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Debut Fiction

Read an author’s debut novel or first published book! All-Year Reading Challenge • 2024

January 18, 2024

This book list features debut novels and first books by emerging authors. From captivating stories to unique perspectives, these books offer a glimpse into fresh voices and promising talents in the literary world. Discover new favorites and exciting reads with this collection of debut works.

Use this booklist to fulfill a reading challenge prompt in our All-Year Reading Challenge!

 

Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman

Red Sky Over Hawaii

Sara Ackerman

Returning home to Hawaii in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor bombing, Lana puts her heart and safety on the line when she is forced to go into hiding to protect wrongly targeted Japanese children.

Mrs Nash's Ashes by Sarah Adler

Mrs Nash’s Ashes

Sarah Adler

Reluctant travel companions, starry-eyed romantic Millicent and cynical writer Hollis take the road trip of a lifetime to deliver the ashes of Millicent’s elderly best friend to the woman she fell in love with nearly 80 years ago, upending what they both believe about true love.

The Curse Of Penryth Hall by Jess Armstrong

The Curse Of Penryth Hall

Jess Armstrong

After the Great War, American heiress Ruby Vaughn, delivering a box of books to Penryth Hall, the home to her once dearest friend, Tamsyn, is drawn into a mystery when Tamsyn’s husband is murdered and the crime is blamed on a curse–one that could claim Tamsyn’s life as well.

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

We Were Never Here

Andrea Bartz

After a backpacking trip in Chile with her best friend Kristen goes horribly wrong, Emily is forced to confront their violent past and wonders if she can outrun the secrets they share or if they will destroy her relationship, freedom and even her life.

Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu

Destination Wedding

Diksha Basu

Escaping a personal and professional crossroads by attending a cousin’s lavish wedding in Delhi, Tina Das navigates her divorced parents’ dating lives and the reappearance of an ex before drama forces her to make the decisions she has been avoiding.

The Romantic by William Boyd

The Romantic
The Real Life Of Cashel Greville Ross

William Boyd

A 19th-century everyman, Cashel Greville Ross seeks his fortune around the world, traveling as a solider, farmer, felon, writer and father, experiencing all the vicissitudes of existence, including a once-in-a-lifetime love, and realizing his greatest accomplishment is discovering who he truly is.

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

Moloka’i

Alan Brennert

Dreaming of far-off lands away from her loving 1890s Honolulu home, seven-year-old Rachel is forcibly removed from her family when she contracts leprosy and is placed in a settlement, where she loses a series of new friends before new medical discoveries enable her reentry into the world.

When In Rome by Liam Callanan

When In Rome

Liam Callanan

From a nationally best-selling, award-winning author comes the story of an opportunity to start over at midlife, a chance to save a struggling convent in the Eternal City, and the dramatic re-emergence of an old flame.

What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam Chancy

What Storm, What Thunder

Myriam Chancy

In this unforgettable testimony to the tenacity of the human spirit, the author artfully weaves together the lives of people left to deal with the aftermath of an earthquake that has shaken the capital of Haiti.

The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba

Chanel Cleeton

At the end of the 19th century, reporter Grace Harrington and a courier secretly working for Cuban revolutionaries in Havana free “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba” who has been unjustly imprisoned, a mission that forces them all to fight for their freedom as war looms on the horizon.

Ramadan Ramsey by Louis Edwards

Ramadan Ramsey

Louis Edwards

When Ramadan Ramsey, the son of a ninth generation New Orleans African American and a Syrian refugee, turns 17, he sets off to find the father he has never known–an adventure-filled journey filled that takes him from NOLA to Egypt, Istanbul and finally Syria.

The Sun Sets In Singapore by Kehinde Fadipe

The Sun Sets In Singapore

Kehinde Fadipe

In Singapore, three very different women–Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK; Amaka, a sharp-tongued banker from Nigeria; and Lillian, a pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the United States–find their lives inexplicably intertwined upon the arrival of a handsome and mysterious man from Geneva who brings their worlds crashing down.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Rock Paper Scissors

Alice Feeney

When Amelia wins a free weekend getaway to a remote venue in the Scottish highlands, she views this as the perfect opportunity to reconnect with her husband Adam, but the trip has the opposite effect as she no longer recognizes the person she married.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List

Lucy Foley

An expertly planned celebrity wedding between a rising television star and an ambitious magazine publisher is thrown into turmoil by petty jealousies, a college drinking game, the bride’s ruined dress and an untimely murder.

The Last Laugh by Lynn Freed

The Last Laugh

Lynn Freed

When their empty-nest freedom is compromised by the demands of their grandchildren, three friends embark on a year-long excursion to Greece that is complicated by an extramarital affair, a stalking client, an ex and an unscrupulous fortune-hunter.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop

Nina George

Prescribing books that offer therapeutic benefits to his customers, a literary apothecary in a floating bookstore on the Seine struggles with private heartbreak before embarking on a journey of healing at the side of a blocked writer and a lovelorn chef.

