July books: Learn about these new releases


June 28, 2024

Upcoming books

Notable new releases

compiled by Sally Brewster

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore 

Early morning, August 1975: a camp counselor discovers an empty bunk. Its occupant, Barbara Van Laar, has gone missing. Barbara isn’t just any 13-year-old: She’s the daughter of the family that owns the summer camp and employs most of the region’s residents. And this isn’t the first time a Van Laar child has disappeared. Barbara’s older brother similarly vanished 14 years ago, never to be found. As a panicked search begins, a thrilling drama unfolds. Chasing down the layered secrets of the Van Laar family and the blue-collar community working in its shadow, Moore’s multi-threaded story invites readers into a rich and gripping dynasty of secrets and second chances. 

The Cliffs by J. Courtney Sullivan

On a secluded bluff overlooking the ocean sits a Victorian house, lavender with gingerbread trim, a home that contains a century’s worth of secrets. By the time Jane Flanagan discovers the house as a teenager, it has long been abandoned. There are still clothes in the closets, marbles rolling across the floors, and dishes in the cupboards, even though no one has set foot there in decades. The house becomes a hideaway for Jane, a place to escape her volatile mother. Twenty years later, now a Harvard archivist, she returns home to Maine and is horrified to find the Victorian is now barely recognizable. The new owner, Genevieve, has gutted it, transforming the house into a glossy white monstrosity straight out of a shelter magazine. Strangely, Genevieve is convinced that the house is haunted — perhaps the product of something troubling Genevieve herself has done. She hires Jane to research the history of the place and the women who lived there. The story Jane uncovers is even older than Maine itself.

Concerning the Future of Souls by Joy Williams

Williams’ new book balances the extraordinary and the humble, the bizarre and the beatific, as Azrael — transporter of souls and the most troubled and thoughtful of the angels — confronts the holy impossibility of his task, his uneasy relationship with death, and his friendship with the devil. Over the course of these 99 illuminations, a collection of connected and disparate beings — ranging from ordinary folk to grand figures such as Jung, Nietzsche, Pythagoras, Bach and Rilke; to mountains, oceans, dogs, birds, whales, horses, butterflies, a 60-year-old tortoise and a chimp named Washoe — experience the varying fate of the soul as each encounters the darkness of transcendence in this era of extinction. Concerning the Future of Souls is a crash course in philosophy, religion, literature and culture. 

I Was A Teenage Slasher by Stephen Graham Jones

In 1989, Lamesa, Texas, is a small town driven by oil and cotton, and a place where everyone knows everyone else’s business. So it goes for Tolly Driver, a good kid with more potential than application, 17, and about to be cursed to kill for revenge. Here, Jones explores the Texas he grew up in and the unfairness of being on the outside through a slasher horror from the perspective of the killer, Tolly, writing his own autobiography. Find yourself rooting for a killer in this summer teen movie of a novel gone full blood-curdling tragic.

The Wedding People by Alison Espach

It’s a beautiful day in Newport, Rhode Island, when Phoebe Stone arrives at the grand Cornwall Inn wearing a green dress and gold heels, not a bag in sight, alone. She’s immediately mistaken by everyone in the lobby for one of the wedding people, but she’s actually the only guest at the Cornwall who isn’t here for the big event. Phoebe is here because she’s dreamed of coming for years — she hoped to shuck oysters and take sunset sails with her husband, only now she’s here without him, at rock bottom, and determined to have one last decadent splurge on herself. Meanwhile, the bride has accounted for every detail and every possible disaster the weekend might yield — except for Phoebe and Phoebe’s plan, which makes it that much more surprising when the two women can’t stop confiding in each other. The Wedding People is an incredibly nuanced and resonant look at the winding paths we can take to places we never imagined — and the chance encounters it sometimes takes to reroute us.  SP

Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, 4139 Park Rd.


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