The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The lives of two sisters—Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a southern woman married to a man she hates—are revealed in a series of letters exchanged over thirty years.
A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. In 1982, Evelyn's daughter, Jackie, is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband's drug addiction. Jackie's son, T.C., loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn't survive the storm. For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants. Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's critically acclaimed debut is an urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
When her new husband is arrested and imprisoned for a crime she knows he did not commit, a rising artist takes comfort in a longtime friendship, only to encounter unexpected challenges in resuming her life when her husband's sentence is suddenly overturned.
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
In a rural East Texas town of fewer than 200 people, the body of an African American lawyer from Chicago is found in a bayou, followed several days later by that of a local white woman. What's going on? African American Texas Ranger Darren Mathews hopes to find out, which means talking to relatives of the deceased, including the woman's white supremacist husband—and Mathews soon discovers things are more complex than they seem.
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Explores the fallout of a favorite daughter's shattering death on a Chinese-American family in 1970s Ohio.
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
The lives of three women converge at the Ravensbrèuck concentration camp as one resolves to help from her post at the French consulate, one becomes a courier in the Polish resistance, and one takes a German government medical position.
The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar
Two girls living 800 years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—place today's headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.
The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens
A curmudgeonly widower emerges from a hermit-like existence in the wake of a neighborhood murder that implicates an artistic cancer survivor who creates suspiciously realistic paintings of the crime scene in her efforts to cope, a situation that is further complicated by an abandoned teen who finds herself drawn to the chief suspect.
The Overstory by Richard Powers
An impassioned novel of activism and natural-world power that is comprised of interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school's amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
After staying with their aunt in Nsukka, Nigeria, Kambili and her brother return home changed by their newfound freedom. At home, they deal with their father, a religious fanatic, who has high expectations of them and his wife. And eventually Kambili tries to keep their family together after their mother commits a desperate act.
The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg
Living alone in her Stockholm apartment, a 96-year-old woman reminisces through the pages of a long-kept address book before starting to write down stories from her past, unlocking family secrets in unexpectedly beneficial ways.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
A family reshapes their ideas about family, love and loyalty when youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls' clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A young girl growing up in an Alabama town in the 1930s learns of injustice and violence when her father, a widowed lawyer, defends a black man falsely accused of rape.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Unexpectedly chosen to be a family manservant, an 11-year-old Barbados sugar-plantation slave is initiated into a world of technology and dignity before a devastating betrayal propels him throughout the world in search of his true self.
Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison
Facing starvation and worse when she is orphaned on her family's 1885 homestead, a 17-year-old sharpshooter cuts off her hair and disguises herself as a boy to journey across the mountains in search of her outlaw brother.