Best new fiction for 2021: 48 unmissable new books to read this year, from thrillers to family dramas

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From thrillers and family dramas to sweet romcoms and addictive stories, these are the best books heading your way. 

2021 is shaping up to be an incredible year for fiction. Already Raven Leilani’s Luster has become one of the most talked-about books of the decade while the terrifying mysteries of Girl A and The Push have been snapped up for their screen rights. Plus, with new reads from much-loved and talented authors including Angie ThomasYaa Gyasi, Katherine Heiny and Taylor Jenkins Reid alongside much-heralded debuts from Caleb Azumah Nelson, Patricia Lockwood embracing fiction and Zakiya Dalila Harris making waves with The Other Black Girl, fiction really is an innovative, diverse and exciting place right now. 

So whether you want dark thrillers, contemporary takes on modern life, piercing poetry courtesy of Hollie McNish, groundbreaking fantasy YA, explorations of race, queer politics and sexuality or laugh-out-loud tales that still root out the human condition, 2021 fiction has your back. 

While we couldn’t fit in every book we wanted to, we have managed to create a list of 48 incredible fiction books that you need to order right now – so here’s to losing ourselves in stories from around the world in 2021. 

  • Luster by Raven Leilani

    Luster by Raven Leilani
    Best new fiction for 2021: Luster by Raven Leilani

    Unflinching, insightful and funny, Leilani’s debut (21 January) has been heralded as something akin to the second coming and it does not disappoint. Edie is working in a publishing house that undervalues her talent (something she’s also guilty of herself) and is making some questionable life choices. Then, after finding herself homeless, jobless and juggling service gigs, the wife of her lover invites her into their home…  Masterfully capturing our political, racial and sexual zeitgeist that no longer deals in certainties, this is a very special book.  

    Shop Luster by Raven Leilani at Afrori, £14.99 (Pan Macmillan)

  • Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

    Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
    Best fiction for 2021: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

    One of the most highly anticipated releases of the year sees Angie Thomas return to Garden Heights with the story of Maverick Carter, Starr’s father, set 17 years before the events of The Hate U Give on 12 January. Exploring the world of the Carters in the late 90s, it’s a tale of evolution set against a world of race, drugs and redemption and one that underlines Thomas’ ability to unflinchingly reflect the truth of race, politics and family in the US. 

    Shop Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas at Bookshop, £7.99 (Walker Books) 

  • Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

    Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
    Best new fiction for 2021: Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

    For those that are missing the tentative depiction of love in Normal People, Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water is set to become one of 2021’s unmissable books. Out 2 February, it’s the story of two Black British artists – he’s a photographer and she’s a dancer – and an exploration of desire, love, trauma, race and art. Utterly transporting, it’ll leave you weeping and in awe. 

    Shop Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson at Bookshop, £12.99 (Viking)

  • Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

    Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
    Best new fiction for 2021: Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

    From cult author Heiny (her very funny 2018 novel Standard Deviation is passed among book lovers in hushed tones of delight and reverence), this is one of 2021’s most anticipated books filled with an understated, perfectly written humour. A slightly offbeat love story – primary teacher Jane falls for woman-loving Duncan – that turns into an uplifting tale of hope, love and acceptance in the oddest of places. Bookmark 15 April in your diary and look forward to a weekend of reading joy. 

    Shop Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny at Waterstones, £14.99 (4th Estate)

  • No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

    No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
    Best new fiction for 2021: No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

    Patricia Lockwood’s 2017 memoir Priestdaddy quickly became a shorthand for books that leave you both confounded and laughing hysterically, so her first novel comes with much anticipation. This is a delightfully weird look at our service to the internet (fitting in a year that gave us the “doomscroll”) and human connection and intersection. Out 16 February, this is definitely one to pre-order. 

    Shop No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood at Waterstones, £14.99 (Bloomsbury)

  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

    Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
    Best new fiction for 2021: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

    Yaa Gyasi’s 2016 Homegoing went straight to the top of “our favourite books ever” list and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of her follow-up since its announcement last year (it was delayed due to you know what). Now out on 4 March, this is a heartbreaking tale of a family set in contemporary America that – like Homegoing – traces how the misuse of power and politics plays out in the personal. 

    Shop Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi at Foyles, £14.99 (Penguin)

  • Slug by Hollie McNish

    Slug by Hollie McNish
    Best new fiction for 2021: Slug by Hollie McNish

    This is exactly what we all need. The inimitable words of poet/goddess Hollie McNish once again hold up honest, damn funny and refreshing takes on the everydayness of our lives: the social demands, sex and orgasms, our bodies, judgement from friends (and ourselves). Never have we needed her more. Out 13 May.  

