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14 Fiction Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2023

By Brandon Miller

January is a time of fresh beginnings. And with so many fabulous novels coming out in 2023, it’s also the ideal moment to update your TBR list! From gripping literary thrillers and sweeping historical dramas to out-of-this-world speculative narratives, here are 13 fiction books we can’t wait to read in 2023.

Locust Lane

By Stephen Amidon

Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane comes out in January, so you won’t have to wait long to crack open this “compulsively readable, richly plotted crime novel” (Booklist, starred review). Set in a well-heeled Massachusetts suburb, Amidon’s literary thriller centers on the death of Eden Perry and the tense search for the truth about her demise. News of the young woman’s death upends this affluent community: Families close ranks, neighbors go silent, and as the official investigation unfolds, suspicion swirls around three local teenagers who were partying with Perry on her last night alive. The perfect next read for fans of Dennis Lehane or books like Little Fires Everywhere, Locust Lane is an intricately crafted and deeply affecting crime narrative.

Publication date: January 17, 2023

Beyond That, the Sea

By Laura Spence-Ash

Laura Spence-Ash’s debut novel is already getting rave reviews from critics and readers alike. Set in 1940 during the dark days of World War II, Beyond That, the Sea is a gorgeous work of historical fiction that follows two families on either side of the Atlantic. The narrative introduces us to Millie and Reginald Thompson, a working-class couple in England who must send their 11-year-old daughter Beatrix away to live in Boston as German bombs rain down on London. Beatrix is shocked by the separation from her biological parents, yet she soon settles into her new life in America with her adoptive family as war rages on in Europe. But when the war finally ends and she’s summoned back home to London, Beatrix must reckon with her dual identity as a member of both families. A sweeping narrative of love and family bonds, “readers will be riveted” by Spence-Ash’s “magnetic debut” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Publication date: March 21, 2023

If We're Being Honest

By Cat Shook

Cat Shook’s debut novel is sure to please lovers of poignant family dramas that feature easy-to-love characters, whip-smart writing, and charmingly tangled interpersonal relationships. If We’re Being Honest focuses on the Williams family, brought together by the death of patriarch Gerry. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandchildren travel from across the country to attend Gerry’s funeral in Eulalia, Georgia — where a surprise disclosure during a eulogy leaves the entire Williams family reeling. As each member grapples with grief and eye-opening revelations, they must also work through a raft of personal issues, from heartbreak and lost love to the search for identity amid such a rowdy clan. An absorbing read that doubles as an ideal book club book, If We’re Being Honest is suffused with warmth and humanity.

Publication date: April 18, 2023

The Woman Inside

By M. T. Edvardsson

From the author of A Nearly Normal Family comes the page-turning story of a wealthy couple found dead in their house and the many people in their orbit who have secrets to hide. Set in Lund, Sweden, the compulsive thriller jumps between narrators and will keep readers scrambling to figure out the mystery of the Rytters’ deaths until the final pages. International bestselling thriller author Lars Kepler calls The Woman Inside “a super well-composed chamber drama, where the darkness dwells, the desperation grows between the characters, and the walls are closing in until you´re caught in the trap.”

Publication date: June 13, 2023

Victory City

By Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is one of literary fiction’s most cherished living authors, so each book he publishes comes with understandably high expectations. Fans of Rushdie’s work will not be disappointed by Victory City, an inventive epic about the rise of the fantastical city of Bisnaga and young girl Pampa Kampana, whose grand life story intertwines with the city’s complicated development across the years. The highly anticipated new novel — part love saga, part adventure novel, part mythic epic.

Publication date: February 7, 2023

Our Share of Night

By Mariana Enriquez

Our Share of Night is a mesmerizing new novel that integrates elements of the paranormal and occult with very real human issues of love, grief, and power. Written by Mariana Enriquez, the novel centers on one woman’s mysterious demise and the young father and son she leaves behind. United in their grief, the father–son duo set out on a road trip to visit the ancestral home of the wife and mother they just lost — only to discover that she hailed from an evil vampiric cult known as the Order, whose members are willing to commit appalling acts of brutality in their quest for eternal life. As the father and son race to escape the clutches of this malevolent sect, they must also reckon with how far they’re willing to go to survive and whether it’s possible to break free from one’s ancestral destiny.

Publication date: February 7, 2023

I Have Some Questions for You

By Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers author Rebecca Makkai is set to release I Have Some Questions for You, a psychological thriller about memory and reckoning with the painful ghosts of the past. Bodie Kane is a film professor and podcaster, who’s made a concerted effort to move on from a traumatic episode from her adolescence: During her senior year at a New Hampshire boarding school, Kane’s roommate, Thalia Keith, was murdered. The details of the case continue to transfix the public and spark heated debate online — especially when it comes to Omar Evans, the school’s athletic trainer, who was convicted of Keith’s slaying. Years later, when Kane is invited back to the boarding school to teach, she inevitably slides down the rabbit hole of the true crime case, reexamining the death of her roommate, the guilt or innocence of Omar Evans, and whether she knew something all those years ago that could unlock the truth about the slaying.

