Cosmopolitan (UK)

2021’S BEST READS

Want to know which books will blow your mind this year? Read on…

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FICTION LUSTER

by Raven Leilani, out 21st January “Buzz” doesn’t begin to cover the noise around this debut, which follows Edie, a young Black woman struggling to stay afloat in love and at work. Then she meets Eric, white and married, with an adopted Black daughter. Since she has nowhere else to go, Edie becomes entangled in Eric’s family.

GIRL A

by Abigail Dean, out 21st January

Dean is a lawyer for Google, so you might think she’d have enough on her plate, but she’s also found time to write one of the year’s biggest debuts. Lex, AKA Girl A, escaped her parents’ “House Of Horrors” as a child, but is forced to revisit her former identity. It’s due to be made into a TV series, with the director of Chernobyl at the helm.

THE PUSH

by Ashley Audrain, out 7th January

“I have always known the women in my family weren’t meant to be mothers,” says Blythe, the new-mum protagonis­t of Audrain’s debut novel, The Push. The arrival of daughter Violet was supposed to be the happiest day of Blythe’s life but – needless to say – things don’t quite pan out that way in this exploratio­n of love, obsession and the dark truths of motherhood.

INSATIABLE

by Daisy Buchanan, out 11th February

If you want an escapist romp (with plenty of actual romps to boot), pre-order this book, pronto. We follow despondent Violet, who thinks she’s hit the jackpot when sophistica­ted start-up founder Lottie hires her to work at the company she owns with her husband, Simon. Only Lottie wasn’t just inviting Violet to work with them, but to have sex with them as a couple – and at parties with their friends. Messy? You bet.

TRANSCENDE­NT KINGDOM

by Yaa Gyasi, out 4th March

Her epic 2017 debut, Homegoing, spanned three continents and seven generation­s, but Gyasi’s new novel is focused on a single family. We follow Gifty, who is desperate to find out more about the opioid addiction that ruined her brother’s life. Prompted by her mother, she begins to trace her family’s past. A searing story of loss and redemption.

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