Three new novels to read in October
Including one which made me change my mind
The leaves are turning orange and the big authors are all publishing their new books. What’s not to love about this time of year? I wish you all a very happy autumn and hope you enjoy curling up with these three wonderful new reads.
Three brilliant new books for October
Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout
I had been avoiding fiction which references the pandemic like the plague itself. I didn’t think I’d be ready to go near a novel set in 2020 until at least 2030. And then Elizabeth Strout came along with Lucy by the Sea.
The book follows our much-loved heroine Lucy Barton, whose scientist ex-husband William convinces her to leave New York before the worst hits. The pair head to the Maine coast, where they muddle through the weirdness, the worry and the tiny flecks of joy together. Lucy by the Sea is both familiar and profound, tender and raw: of course it would be Strout who’d win me over!
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Bird is 12 years old, the US has introduced laws to protect ‘American culture’, and his mother has disappeared without a trace. But then he receives a mysterious note in the post and, convinced it’s a message from his mum, he sets out to find her.
Our Missing Hearts is a book about resistance and the power of love, and is one of those cinematic reads that spools out before you. I will not be surprised if it follows in the footsteps of Little Fires Everywhere, another of Ng’s novels, to become a brilliant, binge-worthy show.
The Romantic by William Boyd
I have a soft spot for whole life novels and there is no doubt that Boyd is a masterful storyteller, so I knew I would enjoy this one. The Romantic traces the entire lifetime of Cashel Greville Ross, who is born in County Cork in 1799 and goes on to experience a rollercoaster of adventures, loves and losses throughout much of the 19th century.
With a flawed yet loveable protagonist at its heart, and taking us from Waterloo to Pisa, Sri Lanka to Zanzibar, this is a book to get totally, utterly and delightfully lost in.
If you’re in need of more reading inspiration, here is a roundup I wrote of 40 books out this autumn.