5 novels we can't wait to read in spring 2020

Erin Kodicek on January 23, 2020
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Sue Monk Kidd takes a novel approach at illuminating the life of Jesus; Terry McMillan gets her literary groove back; Provocateur Ottessa Moshfegh pens horror; Hilary Mantel finishes her much lauded Wolf Hall trilogy, and more.

Which of these fictions will be our favorite of the year?


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The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Most novelists wouldn't touch this territory with a ten foot pole, but then they're not Sue Monk Kidd. The author of the beloved bestsellers The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings returns with a daring and thought-provoking story about a woman named Ana, sister of Judas, who becomes Jesus's wife (you read that right). Of her desire to portray Jesus as "fully human," Kidd said: “Writing from a novelist’s perspective and not a religious one, I was drawn to his humanity, which can often be overlooked." (April 21)


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It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

Terry McMillan is getting her literary groove back with It's Not All Downhill From Here. In it, 68-year-old Loretha Curry has it all: she's a successful business woman, has wonderful friends and family; moreover, she has a great attitude about getting older that some in her intimate circle lack. But that will be tested when fate deals her an unexpected blow, and she has to lean on this same circle to weather the storm. (March 31)


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Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh

We were big fans of Moshfegh's last novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, a literary feat in that the protagonist is asleep or otherwise out of it for much of the novel and yet it's still a page-turner! In Death in Her Hands, an elderly woman happens upon this note while walking in the woods: "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." Safe to say, this story will not be a nod to Bill Bryson. (April 21)


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The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel

Good things come to those who wait and it’s been seven long years since the second installment of Hilary Mantel’s much ballyhooed Wolf Hall trilogy. The conclusion of Thomas Cromwell’s story, The Mirror & the Light, details the downfall, and grisly end, of Henry VIII’s infamous chief minister, a literary undertaking Mantel has described as “the greatest challenge of my writing life.” (March 10)


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Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Casey Peabody is at a crossroads. She’s 31, a struggling writer with a complicated love life, and utterly undone by the recent death of her mother. Basically the woman is a hot mess. There are profound transitions that we encounter in life where we’re unsure of how to navigate them. With heart and wit, Lily King (Euphoria) deftly pilots us through this process in Writers & Lovers. (March 3)

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