the morning of the great quake, Vera’s worlds collide. As the shattered city burns and looters vie with the injured, orphaned, and starving, Vera and her guileless sister, Pie, are cast adrift. Vera disregards societal norms and prejudices and begins to imagine a new kind of life. She collaborates with Tan, her former rival, and forges an unlikely family of survivors. Together they navigate their way beyond disaster.
The Vines • Shelley Nolden • Freiling Publishing • 23 mars • 391 pages
In the shadows of New York City lies forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses an enigmatic beauty through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past—and his own family’s dark secrets. By unraveling these mysteries, will he be able to save Cora? Will Cora meet the same tragic ending as the thousands who’ve already perished on the island?
The lost village • Camilla Sten • Minotaur Books • 23 mars • 352 pages
Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.
But there will be no turning back.
Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:
They are not alone. They’re looking for the truth… But what if it finds them first?
The Rose Code • Kate Quinn • William Morrow • 9 mars • 656 pages
1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.
1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…
The lost apothecary • Sarah Penner • Park Row • 2 mars • 320 pages
Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.