It’s funny how we end up picking our book club selections for each season. There’s always a theme. Always. We don’t plan it this way but it just happens. And this time around the theme is family. These novels take place in different times and places and even countries. But at the heart of each lies a family threatened by disaster, either emotional or literal. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense that Marybeth and I would be drawn to these novels during this season of our lives. We’ve both made conscious decisions to invest more in our families this year, to pay attention to what’s going on at home. So it makes sense that we would be drawn to stories where family dynamics are at play. And these novels, all very different (a literary novel, a psychological thriller, and a domestic drama) set their stage upon the battleground of the family. Brilliant, really. And very human. So we invite you to read them with us over the next two months and to participate in the various conversations we will have online.
To celebrate the announcement of our Books of Spring, we’ve got a copy of each novel up for grabs today. See the entry form below for details.
THE PRECIOUS ONE by Marisa De Los Santos
From the New York Times bestselling author of Belong to Me, Love Walked In, and Falling Together comes a captivating novel about friendship, family, second chances, and the redemptive power of love.
In all her life, Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary—professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk: her father.
Seventeen years ago, Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. In all that time, Taisy’s family has seen Wilson, Caroline, and their daughter, Willow, only once.
Why then, is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit, encouraging her to meet her pretty sister—a teenager who views her with jealousy, mistrust, and grudging admiration? Why, now, does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir?
Told in alternating voices—Taisy’s strong, unsparing observations and Willow’s naive, heartbreakingly earnest yearnings—The Precious One is an unforgettable novel of family secrets, lost love, and dangerous obsession, a captivating tale with the deep characterization, piercing emotional resonance, and heartfelt insight that are the hallmarks of Marisa de los Santos’s beloved works.
THE BOOKSELLER by Cynthia Swanson
A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.
Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .
Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.
Then the dreams begin.
Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.
Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?
As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?
THE DAUGHTER by Jane Shemilt
In the tradition of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Ruth Rendell, this compelling and clever psychological thriller spins the harrowing tale of a mother’s obsessive search for her missing daughter.
Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.
But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.
As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.