Last week I shared some of my most anticipated YA novels of 2020, and this week I am going to highlight some 2020 adult fiction books I am excited about. A few of them don’t even have covers yet! I am sure there are many that I am missing, so please share your most anticipated novel in the comments below!
A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
Release Date: February 4th, 2020
In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son. Xavier is headed to college in the fall, and after years of single parenting, Valerie is facing the prospect of an empty nest. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door―an apparently traditional family with new money, ambition, and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter.
Thanks to his thriving local business, Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town, and he’s made a small fortune on his customer service and charm, while his wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking. Their new house is more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn’t want to live in Oak Knoll? With little in common except a property line, these two very different families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie’s yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.
Told from multiple points of view, A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today―What does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending star-crossed love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.
I have had Fowler’s novels on my TBR for years, but I think A Good Neighborhood may be the book that convinces me to finally take the plunge. The early reviews have been incredible and the word that I keep seeing used over and over again to describe it is “engrossing”. That instantly sold me! I have discovered that I love novels about neighbours- there is something about that dynamic that fascinates me.
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men―employees at the resort―are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.
Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth―not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.
As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.
The cover for Saint X is the first thing that drew me to it, but the story itself sounds just as intriguing. There is a lot going on here and I am so curious to see how the mystery unfolds. The fact that there is a romantic relationship complicates things further. I get the impression that this is one of those books that I will not be able to put down once I pick it up. The early reviews have been amazing!
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
Release Date: March 17th, 2020
For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.
Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.
After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.
Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.
Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…
And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.
This book has been all over Bookstagram lately and everyone seems very excited about it. I have heard that it is full of complex characters- something I always look for! It does not sound like your typical thriller and that intrigues me because thrillers do not always work for me. From the quotes I have read it sounds absolutely sinister. I can not wait to get my hands on it!
The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
In her distinctive voice, Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual “Lost Friends” advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold off.
Louisiana, 1875 In the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now-destitute plantation; Juneau Jane, her illegitimate free-born Creole half-sister; and Hannie, Lavinia’s former slave. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following dangerous roads rife with ruthless vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and eight siblings before slavery’s end, the pilgrimage westward reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the seemingly limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope.
Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt–until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, seems suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lies the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.
I absolutely adored Before We Were Yours, and I will now read anything that Lisa Wingate writes. She is one of those authors who reminds me why I love historical fiction so much. What I think it so special about her books is that she takes inspiration from true events. In this case she was inspired by “Lost Friends” advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War. Truly that is all I need to know!
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.
Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.
But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.
Vampires are back and I am so ready for it! I have been meaning to read My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix since it came out- I have only heard amazing things. I am hoping to get to it before the release of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, which sounds absolutely bonkers! I love that there is a book club involved.
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
To most people, Quan Diep is nothing but a surly-looking, underachieving playboy. The problem is he’s not any of those things. And now that he’s the CEO of an up-and-coming retail business, he’s suddenly a “catch,” and the rich girls who never used to pay any attention to him are looking at him in a new way—especially Camilla, the girl who brushed him off many years ago.
Anna Sun dislikes Quan Diep almost as much as germy bathroom door handles. Or so she tells herself. She will never admit that she has a secret crush on him, especially because he only has eyes for her charismatic and newly engaged younger sister Camilla. Over the years, Anna has worked hard to overcome her OCD, but she’ll still need to find a way to bury her anxieties and seduce Quan so he doesn’t ruin her sister’s engagement, and with it, a crucial real estate development deal.
Slowly, Anna breaks down Quan’s dangerous and careless exterior while peeling off her own tough, protective shell. But when Quan discovers Anna’s true intentions, he’s forced to confront his own hurtful past and learn to forgive, while Anna must face her greatest challenge: truly opening herself up to love.
The Kiss Quotient series is my favourite romance series and I can not wait for the next installment. I can’t begin to explain to you how excited I am- Quan is such a sweetheart and I am ready to read his love story. I am also looking forward to seeing appearances from previous characters who I adored. Helen Hoang always has amazing representation in her novels and I think it is refreshing that the love interest in The Heart Principle has OCD.
Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
Release Date: June 30th, 2020
Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one?
When Calla, a blue ticket woman, begins to question her fate she must go on the run. But her survival will be dependent on the very qualities the lottery has taught her to question in herself and on the other women the system has pitted against her. Pregnant and desparate, Calla must contend with whether or not the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what that might mean for her child.
An urgent inquiry into free will, social expectation and the fraught space of motherhood, Blue Ticket is electrifying in its raw evocation of jealousy and desire and riveting in its undeniable familiarity.
Sophie Mackinstosh’s novel The Water Cure was one of my favourite books of the year and I can not wait to see what she comes out with next. The details about the lottery are very vague and I am so curious. I truly wish that I had this book in my hands right now. I need to know what this premise is all about.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Release Date: July 2020
Transcendent Kingdom is the story of a family from Ghana that struggles to assimilate to small-town life in Alabama.
Transcendent Kingdom revolves around a young woman named Gifty, now studying to become a neuroscientist, who grapples with faith, salvation, and science after her brother, once the star of his high school basketball team, becomes addicted to opiods.
Yaa Gyasi is the author of Homegoing, which is one of my favourite novels of all time. I was so thrilled to hear that she was releasing a new book in 2020. Transcendent Kingdom sounds like it is going to be harrowing and touch on many of the same themes found in Homegoing. No one writes about family dynamics quite like Yaa Gyasi.
I just have to mention that Sylvain Neuvel is releasing a new book at some point in 2020 but it has no title, cover, or release date but here is the brief synopsis:
As long as we follow the rules.
The Kibsu had five rules to guide the gradual elevation of our species:
1. Preserve the knowledge.
2. Survive at all cost.
3. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
4. Don’t leave a trace.
5. There can never be three for too long.
But when their enemy got too close, the Kibsu add one more:
6. Fear the Tracker: always run, never fight.
But now, during the terrors of the Great War, the Trackers are closing in, and for Mia and Sarah, running might no longer be an option.
That is it for now! As I discover more and more 2020 release I might put together another post like this one.
What is your most anticipated novel of 2020?