Books to Look Out For Out for in November 2022: Part Two

Cover image for Flight by Lynn Steger StrongI’m kicking off this second instalment of November titles with a novel which suits the season well. Set in snowy upstate New York, Lynn Steger Strong’s Flight follows three siblings and their families facing their first Christmas without their beloved mother. Tess and Martin are late setting off from their smart, new city apartment. Kate and Josh are on the road with their three children, Kate fretting about Josh’s catastrophic investments. Alice is readying the house while Henry works on the art installation he hopes will help his nephews and nieces understand what’s happening to their world. I loved this quietly absorbing empathetic novel, which portrays a middle-aged family brought face-to-face with loss, grief and an awareness of their privilege. Review to follow…Cover image for They're Going to Love You by Meg Howrey

Family angst of a more extreme kind is the subject of Meg Howrey’s They’re Going to Love You, set against a backdrop of New York’s ballet world. Howrey explores themes of love, betrayal and dedication as Carlisle is faced with visiting her dying father after a schism of nineteen years. Slipping back and forth between the ‘80s, ‘90s and her present day 2016, Carlisle unfolds the story of what led to this split not just from her father but from his lover, James, at whose request she’s returned to the apartment where she’d spent so many summers. A deeply involving story which I raced through. Howrey immerses her readers in this world she knows well as a professional dancer. Review soon…

Cover image for Aliss at the Fire by Jon FosseIn Jon Fosse’s Aliss at the Fire, Signe remembers herself, twenty years ago, waiting for her husband, Asle, who never returned from taking out his rowing boat, memories that fan out to encompass their whole life together and their families stretching back to Asle’s great-great-grandmother. ‘In Jon Fosse’s vivid, hallucinatory prose, all these moments in time inhabit the same space, and the ghosts of the past collide with those who still live on. Aliss at the Fire, is a visionary masterpiece, a haunting exploration of love and loss that ranks among the greatest meditations on marriage and human fate’ say the publishers which sounds rather beautiful.Idol Burning by Rin Usami

Rin Usami’s Idol, Burning sees teenage Akari obsessed with Masaki Ueno, member of pop group Maza Maza. He’s the lynchpin of her life, her blog devoted to chronicling his every public move. When Masaki becomes the subject of social media vilification after rumours of an assault on a female fan, Akari goes to pieces. ‘Offering a vivid insight into otaku culture and adolescence, Idol, Burning is a brilliantly gripping story of obsession, coming of age and the addictive, relentless nature of fandom culture’ says the blurb of a novel which sounds all too believable.

Cover image for Saha by Cho Nam-jooCho Nam-Joo’s Kim Ji-youg, Born 1982 wasn’t exactly an easy read with its depiction of everyday misogyny in South Korea. Saha sounds even tougher. Su is found dead in Town, a privatised, deeply unequal country controlled by the secretive Seven Pillars. Su’s partner becomes the main suspect and when he disappears his sister is determined to discover the truth, far darker than she could have imagined. ‘At once a dystopian mystery and devastating critique of how we live now, Saha lifts the lid on corruption, exploitation and government oppression, while, with deep humanity and compassion, showing us the lives of those who, through no fault of their own, suffer at the hand of brutal forces far beyond their control’ says the blurb suggesting a need to steel yourself to read it.

That’s it for November’s new fiction. As ever, a click on a title will take you to a more detailed synopsis should you want to know more, and if you’d like to catch up with part one it’s here. Paperbacks soon…

18 thoughts on “Books to Look Out For Out for in November 2022: Part Two”

  1. Do you really need to tempt me every single time??? I like the sound of the last three. I still haven’t read any Jon Fosse, although I have got his Septology set, but it’s a bit daunting, so this might be a shorter place to start.

  2. Idol, Burning sounds very intriguing. I actually have Saha on my review pile, so will probably have to prepare myself before diving in. Kim Ji-young was excellent though, so I’m hoping this turns out as good.

  3. South Korea is making a huge impression on the cultural scene isn’t it – dance, music, films and fiction. I’m intrigued by Saha but first I have to read Kim Ji-youg, Born 1982.

  4. Very much like the sound of the Fosse, Susan. As Marina said above, his Septology series feels quite daunting, but a standalone is a different matter all together. Are you planning to read it or will other temptations get in the way?

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