That Part Was True, by Deborah McKinlay. A fan writes to an author, praising a scene in one of his books. What follows is a gradual move toward friendship as they trade stories and advice in their relative anonymity. As they grow closer, however, they begin to plan a meeting in Paris, which the fan fears can never happen. Critical buzz is big on this one, and I'm guessing it will be a book-club darling this year.
The Daring Ladies of Lowell, by Kate Alcott. Alcott made quite an impression with 2012's The Dressmaker. Desperate to get away from her family's farm, Alice Barrows moves to Lowell in 1832 and eagerly throws herself into the hard work demanded of her as one of "the mill girls". She embraces her new life in spite of the hard work, making friends and ultimately falling in love...with a man she cannot have. When her friend is murdered, Alice is torn between her loyalty to her fellow mill girls and her newfound love. Based on a true story.
Lost Lake, by Sarah Allen Addison. When Kate finds herself newly widowed, she takes her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to a cottage at Lost Lake, where she herself spent a summer of dreamy wonder as a girl. However, all that's left in Sulley, GA are the cottages at Lost Lake, and the owner, Kate's aunt, wants to sell them and retire. In a place where time seems to stand still, can Kate rediscover her purpose in life? I'm suggesting this for fans of authors like Jane Green and Kristin Hannah.
Long Man, by Amy Greene. New fiction from Greene, who also wrote 2009's critically acclaimed novel Bloodroot. A river called the Long Man has flowed through Eastern Tennessee since time began. But in 1936, the Tennessee Valley Authority plans to dam the river and flood the small town of Yuneetah for the sake of the greater good: bringing electricity and jobs to the region. As the deadline approaches, one of the last holdouts in the town realizes that her young daughter is missing, and the heat is on to find her and get to safety before the flood begins. This is being heralded as brilliant, suspenseful, gorgeous and a tour de force. My interest is certainly piqued.
I'll be back with the rest of my picks on Thursday. In the meantime, happy reading!