Category: Libby Bridges

WHAT WE SET IN MOTION: Delightful Debut

WHAT WE SET IN MOTION: Delightful Debut

What We Set in Motion (March 2016) is the award-winning debut novel by former dancer Stephanie Austin Edwards. This coming-of-age novel is a delightful read about a young woman named Nadine Carter Barnwell who braves the unknown to follow her dancing dreams, despite her father’s objections and her personal misgivings. Initially set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, I was first struck by the beautiful scenery. A resident of South Carolina, Edwards knows her setting and describes it well. Written… Read more »

PREPUB Alert: Discover Great New Writers Spring Title

PREPUB Alert: Discover Great New Writers Spring Title

I love a good family story. Throw in some dysfunction and I’m there! Reading the synopsis for Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s debut, The Nest (March 2016), I knew this was a book for me. The novel opens at a wedding where, in a drug-induced stupor, Leo Plumb leaves behind his wife Victoria and takes a waitress named Matilda with him into his car. There was a crash. Then the story fast forwards to more than a year later to the fallout… Read more »

Talented New Voice in Literary Fiction

Talented New Voice in Literary Fiction

At first glance We Love You, Charlie Freeman (March 2016) is a coming-of-age story about a family hired to live with a chimpanzee as part of a language experiment, but behind it is the disturbing story of race relations in America. Parts of this novel were difficult to read. The scientific interpretation of race relations brought back memories of reading Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man in college. Race, history, ethics, and sexuality are some of the topics explored… Read more »

THE WIDOW: Smart, Psychological Thriller

THE WIDOW: Smart, Psychological Thriller

Barton’s debut novel The Widow (February 2016) is a fantastic example of a smart psychological thriller. It contained all of my favorite things of this genre—narrators with questionable reliability, carefully crafted shifts in time, and slowly revealed secrets. The opening scene features a confident, no-nonsense reporter name Kate Waters who arrives at Jean Taylor’s doorstep and welcomes herself inside to discuss the story—Jean’s husband, Glen, and his sketchy past association with the unsolved case of a missing two-year-old girl named… Read more »

International Sensation Debuts #1 on America’s Indie Next List

International Sensation Debuts #1 on America’s Indie Next List

“Feel-good books were ones you could put down with a smile on your face, books that made you think the world was a little crazier, stranger, and more beautiful when you looked up from them.” (151) The buzz surrounding The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (January 2016) has been building for quite some time. I first heard about this book during a conference last year discussing prepubs. A bestseller in Katarina Bivald’s home country, it is now available internationally to English… Read more »