Happy April my lovelies! This is my second monthly Five Upcoming Releases post, and I have some really great books to share with you! I’ve only read two of them, but if they’re anything to go by, April is going to be an incredible month for books. Here are my picks!
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. Little, Brown, April 1. During the summer of 1876, a young woman is shot dead through the window of a San Francisco railroad saloon. Over the next three days, her friend Blanche, a French burlesque dancer, risks everything to bring the murderer to justice. Blanche struggles to piece together the thrilling story among the millionaires and lowlifes of the vibrant boomtown. I got totally caught up in this book and couldn’t put it down! Donoghue is an absolute master.
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon. Doubleday, April 8. It’s about a decade in the future, and people rely on Memes for everything from ordering food in restaurants to calling a cab as they leave the office to looking up the words they need in a conversation. The third edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language is about to be published, but days before the launch, the editor in chief goes missing. At the same time, cases of a mysterious “word flu” begin popping up around New York City. Ana, a dictionary employee and the editor’s daughter, must piece together clues to find her father amid a rapidly unraveling city. This debut novel is fun, clever, and riveting. It’s a love letter to language, and I can’t sing its praises loudly enough.
In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen. Riverhead, April 8. More than 100 men and women gather at a former concentration camp for a week-long retreat. They pray, meditate, and bear witness at the crematoria and selection platform. They eat and sleep in the Nazi quarters. Tensions rise among the participants, and Clements, an American academic of Polish descent, is forced to confront a history his family has long suppressed.
Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead. Knopf, April 8. This novel offers a compelling glimpse into the world of professional ballet. Joan, a ballerina, helps Arslan defect from the Soviet Union to the US. While his NY career takes off, her career declines and finally ends when she becomes pregnant. Her son becomes a ballet prodigy himself, but when his success brings him close to Arslan, the careful balance between Joan’s past and present is shattered.
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. Pantheon, April 15. Jake Whyte is living alone on a craggy British island with only her disobedient collie and a flock of sheep for company. The solitude suits her, but the frequent picking-off of the sheep by an unknown something (or someone) brings her terror. I’m intrigued by this novel about isolation, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.