The Last Love Note by Emma Grey

The Last Love Note

Emma Grey

The Last Love Note will make readers laugh, cry, and renew their faith in the resilience of the human heart–and in love itself.

How To Find Love In A Bookshop by Veronica Henry

How To Find Love In A Bookshop

Veronica Henry

Struggling to hold onto her family’s bookshop after her beloved father’s death, Emilia finds support from family-like customers who navigate their own difficulties with secrets, loss, and unrequited romance.

Shipped by Angie Hockman

Shipped

Angie Hockman

The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this whipsmart romantic comedy about a marketing manager who’s forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.

Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel

Ruth Hogan

Returning to her childhood home in Brighton after the death of her estranged mother, Tilda uncovers complicated truths before discovering the renewing power of a chosen family.

Meet Me In Paradise by Libby Hubscher

Meet Me In Paradise

Libby Hubscher

Reluctantly leaving home for the first time since her journalist mother’s death, Marin visits a tropical island spa before a series of embarrassing events reveal her sister’s secret matchmaking agenda.

The Lion's Den by Katherine St John

The Lion’s Den

Katherine St John

Accepting a friend’s invitation to a glamorous Mediterranean cruise, an actress struggling with a stalled career becomes a member of a group of friends under the control of a gold-digging host who would expose dangerous secrets.

The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann

The Romantic Agenda

Claire Kann

Thirty, flirty, and asexual Joy is secretly in love with her best friend Malcolm, but she’s never been brave enough to say so. When he unexpectedly announces that he’s met the love of his life–and no, it’s not Joy–she’s heartbroken. Malcolm invites her on a weekend getaway, and Joy decides it’s her last chance to show him exactly what he’s overlooking. But maybe Joy is the one missing something�or someone�and his name is Fox.

Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna

Pretty Guilty Women

Gina LaManna

Detectives must unearth the truth after a man is found dead during a rehearsal dinner at a fancy resort and four different women confess to the crime, each insisting they acted alone, and each with very different stories.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko

Min Jin Lee

In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question.

Fifty Words For Rain by Asha Lemmie

Fifty Words For Rain

Asha Lemmie

Abandoned by a mother who instructs her never to fight or ask questions, an illegitimate child of mixed heritage in 1948 Kyoto forges a powerful bond with her older half-brother against the wishes of their formidable grandparents.

The Wildest Sun by Asha Lemmie

The Wildest Sun

Asha Lemmie

Forced from her home in postwar Paris, aspiring young writer Delphine Auber embarks on a journey to New York’s Harlem, and then to Havana and Key West, in search of her father, whom she believes is famed luminary Ernest Hemingway.

You Can't Stay Here Forever by Katherine Lin

You Can’t Stay Here Forever

Katherine Lin

After the death of her husband, Ellie Huang, discovering he had a mistress, cashes in his life insurance policy for an extended stay on the French Riviera with her best friend–a sun-drenched getaway that turns into a reckoning for Ellie as long-simmering tensions and uncomfortable truths come to the surface.

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

Prophet Song

Paul Lynch

With Ireland caught in the grip of a government turning towards tyranny, scientist and mother-of-four Eilish Stack, as the life she knows and the ones she loves disappear before her eyes, must decide how far she’ll go to save her family and what–or who–she is willing to leave behind.

The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery

The Summer Getaway

Susan Mallery

Jumping at the chance to visit her beloved aunt to escape her life, Robyn, while spending time with the woman who’s like a mother to her, sees herself–and the people she loves most–with a bit more clarity, pushing her to take chances she hadn’t dreamed of before.

The Vacation by John Marrs

The Vacation

John Marrs

On the shores of Venice Beach, eight strangers, staying in a rundown backpackers hostel, are all running from something-and have secrets they’re more than willing to kill for.

Absolution by Alice McDermott

Absolution

Alice McDermott

Sixty years after they lived as wives of American servicemen in early 1960s Vietnam, two women reconnect and relieve their shared experiences in Saigon in the new novel by the author of The Ninth Hour.

Paris Is Always A Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

Paris Is Always A Good Idea

Jenn McKinlay

Witnessing remarriages in her family in the years after her mother’s death, a talented medical-research fundraiser retraces her post-college European tour in the hopes of reconnecting with one of three romantic partners from the past.

Vacationland by Meg Mitchell Moore

Vacationland

Meg Mitchell Moore

From the author of Two Truths and a Lie and The Islanders, a delicious summer read set in midcoast Maine, tackling family secrets, marriage, motherhood, and privilege.

Under The Java Moon by Heather B Moore

Under The Java Moon

Heather B Moore

A World War II novel about a Dutch family who is separated during the war when the Japanese occupy the Dutch East Indies.

