Feature Image Credit: @brabsandbooks
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s much anticipated follow up to The Nest came out this month, and we couldn’t be more excited. Good Company is a Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick, and was praised by O, the Oprah Magazine, which called it a “vivacious and tender second novel… absorbing, wise, and tender tale of marriage in mid-life.”
In Good Company, Flora Mancini believes she has been happily married for more than twenty years, until she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer when their daughter, Ruby, was five. Upon her discovery, she questions everything about herself, her marriage, and her relationship to her best friend, Margot. Flora and Julian have a history of struggle, keeping their family and Julian’s small theater company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought career success, and a reunion with Margot, now a movie star. But what if their new life has been built on lies? And what happened the summer his wedding ring “disappeared”? Good Company tells a bighearted story of the lifelong relationships that both wound and heal us.
As an author, she’s also naturally an avid reader. Here are some of her favorite book picks and what she’s reading now, based on this interview in the New York Times.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
In the 1900, a teenager, Sunja, falls for a wealth stranger at a beach close to her home in Korea. Not only does she find out she is pregnant with this stranger’s child – he is already married. Her decision to leave home and deny her son’s powerful father, creates a dramatic tale that will pass down through generations.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Watching her brother die from a heroin overdose in high school and taking care of her suicidal mother at home, Gifty began studying medicine to understand the behavior in depression and addiction. She is determined to discover the scientific source for the suffering she sees in her family and the world. Eventually, she finds herself looking for answers in her childhood faith with the evangelical church.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
Known throughout the land for her healing gifts, Agnes understands plants and potions better than people. After settling down with her husband, she becomes protective mother and becomes the drive for her husband’s career on the stage. Then, suddenly, their beloved son perishes to a fever.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie writes this beautifully argued essay to offer readers a unique perspective of feminism in the twenty-fist century. This perspective is rooted in inclusion and awareness. She draws on her own experiences and deep understanding to explore what it means to be a woman today.
Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
Creating internet content and living in a gated community in Oxford, Martha Friel lives in a house she hates but cannot leave. After her husband – a kind, selfless, loving man – moved out, she must leave. But there is something wrong with Martha, and she has felt this way for a long time. Even after therapy and doctors, she doesn’t know what’s wrong. With no where to go, she returns to her childhood home where her parents and sister are. By starting over, Martha finds out she is not finished with her life and her story.
Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin
Two legendary cooks invite us to learn the basics of home cooking. Julia Child and Jacques Pépin demonstrate techniques, discuss ingredients, conjure up new dishes from leftovers and more. Honing their great cooking skills, Child and Pépin teach you how to make appetizers, salads, meat and more in this illustrated book.
Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins
Each of Laila’s previous pregnancies ended in a heartbreak. Desperately wanting to become a mother, she turns to a powerful Harlem family, the Melancons. They that are known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power. The deal for a Laila’s caul falls through, but she delivers a baby that is stillborn. Laila doesn’t know that soon her niece, Amara, will deliver the baby to the Melancons to raise as one of their own and name her Hallow. Growing up, Hallow starts to question the feeling in her heart that something isn’t right in her life. Amara, becomes a successful lawyer and looks for a way to avenge her longstanding grudge against the family. Eventually, the mother and daughter cross paths. Hallow will be forced to decide where she truly belongs.
Stray by Stephanie Danler
Stephanie Danler dreamed of selling her first novel, and she thought she would be happy. Instead, she finds herself dealing with the difficult past she left behind a decade ago: an alcoholic mother and a meth addict father. Haunted by questions of heritage and trauma, she is forced back to her home in Southern California. She works to uncover the hard truths about her parents and herself. She wonders if it’s possible to change the course of her history.