Alice & Oliver, by Charles Bock. A few years ago, Bock's debut, Beautiful Children, earned vast critical acclaim and was a New York Times bestseller. It's been a little while since we've seen something from him, so it's no surprise that this new novel, his first after nearly eight years, has critics and publishing gurus talking. Billed as "an unflinching yet deeply humane portrait of a young family’s journey through a medical crisis, laying bare a couple’s love and fears as they fight for everything that’s important to them," Alice & Oliver is, I predict, going to be a novel that every book club is reading this summer.
The Other Widow, by Susan Crawford. You never know what secrets lurk in someone else's marriage, and Crawford's new novel (after The Pocket Wife, 2015) aims to prove just how dark some secrets can be. Joe ended his extramarital affair just moments before his car skids off an icy road and hits a tree in a blinding blizzard. He leaves behind his mistress and his wife, both of whom find themselves in free-fall for reasons both similar and different. And then there's the insurance investigator, who's more than a little suspicious at Joe's untimely death, so soon after buying a very large life-insurance policy. As she digs to find the truth, because she does not believe in coincidence, not in the least, what she uncovers may shock everyone involved. Fans of writers like Sophie Hannah may find this just to their liking.