Here are 10 highly anticipated new books to pick up in 2012.
The Underside of Joy, by Sere Prince Halverson
Jan. 12 from Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin
Ella loves her life in Northern California, especially her husband Joe and his children she has been raising for the last three years. When Joe dies tragically, she finds out the children’s mother, Paige, may not have abandoned them as she had been led to believe, and a custody battle ensues.
Julia’s Child, by Sarah Pinneo
Jan. 31 from Plume, an imprint of Penguin
?Trying to balance two little boys and a new business isn’t easy, but Julia Bailey is determined to do it. If she can make money while sticking to her principles — making organic toddler food for Whole Foods — she owes it to herself, right?
Julia’s Child is a funny and light-hearted story about the choices of motherhood.
No One is Here Except All of Us, by Ramona Ausubel
Feb. 2 from Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin
?In a Jewish Romanian village in 1939, an 11-year-old girl reshapes her community in an effort to help protect it from the war that rages around them. As the war closes in, however, not even her best-laid plans can protect her or her new, young family.
She must abandon her home and her people in an effort to give her children a hopeful future.
A Good American, by Alex George
Feb. 7 from Putnam Books, an imprint of Penguin?
Fleeing a disapproving family in 1904, Frederick and Jette set out for America. Landing first in New Orleans, and then moving to Beatrice, Missouri, they must make their way in a new country when they do not speak a word of English.
Set against the backdrop of the twentieth century in America, A Good American is by turns funny and heartbreaking, a story of family and identity.
Spin, by Catherine McKenzie
Feb. 7 from William Morrow Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins?
Working at the music magazine The Line is a dream of Kate’s, so of course when she lands an interview, she needs to celebrate. Of course, showing up to her 9 a.m. interview still drunk doesn’t exactly telegraph that she’s a good hire.
It does make her seem perfect for the assignment of following a young starlet into rehab, but when Kate starts making real friendships, things get complicated.
Friends Like Us, by Lauren Fox
Feb. 14 from Knopf, an imprint of Random House
?Willa and Jane are so close, they are like sisters. In fact, people routinely mistake them for sisters. When Willa’s oldest friend, Ben, shows up, he and Jane hit it off — maybe a little more than Willa would like.
Suddenly, Willa must decide whose happiness she cares about more: her own, or Jane’s.
Carry the One, by Carol Anshaw
March 6, from Simon & Schuster
?After Carmen’s wedding, a carload of her tired and chemically-altered guests strike and kill a young girl on a country road. What follows is a beautiful story about complicated and messy family life. Over the next 25 years, Carmen and her siblings connect, disconnect and reconnect with one another and their victim.
The characters are flawed, but they are incredibly real, and Anshaw’s sympathy for them makes Carry the One difficult to resist. Despite the strength of the plot and characters, though, it is Anshaw’s gorgeous writing that gives Carry the One its power and makes it a must-read book for spring.
The Gilly Salt Sisters, by Tiffany Baker
March 14 from Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette
Jo and Claire Gilly couldn’t be more different: Jo loves the family’s land and salt farm, and Claire can’t wait to be free. Claire’s desire is so strong, in fact, that she sets fire to a barn, scarring Jo, after the death of their brother and mother. Unfortunately for Claire, the Gilly lands hold mysteries too dark to ever fully escape.
The Gilly Salt Sisters is a deliciously gothic novel, with salt playing an important role in the town’s annual scrying. The real strength of Baker’s storytelling is her ability to create larger-than-life and incredibly engaging characters, and The Gilly Salt Sisters is no exception.
The Song Remains the Same, by Allison Winn Scotch
April 12 from Putnam Books, an imprint of Penguin?
Being in a plane crash is not the worst thing that ever happened to Nell, but surviving it may be. Not only does Nell remember nothing of the crash, she also remembers nothing of her life before the crash. Luckily, Nell has loved ones around to help her fill in the cracks, but it is music, art and photos that really begin to jog her memory.
Of course, as her memory comes back, Nell also begins to have cause to question the stories being told to her by friends and family.
More Like Her, by Liza Palmer
April 17 from William Morrow Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins?
Frances, Jill and Lisa all believe that Emma Dunham has the perfect life. The other women all have serious issues: They’ve been dumped; they’re so career-focused that they’ve neglected family or their unexpected pregnancies or are threatening already faltering marriages. Emma’s life shines in comparison — at least until her seemingly-perfect husband murders her.
Now the women must come to terms not only with Emma’s death, but the shattering of their ideal as well.