The books we're most looking forward to in 2021

Joanne Finney
·5-min read
Photo credit: Good Housekeeping
Photo credit: Good Housekeeping

From Good Housekeeping

Hearing from publishers about the books coming out in the year ahead is one of the best things about my job as books editor. There are some real treats in store for book lovers this year, both from big name authors and dazzling debuts. If you love thrillers, what could be better than a new novel from Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl On The Train? And fans of Normal People will be delighted to know there's a new novel from Sally Rooney coming too. Here are 16 of the most exciting new releases coming in 2021.

Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly

This thriller is being described as Killing Eve meets Black Swan - how amazing does that sound? Set in the world of ballet, it's about two rival dancers and the lengths they go to to get to the top. Out 1 April.

Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan

Subtitled 'a love story for greedy girls', this seriously raunchy book follows 20-something Violet as she searches for a better job and a better life. When she meets older couple Lottie and Simon she's seduced by their glamour and quickly gets caught up in their lives. Out 11 February.

Girl A by Abigail Dean

Lex and her siblings grow up in captivity, abused emotionally and physically by their parents, until she manages to escape. After her mother dies in prison she returns to the family home to confront the past. This haunting, slightly bruising psychological drama has a gut-punch of a twist. Out 21 January.

Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

This powerful new novel, his first since winning the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, from the Booker Prize-winning author is about Klara, an Artificial Friend, who is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. Out 2 March.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This highly anticipated second novel from the author of Daisy Jones And The Six is about a party that goes disastrously. Set in Malibu, in 1983, the action takes place over one night as secrets are revealed and a grand family house goes up in flames. Out 27 May.

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

There's lots of buzz around this moving novel about three lighthouse keepers who vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore, in the early '70s. Mysteriously, inside the lighthouse the table is set for only two and two clocks have stopped at exactly the same time. Years later a novelist speaks to their wives to try to finally understand what happened. Out 4 March.

The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane

I was a huge fan of Keane's debut Yes, Ask Again so I can't wait to read this. This atmospheric read that spans from 1950s Ireland to modern-day America and follows the fortunes of a woman on the run from a family secret. Out 4 March.

The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary

This new novel comes from the best-selling author of The Flatshare, about a woman who takes a trip across the country with her ex. Out 29 April.

Everyone Is Still Alive by Cathy Rentzenbrink

Readers will know Rentzenbrink from her moving memoirs The Last Act of Love and A Manual For Heartache. This is her first novel and it sounds equally poignant, warm and wise. Juliet has recently moved into her late mother's house with her husband Liam, a writer, and their young son, Charlie. When Liam starts to weave what's happening in the personal lives of their neighbours into his books, painful truths are brought to life. Out 8 July.

The Performance by Claire Thomas

As bushfires rage outside Melbourne, three women watch a performance of a play and as the performance unfolds, so does each woman's story. Out 15 April.

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

Standard Deviation is one of my all-time top 10 books so I'm pretty excited about this new novel. It's described as a bittersweet and laugh-out-loud novel about complicated families. Out 13 April.

Careless by Kirsty Capes

I've heard great things about this tender novel about a teenage girl in foster who becomes pregnant. Bernardine Evaristo is a fan, saying the book has "cracking characters and energetic prose." Out 13 May.

Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor

McGregor's last book was the Costa Award-winning Reservoir 13 and this looks to be just as good. When an Antarctic research expedition goes wrong, the consequences are far-reaching – for the men involved and for their families back home. Out 29 April.

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

The book world went into combustion when this new book from the author of Normal People was recently announced. Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a distribution warehouse, and asks him if he'd like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. We can't wait! Out 7 September.

A Slow Burning by Paula Hawkins

The much-anticipated new thriller from the author of the multi-million selling The Girl On The Train sounds like a must-read. "A Slow Fire Burning starts with a brutal murder on a London canal boat," says Paula. "What I wanted to explore in this book is the way that no tragedy happens in isolation: an accident in childhood can have ramifications a decade later; trusting the wrong person at the wrong time can derail a life completely." Out 31 August.

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

A new novel from the Olive Kitteridge author is always a treat. In this new novel, she returns to her beloved character Lucy Barton who is now a successful author, living in New York. After being widowed, she reconnects with her ex-husband, as they recall how they met and the birth of their daughters. Out 21 October.

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