    Shop Slug by Hollie McNish at Waterstones, £14.99 (Fleet)

  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Best new fiction for 2021: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    Jenkins Reid’s follow-up to 2019’s Daisy Jones And The Six is set in 80s Malibu and centres on a glamorous, troubled family over the course of one fabulous party with flashbacks to pivotal moments of their pasts. It’s a full-on escapist delight (out 27 May). 

    Shop Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid at Foyles, £12.99 (Cornerstone) 

  • Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor

    Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor
    Best new fiction for 2021: Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor

    Lean Fall Stand will probably win every prize going in 2021 so it’s best to pre-order now (it’s out 29 April) because with every book McGregor writes, more and more readers fall for his subtle-yet-powerful writing, all the while being softly punched in the heart by his characters. 

    Shop Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor at Waterstones, £12.99 (HarperCollins)

  • The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam

    The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam

    Like a boxset for your bedside, The Startup Wife by London-based writer Tahmima Anam is where “The Social Network meets The Good Wife”. Asha and Cyrus are high-school sweethearts who launch an ingenious app and find themselves at the centre of start-up tech culture – but as their invention (and Cyrus’s profile) outpaces even their wildest dreams, Asha begins to question exactly what’s important in life. It’s such a good read (out 3 June).

    Shop The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam at Waterstones, £14.99 (Canongate)

  • Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley

    Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley
    Best new fiction for 2021: Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley

    Fiona Mozley’s Elmet was a breakout title in 2018 and her follow-up Hot Stew (out 18 March) should make even more waves. Set in contemporary Soho, Precious and Tabitha are working in a brothel and the new plans to turn their home into luxury flats do not sit well. Deftly exploring a very real clash of cultures, this is a funny and smart book. 

    Shop Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley at Waterstones, £16.99 (John Murray)

  • Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

    Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters
    Best new fiction for 2021: Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters

    Following the lives of three trans and cis women living in New York, this is a no-holds-barred adventure of love, family, hope, toxicity, self-deception and destruction plus some unexpected parenthood. Written with verve and humour, it’s a must-read (out 7 January) for 2021.

    Shop Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters at Foyles, £14.99 (Profile)

  • The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn

    The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn

    Inspired by the true story of Jeffrey Hudson, court dwarf to Queen Henrietta Maria of England during the mid-1600s, The Smallest Man is not your ordinary historical fiction centring on a special relationship between two unique souls set against the English civil war. 

    Shop The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn at Hive, £14.99 (Simon & Schuster)

  • White Ivy by Susie Yang

    White Ivy by Susie Yang
    Best new fiction for 2021: White Ivy by Susie Yang

    In this twisty thriller out in the summer (8 August), Ivy Lin, is a Chinese immigrant in Boston who’s desperate to fit in with her US peers. Using her grandmother-taught skills as a shoplifter, Ivy transforms herself into the American dream only to find herself cornered just when she’s at the pinnacle of her success. One to wait for. 

    Shop White Ivy by Susie Yang at Foyles, £18.99 (Headline)

  • How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina

    How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina
    Best new fiction for 2021: How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina

    A satire, a love story and a thriller, How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina has shades of The Talented Mr Ripley that also casts an unerring eye over the huge disparity in Indian society. A rollercoaster of a read, this is going to be big (out 6 May).

    Shop How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina at Hive, £14.99 (Little, Brown)

  • Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

    Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
    Best new fiction for 2021: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

    Another retake of a Greek myth from a female perspective (which is absolutely no bad thing – we’re here for them all thanks to Pat Barker, Madeline Miller and Natalie Haynes), Ariadne gives voice to the misused Princess of Crete who betrayed her father to save Theseus from the Minotaur. Relevant and revelatory, pre-order now (29 April). 

    Shop Ariadne by Jennifer Saint at Waterstones, £14.99 (Headline)

  • Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee

    Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee
    Best new fiction for 2021: Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee

    A book inspired by the Pendle witch trials? Yes please… Elizabeth Lee’s evocative novel conjures (sorry) up a world where girls must hide their powers while communities turn on each other, whipped up by self-serving preachers. The perfect read in other words (out 22 April).

    Shop Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee at Waterstones, £14.99 (Cornerstone)

  • An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon

    An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon
    Best new fiction for 2021: An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon

    Oto is an intersex twin who is forced to live as a boy despite the belief they are a girl. From a life surrounded by a rich and powerful family that uses shame to oppress Oto to a new life in the US, Papillon draws on African mythology and art to create a rich, moving and uplifting story (out 25 March). 

