Catwalk into Fashion Week with these 10 fashionable fiction reads that have designer-worthy covers.
House of Gold by Natasha Solomon
From the New York Times bestselling author of The House at Tyneford, an epic family saga about a headstrong Austrian heiress who will be forced to choose between the family she’s made and the family that made her at the outbreak of World War I.
Vienna, 1911. Twenty-one-year-old Greta Goldbaum has always hungered after what’s forbidden: secret university lectures, unseemly trumpet lessons, and most of all, the freedom to choose her life’s path.
The Goldbaum family has different expectations. United across Europe by unsurpassed wealth and power, Goldbaum men are bankers, while Goldbaum women marry Goldbaum men to produce Goldbaum children. Greta will do her part.
So Greta moves to England to wed Albert, a distant cousin. The marriage is not a success. Yet, when Albert’s mother gives Greta a garden, things at Temple Court begin to change. First Greta falls in love with her garden, then with England, and finally with her husband. But when World War I sends both Albert and Greta’s beloved brother, Otto, to the front lines—one to fight for the Allies, one to fight for the Central Powers—the House of Gold is left vulnerable as never before, and Greta must choose: the family she’s created or the one she was forced to leave behind.
A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock
Set in the glamorous 1920s, A Fine Imitation is an intoxicating novel that sweeps readers into a privileged Manhattan socialite’s restless life and the affair with a mysterious painter.
Vera Bellington has beauty, pedigree, and a penthouse at The Angelus—the most coveted address on Park Avenue. But behind the sparkling social whirl, Vera is living a life of quiet desperation, waiting alone for a husband who seldom comes home.
Then Emil Hallan arrives at The Angelus to paint a mural above its glittering subterranean pool. The handsome French artist moves into the building, shrouds his work in secrecy, and piques Vera’s curiosity, especially when the painter keeps dodging questions about his past. Is he the man he claims to be? Even as she finds herself increasingly drawn to Hallan’s warmth and passion, Vera can’t suppress her suspicions. After all, she has plenty of secrets, too.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
Soon to be a major television series starring five-time Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh!
All the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church
“No one captures the exuberant passions and inner struggles of women like Elizabeth Church.”—Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls
It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily’s only solace, and eventually she receives a “scholarship” to a local dance academy—courtesy of a mysterious benefactor.
Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust’s Lido de Paris. Wearing sky-high headdresses, five-inch heels, and costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men—and figure out what real love looks like.
The Address by Fiona Davis
From Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse, a compelling novel about a secret hidden behind the walls of The Dakota, New York City’s most famous residence.
It’s 1884 and, after a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she’d make of herself. But when a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of a grand New York apartment house, leads to a job offer and the opportunity to move to New York Sara suddenly finds herself as the manager of The Dakota.
One hundred years apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side’s gilded fortress.
In 1985, Bailey Camden, the late Theodore Camden’s non-biological granddaughter, is homeless, jobless, and penniless—overseeing the renovation of Camden’s biological great-granddaughter’s lavish Dakota apartment. But a building with a history as rich—and often tragic—as The Dakota’s can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden—and the woman who killed him—on its head.
A Triple Knot by Emma Campion
The critically acclaimed author of The King’s Mistress brings another fascinating woman from history to life in an enthralling story of political intrigue, personal tragedy, and illicit love.
Joan of Kent, renowned beauty and cousin to King Edward III, is destined for a politically strategic marriage. As the king begins a long dynastic struggle to claim the crown of France, plunging England into the Hundred Years’ War, he negotiates her betrothal to a potential ally and heir of a powerful lordship.
But Joan, haunted by nightmares of her father’s execution at the hands of her treacherous royal kin, fears the king’s selection and is not resigned to her fate. She secretly pledges herself to one of the king’s own knights, one who has become a trusted friend and protector. Now she must defend her vow as the king—furious at Joan’s defiance—prepares to marry her off to another man.
Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
“An evocative, heartfelt, beautifully crafted story that shines a light on a fascinating, tragic bit of forgotten history.”—Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale
For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World’s Fair feels like a gift. But only once he’s there does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off—a healthy boy “to a good home.”
The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel. There, Ernest develops friendships that form the first real family Ernest has ever known—and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he’s always desired. But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.
Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle’s second World’s Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.
The Romanov Empress by C. W. Gortner
A dramatic novel of the beloved Empress Maria, the Danish girl who became the mother of the last Russian tsar.
Even from behind the throne, a woman can rule.
Barely nineteen, Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage—as her older sister Alix has done.
The winds of fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the Romanov heir, Alexander, and once he ascends the throne, becomes empress. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love.
As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.
The Headmaster’s Wager by Vincent Lam
Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English academy in 1960s Saigon and is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of his school. Fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, he is quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country, though he also harbors a weakness for gambling haunts and the women who frequent them. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables. But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away.
In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage whom he is able to confide in. But as the complexities of war encroach further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.
The Devil’s Reward by Emmanuelle de Villepin
With a keen, lighthearted wit, The Devil’s Reward tells the story of three generations of women who untangle a complex family history spanning both world wars.
Christiane, eighty-six years old with a vibrant sense of humor, lives alone in a large apartment in the heart of Paris. Her daughter, Catherine, could not be more different; sullen and uptight, she resents her unfaithful Milanese husband. After discovering yet another affair, Catherine takes refuge in Paris at her mother’s home, accompanied by her own daughter, Luna. Christiane, who in spite of occasional dalliances lived a beautiful love story with her late husband, uses all of her freethinking charm to try to wean Catherine of her rigid self-pity.
While listening to her mother and grandmother, Luna becomes increasingly curious about Christiane’s aristocratic Catholic background, prompting Christiane to tell the story of her father’s war experiences and the devastating love affair that brought chaos to the whole family. As memories resurface, the present takes on a different dimension.