Here’s a look at some of the most exciting books being published by first-time authors in June and July.
“The Waking Land” by Callie Bates (June)
After her father’s failed rebellion against Caeris’s conquering kingdom of Eren, young Elanna is taken hostage to ensure her father abandons his treasonous plans. Raised by her father’s enemy, King Antoine, Elanna grows to love him and loses almost all connection to her family and her country. But when someone poisons the king and frames Elanna, she finds herself forced into an uneasy alliance with her father and reconnects with the nature magic she’s spent years repressing.
“The Windfall” by Diksha Basu (June)
A modern Indian family discovers how difficult it can be to keep up with the Chopras. Anil Jha sells his company and moves his family to an upscale neighborhood and away from their cramped, but close-knit apartment complex in East Delhi. Soon Anil finds himself struggling to keep up appearances through increasingly extravagant purchases while his wife, Bindu, struggles to adapt to her luxurious new surroundings. Also affected by the Jhas’ upward mobility are their son, Rupak, who is studying for his MBA in America and a young widow from their former neighborhood.
“When the English Fall” by David Williams (July)
When a massive solar storm wipes out all electronics, the only ones who are well equipped to deal with the crisis are the Amish, whose way of life continues uninterrupted while the English — the Amish terms for those not of their faith — panic. Jacob, an Amish man living in Pennsylvania with his wife and two children, recounts events in his journal as the Amish offer assistance to the increasingly desperate English. Eventually the English resort to violence against the peaceful Amish — looting their farms and killing Jacob’s neighbors — in order to fend off starvation. This violence will challenge the Amish tenets of peace and sacrifice as they grapple with what this new world means for their faith and their very survival.
“Hum if You Don’t Know the Words” by Bianca Marais (July)
In Apartheid-era South Africa a protest led by black students — the Soweto Uprising — ignites racial conflict leaving young, white Robin Conrad an orphan and leading Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman from a rural village, on a search for her missing daughter. Robin is sent to live with her aunt, who then hires Beauty to care for her. Robin and Beauty form a unlikely bond based on their mutual losses, but Robin is afraid of losing Beauty, which she knows will happen if Beauty finds her daughter, so she makes a selfish decision with consequences that come back to haunt her. She must face the harsh truths of her society as she struggles to make amends.
Other debut author titles for June:
- “Small Hours” by Jennifer Kitses
- “Our Little Racket” by Angelica Baker
- “Secrets of Southern Girls” by Haley Harrigan
- “The Space Between Stars” by Anne Corlett
- “The Prey of Gods” by Nicky Drayden
And for July:
- “Conversations with Friends” by Sally Rooney
- “The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo” by Ian Stansel
- “South Pole Station” by Ashley Shelby
- “What We Lose” by Zinzi Clemmons
- “The Lost Ones” by Sheena Kamal