After a global pandemic has fatally infected most of the world’s population, a mother named Cole is determined to do whatever it takes to protect her 12-year-old son Miles. He had been housed at a government facility in California, until Cole came to his rescue. Now on the run, the duo must navigate a perilous landscape of fear and uncertainty, in which Cole has to disguise Miles as a girl. Lauren Beuke’s timely and unsettling novel, Afterland, depicts their journey across the country as they attempt to find safety.

Empire of Wild

It’s been almost a year since Joan last saw her husband Victor, who walked out on her after they got into a fight over what to do about her family’s land. In Cherie Dimaline’s latest novel, Joan catches up to him but he has no idea who she is. Victor now goes by Reverend Eugene Wolff and he seems much more dangerous than the man she was once married to. Unsure of what to do, Joan leans on her community to help her understand who her husband has become. In doing so, she begins to learn how the traditions of her ancestors might yield some much-needed answers.

Must I Go

While residing in a senior living facility, 81-year-old grandmother Lilia Liska is catapulted back in time when she reads her former lover Roland’s published diary entries. She begins marking up the pages with her own recollections of the events Roland described, and reflects on the daughter whom she lost to suicide. Like she did in her 2019 novel Where Reasons End, Yiyun Li creates a sensitive, strange and heartbreaking account of maternal love as Lilia processes the losses she’s experienced in her life.