Fiction Finale | Prepub Alert, May 2024 Titles

Sarah Perry returns to the world of The Essex Serpent, multiple debuts of note, and a new series title.








Fforde, Jasper. Red Side Story. Soho. (Shades of Grey, Bk. 2). May 2024. NAp. ISBN 9781641296281. $29.95. SF

In the sequel to the best-selling Shades of Grey, Fforde revisits the world of Chromatacia, where the societal hierarchy is strictly regulated by one’s limited color perception. Eddie and Jane are trying to clear themselves from a murder charge, and as they search for a loophole, they begin to uncover the truth of their world.

Hood, Ann. The Stolen Child. Norton. May 2024. 304p. ISBN 9780393609806. $27.99. F

Best-selling Hood returns with a story set in 1974. Nick has only months to live and still regrets his actions during World War I, when a French artist gave him her baby and her paintings—only to disappear. Nick enlists college dropout Jenny to help him, and they set off for Europe in search of answers.

Messud, Claire. This Strange Eventful History. Norton. May 2024. 448p. ISBN 9780393635041. $29.99. F

Inspired by her family history and 10 years in the making, Messud’s new historical saga spans seven decades, from 1940 to 2010, about a pieds-noirs family who are left without a home after Algeria gains its independence from France. She explores the inner lives of these characters against the backdrop of social and political upheaval.

Perry, Sarah. Enlightenment. Mariner. May 2024. 352p. ISBN 9780063352612. $28. F

Set in the world of Perry’s best-selling The Essex Serpent (now an Apple TV+ show), this is the story of Thomas and Grace, kindred spirits torn apart. They are eventually drawn to each other again as the mystery of a vanished 19th-century astronomer unfolds, and they contemplate love and fate. With a 150K-copy first printing.

Richards, Diane. Ella. Amistad: HarperCollins. May 2024. 352p. ISBN 9780063338654. $28. F

Writer, playwright, and music producer Richards debuts with a biographical novel about legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald. She details how Fitzgerald lost her mother during the Great Depression, escaped incarceration after a stint with the mob, and eventually got her big break after singing at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night. With a 100K-copy first printing.

Shattuck, Jessica. Last House. Morrow. May 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780062979896. $28. F

Author of the best-selling The Women in the Castle, Shattuck pens a multi-generational story of an American family that delves into their relationships and complicated history with Big Oil, starting in 1953 with Nick, a WWII veteran, and his codebreaker wife, Bet. With a 150K-copy first printing.

Smith, Willow & Jess Hendel. Black Shield Maiden. Del Rey: Ballantine. May 2024. 480p. ISBN 9780593356739. $30. FANTASY

Singer/songwriter Smith and cowriter Hendel launch an epic trilogy set during the age of the Vikings and featuring fierce African warrior Yafeu, who is taken from her home in the Ghanaian Empire and brought north. There she decides to become a shield maiden and fight for freedom.

Sue, Natalie. I Hope This Finds You Well. Morrow. May 2024. 352p. ISBN 9780063320369. $28. F

Billed as a heartwarming office comedy, this debut is HarperCollins’s Lead Read for the summer, with a 100K-copy first printing. When admin Jolene accidentally gets access to her coworkers’ emails, she decides to use them to help save her own job from layoffs but finds herself unexpectedly caring about her colleagues.

Sykes, Plum. Wives Like Us. Harper. May 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780062429087. $30. F

Fashion journalist and best-selling novelist Sykes (Bergdorf Blondes) turns her sights on the English villages of the Cotswolds. There, rich Londoners and Americans descend, and drama and hilarity ensue among wealthy wives, tycoons, a U.S. divorcée, and a butler. With a 100K-copy first printing.

Forthcoming Series Title

Hostin, Sunny. Summer on Highland Beach. Morrow. (Summer Beach, Bk. 3). May 2024. 432p. ISBN 9780062994257. $30. F

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