15 Spring Releases About New Beginnings

by Emma Oulton

Forget all your New Year's Resolutions: spring is the perfect time for new beginnings. Trees are starting to blossom, a new generation of baby lambs are prancing around, and the sun is rising earlier every morning. It's time to reinvent yourself — whether that means revamping your wardrobe, taking up a new outdoors hobby, or revitalizing your book collection. I, for one, recommend the latter.

There are so many exciting books out this spring that will make your bookshelf feel brand new — but my favorites are always the ones that fit the mood of the season. The books with protagonists making big changes in their lives. The books where the main character has to drop everything they've ever known and start again. The books that start in the bleak midwinter — but where something beautiful is about to grow.

And I've got 15 of those books right here. All of these are brand new 2017 releases, perfectly in time for your spring collection. These books were just made for reading outside on a picnic rug under a blossom tree — or, you know, on the fire escape of your inner city apartment. That's pretty much just as good. So it's time to splash out some of that money you've been saving up since January — and bring a little spring to your bookshelves.


'A Ring of Truth' by Michelle Cox

A Ring of Truth is the second book in the delightful Henrietta and Inspector Howard series, but there's plenty to dive straight into even if you haven't read the last one. A Girl Like You finished with Henrietta and Clive getting engaged, but now they have to start all over again — because it's time to meet the parents. And it turns out, both Henrietta and Clive have been hiding some pretty substantial secrets...

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'The Garden of Small Beginnings' by Abbi Waxman

Since Lili's husband died in a car accident three years ago, she's been too busy raising her two children to even think about dating. But when her boss signs her up to take a gardening course, it might be more than just the plants that will blossom...

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'Fever Dream' by Samanta Schweblin

This novel was originally written in Spanish, but it's been given a new start now that it's been translated into English for the first time. A young woman lies dying in a hospital, while a mysterious boy named David sits beside her. My recommendation: stock up on tissues.

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'The Absence of Evelyn' by Jackie Townsend

Rhonda is newly divorced and ready to start her life anew after the death of her sister Evelyn. But when she travels to Rome to confront Marco, the man who stole Evelyn's heart, she finds that he has vanished. Meanwhile, Rhonda's daughter Olivia travels to northern Vietnam — summoned by none other than the mysterious Marco. Four lives intertwine and unravel — and a story of the healing power of love begins.

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'All Grown Up' by Jami Attenberg

All Grown Up's protagonist Andrea is a 39-year-old woman who chooses to be unmarried and childfree. This is a novel about other types of connection — like those between family members. After Andrea's brother's new baby is born with a heartbreaking ailment, the whole family needs to redefine what's important to them.

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'The Saturday Evening Girls Club' by Jane Healey

The Saturday Evening Girls Club is a weekend pottery-making group where four immigrant women meet as a break from their hectic lives in 1900s Boston. But through their weekly meetings, all four women find the strength to pursue something more.

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'Sad Girls' by Lang Leav (May 30)

Sad Girls is another book that will have you reaching for the tissues; this YA debut is incredibly powerful. Audrey is beginning to have panic attacks due to a lie she told that led to the tragic death of one of her schoolmates. Now, she has to deal with the consequences of her actions, as well as learn to handle her anxiety. A new romance might seem like the new start Audrey needs, or it could drive Audrey even closer to the edge. Perhaps the new start Audrey really needs is a new and deeper understanding of her own mental health.

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'The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane' by Lisa See

An abandoned Chinese baby is adopted by an American couple and grows up living a privileged life in California. Meanwhile, her birth mother is searching for her...

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'The Housekeeper' by Suellen Dainty

Anne Morgan's boyfriend is also her boss — so when he leaves her, Anne has to start her whole life from scratch. It seems like a miracle when she sees that her celebrity idol Emma Helmsley is in need of a housekeeper — but it turns out Emma's life isn't as wholesome as it seems from the outside.

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'The Two-Family House' by Lynda Cohen Loigman

In the middle of a blizzard in Brooklyn in 1947, two babies are born minutes apart in a two-family brownstone, to two women who are sisters by marriage. After that dramatic night, their bond seems unbreakable — but in one tragic moment, their friendship begins to fall apart. Can these two find a way to give their relationship a new start?

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'Ill Will' by Dan Chaon

Dustin's life is about to change in a big way: after thirty years, his brother is being released from prison, after new evidence has proved him innocent of the massacre of Dustin's entire family.

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'Woman No. 17' by Edan Lepucki (May 9)

Lady Daniels needs a change. She's decided to take a break from her husband — but if she's ever going to finish that memoir she's been working on, she'll need a hand looking after her young son. That's why she hires the mysterious S. to babysit, as well as to keep an eye on her older teenage son. But over the course of the next few months, S.'s connection to Lady's older son becomes increasingly disturbing and destructive...

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'The Refugees' by Viet Thanh Nguyen

In The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen tells the stories of people who have left their home countries for a new and better life. There's the young Vietnamese man who finds himself living with two gay men in San Francisco; there's the woman whose husband has dementia and is beginning to confuse her with one of his former lovers; there's the young girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister has followed her dreams to America.

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'The Secrets of My Life' by Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner is arguably the most famous trans woman on the planet. She was a public figure long before she ever came out, from her incredible achievements at the Olympics to her marriage to Kris Jenner, and starring role on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. She's also an incredibly controversial figure due to her Republican politics, and at-times homophobic and transphobic comments. She's certainly divisive, but we can all agree that it's been wonderful to see her finally begin "living her true self" — as she celebrated on her brand new Twitter profile back in 2015. The Secrets of My Life is her highly-anticipated memoir.

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'And We're Off' by Dana Schwartz (May 2)

This fantastic debut YA will definitely inspire you to follow your dreams this spring. Seventeen-year-old Nora inherited her skill and passion for painting from her grandfather, so she's thrilled when he offers her an all-expenses paid trip around Europe to study some of history's most famous artists, with the only rule being that she has to create an original piece of artwork at each stop and send it to her grandfather. There's just one catch: her mother doesn't want her to go. In the weeks building up to the trip, the mother and daughter find themselves drifting apart — until Nora's mother realizes it might be time to try something new. It's only when Nora's walking away from her mother at the airport that she hears a voice: "Wait! Stop! I'm coming with you!"

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