Lucy by the Sea

As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it's just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea. Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we're apart--the pain of a beloved daughter's suffering, the emptiness that comes from the death of a loved one, the promise of a new friendship, and the comfort of an old, enduring love.

Loving People Who Are Hard to Love

We're never going to be able to prevent people from saying or doing things that hurt our feelings. We will always have opportunities to get offended. But if we do things God's way, we can choose to save ourselves a lot of misery and hardship. This doesn't mean we allow people to abuse us. No, there is a time for confronting people and dealing with situations. However, the Bible commands us to love our enemies and forgive those who have wronged us, even when it feels impossible.


n seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monks--young Trian and old Cormac--he rows down the river Shannon in search of an isolated spot on which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find an impossibly steep, bare island inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. In such a place, what will survival mean?

The It Girl

Ware has written another Agatha Christie-esque novel with her signature twist ending. Hannah Jones meets popular and carefree It Girl April Clarke-Cliveden on her first day at Oxford. They quickly form a close friend group with Emily, Ryan, Hugh, and Will. By the end of the semester, April is dead. A decade later, the man accused of her murder has died in prison proclaiming his innocence. When a young reporter starts asking questions, Hannah begins investigating what really happened that night. She soon realizes there are some answers she may not want to know. Imogen Church provides a well-done narration of the tense, twist-filled mystery. The It Girl explores the group dynamics and the lengths to which someone will go to protect themselves. The repercussions are explored as well, as listeners are introduced to each of the characters and the effects that April's murder has had on them. VERDICT Ware's newest novel is a must-add for mystery collections that will appeal to her fans and new readers alike.


In Turow's Suspect, Clarice "Pinky" Granum--granddaughter of Turow stalwart Sandy Stern--is working second-tier cases as a private investigator and trying to recoup from the mistakes of a mislaid life when she's asked to help Highland Isle police chief Lucia Gomez, who has been accused of soliciting sex from three male police officers in exchange for promotions.

Dreamland: a Novel

Colby is taking the first vacation from his family farm that he has had in years. It's not entirely a vacation, since he is playing in a band at a bar in Florida. There, he meets Morgan, a young woman of means from Chicago who just graduated college and is getting ready to launch her own music career. They fall in love within days, and he wonders if he will be able to change his life and follow this new, unexpected direction. Colby and Morgan's story alternates with that of Beverly, who is running from her abusive husband and trying to hide her young son to keep him safe. Beverly's tale is fraught with tension, and readers will realize that there is more to her situation than it appears. When Colby is called home to deal with a family emergency, forces converge to link Beverly with the lovers.

Mad Honey: a Novel

Picoult (Wish You Were Here) joins forces with novelist and transgender activist Boylan (Long Black Veil) for a spellbinding yarn involving a teen's trial for murder. Beekeeper Olivia McAfee fled her abusive husband in Boston for New Hampshire with her six-year-old son, Asher. Twelve years later, Asher is charged with murdering his high school girlfriend, Lily, a newcomer to town. The story unfolds from Olivia and Lily's viewpoints (Lily's before the murder), and centers on the budding relationship between Asher and Lily and the subsequent court case against Asher, who is represented by Olivia's older brother, Jordan, a high-profile defense attorney who has appeared in previous Picoult novels. Both teens have troubled relationships with their fathers, and the authors painstakingly explore the impact of physically and emotionally abusive men on their families. After a big reveal in the second half, the canvas stretches to include a primer on transgender issues, and the shift is mostly seamless though sometimes didactic.

Our Missing Hearts

Incorporating recent events into her narrative, the best-selling Ng (Little Fires Everywhere) crafts a dystopian tale about societal repression and a mother's love. It follows the quest of 12-year-old Bird ("Noah") Gardner to understand why his Chinese American mother, published poet Margaret Miu, seemingly abandoned him and his father, Ethan, three years earlier. Instructed by his father to deny any association to his mother and not to stray when going about his daily routines, Bird must also be careful to follow the PACT (Preserving American Cultures and Traditions) passed by the government following a major worldwide crisis. He doesn't want to raise any suspicions and risk being separated from his remaining parent, which happened to his classmate and closest friend, 13-year-old Sadie. Known for focusing on families, race, and relationships, Ng raises the bar another notch in a story intensified by reference to such police violence, political protest, book banning, and discrimination against people of color.

The Passenger

McCarthy returns 16 years after his Pulitzer-winning The Road with a rich story of an underachieving salvage diver in 1980 New Orleans, the first in a two-volume work. Bobby Western, son of a nuclear physicist who worked on the atomic bomb, is tasked with investigating a private plane crash in the Gulf. The plane's crew is dead, the black box is missing, and one passenger is unaccounted for. Soon, agents of the U.S. government begin to harass Western and his coworker, then this colleague turns up dead. This thriller narrative is intertwined with the story of Western's sister, Alicia, a mathematical genius who had schizophrenia and died by suicide. In flashbacks of Alicia's hallucinations, vaudevillian characters perform for her--most notably, a character named the Thalidomide Kid. Alicia and the Kid engage in numerous conversations about arcane philosophy, theology, and physics--staples of the philosopher-tramps, vagabonds, and sociopaths of McCarthy's canon.

The Last Chairlift

Another semi-autobiographical work, it features Adam Brewster, a wrestler who becomes a novelist/screenwriter growing up in 1950s Exeter, NH. His mother, Rachel (Little Ray) is a ski instructor in Vermont who leaves Adam with his grandmother and aunts in Exeter during ski season. Adam is raised in a sexually and gender-fluid home, unusual for that time. He and other family members see ghosts in their home and elsewhere. In adulthood, Adam searches his young mother's haunts in Aspen to hunt down his biological father.