The Vibrant Years is Sonali Dev’s newest novel and the first book from Mindy Kaling’s new imprint Mindy’s Book Studio. Yes, that Mindy Kaling. It’s a rom-com about three generations of Indian-American women navigating the throes of love. Insert one Millennial genius trying to code a revolutionary dating app. Add in two begrudging research assistants in her strong-willed, gorgeous grandmother and her career-stunted, timid mother. Top it off with a series of…unfortunate dates. And you have The Vibrant Years.
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Most book clubs will know Madeline Martin from The Last Bookshop in London and, with The Librarian Spy, she has delivered another WWII novel centered around book lovers. The novel follows two women – one in Nazi occupied France who works at a newspaper for the Resistance and an American librarian in war-neutral Lisbon who collects war propaganda in hopes of finding coded messages.
Embers on the Wind is Lisa Williamson Rosenberg’s latest work of fiction. Tackling the interwoven stories of many generations of black women, Rosenberg spins a tale of complex emotion, especially regarding heritage. The tone and style of the novel reminded me of Toni Morrison or Alice Walker. And Rosenberg echoed those authors in raising questions about heritage, race, identity and more. (A large portion of the novel takes place at a house once used by the Underground Railroad).
The Call of the Wrens is a dual timeline story following two women who join the Wrens (the nickname for the Women’s Royal Naval Service). The first timeline follows the first group of Wrens in WWI and the second timeline follows the second group in WWII. As their stories intersect, the reader learns about these brave groups of women who served Britain in many capacities during the world wars. Interwoven in both timelines are two unforgettable love stories, friendships between brave women, and characters who battle their own internal enemies even while serving bravely during the war.