Barbara Love

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The Mysteries

Silver (Mary Coin; Little Nothing) paints an evocative picture of the early ’70s. This compelling domestic drama, with heartbreak at its center, depicts the everyday mysteries that lead up to the big one

Double Blind

St. Aubyn’s impressive trove of knowledge of wide-ranging topics like artificial intelligence, epigenetics, climate science, and wilding takes nothing away from an entertaining story about love and friendship.

A Thousand Ships

If there is any need for one more trip down this well-traveled road after Madeline Miller’s Circe and Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, this lively reinvention is worth the journey.

The Mission House

Part mystery, part romance, this charming story is set in the present but has the feel of an earlier time. Fans of Helen Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will eat this spicy masala of a novel right up.

Best Literary Fiction of 2020


The Bass Rock

A Granta Best of Young British Novelists, Wyld (All the Birds, Singing) has proved herself in the past, but there’s a patchiness to the multiple strands of her current work, as past and present mix with vignettes about ghosts, rape and murder. In the end, the parts of this chilling novel—particularly the “Masterpiece Theatre” paced postwar story


Set partly in the astonishing Coronavirus/George Floyd present and partly in the World War I era of Resistance France and prison-camp England, Smith’s latest is suffused with the warmth of a more hopeful future and brings her quartet to a satisfying conclusion.

That Old CountryMusic: Stories

The multi-award-winning Barry (Night Boat to Tangier) dazzles with his word wizardry and the effortless grace of his perfect sentences. Highly recommended.

Just Like You

Filled with laugh-out-loud charm, Hornby’s movie-ready follow-up to State of the Union is a hopeful balm for our unsettled postpandemic times. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/20.]

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