These are the 6 fiction books Margaret Hussey thinks you should be diving into this autumn.
Crossroads sees Jonathan Franzen follow the twists and turns of the Hildebrandt family in Midwest America. It looks at a couple, a pastor and his wife in Chicago, who want to break free from their marriage while their three children are wrestling with their own anxieties. Set in 1971, this first in a trilogy of the superbly titled A Key To All Mythologies, will take the family through the next 50 years in Franzen’s inimitable style. Out October 5. BUY NOW
Colm Toibin, the author of Brooklyn, turns his attention to a 20th century genius in The Magician. He explores the life and times of German author Thomas Mann, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature for works including The Magic Mountain and Buddenbrooks. Fleeing into exile after the Nazis took power, Mann was a host of contradictions, fathering six children and hiding his homosexuality. As usual Toibin weaves his magic in this masterly book. Out September 23. BUY NOW
When a stranger tells Allegra, aka Freckles, that she is the average of the five people she spends the most time with, it sets her on a journey of discovery. Who are these people and why have they made her the way she is? Told with Cecelia Ahern’s natural warmth and ear for dialogue, this is a lovely read on human connection and friendship, while also transporting you to the majesty and beauty of Ireland. Out September 2. BUY NOW
He’s more known for grilling politicians and now ITV News’s political editor Robert Peston is in the spotlight himself with his debut novel The Whistleblower. Set in 1997 it combines an election, a hit-and-run and government secrets. Using all his inside knowledge and experience, this is a real page-turner and is already winning plaudits from everyone from Ed Balls to Nick Robinson. Out September 2. BUY NOW
From the author of Vox, Christine Dalcher’s Femlandia is set in a time where the US economy has collapsed and women are left to pick up the pieces. The central character Miranda is left alone with her daughter Emma and as violence and chaos ensues, she heads to Femlandia, a women’s only commune. For fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power, this dystopian book is a tough read in parts and will leave you thinking. Out October 28. BUY NOW
Already creating a huge buzz in the publishing world, We Are Not Like Them follows the story of a lifelong friendship between two women – Riley, a successful black television journalist and Jen, a working-class white woman married to a Philadelphia police officer. When Jen’s husband is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, it makes them look at everything from friendship to love, prejudice to betrayal. Out October 14. BUY NOW