The Reformatory by Tananarive Due
Twelve-year-old Robbie Stephens, Jr., is sentenced to six months at the Gracetown School for Boys, a reformatory, for kicking the son of the largest landowner in town in defense of his older sister, Gloria. So begins Robbie’s journey further into the terrors of the Jim Crow South and the very real horror of the school they call The Reformatory.
Robbie has a talent for seeing ghosts, or haints. But what was once a comfort to him after the loss of his mother has become a window to the truth of what happens at the reformatory. Boys forced to work to remediate their so-called crimes have gone missing, but the haints Robbie sees hint at worse things. Through his friends Redbone and Blue, Robbie is learning not just the rules but how to survive. Meanwhile, Gloria is rallying every family member and connection in Florida to find a way to get Robbie out before it’s too late.
Absolution by Alice McDermott
American women―American wives―have been mostly minor characters in the literature of the Vietnam War, but in Absolution they take center stage. Tricia is a shy newlywed, married to a rising attorney on loan to navy intelligence. Charlene is a practiced corporate spouse and mother of three, a beauty and a bully. In Saigon in 1963, the two women form a wary alliance as they balance the era’s mandate to be “helpmeets” to their ambitious husbands with their own, inchoate impulse to “do good” for the people of Vietnam.
Sixty years later, Charlene’s daughter, spurred by an encounter with an aging Vietnam vet, reaches out to Tricia. Together, they look back at their time in Saigon, taking wry account of that pivotal year and of Charlene’s altruistic machinations, and discovering as they do how their own lives as women on the periphery―of politics, of history, of war, of their husbands’ convictions―have been shaped and burdened by the same sort of unintended consequences that followed America’s tragic interference in Southeast Asia.
The Sun Sets in Singapore by Kehinde Fadipe
Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK, is on the brink of partnership at her firm. Estranged from her mother, and perpetually uncomfortable around her hypercompetitive colleagues, her insecurities intensify when Lani, a new hire from Geneva, is assigned to work on what should have been her career-making case. Pitted against each other by their boss, Dara can’t help but see Lani as a threat: a privileged man poised to take her place.
Amaka, a sharp-tongued banker from Nigeria, is in the midst of a painful family dispute. Thousands of miles away from home, she’s doing her best to distract herself with a flirtatious workplace romance—and hiding a spiraling shopping addiction that’s endangering not only her finances but her very sense of self. An instant attraction to Lani jeopardizes her relationship and the last shred of stability she has.
Lillian, a pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the US, is desperately trying to stay in Singapore after her marriage comes to a messy end. Rather than sell her beloved piano, the last precious reminder she has of her parents, she takes a low-paying job at a language school. A chance encounter with Lani—a man who is inexplicably, impossibly, the spitting image of her late father—triggers a grief she’s spent a lifetime suppressing, leading to an obsession that imperils everything—and everyone—around her.
Forced to confront the ghosts of their pasts, Dara, Amaka, and Lillian soon learn that unfinished history can follow you anywhere, no matter how far you run from home.
Mischievous Creatures: The Forgotten Sisters Who Transformed Early American Science by Catherine McNeur
Historian Catherine McNeur uncovers the lives and work of Margaretta Hare Morris and Elizabeth Carrington Morris, sisters and scientists in early America. Margaretta, an entomologist, was famous among her peers and the public for her research on seventeen-year cicadas and other troublesome insects. Elizabeth, a botanist, was a prolific illustrator and a trusted supplier of specimens to the country’s leading experts. Together, their discoveries helped fuel the growth and professionalization of science in antebellum America. But these very developments confined women in science to underpaid and underappreciated roles for generations to follow, erasing the Morris sisters’ contributions along the way.
When I’m Dead by Hannah Morrissey
One girl murdered. Another one missing. And a medical examiner desperate to uncover the truth in the latest Black Harbor mystery by acclaimed author Hannah Morrissey.
On a bone-chilling October night, Medical Examiner Rowan Winthorp investigates the death of her daughter’s best friend. Hours later, the tragedy hits even closer to home when she makes a devastating discovery—her daughter, Chloe, is gone. But, not without a trace.
A morbid mosaic of clues forces Rowan and her husband to question how deeply they really knew their daughter. As they work closely to peel back the layers of this case, they begin to unearth disturbing details about Chloe and her secret transgressions…details that threaten to tear them apart.
Amidst the noise of navigating her newfound grief and reconciling the sins of her past, an undeniable fact rings true for Rowan: karma has finally come to collect.
Nestlings by Nat Cassidy
The horrifically complicated birth of their first child has left Ana paralyzed, bitter, and struggling: with mobility, with her relationship with Reid, with resentment for her baby. That’s about to change with the words any New Yorker would love to hear—affordable housing lottery.
They’ve won an apartment in the Deptford, one of Manhattan’s most revered buildings with beautiful vistas of Central Park and stunning architecture.
Reid dismisses disturbing events and Ana’s deep unease and paranoia as the price of living in New York—people are odd—but he can’t explain the needle-like bite marks on the baby.