Family, Friends, Coming of Age: Contemporary Fiction Previews, Feb. 2023, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Growing up and facing life. 

Adébáyọ̀, Ayọ̀bámi. A Spell of Good Things. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780525657644. $28. CONTEMPORARY

Deveraux, Jude. Meant To Be. Mira: Harlequin. Feb. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780778331445. $27.99; pap. ISBN 9780778333739. $17.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Florin, Daisy Alpert. My Last Innocent Year. Holt. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250857033. $26.99. COMING OF AGE

George, Jessica. Maame. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250282521. $27.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Makkai, Rebecca. I Have Some Questions for You. Viking. Feb. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780593490143. $28. Downloadable. PSYCHOLOGICAL

Poeppel, Amy. The Sweet Spot. Emily Bestler: Atria. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781982176464. $27.99; pap. ISBN 9781982176457. $17.99. CONTEMPORARY

Tate, Dizz. Brutes. Catapult. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781646221677. $27. COMING OF AGE

From Adébáyọ̀, author of the Baileys short-listed Stay with Me, A Spell of Good Things brings together two contemporary Nigerian families through the intertwined lives of a young woman doctor named Wuraola and Eniola, still a boy but tending to his family after his father’s death. Perennially best-selling Deveraux’s Meant To Be features sisters Vera and Kelly Exton in 1970s Kansas, having to choose between what they want and what is expected of them (75,000-copy first printing). Though she finally feels at home at her prestigious college in 1998, Lower East Side New Yorker Isabel Rosen still faces emotional crisis during what she calls My Last Innocent Year, moving from a nonconsensual sexual encounter to an affair with a married professor who seems to believe in her; a highly touted debut for Florin (100,000-copy first printing). In Ghanaian British George’s debut, Maame, Maddie finally wrests some independence from her parents—a bossy mother forever traveling to Ghana and a father who needs caretaking—and for the first time experiences living on her own; then tragedy strikes (250,000-copy first printing). In Pulitzer Prize finalist Makkai’s I Have Some Questions for You, film professor and podcaster Bodie Kane gingerly returns to teach a two-week class at the New Hampshire boarding school where a classmate was murdered and begins to wonder whether justice was served in quickly convicting the school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans. When Melinda’s husband runs off with a young celebrity entrepreneur, they dump their newborn on Melinda’s doorstep, and she ends up caring for the baby with friend Lauren, whose Greenwich Village brownstone houses a bar called The Sweet Spot, and bartender Olivia; from popular Musical Chairs author Poeppel. Winner of the Bristol Short Story Prize, Florida-born, London-based Tate goes full-length in Brutes, about a bunch of 13-year-old girls in swampy Falls Landing, FL, obsessed with preacher’s daughter Sammy—and galvanized by her sudden disappearance.

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