Wow, ya’ll, wow. The month is pretty much over, whoops. In any case, I’m coming at you with the next (late, late, late) installment of New & Noteworthy, highlighting five frontlist titles releasing this month.
Necessary disclaimer: I’m incredibly unlikely to read all five of these books this month, or even this year. This is an exercise for me to (attempt to) chill myself out and focus a bit on the books I want to prioritize the absolute most. This month we’ve got a rocky marriage or two, hidden letters, missing mothers, comparison woes, and a whole lot more.
Abbreviated synopses courtesy of Goodreads. I got my life together this month (oh how I make myself laugh), and will bring these to you in chronological order, because I’m organized like that (but not *so* organized I can get this post out in a timely fashion).
A Separation, by Katie Kitamura (Riverhead, February 7th)
A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it’s time for them to separate. For the moment it’s a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go and search for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she’s not even sure if she wants to find him. Adrift in the wild landscape, she traces the disintegration of their relationship, and discovers she understands less than she thought about the man she used to love.
Swimming Lessons, by Claire Fuller (Tin House Books, February 7th)
Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her.
The Woman Next Door, by Yewande Omotoso (Picador, February 7th)
Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbors. One is black, the other white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed, and are living with questions, disappointments, and secrets that have brought them shame. And each has something that the woman next door deeply desires. Sworn enemies, the two share a hedge and a deliberate hostility, which they maintain with a zeal that belies their age. But, one day, an unexpected event forces Hortensia and Marion together.
Harmless Like You, by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (W.W. Norton, February 28th)
Written in startlingly beautiful prose, Harmless Like You is set across New York, Connecticut, and Berlin, following Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki’s son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother’s abandonment of him when he was only two years old.
Everything Belongs To Us, by Yoojin Grace Wuertz (Random House, February 28th)
Two young women of vastly different means each struggle to find her own way during the darkest hours of South Korea’s economic miracle. Seoul, 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind.
What February release are you most anticipating, or read already and can recommend?