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The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It’s impossible to do justice to The Water Dancer (2019) in a book review. The story is powerful and haunting, the characters are expertly and thoughtfully portrayed throughout, and the time period and settings are drawn such that I felt that I was viewing the horrors of slavery on a Virginia plantation and experiencing the terrifying dangers of the flight to freedom.

Tom Lake by Anne Patchett

She did it again: with her latest novel, Tom Lake (2023), Ann Patchett has created a story that is accessible, believable, meaningful, and moving, a down-to-earth tale about a family of five, trying to keep their cherry farm in northern Michigan afloat during the global pandemic, the horrors of which are kept at a relatively safe remove.

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

In her latest book, The Half Moon (2023), Mary Beth Keane tells the story of a married couple in crisis, thanks to circumstances beyond their control. Economic turmoil, infertility, and the shifting values of a younger generation of consumers—these things and more have fractured the lives, loyalties, and love of Malcolm and Jess Gephardt.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

If you’re looking for a sprawling novel that spans much of the twentieth-century and enters the twenty-first, features an array of distinctive points of view and complex relationships, ventures to far-flung places, and explores big ideas, then I invite you to consider reading Maggie Shipstead’s most recent release, Great Circle (2021).