ON THE SHELF: New Adult Fiction to tickle your fancy

Published 4:00 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week’s column features New Adult Fiction titles.

Author Claire Keegan’s latest is called “Small Things Like These.” It’s Christmas 1985, and family man Bill Furlong is facing his busiest season as a coal merchant. Early one morning, while delivering an order of coal in his small Irish town, he makes a discovery that shakes his faith. For too long the townspeople have been silently complicit in the church’s control over them. Bill’s courage and quiet heroism are at the heart of this portrait of love and family.

“All Her Little Secrets” is by author Wanda M. Morris. Ellice Littlejohn seems to have everything. She is an Ivy League lawyer and has a well-paid job as a corporate attorney in Atlanta. She has good friends and a “for fun” relationship with a rich, charming executive who also happens to be her boss. All that changes when she arrives at the executive suite one cold January morning and finds her boss dead. Shot in the head. And then, Ellice just walks away as though nothing has happened. Why? She doesn’t want to be thrust into the spotlight again. Ellice has a whole lot of dark secrets, including the fact her kid brother spent time on the other side of the law. Instead of grieving the tragedy, people are gossiping, the police are suspicious, and Ellice is promoted to replace her boss. When she discovers some shady dealings within the company, she is caught in an impossible ethical and moral dilemma. She doesn’t realize that her past and present lives are about to collide as she races to protect her brother and stop a conspiracy of the most sinister kind.

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s latest is called “Wish You Were Here.” Diana O’Toole has a plan for her life: marry by 30, finish having kids by 35 and move to the New York City suburbs, all while killing it in the cutthroat art auction world. She thinks she is right on track as an associate specialist at Sotheby’s and her boss has hinted that if she closes the deal with a high-profile client, then promotion is in her future. Though she’s not engaged yet, she knows her boyfriend, Finn, is poised to propose on their upcoming romantic getaway to the Galapagos. On the eve of their departure, a virus that — until now — felt worlds away shows up in the city. Finn, a surgical resident, must stay behind as it’s all-hands-on-deck at the hospital. He insists that Diana go without him and have a good time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. Her luggage is lost, the wi-fi is nearly nonexistent and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is under quarantine, and Diana is stranded until the borders reopen. She slowly forms a connection with a local family despite the father’s distrust of outsiders. As she examines her relationships, her choices and herself, Diana finds herself wondering if she will have evolved into a completely different person when she is allowed to go home.

In Christine Pride’s novel “We Are Not Like Them,” she explores the lifelong bond between two women — one black and one white — whose friendship is forever altered by tragedy. Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. Even now, they are as close as sisters, though they have chosen different paths. Jen married young and is finally pregnant after two years of trying. Riley pursued her dream of becoming a television journalist and is set to become one of the first black female anchors in her hometown of Philadelphia. Their bond is tested when Jen’s police officer husband is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is reeling as her future, her husband’s freedom and her friendship with Riley are all uncertain. For Riley, this is a career-making story, but she wrestles with the implications for her Black community, her ambitions and her relationship with Jen.

Kiki Swinson offers a prequel to her books “Playing Dirty” and “Notorious” with her latest, “Playing with Fire.” This book looks at the early days of Yoshi Lomax’s striving and scheming as an ambitious law student in the Dirty South. Yoshi wants desperately to be a great lawyer, to make a difference and to make her hard-working mother proud. But she feels her prestigious law school is a rigged system of overwhelming work and hostile professors. She soon finds a shortcut that could make all her dreams come true. Yoshi infiltrates the privileged circle of the school’s wealthiest students, learning their ways, adopting their bad habits and getting way too close. That is until Yoshi finds that every deception, dirty secret and betrayal is hiding a secret even she isn’t willing to keep. With everything on the line, she will make an impossible choice that could cost her more than her future career, it could cost her her life.

The latest from veteran bestseller Danielle Steel is called “Flying Angels.” Like so many, Audrey Parker’s life changes forever when Pearl Harbor is attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. Her Navy pilot brother had been stationed there, poised to fulfill a familial legacy. Both Audrey and her friend Lizzie are fresh out of nursing school and driven to do whatever they can to serve. They decide to enlist in the Army as flight nurses with the elite Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. They risk their lives on perilous missions daily to rescue wounded soldiers from the battlefield. Even knowing they will not achieve any rank and will receive little pay for their efforts, the “Flying Angels” are prepared to give their all for freedom. They serve as bravely and as tirelessly as the men they rescue from the front lines. The bonds they form with one another are eternal and their courage and valor will inspire others.