November’s Best New Fiction

It’s November, and some delicious dramas are headed for the fiction shelf, along with everygirl allegories and nostalgia trips from heavy hitters. Anne Rice returns with the twelfth tale in her long-running Interview With A Vampire series, and Jeffrey Archer wraps up his Clifton Chronicles series. Fredrik Backman, Wally Lamb and Michael Chabon revive the old man reflecting back on his life genre, while Zadie Smith and Alice Hoffman take on the modern woman. Danielle Steel serves up her sixth book this year, and if you’re in the mood for something sumptuous, add Daisy Goodwin’s latest, Victoria, to your TBR.

Prince Lestat & The Realms of Atlantis, by Anne Rice
Before the sparkling teen vampires of Twilight, there was the New Orleans swagger of the Vampire Lestat, the centerpiece of Anne Rice’s so very devourable series about bloodlust and, well, plain old lust, too. Here she presents the twelfth installment in her moody, atmospheric series, this time focusing the old soul as he’s possessed by some even more ancient magic, the Atalantaya, and explores the depths of the long lost city of Atlantis, reckoning with a power that may overcome even the millennia-old vagabond vamp we’ve come to know and love.

The Whole Town’s Talking, by Fannie Flagg
Flagg, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café (which spawned the Academy Award–nominated movie Fried Green Tomatoes), takes us back into small-town America, this time to the heart of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where things are anything but dead. In fact, the dearly departed are very much a part of everyday life for the Nordstroms, most especially former mayor Lordor, his head-over-heels mail-order bride, and a clan of interconnected families stretching across generations, more than a century, and four wars. Quirky and quippy, with plenty of heart.

This Was A Man, by Jeffrey Archer
The seventh and final book in the Clifton Chronicles series brings the drama to a startling conclusion that starts with shots fired—by whom and why?—and ends with a twist that will leave fans wishing for more. Alliances are created, bent, and shattered, and of course there’s plenty of love and loss. The arrival of the stunning conclusion to Archer’s soapy saga is the perfect time to binge-read the whole series, if you haven’t started it yet.

The Award, by Danielle Steel
Shelf staple Steel’s latest—her sixth this year—follows young Gaëlle de Barbet into the thick of German-occupied France in the 1940s, as her best friend Rebekah and her family are carted off to horrific fates. Just a teen, she joins the French resistance, determined to do for others what she could not do for her friend. In the aftermath of war, the novel follows the protégé as she becomes a Dior model, mother, and museum curator, living to honor those who were lost even as she’s wrongfully marked a German collaborator.

Victoria, by Daisy Goodwin
A coming of age story about a queen. A thoughtful and thorough companion to Goodwin’s Masterpiece Theater collaboration with PBS, the novelized Victoria draws on the stellar storytelling Goodwin employed in recent bestsellers like The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter while also borrowing from the diaries of Queen Victoria, which the author began studying as a student at Cambridge University. Luxury, romance, politics, and plenty of drama—fans of Goodwin’s work will eat this one up.

I’ll Take You There, by Wally Lamb
Lamb, perhaps best known for his stunning She’s Come Undone, follows a 60something film critic who must reexamine his own history in this flash-backing This Is Your Life-style take on his history. It’s presented to him by two spirited (quite literally, they’re ghosts) Hollywood dames who show him scenes from his life in order to illuminate his future path. These windows onto his past reveal tensions with the women in his life, including his daughter, sister, and a pageant queen with a family connection.

Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
Smith’s hotly anticipated return, her first novel since 2013’s NW, is a jazzy, rhythmic rumination on dance and destiny, friendships and fate, following the connection between two mixed-race girls who connect in a class and become intertwined by the love that binds them as not-quite-sisters—bonds of understanding, connection, competition. The unnamed narrator and her best friend, Tracey, are mirrors and foils, and in their relationship find stunning grace and keen hurt. A deeply felt narrative that’s worth the wait.

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik Backman
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes this novella full of hope and history, the story of one man’s life and precious memories, which will soon be lost as he loses his mind’s light. But as they fade, new moments become memories, ones he shares with his son and his grandson, who learn to let go even as they hold on tight to the stories he shares.

Faithful, by Alice Hoffman
Hoffman, author of The Marriage of OppositesThe Dovekeepersand other bestsellers, chronicles the story of Shelby Richmond, remarkable only in her ordinariness, until a tragedy strikes that splits her life forever into before and after. A survivor’s story, Faithful is a portrait of a modern young everygirl, one guided and guarded by something special. Grief, faith, healing, and the strength to keep going drive this novel, a sparkling take on an largely unextraordinary life.

Moonglow, by Michael Chabon
Pulitizer Prize winner Chabon follows up bestselling Telegraph Avenue with Moonglow, a deathbed confessional inspired by the author’s own grandfather’s tales. Here, he follows narrator Mike’s now-deceased Jewish grandparents through their travails in midcentury America, juxtaposing their love story and the drama of immigration with the details of a country at the edge of war and the technological revolution, creating a bright, vivid portrait rich with detail.

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