Flyleaf's Favorite Fiction 2023

North Woods: A Novel By Daniel Mason Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593597033
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House - September 19th, 2023

In times like these, art's what gets us through. In North Woods, Mason meets us head-on: our fear of change, our place in nature, what it is we owe to the ancestors. It'll be compared to The Overstory but its similarity to Lincoln in the Bardothe stories of those who came before usis what it recalls. That said: Mason's his own man and his own master and doesn't really need to be compared to anyone at all. He sits at the top of the mountain, with those to whom we give our eternal thanks for books we love. --Erica

So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men By Claire Keegan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802160850
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - November 14th, 2023

Like her other short works of fiction, Claire Keegan's So Late in the Day is masterful with beautifully written descriptions of people, places, and natural environments. Unlike her other works, in this book Keegan reveals darker and sometimes more sinister aspects of masculinity and human relating. The three stories in this collection are linked by unsaid, but certainly felt, vulnerabilities so quiet and distant that you don't ever see what's coming. --Christa

Age of Vice: A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel) By Deepti Kapoor Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593328798
Availability: Usually Available in 1-5 Days, supply chain issues may affect these times
Published: Riverhead Books - January 3rd, 2023

This novel will rob you of hours from your life; it will rob you of the need for food or company or sleep. Time the reading of the first pages wisely; you’ll have a sudden need to find a comfy spot where you can commune with these characters and their lush stories of pleasure and pain. A mashup of American Psycho, Scarface, and The Great Gatsby, but set in contemporary India, it’s all but impossible to look away from this dazzling train wreck orchestrated by Deepti Kapoor. I was consumed by this novel. --Jamie F.

Let Us Descend: A Novel By Jesmyn Ward Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982104498
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - October 24th, 2023

Writing of America’s blood-soaked land embodied, Ward brings us a striking, mellifluously imagined story of antebellum slavery and its depths. Annis, the young, enslaved narrator, opens portals between her matrilineal past, uncertain future, and the unseen spiritual dimensions of her harrowing present. Seamlessly weaving magical realism and the scars of exploitation held within warmth of transcendent love, Ward affirms her place as one of the most brilliant, beloved contemporary writers. --RC

Western Lane: A Novel By Chetna Maroo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250321930
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - November 21st, 2023

A lovely coming of age novel of grief, love, and Squash. This ripped my heart open in the best possible way. --Tony

The Postcard By Anne Berest, Tina Kover (Translator) Cover Image
By Anne Berest, Tina Kover (Translator)
ISBN: 9781609458386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - May 16th, 2023

Ephraim Emma Noémie Jacques. These four names -- the names of author Anne Berest's maternal relatives who were killed at Auschwitz -- appear on a postcard her mother receives in the mail one day. In this work of near-autofiction, Berest attempts to unravel the mystery of why this postcard came to be and reckon with how the secrets of the past affect her family's present. Journeying from Russia to Latvia to Palestine to France -- the French Resistance, interwar Parisian artistic life -- it's all here. A truly remarkable read with a masterful translation by Tina Kover; no other book from this year has moved me more than The Postcard. --Elese

Chain Gang All Stars: A Novel By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593317334
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - May 2nd, 2023

This book asks, "what if crimes were absolved in blood for sport?" Adjei-Brenyah's answer is brilliantly concocted, delivering a complex future of violence, abolition, and humanity. This story plants seeds of our society's darkest sides in the grounds of hell, urging them to grow into blood-soaked blooms of a carceral-capitalist state nightmare. With expansive yet concise world-building and plot-driving perspective shifts, Chain-Gang All-Stars is one of the most striking, novel, and immersive stories of the year. --RC

Tom Lake: A Reese's Book Club Pick By Ann Patchett Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063327528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - August 1st, 2023

Reading this book is like carefully unwrapping a wonderful present. It's beautifully paced and delightful at every turn. It's about love, family, youth, and memory, and you're left holding a treasure you didn't know you needed, but you very much did. A jewel of a novel. --Maggie

Big Swiss: A Novel By Jen Beagin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982153090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 1st, 2023

Greta has recently awakened from a sleepy relationship, moved herself and her dog-child across the country (and into an old Dutch farmhouse with a colony of bees in the ceiling), and gotten herself hired as transcriptionist to a local sex & relationship guru. Greta's discreet until she isn't, and she isn't because a new clienta steely-voiced woman who's experienced horrific trauma but flat-out refuses to call herself "traumatized"suddenly tunnels deep into Greta's heart & mind via therapy-session audio recording. Absolutely bizarre, endearing, cringeworthy, delectable drama ensuesand none of it plays out how you'd expect, and it all hits just right. God, I loved this. --Talia

Birnam Wood: A Novel By Eleanor Catton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374110338
Availability: Backordered
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 7th, 2023

This suspenseful literary novel tracks an uneasy partnership between scrappy young idealists and a libertarian billionaire set in modern-day New Zealand. Environmentalism, government conspiracies and tech surveillance are the big themes in this twisty page-turner that will leave you stunned at its heartbreaking conclusion. --Maggie