Historical Fiction, Jun. 2022, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

From Lauren Belfer to Jamie Ford to Kelly Rimmer.

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Bayard, Louis. Jackie & Me. Algonquin. Jun. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781643750354. $27.95. HISTORICAL

Belfer, Lauren. Ashton Hall. Ballantine. Jun. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780593359495. $28. HISTORICAL

Deane, Maya. Wrath Goddess Sing. Morrow. Jun. 2022. 454p. ISBN 9780063161184. $27.99. HISTORICAL

Ford, Jamie. The Many Daughters of Afong Moy. Atria. Jun. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781982158217. $28. lrg. prnt. CD. HISTORICAL

Pook, Lizzie. Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter. S. & S. Jun. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781982180492. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD. HISTORICAL

Pulley, Natasha. The Half Life of Valery K. Bloomsbury. Jun. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781635573275. $27. HISTORICAL

Rimmer, Kelly. The German Wife. Graydon House: Harlequin. Jun. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781525899904. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9781525811432. $16.99. CD. HISTORICAL

The Edgar-nominated Bayard follows up Courting Mr. Lincoln with Jackie & Me, which reimagines Jacqueline Bouvier meeting Jack Kennedy and, as they approach marriage, slowly realizing that she’s being polished as the perfect political wife. The New York Times best-selling, multi-award-winning Belfer introduces us to disappointed academic Hannah Larson, who travels to historic Ashton Hall to tend a relative and begins reconstructing events there during the Elizabethan era after her neurodivergent young son, Nicky, discovers a skeleton in the walls. Drawing on ancient texts and modern archaeology to unearth a trans woman’s story beneath The Iliad, Deane's Wrath Goddess Sing reveals an Achilles living as a woman with the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite and refusing Odysseus’s call to fight until given the body of a woman by Athena and heading into battle to confront an immortal, viciously implacable Helen. From Ford, the author of the mega-best-selling Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, The Many Daughters of Afong May tells the story of Dorothy Moy, who turns her often painful dissociative mental-health crises into art; when her daughter begins revealing similar tendencies, Dorothy seeks to waylay the consequences of inherited trauma by engaging in a radical therapy that connects her with brave women ancestors (125,000-copy first printing). In debuter Pook’s Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, set in late 1800s Australia, young Englishwoman Eliza Brightwell sets off to find her eccentric father when the pearl-fishing boat he captains returns to port without him (60,000-copy first printing). In Pulley’s Cold War–set The Half-Life of Valery K, when former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov is removed from the Gulag and asked to study the effects of radiation in a mysterious town housing nuclear reactors, he’s truly worried about how much radiation there is (60,000-copy first printing). In New York Times best-selling author Rimmer’s latest, The German Wife of a Nazi scientist pardoned and put to work in the start-up U.S. space program doesn’t feel at home among the other NASA wives and confides her husband’s SS past to exactly the wrong person (200,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing).

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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