Archives de catégorie : London 2021 Fiction

BAD HABITS de Amy Gentry

A whip-smart psychological thriller from the author of Good as Gone (a New York Times Notable Book), in which a grad student becomes embroiled in a deadly rivalry that changes her into someone unrecognizable to her struggling family, her ambitious academic friends, and even herself.

by Amy Gentry
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, February 2021
(via Dystel, Goderich & Bourret)

Claire “Mac” Woods—a professor enjoying her newfound hotshot status at an academic conference—finally has the acceptance and admiration she has long craved. But at the conference’s hotel bar, Mac is surprised to run into a face from a past she’d rather forget: the moneyed, effortlessly perfect Gwendolyn Whitney, Mac’s foil, rival, and former best friend. When Gwen moved to town in high school, Claire—then known as Mac, a poor kid from a troubled family who had too much on her plate—saw what it meant to have. Money, sophistication, culture, the very blueprints to success. Mac had almost nothing, except the will to change. Change she did, habitually grinding herself to work as hard as straight-A Gwen, even eventually getting admitted into the same elite graduate program as Gwen. But then Mac and Gwen become entangled with the department’s power-couple professors and compete head-to-head for a life changing fellowship. The more twisted the track toward success becomes, the more Mac has to contort herself to stay one step ahead—which deception signals the point of no return? Jack-knifing between Mac’s world-expanding graduate days and the crucible of the hotel and its unexpected guests, Bad Habits follows Mac’s reckoning between her hardscrabble past and tenuous present. What, exactly, did Mac do to get what she has today? And what will she do to keep it? With taut, powerful prose, Amy Gentry asks how far we’ll go to get what we want—and whether we can ever truly leave the past behind.

Amy Gentry is a writer and critic with a doctorate in English from the University of Chicago. She has been a regular book reviewer for the Chicago Tribune since 2012, and her work has also appeared in Salon, Fusion, The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, Austin Chronicle, Gastronomica, and more.


He makes her a promise: he will love her forever and always be there for her. But then everything changes… The new historical novel by bestselling author Lilli Beck.

(When Hope Awakens)
by Lilli Beck
Blanvalet/PRH Germany, June 2021

Germany, 1947. Nora’s friend invites her to a German-American New Year’s Eve party, where she’s swept off her feet by the handsome US officer William. Nora tries long and hard to hide her passionate affair from her father, but when she becomes pregnant and William is ordered back to the US she has no choice but to confess. Her father is beside himself, but has a solution: a banker friend of his offers to marry Nora and cover the family’s debts. Nora has no intention of agreeing to the plan. She leaves town with her son under cover of night and takes the train to Munich, where she meets a feverish and confused young woman in the street. Nora walks Celia home – to the villa of the wealthy Wagners, who mistake Nora’’s baby for Celia’s son. It’s a fatal misunderstanding, but one that Nora does nothing to dispel…

Lilli Beck trained as a wholesaler. In 1968 she went to live in Munich, where she was discovered by a model agent in the popular disco Blow up. She spent ten years working for magazines such as Brigitte, Burda-Moden and TWEN and was a Pirelli bonnet mascot. WENN DIE HOFFNUNG ERWACHT is her fourth historical novel for Blanvalet.

THE DOGS de John Hughes

Michael Shamanov grapples with the idea of his mother’s life and her desire to finish it. Perhaps it’s her life he has been running away from and not his own. A haunting gem of family secrets and impossible decisions with a distinctly European focus.

by John Hughes
Upswell Books/Black Inc. (Australia), October 2021

The story of a life is as secret as life itself. A life that can be explained is no life at all.” —Elias Canetti

Is it possible to write about the living without thinking of them as already dead? Michael Shamanov is a man running away from life’s responsibilities. His marriage is over, he barely sees his son and he hasn’t seen his mother since banishing her to a nursing home two years earlier. A successful screenwriter, Michael’s encounter with his mother’s nurse leads him to discover that the greatest story he’s ever heard may lie with his dying mother. And perhaps it’s her life he’s been running away from and not his own.
Is the past ever finished? Should we respect another’s silence? And if so, is it ever possible to understand and put to rest the strange idea of family that travels through the flesh?

John Hughes is based in Sydney. He has published six books, all acclaimed and highly awarded, including the National Biography Award and Premier’s Book Awards. His previous novels, The Remnants and Asylum were critically acclaimed, and in 2019, No One was shortlisted in the Miles Franklin Award 2020.

DIE REBELLIN UND DER DIEB de Jan-Philipp Sendker

A moving story about a forbidden love, the courage of despair and humanity in the face of disaster.

(The Rebel Girl and the Thief)
by Jan-Philipp Sendker
Blessing/PRH Germany, August 2021

18-year-old Niri, his parents and siblings have a modest but secure existence as servants in the villa of a wealthy family. Until the pandemic comes, Niri’s entire family is laid off and stares into the abyss of deepest poverty.
The previously well-behaved monastic student does not want to wait for the mercy of an indifferent government and, in the face of growing hardship, rebels against his father’s resignation to fate. Sneaking past the patrols at night through a sealed-off city, he returns to the villa to get what the family needs to survive. Waiting for him there is his childhood friend Mary, who not only gives him food, but has a larger plan that will change the lives of the town and the two of them forever.
The universal story of two lovers from different worlds who learn what matters in the face of disaster: Courage to resist, will to change, and unconditional trust in each other.

Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in 1960, was the US correspondent for Stern magazine from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. His first novel, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and his other books are international best sellers. He lives in Potsdam with his family.


Rebecca Scherm’s long awaited new gripping story of one scientist in outer space, another who watches over him, the family left behind, and the lengths people will go to protect the people and planet they love.

by Rebecca Scherm
Viking, March 2022
(via Writers House)

Scientist Alex Welch-Peters has believed for twenty years that his super-algae can reverse the effects of climate change. His obsession with his research has jeopardized his marriage, his relationships with his kids, and his own professional future. When Sensus, the colossal tech company, offers him a chance to complete his research, he seizes the opportunity. The catch? His lab will be in outer space on Parallaxis, the first-ever luxury residential space station built for billionaires. Alex and six other scientists leave their loved ones to become Pioneers, the beta tenants of Parallaxis.
But Parallaxis is not the space palace they were sold. Day and night, the embittered crew builds the facility under pressure from Sensus, motivated by the promise that their families will join them. Meanwhile, back on Earth, with much of the country ablaze in wildfires, Alex’s family tries to remain safe in Michigan. His teenage daughter Mary Agnes struggles through high school with the help of the ubiquitous Sensus phones implanted in everyone’s ears, archiving each humiliation, and wishing she could go to Parallaxis with her father—but her mother will never allow it.
The Pioneers are the beta testers of another program, too. As they toil away two hundred miles in the sky, Sensus is designing an algorithm that will predict human behavior. Tess, a young social psychologist Sensus has hired to watch the Pioneers through their phones, begins to develop an intimate, obsessive relationship with her subjects. When she takes it a step farther—traveling to Parallaxis to observe them up close—the controlled experiment begins to unravel.
Prescient and insightful, A HOUSE BETWEEN EARTH AND THE MOON is at once a captivating epic about the machinations of big tech and a profoundly intimate meditation on the unmistakably human bonds that hold us together.

Praise for Rebecca Scherm’s first novel, Unbecoming (Viking 2015):

Startlingly inventive” —The New York Times Book Review
terrific debut” —The Wall Street Journal
a genuine work of art” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
A clever, engrossing thriller” —Huffington Post
A marvel” —Buzzfeed

Rebecca Scherm is the author of Unbecoming, a novel. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She lives in Michigan.