    Shop An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon at Hive, £14.99 (Little, Brown)

  • Little Gods by Meng Jin

    Little Gods by Meng Jin
    Best new fiction for 2021: Little Gods by Meng Jin

    The novel opens during the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 as narrator Liya returns to China to discover the secrets of her parents’ pasts in communist China only to discover a complex love triangle. Meng Jin carefully explores the cultural revolution and the dangerous days leading up to Tiananmen in this ambitious debut (out 25 February). 

    Shop Little Gods by Meng Jin at Hive, £12.99 (Pushkin Press)

  • Tall Bones by Anna Bailey

    Tall Bones by Anna Bailey
    Best new fiction for 2021: Tall Bones by Anna Bailey

    Creepy and atmospheric, this is about a girl’s disappearance in smalltown Colorado where religion and violence go hand in hand and nothing is as it appears. Conjuring up the darkness of Twin Peaks and Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects, you’ll almost certainly be sleeping with the light on (not that there’s anything wrong with that; out 30 March). 

    Shop Tall Bones by Anna Bailey at Waterstones, £14.99 (Transworld)

  • Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves

    Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves
    Best new fiction for 2021: Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves

    With shades of Elizabeth Strout, Gemma Reeves’s riveting portrait of intertwining lives in London is what makes literary fiction great. Tackling life moments we can all recognise and relate to (from identity to longing), it’s a portrait of a community underscored with genuine warmth for humans (out 15 March).  

    Shop Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves at Foyles, £14.99 (Atlantic)

  • Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

    Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler
    Best new fiction for 2021: Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

    So imagine you discover your partner is in fact an online conspiracy theorist… After this year, we’d probably all take it in our strides. However, in Lauren Oyler’s very funny and original debut, it’s the catalyst to an innovative exploration of identity and what really makes us “real” (out 2 February). 

    Shop Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler at Hive, £12.99 (HarperCollins)

  • A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan

    A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan
    Best new fiction for 2021: A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan

    Madeleine Ryan is a neurodivergent author and outspoken advocate for neurodiversity and in her debut novel, a young autistic woman goes to a house party and what seems like an ordinary night is turned into something revelatory, funny and crucial via the narrator – it’s one we should all be reading (out 14 January). 

    Shop A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan at Hive, £14.99 (Scribe)

  • The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper

    The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper

    For fans of Revolutionary Road and Mad Men, this is an atmospheric tale of repression and style at the heart of the American Dream as a wife and mother disappears from her home leaving nothing but a stain of blood (out 4 February). 

    Shop The Long Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper at Foyles, £14.99 (Bonnier Zaffre)

  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

    The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

    Namina Forna was born in Sierra Leone but emigrated with her family to the US in the 90s during her homeland’s civil war. In this debut YA fantasy novel, she weaves together themes of persecution, heroism and sisterhood. Utterly transporting and on a massive scale, this is the new series you’ve been searching for (out 3 February). 

    Shop The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna at Afrori, £8.99 (Usborne)

  • The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot by Marianne Cronin

    The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot by Marianne Cronin
    Best new fiction for 2021: The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot by Marianne Cronin

    Two women meet in the terminal ward’s art class – one is 17 and one is 83. Together they forge a beautiful friendship as they share stories from their lives and loves. Guaranteed to leave you weeping and in need of a hug, this is a really special and lovely read (out 18 February). 

    Shop The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot by Marianne Cronin at Waterstones, £14.99 (Transworld)

  • We Are All Birds Of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan

    We Are All Birds Of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan
    Best new fiction for 2021: We Are All Birds Of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan

    Hafsa Zayyan won the first #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize (as announced by Stormzy) in 2018 and in her debut novel she tells the story of Sameer, a high-flying London lawyer who finds himself lost. As he traces his family’s past, he begins to understand the history of Indian Ugandans and their expulsion from their home country and the impact it’s had on both him and those around him (out 21 January). 

    Shop We Are All Birds Of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan at Afrori, £15.99 (Cornerstone)

  • How We Are Translated by Jessica Gaitan Johannesson

    How We Are Translated by Jessica Gaitan Johannesson
    Best new fiction for 2021: How We Are Translated by Jessica Gaitan Johannesson

    Exploring how language and culture unites and separates us, Swedish immigrant Kristin has an identity crisis when her Scottish-Brazilian boyfriend begins to insist that they only speak in Swedish to help him learn the language. Discovering she’s pregnant, she keeps it secret as she reflects on whether she really wants to bring a child into the world given its current state… (out 2 February). 

