New Book Releases: February 23, 2021

Each week, I’ll catalog the biggest and most exciting adult and YA fiction — and the occasional nonfiction — coming out that Tuesday.

IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, Véronique Tadjo. In this portrait of the Ebola epidemic, two unwitting young boys venture into the forest to hunt, killing and eating bats that will infect them, and their community, with the deadly virus. “As personal and humane as it is biblically grand… Brief and haunting, this makes for a timely testament to the destructive powers of pandemics,” writes Publisher’s Weekly. Bookshop.

WHEN PARIS SLEPT, Ruth Druart. A Frenchman on the run from his past in WW2-era France, and a young woman on her way to Auschwitz, find their lives intersecting in profound and immense ways. Bookshop.

HONEY GIRL, Morgan Rogers. A hard-working, newly-minted astronomy PhD goes on a trip to Las Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman she doesn’t know. “Romance fans will appreciate the happily-ever-after of it all, with a rewardingly emotional conclusion, but this is a book with true crossover appeal as well,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Bookshop.

THOSE WHO ARE SAVED, Alexis Landau. Five years after she was forced to flee Nazi-occupied France to California, a woman returns to France to look for the daughter she left behind. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly writes that “once this magnetic book takes hold, it doesn’t let go.” Bookshop.

THE UPSTAIRS HOUSE, Julia Fine. A new mother and her baby’s life are in danger when the ghost of Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon, and her estranged lover move in upstairs. The Boston Globe calls it “gripping and stylistically impressive.” Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

THE MARRIAGE PASS, Briana Cole. When his wife proposes a consequences-free, no-limitations night out for their one-year marriage anniversary, a doctor is elated, only to discover that maybe one night wasn’t enough. “Sensual and shocking, this is a surefire hit,” writes Publisher’s Weekly in a starred review. Bookshop.

THE BONE FIRE, György Dragomán, Ottilie Mulzet (translator). After her parents die in an accident, a young girl is rescued from an orphanage by a grandmother she’s never met. Kirkus says it’s “a poignant coming-of-age tale.” Amazon.

THE BLIZZARD PARTY, Jack Livings. On a wild, stormy night in New York in 1978, a child attends a strange Upper West Side party that will change the course of her life, and the lives of all the other attendees. “One may wonder why a first-time novelist in 2020 would follow the Wolfe/Balzac template for the Novel of Everything…but the fact is that Livings, amazingly, pulls it off,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

QUIET IN HER BONES, Nalini Singh. When his mother’s body is discovered ten years after she disappeared, a son begins an obsessive, dangerous search to discover what happened to her. Read an excerpt here. Bookshop.

SUN-DAUGHTERS, SEA-DAUGHTERS, Aimee Ogden. A space opera retelling of The Little Mermaid, in which the daughter of a sea clan leader sparks a war for choosing a land-dwelling lover and rejecting her own people. Bookshop.

THE SLAUGHTERMAN’S DAUGHTER, Yaniv Iczkovits, Orr Schar (translator). In late 19th-century Russia, the daughter of a ritual slaughterman embarks on a journey across Russia to track down her good-for-nothing husband. “As witty as it is wise, Iczkovits’ novel is a profoundly moving caper through the Russian empire,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

THE KITCHEN FRONT, Jennifer Ryan. In 1942, a group of British women enter a cooking competition in which the winner will be the cohost of a new BBC radio show. “A creative and satiating novel,” writes Kirkus. Bookshop.

THE SMASH-UP, Ali Benjamin. In this reimagining of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, a small town couple’s marriage begins to spiral out of control in the wake of #MeToo, growing financial insecurity, and a rebellious teen daughter. Shelf Awareness calls it “funny, withering and devastating.” Bookshop.

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I’m a columnist for OneZero, where I write about the intersection of health & tech. Also seen at Elemental, The Atlantic, VICE, and Vox. Brooklyn, NY.

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