by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
Fall is here, daylight is shorter, and the weather is bound to turn cooler soon. Time to find a good novel to curl up with! Look for these novels that are getting some buzz this fall.
John le Carré is a British master of the spy novel. He is 85 years old, and for the first time in 25 years he has come out with a new George Smiley book, A Legacy of Spies. This new installment connects back to his classic novels The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but is set in the current day. Cold War novels had seemed to be a thing of the past, but everything old is new again. You might expect that le Carré couldn’t effectively go back to storylines written in the 1960s and ‘70s, but reviewers say it’s fresh and brilliant.
For those who like science fiction, The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary take on dystopia. In this version of the future, deadly ticks have caused the remnant of the United States to retreat to a safe zone within a ring of scorched earth for protection, although the society within is tightly controlled and full of fear. But people who pay enough and are brave enough can venture out to see more of the world on guided expeditions. A group of these adventurers, strangers to each other, get captured by a community of outer-zone survivors, and they have to decide which side they’re on.
In 2004, Lily Tuck won the National Book Award for fiction for The News from Paraguay even though she wasn’t a well-known author. She’s still far from being a household name, but her new novella is getting some literary attention. Sisters is a second-wife’s rumination on what her new husband’s first wife must be like. The reader never learns the name of either woman. The narrator becomes obsessed with all that her husband doesn’t tell her about her predecessor, whether she can ever equal her, and the way she betrayed her.
Jesmyn Ward is also a National Book Award winner for her novel Salvage the Bones, which won in 2011. Her new novel is Sing, Unburied, Sing. It’s a Southern road novel, and reviewers are so excited about it, comparing it to Homer’s Odyssey and the work of Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Connor. A black woman and her two children drive from her parents’ farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi to the state penitentiary to pick up the children’s white father, encountering dangers on the journey. Incorporating drug addiction, the legacy of racial violence, and the long-term damage hurricanes can cause, this timely novel ventures into magical realism.
If you’re looking for a thriller, The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream by Christina Dodd could fit the bill. The fourth book in the Virtue Falls series features newly-elected sheriff Kateri and a case involving her old friend Merida, who is mute and has returned to town with a different name, a new look, and a plan for revenge after living as a long-suffering trophy wife. Merida and Kateri are looking for the truth about something that happened nine years earlier and the identity of the person who’s murdering women in the small community.
Some other novels released in September that you may want to seek out include Enemy of the State by Kyle Mills and the late Vince Flynn, Enigma by Catherine Coulter, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz, which is a continuation of the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series. You can order these online through our catalog or stop in to ask a staff person to help you find a copy.