    Shop How We Are Translated by Jessica Gaitan Johannesson at Foyles, £12.99 (Scribe)

  • The Divines by Ellie Eaton

    The Divines by Ellie Eaton
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Divines by Ellie Eaton

    An all-girls school closed in disgrace, class divisions and a group of friends hiding a secret… Exploring the destructive relationships of teenage girls and the echoes they have on our grown lives, this is an explosive debut that will also look rather good on your bedside table (out 19 January). 

    Shop The Divines by Ellie Eaton at Foyles, £17.99 (Hodder & Staughton)

  • Careless by Kirsty Capes

    Careless by Kirsty Capes
    Best new fiction for 2021: Careless by Kirsty Capes

    Careless by Kirsty Capes is a coming-of-age story about Bess, a girl in care who also realises she’s pregnant and has no one she can tell – not her overbearing foster parents and certainly not a bureaucratic care system. With a funny and flawed heroine, this is a book that deserves to be a huge hit (out 13 May). 

    Shop Careless by Kirsty Capes at Waterstones, £12.99 (Orion)

  • Still Life by Sarah Winman

    Still Life by Sarah Winman
    Best new fiction for 2021: Still Life by Sarah Winman

    From the author of the wondrous When God Was A Rabbit and Tin Man, Winman’s latest is a sweeping tale that encompasses war-torn Italy, London’s East End, love, loss and EM Forster (out 10 June).  

    Shop Still Life by Sarah Winman at Foyles, £16.99 (HarperCollins)

  • The Khan by Saima Mir

    The Khan by Saima Mir
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Khan by Saima Mir

    Jia Khan is a successful lawyer who’s worked hard to put space between herself and her family’s roots up north, where her father ran an organised crime syndicate. However, in shades of The Godfather, she finds herself very much pulled back into the family business. Bold, addictive and brilliant (out 4 March). 

    Shop The Khan by Saima Mir at Waterstones, £14.99 (Oneworld)

  • The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

    The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

    For fans of Marian Keyes, this is the perfect sweet spot of funny and moving women’s fiction. Birdy is on a downward spiral and in a moment of sheer folly accepts her best friend’s job as sommelier in a luxury Scottish hotel despite knowing nothing about tasting notes. Meeting people just as wounded as she is, Birdy finally faces up to the demons that are destroying her (out 13 April). 

    Shop The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent at Hive, £12.99 (Penguin)

  • The Push by Ashley Audrain

    The Push by Ashley Audrain
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Push by Ashley Audrain

    One of the most hyped titles of the year, The Push isn’t an easy read but it is suspenseful, dark and intriguing, making it essential for book groups. Exploring the expectations of motherhood, the echoes of past abuse and why women can be so easily overlooked, it’s going to be a big discussion point in 2021 (out 9 January). 

    Shop The Push by Ashley Audrain at Waterstones, £12.99 (Penguin)

  • How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

    How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
    Best new fiction for 2021: How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

    Set in Barbados, this novel unflinchingly explores the violence, trauma and sadness of its characters but is written with total beauty and insight. These people won’t leave you any time soon and marks Cherie Jones as a writer of immense power (out 5 January). 

    Shop How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones at Afrori, £16.99 (Headline)

  • The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

    The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

    A thriller that’s funny, compelling and also a searing look at race, Zakiya Dalila Harris is set to be one of 2021’s biggest breakout names. Buckle up for a highly entertaining ride that will make some waves this summer (out 1 June). 

    Shop The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris at Hive, £14.99 (Bloomsbury)

  • Rescue Me by Sarra Manning

    Rescue Me by Sarra Manning
    Best new fiction for 2021: Rescue Me by Sarra Manning

    If you loved Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare (she also wrote the wonderful The Road Trip coming out on 27 April) then this is the joy you’ve been searching for… Two damaged and lonely souls, one adorable rescue job (and this is coming from a cat person), Manning’s winning story is the perfect piece of escapism with one eye on snappy dialogue and another on the things that make us whole again (out 21 January). 

    Shop Rescue Me by Sarra Manning (£16.99, Hodder & Stoughton) at Waterstones

  • People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

    People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd
    Best new fiction for 2021: People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

    A thriller not for the faint-hearted, this is also a takedown of influencer culture and the havoc it can wreak when taken too seriously. Told from the points of a view of an increasingly jaded couple (and written by a real-life husband and wife) and a bitter stalker, it’s a smart read (out 21 January). 

