I warned you that I have a LOT of picks for next month. Here's the low-down on what made my list and why.
The Burning Girl, by Claire Messud. Messud (The Woman Upstairs, The Emperor's Children, etc.) follows friends since childhood Julia and Cassie as they grow up and apart. The burning girl in the title? She ultimately puts not only their friendship but their very lives in danger.
Emma in the Night, by Wendy Walker. Two sisters disappeared three years ago. Now, one has returned with a fantastical tale about a mysterious island where they were held. When her story is dissected by a forensic psychiatrist, the truth turns out to be one of betrayal and violated boundaries, much stranger than the concocted fiction. If twisted psychological thrillers are your thing, add this to your list. Also available in Large Print.
The Driver, by Hart Hanson. From the creator of the TV show Bones, a debut thriller about a former US Army Special Forces sergeant who now runs a limo company. On a job carting around skateboarding mogul Bismark Avila, he saves his client from two gunmen, and winds up a person of interest in the murder of one of Avila's personal bodyguards. Expect a sequel. Fans of Lee Child's Reacher series might consider testing the waters here.
Young Jane Young, by Gabrielle Zevin. Zevin is the international bestselling author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2014). Finding herself pariah after an affair with her very married, much-admired Congressman boss, Aviva Grossman moves away and tries to start over. But is that possible when the Internet never forgets? Equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking.
My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent. Fourteen-year-old Turtle wanders the Northern California coast, inevitably circling back to her troubled father, since her mother's death. But when she meets Jacob, who finally causes her to question the future of her existence with her father. For fans of Emma Donoghue's Room.
The Ice Cream Makers, by Ernest Van Der Kwast. A tale of passions left unfulfilled, when a poet returns home to Northern Italy to help run his family's ice cream business. Recommending this for fans of Adriana Trigiani (The Shoemaker's Wife) and Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop).