There were lots of big books in 2015, but what about the good books that you might have missed? Here are some overlooked favorites.
Disclaimer by Renee Knight - This superb and clever suspense novel is much better than average. When filmmaker Catherine finds a book that seems to tell her own story, she knows someone has discovered a secret she’s meant to keep hidden - but who? And what do they want? This is a superb psychological thriller with a shocker of an ending.
Bell Weather by Dennis Mahoney - Set in a fantastical 18th-century world, this is a fast-paced coming of age novel featuring a spunky heroine and beautiful writing. It’s a rollicking adventure that will leave you breathless and satisfied.
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum - Anna Benz lives a life that so many can only dream of: she has a beautiful home in Switerzerland, a handsome, responsible husband and three lovely children. Yet something is missing - so she has sex with strangers as an attempt to spark a flame in her empty heart. When her bad choices finally demand a consequence her cultivated solitude and passivity leave her nowhere to turn. A blunt and sympathetic look into the heart of a modern housewife, this is a powerful novel that asks whether women’s lives have really changed all that much since the 19th century.
The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon - When the childhood friend of two estranged sisters disappears they unite to find out what happened to her, and in the process open up a decades old missing person case that has baffled the town. McMahon’s The Winter People is one of the eeriest books I’ve ever read, and though The Night Sister is not as spooky it is a very compelling mystery that has a believable supernatural undertone. She’s quickly become one of my favorite authors.
Villa America by Liza Klaussmann - I think Villa America got lost in the fervor surrounding Circling the Sun, also released this summer, which is a shame because it is quite a beautiful book. In descriptive, sun-drenched language Klaussmann brilliantly evokes the glittering lives of Gerald and Sara Murphy, the Jazz Age couple who were at the center of bohemian expat society in France during the twenties. This wistful novel is a luminous take on the mythical, magical years during which the Murphys lived, loved, drank, and feasted on the French Riviera. An excellent work of biographical fiction.
Reviews by Anbolyn (Sunset)