In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow (Bloomsbury, 6/4)
Residents of West Mills, North Carolina, joke that their town never changes. Yet there’s never a dull moment for these stubborn, loyal characters. Read our review.
Deep River by Karl Marlantes (Atlantic Monthly, 7/2)
This sprawling tale, following a Finnish family in their journey to the Pacific Northwest, is something of a masterpiece. Read our review.
Best revelations about characters’ pasts:
The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung (Ecco, 6/18)
A genius mathematician travels to Germany to discover the tangled truth behind her parents’ relationship. Read our review.
The Electric Hotel by Dominic Smith (Sarah Crichton, 6/4)
In the early 1960s, a young graduate student encourages a retired French filmmaker to recall his role in the making of an early cinematic treasure. Read our review.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (HarperCollins, 5/21)
Former enslaved person Frannie is awaiting trial for the murder of her employer, Benham, and his wife, Marguerite. What Frannie can’t account for is how she wound up covered in their blood. Read our review.
Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein (Crown, 4/23)
A mother’s secrets in pre-World War II Germany come back to haunt future generations. Read our review.
Best World War II:
The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer (Knopf, 5/7)
Mixing historical fact with imaginative fiction, Orringer explores the story of Varian Fry, a young Harvard-educated journalist and editor who worked for the American Emergency Rescue Committee during World War II. His primary goal was to prevent notable artists, writers and political exiles, many of them Jewish, from being interned in concentration camps. Read our review.
Dragonfly by Leila Meacham (Grand Central, 7/9)
Five idealistic young Americans are recruited at the height of World War II to assume secret identities in Paris and spy for the Allies. But as the group looks back on their mission, did one of them really die? Read our review.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead, 6/4)
Enjoyment, bliss, satisfaction—these emotions and more form the core of this big-hearted, rollicking new novel about a gaggle of lively New York showgirls. Read our interview with Gilbert.
The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow, 7/9)
In 1941, the island of Nassau, Bahamas, “is terrible for gossip,” recently widowed Lulu Randolph admits. As a society columnist for Metropolitan, Lulu is tasked with getting close to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, for whom Americans have “an insatiable appetite. Read our review.