Nutshell, by Ian McEwan. McEwan (Atonement, On Chesil Beach) is a reader favorite and a bestseller, perhaps because he tends not to revisit the same themes over and over. Here, he tells a tale of murder and deceit, but makes it fresh with the manner of the telling. Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home—a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse—but John's not there. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb.
The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue. Best known for her runaway bestseller Room (2010), Donoghue treats readers to another unforgettable story in her new novel. English nurse Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to watch over eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, a girl living in a small Irish village and purported to be living solely off of manna from heaven. I've long been in love with Donoghue's writing style, and am very much looking forward to this new novel. I'll be shocked if book clubs aren't all clamoring for copies in the near future.
Fates and Traitors, by Jennifer Chiaverini. Having left her quilters behind for the intrigue during the American Civil War, Chiaverini (Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, The Spymistress, etc.) now takes on the story of one of the most infamous men in history: John Wilkes Booth. The subject of more than a century of scholarship, speculation, and even obsession, Booth is often portrayed as a shadowy figure, a violent loner whose single murderous act made him the most hated man in America. Lost to history until now is the story of the four women whom he loved and who loved him in return: Mary Ann, the steadfast matriarch of the Booth family; Asia, his loyal sister and confidante; Lucy Lambert Hale, the senator’s daughter who adored Booth yet tragically misunderstood the intensity of his wrath; and Mary Surratt, the Confederate widow entrusted with the secrets of his vengeful plot.