On the Shelf: Come snuggle up with some new Adult Fiction books

Published 10:12 am Friday, November 24, 2023

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.

In “Black Sheep,” by Rachel Harrison, a cynical twenty-something confronts her family’s unusual dark secret. Vesper Wright leaves home at 18 and doesn’t look back—mostly because her staunchly religious community made her believe she couldn’t return. One day an envelope arrives on her doorstep containing an invitation to her beloved cousin Rosie’s wedding. It will be held on the family farm. She wonders if the community has made an exception or perhaps, Vesper is being given special treatment. Is the invite a sweet gesture? An olive branch? A trap? It doesn’t matter to Vesper because her gut is telling her she needs to go to this wedding. She knows that returning to that toxic environment will also mean confronting her former horror film star and eternal ice queen mother, Constance. This homecoming reveals a terrible secret and forces Vesper to reckon with her family’s beliefs and her crisis of faith.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Jessica Knoll’s new thriller, “Bright Young Women” blends psychological suspense and true crime. Two young women from opposite sides of the country are thrown together by the violent acts of the same man. They become allies and sisters-in-arms as they pursue the justice that would otherwise elude them. One Saturday night in 1978, Ted Bundy descends upon a Florida sorority. The lives of those who survive, including sorority president and key witness, Pamela Schumacher, are changed forever. Across the country, Tina Cannon is convinced her missing friend is a victim of the man the papers have dubbed the All-American Sex Killer and that he’s just claimed another victim. Pamela and Tina are determined to find justice and they join forces as their search for answers will lead to a final, shocking confrontation.

“North Woods,” by Daniel Mason is an epic novel about a single house in the woods of New England told through the lives of those who lived there across the centuries. Two young lovers leave a Puritan colony and build the little cabin in the woods that will become so important to a succession of human and nonhuman characters alike. An English soldier who is destined for glory but abandons the battlefields of the New World to devote himself to growing apples. A pair of spinster twins navigate war and famine, envy, and desire. A crime reporter unearths an ancient mass grave but is disappointed the earth won’t give up all of its secrets. Each generation of inhabitants confronts the wonder and mystery around them. This interwoven story shows the many magical ways in which lives can be connected to the environment, to history, and one another.

“The Unsettled” is by Ayana Mathis. As soon as Ava Carson and her 10 year old son, Toussaint, arrive at the family in Philadelphia in 1985, she immediately begins plotting their escape. She is repulsed by the shelter’s squalid conditions: cockroach-infested room, the barely edible food, and the shifty night security guard. Ava has been estranged from her mother, Duchess, since she left her Alabama home as a young woman to escape the neglect and hunger. Ava wants to love her son differently, better. When Toussaint’s father, Cass, reappears she is knocked off course by his charisma and intoxicating power and vision. As Ava becomes more intertwined with Cass, Toussaint begins to sense the danger swirling around him: his well-intentioned but erratic mother and the volatile figure of his father who drives his community toward ever increasing violence and instability. He begins to dream of his grandmother, his home and birthright, and of finding his way there.

“The Coworker,'” by Freida McFadden tells the story of two women in an office filled with secrets and a horrible crime that can’t be taken back. Dawn Schiff is strange—or at least that is what her coworkers at the nutritional supplement company where she works. She never seems to say the right thing. She has no friends, and she is always at her desk at precisely 8:45 a.m. Her coworker Natalie Farrell is beautiful, popular, and top sales rep five years running. She’s surprised when Dawn doesn’t show up one morning. Then, Natalie receives an unsettling, anonymous phone call that changes everything. It turns out that Dawn wasn’t just an awkward outsider, she was being targeted by someone close to her. Now Natalie and Dawn are inextricably tied to one another.

V. E. Schwab’s new fantasy novel is “The Fragile Threads of Power.” Once there were four worlds nestled against one another and connected by a single city: London. There are now only three because of the fight to prevent corruption and ruin in all four Londons. Grey London is thriving but barely able to remember its magical heritage. Red London is currently ruled by the Maresh family and is powerful and thriving. White London, however, has been left to brutality and decay. The discoveries of three remarkable magicians will send these worlds colliding once again. Kosika—the child queen of White London—has nourished her city with blood and dreams, but the devotion to these is leading her down a dangerous path. Delilah Bard—an infamous magician, a devious heroine, and a risk-taking rogue—was born a thief in Grey London but crossed the worlds to become a legend far from there. Lastly, there’s Tes, a young runaway with an unusual and powerful ability who’s hiding in Red London and trying to stay under the radar. Tes is the only one who can keep all the worlds from unraveling, if she can stay alive.