The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
Few literary depictions have been as celebrated for their evocation of a place as Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. And for the enigmatic, pseudonymous writer’s first release since her bestselling My Brilliant Friend quartet, she returns to a divided Naples for the backdrop. The Lying Life of Adults follows an adolescent girl growing up in the city, via Ferrante’s dissection of youth, family life and self-discovery.
His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
Peace Adzo Medie’s captivating debut novel begins in a small Ghanaian town, where Afi – a young seamstress who lives with her widowed mother – agrees to a marriage proposal made by the family of a wealthy suitor. She moves to Accra, where she finds that her marriage is not at all what she had expected it to be, but in doing so she discovers an unexpected freedom and sense of independence – as well as a love for her life in the bustling capital city.
The Green Edit: Travel by Juliet Kinsman
A slight cheat for the list because it is in fact a travel guide, but a new must-read for planning a planet-conscious trip. Juliet Kinsman, founder of the luxury eco-travel brand Bouteco, shares her easy, insider tips for sustainably minded travelers who want to maximize their experience. Her short and expert guide takes you through every step, from where to book to how to travel – proving that it is possible to lower the environmental impact of a vacation, without lessening the wanderlust.
Mr Wilder and Me by Jonathan Coe
It is the summer of 1977 when Calista leaves Athens for an adventure. She finds herself on a Greek island on a film set working for famed Hollywood director Billy Wilder, who is starting to realize that his star may be on the wane. Their meeting, which takes them to shoot in Munich, will change both of their paths in this coming-of-age story and intimate portrait of the Golden Age filmmaker, which traverses time and fame, family and nostalgia.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
In Naoise Dolan’s riveting debut, 22-year-old Ava departs Ireland for the ex-pat lifestyle in Hong Kong, where she becomes embroiled in a love triangle with a male Etonian banker and a female corporate lawyer. Dublin-born Dolan’s witty observation of the uncertainty around modern relationships and unlikely connections is centered by a flawed female lead marred by self-contempt.
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha
Frances Cha’s electrifying debut novel is an intimate portrayal of the lives of four women living in the same apartment block in present-day Seoul. They navigate a world bound by impossible beauty ideals, stringent social hierarchies, K-pop obsessions, competition and friendship, as Cha draws on the complexities of cultural norms and universal beauty standards.