    Shop People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd at Waterstones, £14.99 (Pan Macmillan)

  • Acts Of Desperation by Megan Nolan

    Acts Of Desperation by Megan Nolan
    Best new fiction for 2021: Acts Of Desperation by Megan Nolan

    Honest, brutal and intense, Megan Nolan’s Acts Of Desperation is described as “an anti-romance” exploring a toxic relationship that blows up in the face of a narrator who refuses to let go even if it means (especially if it means) her own destruction (out 4 March). 

    Shop Acts Of Desperation by Megan Nolan at Hive, £14.99 (Vintage)

  • Girl A by Abigail Dean

    Girl A by Abigail Dean
    Best new fiction for 2021: Girl A by Abigail Dean

    A story of survival – this is about Lex Gracie, dubbed “Girl A”, who managed to escape a terrifying childhood at the hands of her parents. Now an adult, she is pulled back to the home where it all took place and begins to contact the siblings she’s long since left behind. Disturbing but incredible, it’s a big one (out 21 January). 

    Shop Girl A by Abigail Dean at Waterstones, £12.99 (HarperCollins)

  • Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan

    Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan
    Best new fiction for 2021: Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan

    Violet is a girl who wants more from her life and – in what amounts to a deal with the devil – she gets it via a new job, new bosses, money, food, sex and more. A piercing insight into the unreal demands modern women place on themselves and told with real humour and energy, we love this book so much (out 11 February). 

    Shop Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan at Foyles, £12.99 (Little, Brown)

  • Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic

    Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic
    Best new fiction for 2021: Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic

    Sudjic’s writing is hers alone and in this unsettling, disturbing and piercing novel, she tells the unravelling of Anya as she faces up to a past she’s tried to run from and a present that demands too much (out 21 January). 

    Shop Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic at Waterstones, £14.99 (Bloomsbury)

  • Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

    Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
    Best new fiction for 2021: Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

    Following up The Pisces was no easy task but Broder’s new novel exerts its own power as food and sex come together in the story of Rachel, a young woman who denies herself almost everything… until she meets the hypnotic and hunger-quenching Miriam (out 4 March). 

    Shop Milk Fed by Melissa Broder at Foyles, £16.99 (Bloomsbury)

  • Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson

    Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson
    Best new fiction for 2021: Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson

    An incredible debut, Little Scratch tells the story of a day in the life of an unnamed woman and digs away to the thoughts that power her away from the mundanity of everyday life to reveal the real truths within. It’ll be on every prize list so be the first to read it (out 14 January). 

    Shop Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson at Hive, £14.99 (Faber & Faber)

  • The Cold Millions by Jess Walter

    The Cold Millions by Jess Walter
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Cold Millions by Jess Walter

    Set in Spokane, Washington in 1910, this sweeping story weaves together “cops and tramps, suffragists and socialists, madams and murderers” to create a brilliant and addictive book that also eerily mirrors where the US is at right now. Buy it and turn off your phone (out 18 February). 

    Shop The Cold Millions by Jess Walter at Foyles, £16.99 (Penguin)

  • A Burning by Megha Majumdar

    A Burning by Megha Majumdar
    Best new fiction for 2021: A Burning by Megha Majumdar

    A huge hit in the US, this is the tale of three characters who find themselves entangled in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in modern-day India. It’s written with a sense of fate and an understanding of injustice in all of its forms (out 21 January). 

    Shop A Burning by Megha Majumdar at Hive, £14.99 (Simon & Schuster)

  • Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

    Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray
    Best new fiction for 2021: Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

    Take care of your heart with this story of Amy, who starts collecting keepsakes as a way to hold on to someone she loved and lost but then, many years later, is overwhelmed by a house that’s dedicated to “things”. As the mystery at the heart of Amy’s story unravels so did we – but in the best way possible (out 4 February). 

    Shop Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray at Waterstones, £12.99 (Little, Brown)

  • The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

    The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
    Best new fiction for 2021: The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

    From the first page, Emma Stonex’s tale is unnerving as it explores the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers (it’s based on a true story) and the women they left behind. Full of atmosphere and dread, it’s the perfect way to escape right now (out 4 March). 

    Shop The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex at Hive, £14.99 (Pan Macmillan)

Images Unsplash; courtesy of publishers

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Francesca Brown

Francesca Brown is books editor for Stylist magazine and Stylist Loves; she also compiles the Style List on a weekly basis. She is a self-confessed HBO abuser and has a wide selection of grey sweatshirts. Honestly, you just can’t have enough. @franabouttown

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