STARRED REVIEW
May 2020

Book Clubs: Secrets of suburbia

Reading groups who fell for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere—now a series on Hulu—will savor these smart, sophisticated and brisk domestic dramas.

STARRED REVIEW

Book Clubs: Secrets of suburbia

May 2020

Reading groups who fell for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere—now a series on Hulu—will savor these smart, sophisticated and brisk domestic dramas.

STARRED REVIEW
May 2020

Book Clubs: Secrets of suburbia

May 2020

Reading groups who fell for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere—now a series on Hulu—will savor these smart, sophisticated and brisk domestic dramas.

STARRED REVIEW
May 2020

Book Clubs: Secrets of suburbia

Reading groups who fell for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere—now a series on Hulu—will savor these smart, sophisticated and brisk domestic dramas.

STARRED REVIEW
May 2020

Book Clubs: Secrets of suburbia

Reading groups who fell for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere—now a series on Hulu—will savor these smart, sophisticated and brisk domestic dramas.

May 2020

Book Clubs: Secrets of suburbia

Reading groups who fell for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere—now a series on Hulu—will savor these smart, sophisticated and brisk domestic dramas.

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Reading groups who fell for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere—now a series on Hulu—will savor these smart, sophisticated and brisk domestic dramas.

Anna Benz, the protagonist of Jill Alexander Essbaum’s Hausfrau, leads an affluent life in Switzerland with her family. But when an increasing sense of emptiness—and a distant husband—lead her into a string of secret sexual assignations, she becomes caught up in a web of lies. This bold debut from Essbaum succeeds thanks to its nuanced portrayal of Anna. How much do gender stereotypes play into our responses to a character like Anna? Prepare for a lively debate.

In Ask Again, Yes, Mary Beth Keane shrewdly dissects the tensions and connections between two families. Both new to the NYPD in 1973, Brian Stanhope and Francis Gleeson are next-door neighbors grappling with work and personal issues. Lena, Francis’ wife, feels isolated, while Brian’s wife, Anne, is becoming increasingly volatile. The entwining of their lives over decades results in emotional devastation for everyone involved. Expect serious discussion of topics like mental illness and addiction, stemming from Keane’s portrayal of the ways families can be torn apart. Yet there’s hope in this dark drama, as Keane’s characters reckon with the past and find redemption and grace. 

Suburban life is anything but dull in Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever, another new paperback release. Contented wife and mother Amy Whey’s peaceful existence is turned upside down during a book club meeting where she meets the captivating Angelica Roux. Angelica knows about a terrible incident from Amy’s past, and when she threatens blackmail, Amy must outmaneuver her. Readers can unpack themes of female friendship, morality and loyalty while delighting in the intricate, twisty plot and the novel’s singular momentum. Taut and enthralling, Jackson’s novel will inspire rousing conversation—while also providing an effortless read. 

Any Big Little Lies superfans in your group? Pick up another winner from Liane Moriarty, The Husband’s Secret, which shares the same blend of propulsive writing and penetrating social commentary. Cecilia Fitzpatrick finds a letter from her husband that she’s not supposed to open until after his death. She reads it—naturally—only to learn that he harbors a shocking secret with repercussions that go well beyond their family. It’s the worst (best?) possible permutation of the “How well do you know your spouse?” plot, and readers of this provocative novel can look forward to fascinating discussion when their group convenes. 

Never Have I Ever
By Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow

ISBN 9780062855312

The Husband's Secret
By Liane Moriarty
Amy Einhorn

ISBN 9780399159343

Get the Books

Hausfrau

Hausfrau

Random House
ISBN 9780812997538
Ask Again, Yes

Ask Again, Yes

Scribner
ISBN 9781982106980
Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

William Morrow
ISBN 9780062855312

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