Discover more from Well Read with Anna Bonet
Four new novels to read in August
Ft. a mind-bending thriller and an unmissable literary treat
How’s your summer reading going? I’ve spent far too much time listlessly looking out the window at the rain for my liking, but I have a two-week break on the horizon so I’ve been busy trying to decide which books to pack. Tell me if there’s something you’ve loved lately, and in the meantime, I’ll urge you to read the following four.
Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister
CCTV captures 22-year-old Olivia walking into an alley that she never comes out of. Julia is the police detective investigating her disappearance - but just as her search begins, Julia is approached by a man in a balaclava who knows her own family secrets. He threatens her, not only instructing her to never find Olivia, but to frame someone else for her murder.
Following her much-lauded thriller of last year, Wrong Place Wrong Time - which was a Reese’s Book Club pick - McAllister has returned with another deliciously mind-bending thriller. Just Another Missing Person pulls off several excellent twists and is so pacy that I defy you not to read in one go.
Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess
This novel technically came out in June, but as I missed it at the time, I wanted to include here. It revolves around Jess and Josh, who work together at an investment bank. She’s one of the only Black analysts in the firm; he’s white, preppy and conservative. They disagree about almost everything and so no one is more surprised than Jess when she falls for him. Can you really be in love with someone whose politics you despise?
Everything’s Fine poses uncomfortable questions which don’t have easy answers. And although it was marketed as a romance, it’s far more of a sinister social commentary than it is a love story. Because of this, there has been a lot of discourse around the book, but I found it to be frank, fearless, and a heck of a lot more nuanced than some of the backlash makes it out to be. But I may be wrong. Read it, then read this interview with the author, then let’s discuss.
Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
Lara’s three grown up daughters come home to their cherry farm in Michigan one spring and beg her to recount the story of the romance she once shared with a now mega-famous actor.
Tom Lake is a story about family, destiny, regret, and roads not taken. The only problem with this novel is that it’s the kind where you want to devour it in a state of giddy delight, while also savouring each page. A typical Ann Patchett, then - and a true diamond of a book.
Seeing Other People by Diana Reid
My lovely subscribers Down Under will know all about Diana Reid. As a young female author writing about millennial lives in sparse, acerbic prose, she has already been described as Australia’s answer to Sally Rooney.
Whether or not that comparison is helpful, I don’t know - but her novel Seeing Other People is deliriously good. It’s about two polar opposite sisters who become entangled in a love triangle: Charlie is a drama graduate living in a house-share with a minor drug dealer; strait-laced Eleanor works in a faceless high-paying city firm. How could they possible fall for the same woman? This novel is so smart and fun, I could barely put it down. Now I’m off to buy Reid’s first book, Love & Virtue, which is allegedly even better.
Speaking of Sally Rooney, this is a very good piece about five years of Normal People.