BookExpo America (BEA) was last week and although I didn’t attend this year, I have been following their Buzz Books list, which features summer and fall release books they think are going to do well. Of the debut novels featured, war and family are themes I saw in a lot of the books, with a few of them being historical novels. Three that stood out to me are:
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. A historical novel set in 17th Century Amsterdam involving a woman who gets a miniature replica of her home as a wedding gift. The author was written about in this recent Guardian article, after the London Book Fair. (Summer 2014)
Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera. A story about two families divided by the Sir Lankan Civil War. It has been compared to Anil’s Ghost and The God of Small Things, which are two of my favorite books. I really want to read this one! (Fall 2014)
The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle. After spending many years living overseas, a young woman comes back to Tennessee to come to terms with her father’s release from prison and the death of her stepmother, who her father killed 17 years before. (Fall 2014)
And finally, congrats to Elizabeth Scarboro for wining this year’s Chautauqua Prize for her moving debut memoir, My Foreign Cities, which I reviewed earlier this year. A well-deserved prize for a remarkable book. If you have not read it yet, this memoir, a love story between a 20-something woman and 20-something man with a terminal illness, is one of the best books I have reviewed this year, but make sure you buy some tissues before you get too deep into the story.
More reviews next week…for the next couple of reviews, I will be writing about debut memoirs.