By Bethanne Patrick
The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine)
When Dawn Edelstein braces for a plane crash, her thoughts turn not to her husband, but to another man she once loved, archaeologist Wyatt Armstrong. And when she survives that crash, instead of heading home to her family, she goes to Egypt, where he’s directing a dig. However, readers will see that Dawn could truly pursue either path: one in which she returns to her husband and daughter, and the other where she rekindles her relationship with Wyatt in pursuit of a different life. Faced with the consequences of her choices, Dawn realizes that “maybe the miracle isn’t where we wind up, but that we get there at all.” penguinrandomhouse.com.
One by One by Ruth Ware (Scout Press)
Like her foremother Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware proves that the venerable “locked-room” mystery trope can work in many situations – such as at an executive retreat at a remote French Alps chalet. The eight-person team of Snoop, a social-media music app, arrive at their luxurious lodgings and, almost immediately, get cut off from the wider world by an avalanche, with one of them missing and possibly dead. What follows is made fresh by the modern characters and their relationships – from Snoop founder Topher to chalet chef Danny and Topher’s former assistant Liz – and how each one responds to the pressure of losing contact in our 24/7 digital culture. simonandschuster.com.
Jack by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
A new Marilynne Robinson novel is always reason to rejoice. Set in Saint Louis, Missouri, Jack follows preacher’s son John Ames Boughton, who falls in love with another preacher’s daughter, Della Miles. It’s a match seemingly made in heaven – but because Della is Black and it’s the 1950s, the interracial match upsets the carefully maintained community balance. Robinson may write about churchgoers and their milieu, but her writing never preaches. Her latest – tied delicately but inexorably to her previous books Gilead, Home, and Lila – meticulously unpicks the fabric of an American time and place, revealing what’s fine and what’s shoddy, then and now. us.macmillan.com.
More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran (Harper Perennial)
The hilarious Caitlin Moran returns with her second neo-feminist memoir, following How to Be a Woman. Things have changed in the last decade, and she wants to know if everyone’s kept up: If there’s a “dad bod,” why isn’t there a “mum bod?” How long can a to-do list get before it’s something else entirely? What happens when your teenaged child needs more help than you can provide? Women with changing bodies, aging parents, and children at home will relate to Moran’s biting humor, and men partnered with those women might want to read this to save their relationships. harpercollins.com.