| By Tamara Butler |
Jump into summer with these mysterious and fun novels that pay homage to classic supernatural writers. This month, Thorndike offers two compelling revisionist fiction tales. In Her Lost Words: A Novel of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, the author reimagines the path that led to Shelley creating Frankenstein. Not to be outdone, Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match showcases the little sister of Victor Frankenstein, who decides it’s her turn to make the perfect man in this unique romantic comedy. In the tradition of Stephen King, Johnstone’s The Blackhouse is a top-notch supernatural tale about a family that moves to a mysterious Scottish town where the locals hold a dark secret they’ll protect at all costs. Funerals take on a whole new meaning in The Celebrants, where a group of college friends make an agreement that each will have one funeral while still alive—only one member of the group is holding a secret that could threaten to break the group apart.
The Celebrants by Steven Rowley
Read With Jenna Book Club Pick
Indie Next Pick
Starred Booklist Review
A Big Chill for our times. It’s been a minute—or five years—since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. Over the years, they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living—that their lives mean something, to one another if not to themselves. But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact.
Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match: A Novel by Sally Thorne
USA Today Bestselling Author
Starred Reviews: Library Journal & Booklist
For generations, every Frankenstein has found their true love and equal, unlocking lifetimes of blissful wedded adventure. Clever, pretty (and odd) Angelika Frankenstein has run out of suitors and fears she may become the exception to this family rule. When assisting in her brother Victor’s groundbreaking experiment to bring a reassembled man back to life, she realizes that having an agreeable gentleman convalescing in the guest suite might be a chance to let a man get to know the real her. For the first time, Angelika embarks upon a project that is all her own. Filled with carriages, candlesticks, and corpses, Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match is the spooky-season reimagining of the well-known classic that reminds us to never judge a man by his cadaver!
Her Lost Words: A Novel of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley by Stephanie Marie Thornton
USA Today Bestselling Author
1792. As a child, Mary Wollstonecraft longed to disappear during her father’s violent rages. Instead, she transforms herself into the radical author of the landmark volume A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she dares to propose that women are equal to men. From conservative England to the blood-drenched streets of revolutionary France, Mary refuses to bow to society’s conventions and instead supports herself with her pen until an illicit love affair challenges her every belief about romance and marriage.
1815. The daughter of infamous political philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, passionate Mary Shelley learned to read by tracing the letters of her mother’s tombstone. As a young woman, she desperately misses her mother’s guidance, especially following her scandalous elopement with dashing poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary struggles to balance an ever-complicated marriage with motherhood while nursing twin hopes that she might write something of her own one day and also discover the truth of her mother’s unconventional life.
The Blackhouse: A Novel by Carole Johnstone
Indie Next Pick
Starred Kirkus Review
A remote village. A deadly secret. An outsider who knows the truth. Robert Reid moved his family to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides in the 1990s, driven by hope, craving safety and community, and hiding a terrible secret. But despite his best efforts to fit in, Robert is always seen as an outsider. And as the legendary and violent Hebridean storms rage around him, he begins to unravel, believing his fate on the remote island of Kilmeray cannot be escaped. For her entire life, Maggie MacKay has sensed something was wrong with her. When Maggie was five years old, she announced that a man on Kilmeray—a place she’d never visited—had been murdered. Her unfounded claim drew media attention and turned the locals against each other, creating rifts that never mended. Nearly twenty years later, Maggie is determined to find out what really happened, and what the islanders are hiding.