Books to Look Out For Out for in July 2022: Part One

Cover image for This is Gonna End in Tears by Liza Klaussmann July see the summer reading season in full swing for publishers with lots of novels aimed at entertaining readers by the pool. Unusually for me, I’m beginning with one that fits that bill well.

Liza Klaussmann’s This is Gonna End in Tears is set in the summer of 1984 when a few chickens come home to roost for childhood friends Olly, Miller and Ash. The premise is an attractive one: three people intimate with each other years ago are thrust together at a moment of crisis for them all when Olly, who has betrayed both Ash and Miller in one way or another, comes home to look after his Aunt Tassie who brought him up. Klaussmann knows how to spin a story, weaving a nice thread of humour through her novel. An enjoyable enough summer read, the kind to pack in your suitcase if you’re planning to slip your brain into neutral. Review shortly… Cover image for The Trio by Johanna Hedman

Swedish writer Johanna Hedman’s The Trio sounds a little similar. It follows three young people – Thora, August and Hugo – each from very different backgrounds, who come together over two idyllic summers in Stockholm. Years later, Hugo is visited by August and Thora’s daughter who has questions to ask. ‘Modern yet timeless, poignant and euphoric, The Trio is a novel about the path not taken, the people we might have become, and the relationships which shape and haunt us long after they come to a close’ say the publishers. I find that revisiting the past structure hard to resist.

Cover image for Common Decency by Susannah Dickey Susannah Dickey’s Common Decency picks up some of the themes she explored in her first novel, Tennis Lessons, through the story of Lily, who has sealed herself off after the death of her beloved mother, and Siobhán, locked into an affair with a married man, who lives above her in the same apartment block. Dickey alternates her narrative between Lily and Siobhán as she explores the very different emotional dysfunction of these two women with a wry wit. There’s always a niggling worry about second novels but, if anything, I enjoyed Common Decency more than Dickey’s excellent debut. Review soon…Cover image for Girls They Write Songs About by Carlene Baur

Set in New York, Carlene Bauer’s Girls They Write Songs About is about female friendship which makes it instantly appealing for me. Two young women, both very different, both freshly graduated, move to New York in the ‘90s. Working on the same music magazine, Rose and Charlotte become friends, a friendship that will see them through marriage, motherhood, divorce, success and failure until they fall out of step with each other, all of which sounds right up my street.

Cover image for Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh-ChouAs does Elaine Hsieh-Chou’s Disorientation which follows twenty-nine-year-old Ingrid, who turns her life upside down when she stumbles on a note in the archives written by the poet who is the subject of her PhD dissertation. Rather than a fast track to completion, her attempts to interpret the note unleash a chaos that spreads like wildfire.  ‘An uproarious and bighearted satire – alive with sharp edges, immense warmth, and a cast of unforgettable characters – that asks: who gets to tell our stories? And how does the story change when we finally tell it ourselves?’ according to the publishers. I can’t resist a campus satire.

It’s only three years since Jill Dawson’s The Language of Birds but it feels much longer to me – Covid time, again, I suspect. As Cover image for The Bewtiching by Jill Dawson she often does with her fiction Dawson has based The Bewtiching on historical events, this time rewinding several centuries from the Lord Lucan affair of her last novel to the sixteenth century Warboys witches through the story of Alice Samuels, accused of witchcraft by her employer’s children. ‘Exploring a neglected episode of English history to powerful effect, The Bewitching vividly conveys the brutal tribalism that can erupt in a closed society and how victims can be made to believe in their own wickedness’ say the publishers. I’ve enjoyed almost everything I’ve read by Dawson, and that’s a brilliant jacket.

That’s it for the first part of July’s preview. As ever, a click on a title will take you to a more detailed synopsis should you want to know more. Part two soon…

27 thoughts on “Books to Look Out For Out for in July 2022: Part One”

  1. I’m keen on the Chou and Klaussmann. I didn’t realize the Bauer would have a UK release; I started that one early on Kindle. Her previous novel, Frances and Bernard, is one of my favourites.

  2. Girls They Write Songs About appeals, mainly because of the NY setting. I had some issues with Tennis Lessons, but this new one from Dickey sound quite interesting I think.

  3. I have one of Liza Klaussmann’s earlier novels on the shelves – Tigers in Red Leather – though each time I see it and look at the blurb I lose interest. Not sure why…

  4. jenniferbeworr

    This sounds like a tremendously good batch! I just wondered if the Johanna Hedman is in translation? Oh duh I can look it up. What a class act of a roundup, you are unflagging, brava!

  5. I like the sound of Bewitched and I agree, it’s a fab cover! Although there’s been quite a spate of witch novels recently, I haven’t come across the Warboys witches before…

    1. They were new to me, too. I enjoy Dawson’s use of historical ficgures in her fiction, not least because she has such wide ranging interests. I’ll be reviewing this one next month.

  6. Disorientation sounds an interesting set-up. I enjoy a campus novel and it’s been a while since I read one. Also tempted by Girls They Write Songs About – love a New York setting!

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