ON THE SHELF: Ring in the New Year with these new titles from our Adult Fiction Section.

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

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

This week we are featuring New Adult Fiction for the New Year.

Jenny Jackson delivers a funny coming-of-age tale of three women from a wealthy Brooklyn family in her novel, “Pineapple Street.” This smart, escapist tale follows Darley, the eldest daughter of the well-connected, old-money Stockton family. She has forsaken her job and her inheritance for motherhood but feels she may have given up far too much in the process. Sasha is a middle-class New England girl who has married into the family and is made to feel like a social climbing outsider. Finally, there is Georgiana, the baby of the family. She has fallen in love with someone she can’t have and must decide what sort of person she wants to be. This story is full of recognizable, loveable yet fallible characters and the miles between the haves and the have-nots and the tumultuousness of first love.

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“Tomas Nevinson,” is a novel by Javier Marias. Tomas Nevinson was once a spy for the British Secret Service but is now enjoying his quiet life in his hometown of Madrid, Spain. He is approached by his former handler, Bertram Tupra. He offers Tomas one last assignment: go undercover in a small Spanish town to find out which of three women who moved there a decade ago is an IRA-trained terrorist who orchestrated several deadly attacks. Everything about this assignment is sketchy, from exactly who is in charge, to the question of what kind of “justice” Tomas will need to mete out once he ferrets out the terrorist. He takes the job because of the appeal of being back in the game, but he soon becomes intimately involved with one of the three women. Which of the three is guilty and how or whom will he choose? With the pressure on him increasing, Tomas must choose and act. However, nothing in the world of espionage is black and white, everything is one big blur of grey.

Paul Murray has written, “The Bee Sting,” a funny, thought-provoking tale about family, fortune, and the struggle to be a good person while the world falls apart. The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie, the patriarch, sees his once-thriving car business going under, but he decides to spend his days in the woods building a bunker with a sketchy handyman. His wife, Imelda, is selling her jewelry on eBay and half-heartedly rebuffing the advances of a slick-talking cattle rancher named Big Mike. Their teenage daughter Cass was once a student at the top of her class, but now she is binge drinking her way through finals. Poor twelve-year-old son PJ is on the brink of running away. How do you change the story? How far back would you have to go? To the infamous bee sting that ruined Imelda’s wedding day? To the car crash one year before Cass was born? Or all the way back to when Dickie was 10 years old, standing in the summer garden with his father, learning how to be a real man?

“The Future,” is a twisty tale about the dangers of big tech’s power by Naomi Alderman. After Martha Einkorn fled her father’s isolated compound in Oregon, she found herself working for a powerful social media mogul hell-bent on controlling everything. Now, she’s in the midst of mega-rich companies designing private weather, predictive analytics, and covert weaponry, while spouting technological prophecy. Martha may have left the cult, but the warnings her father gave in his sermons are starting to come true. How much future is actually left? Across the globe in Singapore, Lai Zhen, an internet famous survivalist, is running from an assassin. She finds herself cornered and desperate. She might die without ever knowing what’s going on. When a remarkable piece of software appears on her phone telling her exactly where to go and what to do to escape her pursuers, Lai Zhen wonders who made it and what it is really for. Martha and Zhen’s worlds collide, and a remarkable chain of events are set in motion. A few billionaires are assured of their own safety as they lead the world to its destruction.

Katherine Howe delivers a daring first-hand account of one young woman’s incredible adventures as one of the most terrifying pirates of all time in her book, “A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written By Herself.” As the Golden Age of piracy comes to a bloody end in Boston, Hannah Masury has been bound out to service at a waterfront inn since childhood and is ready to take her life into her own hands. After a man is hanged for piracy in the town square, whispers of treasure in the Caribbean spreads. Hannah is forced to flee for her life after traumatic events, and she disguises herself as a cabin boy and joins the pitiless crew of the notorious pirate Edward “Ned” Low. To earn her freedom, Hannah will need to hunt down the treasure. In the 1930s, Professor Marian Beresford pieces Hannah’s story together and begins to see her own lack of freedom reflected in the narrative. As she watches Hannah’s transformation, it becomes clear that there is a centuries-old mystery surrounding her story and Marian is determined to solve it. However, it’s possible that Hannah was so determined to take it to her grave that the world may never know the truth.