The TV show “Desperate Housewives” made entertaining hay dramatizing the bad things that befell the denizens of a certain cookie cutter neighborhood, and that concept takes a darker turn in Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere. The Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights is known for its prescribed and placid character, but a new arrival shakes things up, and the community will never be the same. Senior Editor Chris Schluep says that with this second novel (her first was our favorite book of 2014), Ng "has established herself as a writer of rare sensitivity and talent."
Learn more about today’s best books of the month releases below, or browse all of our favorites for September here.
Ranger Games by Ben Blum
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson
The Twelve-Mile Straight is a panoramic portrait of 1930s Georgia, where poverty and violence collide with wealth and family – born and bred, white and black, rich and poor. Set in the Jim Crow South, bestselling author Eleanor Henderson begins her novel with damning clarity: two babies are born on a sharecropper’s farm in Cotton County, one light skinned and one dark skinned. As the story goes, they are twins born to Juke Jessup’s daughter, Elma. With help from Nan, the black housekeeper, the two women raise these babies into a world that is collapsing around them. A lynching on the farm sets off a series of secrets and cover-ups that threaten to ruin the family Elma has created. Will the truth set them free or bury them alive? Henderson’s novel unravels the day to day hardship of a small town in the south and how abuse, inequality and racism scar and wound generation after generation. –Al Woodworth
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