The Island Villa by Sarah Morgan

The Island Villa

Sarah Morgan

Celebrated romance author Catherine Swift has topped the bestseller lists for decades, though her personal story hasn’t been quite so successful. Three failed marriages have left her relationship with her daughters strained, but that’s about to be rectified. Engaged yet again, Catherine is counting on this wedding to be what finally brings them together as a family, and she’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Maps For The Getaway by Annie England Noblin

Maps For The Getaway

Annie England Noblin

In tribute to their late best friend, three former friends, in a 1962 red Lincoln Continental convertible, take the road trip of their lives, discovering that it’s never too late to live the wild life–and rediscovering what made them best friends forever.

The Resort by Sara Ochs

The Resort

Sara Ochs

Taking her students out for their first dive off the breathtaking coast of Koh Sang, Thailand’s world-famous party island, scuba diving instructor Cass, when things quickly spiral out of control, leaving one person dead and another critically injured, realizes someone has discovered her secret.

The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary

The Road Trip

Beth O’Leary

Forced to take a road trip together to their friend’s wedding in Scotland, former lovers Dylan and Addie are forced to confront the choices they made that tore them apart–and ask themselves whether that final decision was the right one after all.

Pieces Of Happiness Of Friendship, Hope And Chocolate by Anne Ostby

Pieces Of Happiness Of Friendship, Hope And Chocolate

Anne Ostby

Five longtime friends, now in their 60s, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where, while starting a chocolate business, they strengthen their friendship and rediscover themselves.

The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs

The Bone Hacker

Kathy Reichs

Called in to help investigate the murders of young male tourists on the islands of Turks and Caicos, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan makes a discovery that could have global significance, making herself a target.

K�nstlers In Paradise by Cathleen Schine

K�nstlers In Paradise

Cathleen Schine

In this powerful novel of stories hand down and handed on, and those held close to the heart, Julian Kunstler, during the 2020 pandemic, is trapped in Venice, California, with his glamorous, eccentric 93-year-old grandmother who shares her experiences upon arriving in the US after escaping Nazi Germany.

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer

Rebecca Serle

The New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years returns with a powerful novel about the transformational love between mothers and daughters set on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.

Do I Know You? by Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka

Do I Know You?

Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka

A couple with a quietly failing marriage find a new spark when they are accidentally introduced as total strangers and decide to just play along, in the new novel by the authors of The Roughest Draft.

One Night On The Island by Josie Silver

One Night On The Island

Josie Silver

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December…When a double-booking at a remote one-room cabin accidentally throws two solace-seekers together, it feels like a cruel twist of fate. But what if it’s fate of a different kind?

The Star-Crossed Sisters Of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

The Star-Crossed Sisters Of Tuscany

Lori Nelson Spielman

Visiting an octogenarian relative in Italy who declares that she will break a family curse that has prevented all second-born daughters from marrying, three second daughters embark on a journey to help their great-aunt fulfill her final wish.

Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman

Something In The Water

Catherine Steadman

A successful banker and a rising filmmaker embark on a blissful paradise honeymoon in Bora Bora, where the discovery of a mysterious bag of riches triggers a sequence of events that indelibly marks their marriage and lives.

Palazzo by Danielle Steel

Palazzo

Danielle Steel

The head of her family’s haute couture Italian leather brand, Cosima Saverio, partnering with France’s most successful handbag company, must make an impossible choice when her brother loses a hefty sum at the casino and his debt must be repaid with money or his life.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

The Vacationers

Emma Straub

Celebrating their thirty-fifth anniversary and their daughter’s high-school graduation during a two-week vacation in Mallorca, Franny and Jim Post confront old secrets, hurts, and rivalries that reveal sides of themselves they try to conceal.

A Chateau Under Siege by Martin Walker

A Chateau Under Siege

Martin Walker

When an actor in a local play is attacked during the performance, Bruno must learn whether it was an accident, a crime of passion–or an assassination attempt with implications far beyond the small French village.

Cuba Straits by Randy Wayne White

Cuba Straits

Randy Wayne White

When a friend who was running a lucrative smuggling operation goes missing after selling a valuable cache of letters written by Fidel Castro, Doc Ford discovers that the letters may have contained a powerful secret.

Cold Paradise by Stuart Woods

Cold Paradise

Stuart Woods

A thriller set on the Gold Coast of Florida finds street-smart former cop-turned-private investigator Stone Barrington on the trail of an elusive stalker who seems to be able to mimic people at will and who is targeting Allison Manning, a woman Stone had thought dead.

On Fragile Waves by E Lily Yu

On Fragile Waves

E Lily Yu

Growing up on their parents’ mythical stories about the opportunities of Australia, a brother and sister travel with their family from war-torn Pakistan through temporary homes in Indonesia and Nauru, before government indifference in Australia challenges their dreams.