Spring is almost upon us, which means that soon enough, east coasters will be able to leave their self-imposed winter exile and read en plein air. If you need a recommendation ripe for hours planted on a park bench, we've got five. From Shobha Rao's feminist debut about two Indian girls struggling to maintain a friendship in the face of severe uncertainty to Corinne Sullivan's unputdownable page-turner that digs deep into private-school culture, here are the best new titles out this month.
1. INDECENT BY CORINNE SULLIVAN
Fans of Gossip Girl and Prep will take to Corinne Sullivan's debut that explores the nitty-gritty realities and pent-up sexual tension of private-school life. It's told through the lens of a timid, 22-year-old female narrator who takes a teaching gig at an all-boys academy in Westchester, New York and becomes entangled in an illicit affair with a student.
Available at Amazon | $23
2. THE ITALIAN TEACHER BY TOM RACHMAN
The nuances of a fraught father-son relationship are fully unpacked when the Italian teacher son of a famous painter attempts to reconcile his father's success with his own personal career failures and ultimately hatches a scheme that leaves the art world speechless.
Available at Amazon | $18
4. GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER BY SHOBHA RAO
5. STRAY CITY BY CHELSEY JOHNSON
A lesbian artist escapes the confines of her repressive Catholic upbringing and finds a new home in the free-spirited subculture of Portland. All is well until she has a brief sexual encounter with a man and winds up pregnant with a baby girl, who eventually grows up and demands answers about her estranged father.
Available at Amazon | $26