Publication date: February 21, 2023

Evil Eye

By Etaf Rum

Bestselling author Etaf Rum’s new book Evil Eye centers on Yara, a Palestinian American woman who escaped a strict, arduous family upbringing in Brooklyn only to find her new life as a suburban mom unrewarding. When a series of bad events jeopardizes Yara’s job at a local college, her mother blames it on an ancient family curse. Though Yara remains skeptical of her mother’s superstitious claims, she nevertheless feels the ground shift beneath her feet. As her ideal life in the suburbs begins to crumble, Yara must reckon with her dreams and identity while reexamining how her past affects the present.

Publication date: September 5, 2023

Old Babes in the Wood

By Margaret Atwood

Legendary speculative fiction author Margaret Atwood will release her latest work this spring, and we could not be more excited. The highly anticipated Old Babes in the Wood is a collection of 15 short stories, some of which have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker and New York Times Magazine. Across its pages, Atwood explores concepts of loss, memory, miscommunication, and alienation, adding twists of folkloric magic and the fantastical to her telling. At the core of the collection are seven interlinked stories that follow a married couple, tracing their remarkable love across time.

Publication date: March 7, 2023

Flux

By Jinwoo Chong

Jinwoo Chong’s dazzling debut novel Flux blends speculative fiction and neo-noir stylings as it interweaves stories of grief, trauma, identity, and the threat of big tech. At the core of the book are three characters, each grappling with loss: a child named Bo whose mother just died under tragic circumstances, a 28-year-old named Brandon who recently lost his job at a major media company, and a 48-year-old named Blue who’s struggling to reconnect with his family as he serves as the key witness in a criminal trial against a notorious digital corporation. Secrets are uncovered and timelines intersect as Chong’s reality-warping tale, which also integrates an ’80s detective show plotline, progresses to its exhilarating conclusion.

Publication date: March 21, 2023

Chain Gang All-Stars

By Nana Kwame Adjel-Brenyah

This explosive new narrative is sure to spark discussion. Chain Gang All-Stars, the first novel from Nana Kwame Adjel-Brenyah, author of the bestselling short story collection Friday Black centers on two female gladiators, Loretta Thurwar and Hamara “Hurricane Staxxx” Stacker, who are the stars of a wildly popular and highly controversial entertainment program run by a private prison enterprise. On the show, prisoners compete in life-or-death matches for a chance at freedom. Thurwar and Stacker, who are both teammates and lovers, fight for their humanity within a deeply exploitative system from which one of them will soon be released.

Publication date: April 4, 2023

The Half Moon

By Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane wowed readers with her spirited New York Times bestseller Ask Again, Yes. The author’s new novel, The Half Moon appears poised to charm us all over again. The narrative spans one momentous week in the life of Malcolm Gephardt, the handsome and sociable bartender of The Half Moon. When Malcolm’s boss announces his retirement, Malcolm jumps at the chance to acquire the bar at which he works. The purchase, however, sparks a cascade of complications, which is exacerbated by a crisis in his marriage to his wife Jess, a devastating blizzard, and the disappearance of one of the bar’s patrons.

Publication date: May 2, 2023

Crook Manifesto

By Colson Whitehead

Acclaimed author Colson Whitehead’s newest novel, Crook Manifesto continues the author’s Harlem saga and is set in New York City in the seedy 1970s. Against a riotous city landscape where crime rates are skyrocketing and a street war rages between the cops and the Black Liberation Army, former fence and current furniture store owner Ray Carney is just trying to keep out of trouble. It isn’t long, however, before Carney slips back into the shadows of NYC’s criminal underworld, with the help of his partner in crime Pepper and a corrupt policeman fixer named Munson.

Publication date: July 18, 2023

Learned by Heart

By Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue excels at crafting captivating tales that transcend easy categorization, and past works like Room and The Wonder are testaments to her literary acumen. In Learned by Heart, the bestselling author draws on true events to tell the heartbreaking tale of orphan heiress Eliza Raine and her relationship with a bright and unruly tomboy named Anne Lister. The pair meet in 1805 at the age of 14 at the Manor School in York, an English boarding school for young girls, where their friendship blossoms into young love. Drawing on in-depth historical research and Lister’s five-million-word personal journal, Donoghue’s Learned by Heart is about a passionate but forbidden romance and is emotionally and psychologically engrossing.

Publication date: August 29, 2023

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