Lisa DeSelm recommends
The Last Carolina Girl (2023)
"This spirited, coming-of-age debut whisked me straight to the heart of the Carolinas in the 1930s. I couldn't tear myself away from Leah's journey, from the piney, isolated woods of her childhood, to an often bewildering life in the foreign world of the suburbs, where appearances are everything. Church so beautifully interweaves the connections between Leah's deeply-sunk roots in the rural South with her search for belonging and her bravery in the face of unspeakable loss. This is a story that will stay with me; I knew little about the eugenics programs that had taken hold in American culture in that time period and Church's tale left me wanting to research and understand more of this broken, devastating piece of America's history."
Bright Ruined Things (2022)
"I was utterly captivated by the world Samantha Cohoe conjured on this mysterious island, where magic and power rule hand-in-hand with intrigue and desire. A wealthy family, a web of secrets about the past, and a cast of glittering characters who feel like they just stepped out from one of The Great Gatsby's legendary parties-what's not to love? I was swept right along with Mae as she digs in to uncover the truth behind the magic wielded by the Prosper family and wrestles with her own desire to grasp hold of power she's long been denied."
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