2017 has begun with a lot of questions. Politically, socially, environmentally, it is easy to look around and wonder 'are we going to be OK?' I can't predict what Trump is going to do next or which celebrity is going to pass away, but I can make sure you're reading something great when the apocalypse comes. I've found some amazing books by local, African and international female writers, that all have a cracking plot in common.
Tess - Tracey Farren (February 2017)
So technically Tess was published a while ago under Colleen Higgs' first small press. But after the novel (previously known as whiplash) went on to become a bestseller and score a movie deal, it's being re-released with a whole new look. Tess is the gritty tale of one woman's life, written in a raw, poetic style.
Stay with me - Ayobami Adebayo (March 2017)
Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 80's Nigeria, Ayo tells the story of Yejide, a young wife desperate to become a mother. Her exploration of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family and the wretchedness of grief make is a book that's getting major buzz for 2017.
The Fifth Mrs Brink - Karina Szczurek (tbc)
Karina speaks in lines of poetry, especially when it comes to her relationship with Andre Brink. It is such a blessing that a memoir like this is entering our midst, and I'm sure it will be cherished by fans of Karina, Andre, and the fragility of love itself.
Delilah now trending - Pamela Power (April 2017)
Pamela Power of Ms Conception and Things Unseen is back with a gripping novel set in a privileged girls' prep school. Expect more of her incisive wit, relatable characters and a page-turning plot that turns you completely antisocial.
The Park - Gail Schimmel (February 2017)
When lonely mother Rebecca starts going to the local park, she doesn't expect to become fast friends with two other mothers. Soon, the trio are spending their days at each other's houses and the children are as close as siblings. Unfortunately, her friends are not what they seem, and will soon change Rebecca's life forever.
Tammy Baikie - Selling Lipservice (June 2017)
Tammy won the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for her smart, dystopian novel that imagines a world (even more) controlled by advertising. In this strange new world, everyone has a stroke at age 18, after which writing and speaking is only possible if you wear Lip Service trans-dermal patches. Sponsored by corporations and written by copywriters, every word uttered promotes a brand. I'm so glad that Jacana are making such adventurous choices on who they publish through this award, as this book sounds fantastic!
Paula Hawkins - Into the Water (May 2017)
Oh gosh, will the author of The Girl on the Train, write the next Girl on the Train? In all seriousness, this highly anticipated thriller will be on everyone's wish lists. Two women, one a single mother and one a teenage girl, are found dead at the bottom of a river in a small English town, just weeks apart. Both deaths are linked by a mysterious shared history.
Behind her Eyes - Sarah Pinborough (January 2017)
Single mom Louise kisses a stranger at a bar who turns out to be her new boss. He's married to Adele, who is in desperate need of a friend and connects to Louise. As with all domestic thrillers, they seem like 'the perfect couple,' and nothing is at it seems, but this book promises to knock the genre out of the park with a crazy ending that already has its own hashtag!
What books are you looking forward to in 2017?