Swimming with Ghosts by Michelle Brafman (Turner Publishing Company, $26.99, 2023)
Set in the intense world of childhood competitive swimming, Branfman’s latest novel explores what happens when two team moms—and best friends—clash as they respond to the reemergence of unresolved childhood traumas. A story about revealing community secrets and shame, it’s no wonder Swimming with Ghosts has already become a summer favorite around the Lilith office.
Maddalena and the Dark by Julia Fine (MacMillan, $28.99, 2023)
When Luisa and Maddalena meet at music school, they form a powerful bond. From the writer of The Upstairs Room, this “dark fairytale” set in 18th century Venice puts friendship and desire front and center as the two girls enter a magical world in pursuit of their futures.
Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renée Rosen (Penguin Random House, $17.00, 2023)
If you’ve ever so much as stepped foot in a Sephora, you’ve probably seen the name “Estée Lauder” on lipstick tubes. This fictionalized look at the “queen of makeup” tells the story of Estée and her friend Gloria as they go about achieving their dreams in New York City, even as their ambition comes up against a patriarchal world.
On Fire Island by Jane L. Rosen (Penguin Random House, $28.00, 2023)
As she faces a tragic fate, a book editor spends
one final summer by the sea, surrounded by family, friends, neighbors, and the countless others whose lives she has impacted. According to the Today Show,before you pick up your copy of On Fire Island, you should “get your tissues ready because there’s some sentimental moments that might make you weepy.”
Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum (Flatiron Books, $28.99, 2023)
Speaking of Fire Island, Bad Summer People offers a slightly different account of this seaside spot. In this satirical thriller, Rosenblum shares the story of a summer community where gossip escalates into criminal activity. If you—like us—live for the drama of White Lotus, you may enjoy this look into the lives of these wealthy, messy, and (possibly) murderous residents.
Queen Charlotte, Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes (HarperCollins, $24.00, 2023)
Set in the universe of the popular Netflix show Bridgerton, this historical romance novel provides a long-awaited backstory for the show’s “gossip fiend,” Queen Charlotte. After Charlotte is hastily married to King George III, their love story takes a rocky, and romantic, turns. Speaking with Lilith in April, Quinn shared that Queen Charlotte “was a wonderful writing experience.”
Business or Pleasure by Rachel Solomon (Penguin Random House, $17.00, 2023)
Business or Pleasure is a steamy-sweet romance set between two Jewish characters—one, a ghost- writer, and the other, the quasi-celebrity she’s following around. After a cringe-worthy one night stand, the two find themselves in an unexpected professional relationship, and they quickly end up having to negotiate which side of their relationship is most important.