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Fiction 5 Fiction 5 Fiction 5 Fiction 5

Fiction 5: Explore an assortment of great reads

My selections for September's top five new fiction is a variety pack of genres – historical fiction, magical realism, heartwarming and thriller. Coleman Hill is the exhilarating story of two American families whose fates become intertwined in the wake of the Great Migration. In Playing the Witch Card three generations of magic, two rogue exes and one Tarot deck is a recipe for chaos.

The Book Club Hotel covers the span of a week in the lives of four women who are each trying to start a whole new chapter. Sheriff Dern struggles to find the truth behind a murder and to put his demons to rest in The River We Remember. In Traitors Gate a master criminal is working on the most outrageous theft in history with a man on the inside.

1. Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman Foote

Coleman Hill is the exhilarating story of two American families whose fates become intertwined in the wake of the Great Migration. The book braids fact and fiction in a remarkable, character-rich tale of three generations.

In 1916, during the early days of the Great Migration, Celia Coleman and Lucy Grimes flee the racism and poverty in the post–Civil War South. The head to the “Promised Land” of Vauxhall, New Jersey. Challenges and bigotries in the North will shape the fates of the women and their families over the next 70 years.

By 1926 both Celia and Lucy’s husbands are dead. They support each other in raising their children far from home. Lucy’s gentleness sets Celia at ease. Celia lends Lucy her fire when she wants to cower. Their children’s lives become enmeshed as well. As the children grow into adolescence, two are caught in an impulsive act of impropriety. Celia and Lucy are at odds over who’s to blame. The ensuing fallout reverberates through the next two generations.

A stunning biomythography ― a word coined by the late great writer Audre Lorde ― Coleman Hill draws from the author’s own family legend, historical record and fervent imagination to create an unforgettable new history.

“Once in a while, a writer comes along with a brilliance that stops the breath. Kim Coleman Foote is that writer.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award–winning author of Red at the Bone

“A masterpiece. Brilliant, vivid, heartbreaking, epic, beautiful, raw and true . . . This is the American story.” –Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less Is Lost


2. Playing the Witch Card by K.J. Dell'Antonia

Three generations of magic. Two rogue exes. One Tarot deck. The perfect recipe for chaos.

Flair Hardwicke knows three things: magic is real, love isn’t and relying on either ends in disaster. Flair’s grateful for the chance to take over her grandmother’s Kansas bakery after she finally leaves her cheating husband. However, she won’t be embracing Nana’s fortune-telling side-hustle. She'll run a strictly no-magic operation.

Then the innocent batch of Tarot card cookies Flair bakes for the town’s Halloween celebration unleashes the power of the family deck. This lures Flair’s unpredictable mother to town. Tempts Flair’s magic-obsessed daughter. And event brings back Flair’s first love. This also ensnares her ex in a curse she can’t break.

Flair’s attempts to control the chaos only make things worse. She plays right into the hands of a powerful witch. Suddenly there’s far more at stake than her status as the most reluctant witch in town. The magic Flair has long rejected becomes the only card she has left to play.

"Buckle up your broomsticks, people. Playing the Witch Card is an absolutely delightful wild ride ... An exploration of identity, freedom and the power of letting things go, this one will stay with me for a long a long time." –Annabel Monaghan, author of Nora Goes Off Script

"KJ Dell'Antonia had me at magic cookies, but then her story delivered so much more: a charming tale of second chances, family, and embracing one's true self, all set in an enchanting small town I'm ready to relocate to. This is a Halloween treat of a book."–Elizabeth Bass, author of A Letter to Three Witches


3. The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan

With its historic charm and picture-perfect library, the Maple Sugar Inn is considered the winter destination. As the holidays approach, the inn is fully booked with guests looking for their dream vacation. Hotel owner Hattie Coleman was widowed far too young and is exhausted from juggling the hotel with being a single mom. She dreams only of making it through the festive season.

Erica, Claudia and Anna – lifelong friends who seem to have it all – check in for a girlfriends' book club holiday. Their close friendship and shared love of books have carried them through life's ups and downs. But Hattie can see they're also packing some major emotional baggage. Nothing prepares her for how deeply her own story is about to become entwined in theirs.

In the span of a week can these four women improve each other's lives and make this the start of a whole new chapter?

"The Book Club Hotel is the kind of gift that arrives just when you most need it. Sarah Morgan has given us the perfect escape-and-find-yourself novel, featuring four very different women united by their shared love of books. Together, they illuminate the power of stories to validate and heal the heart, and the timeless bonds of friendship to keep us laughing, crying, and reading." –Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author


4. The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger

On Memorial Day authorities in Jewel, Minnesota, find the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Sheriff Brody Dern, a war hero who carries the physical and emotional scars from his service, leads the investigation. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors point the finger at Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. Suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence. Dern struggles to find the truth of Quinn's murder and put to rest the demons from his own past.

“Absorbing. . . combines nostalgic settings with depictions of the lingering hardships and traumas of war and the home front . . . in the decade after WWII.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Historical fiction that resonates with our time makes for a great reading experience—especially when it’s done in the literary style of rich, careful language; realistic evocation of place; and deep exploration into character. William Kent Krueger has delivered just this combination in his latest standalone novel, The River We Remember.” —New York Journal of Books


5. Traitors Gate by Jeffrey Archer

With 24 hours to stop the crime of the century, the race against time is about to begin.

The Tower of London

Impenetrable. Well protected. Secure. Home to the most valuable jewels on earth. But once a year, when the Queen attends the State Opening of Parliament, the Metropolitan Police must execute the most secret operation in their armory as they transport the Crown Jewels across London.

Scotland Yard

For decades, the elite squad at Scotland Yard have been in charge of the operation. And for decades, it's run like clockwork.

The Heist

This year everything is about to change. A master criminal has set his sights on pulling off the most outrageous theft in history – and with a man on the inside, the odds are in his favor.
”Only someone like Jeffrey Archer . . . could have written a compelling story like this.”―David Baldacci


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