Friday, April 20, 2012

Debut Novels That Have Caught My Eye

The Bellwether Revivals (Already Released)

Part Secret History, part Brideshead Revisited for the 21st century, The Bellwether Revivals is a page-turning, romantic, eerie tale of genius and, possibly, madness; a stunning debut for fans of Sarah Waters, Donna Tartt, and Lauren Goff.


The Bellwether Revivals opens and closes with bodies. The story of whose bodies and how they come to be spread about an elegant house on the river near Cambridge is told by Oscar, a young, bright working class man who has fallen in love with an upper-class Cambridge student, Iris, and thereby become entangled with a group of close friends, led by Iris's charismatic, brilliant, possibly dangerous brother. For Eden Bellwether believes he can heal -- and perhaps more -- through the power of music.

In this masterful debut, we too are seduced by this gilded group of young people, entranced by Eden's powerful personality and his obvious talent as a musician, and caught off guard by the strangeness of Iris and Eden's parents. And we find ourselves utterly unsure as to whether Eden Bellweather is a saviour or a villain, and whether Oscar will be able to solve this mystery in time to save himself, if not everyone else.


Above All Things by Tanis Rideout (Releases in June)

The Paris Wife meets Into Thin Air in this breathtaking debut novel of obsession and divided loyalties, which brilliantly weaves together the harrowing story of George Mallory's ill-fated 1924 attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest, with that of a single day in the life of his wife as she waits at home in England for news of his return.


A captivating blend of historical fact and imaginative fiction, Above All Things moves seamlessly back and forth between the epic story of Mallory's legendary final expedition and a heartbreaking account of a day in the life of Ruth Mallory. Through George's perspective, and that of the newest member of the climbing team, Sandy Irvine, we get an astonishing picture of the terrible risks taken by the men on the treacherous terrain of the Himalaya. But it is through Ruth's eyes that a complex portrait of a marriage emerges, one forged on the eve of the First World War, shadowed by its losses, and haunted by the ever-present possibility that George might not come home.

Drawing on years of research, this powerful and beautifully written novel is a timeless story of desire, redemption, and the lengths we are willing to go for honour, glory, and love.

Gilded Age (Releases June)

A debut author transforms Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth into a powerful modern story of one woman’s struggle with independence and love.Ellie Hart made a brilliant marriage in New York, but it ended in a scandalous divorce and thirty days in Sierra Tucson rehab. Now, returning home to Cleveland, she finds that, despite feminist lip service, she will still need a husband to be socially complete. A woman’s sexual reputation matters, and so does her family name in the treacherous social terrain where old money meets new: charitable benefits and tequila body shots, inherited diamonds and viper-bite lip piercings, country house weekends and sexting. Ellie finds that her beauty is a powerful tool in this world, but it has its limitations, even liabilities. Through one misstep after another, Ellie mishandles her second act. Her options narrow, her prospects contract, until she faces a desperate choice.

8 comments:

  1. Those are all new to me but they all look great!!

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  2. I am excited about The Gilded Age, and hope to read it when it comes out. It sounds like an excellent read, as do the others that you've spotlighted here today. Great post!

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  3. The Gilded Age does sound really good and I like the cover.

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  4. These are all new to me as well, but the Gilded age looks particularly interesting - I like the idea of following Ellie through "treacherous social terrain". Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

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  5. I've got Gilded Age one on the way! I'm excited to read it! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  6. That first book sounds like a good story and I love a good mystery.

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  7. All three books sound really interesting, especially The Bellweather Revivals.

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