Contemporary Fiction Ebooks

Jump into a new perspective on the contemporary world through compelling stories. Contemporary Fiction, also known as realistic fiction, offers readers new insights into the world as it is today, through a fictional lens. The characters could be everyday, real people, facing ordinary and relatable problems that readers recognize as realistic.

Jump into a new perspective on the contemporary world through compelling stories. Contemporary Fiction, also known as realistic fiction, offers readers new insights into the world as it is today, through a fictional lens. The characters could be everyday, real people, facing ordinary and relatable problems that readers recognize as realistic.

Bestselling in Contemporary Fiction

New & Noteworthy: Contemporary Fiction

  • When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
    When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
    When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky

    Ebook

    When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky

    byMargaret Verble

    Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.    Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show, is determined to find her own way in the world. Two’s closest friend at Glendale is Hank Crawford, who loves horses almost as much as she does. He is part of a high-achieving, land-owning Black family. Neither Two nor Hank fit easily into the highly segregated society of 1920s Nashville. When disaster strikes during one of Two’s shows, strange things start to happen at the park. Vestiges of the ancient past begin to surface, apparitions appear, and then the hippo falls mysteriously ill. At the same time, Two dodges her unsettling, lurking admirer and bonds with Clive, Glendale’s zookeeper and a World War I veteran, who is haunted—literally—by horrific memories of war. To get to the bottom of it, an eclectic cast of park performers, employees, and even the wealthy stakeholders must come together, making When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky an unforgettable and irresistible tale of exotic animals, lingering spirits, and unexpected friendship.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Look at Us
    Look at Us
    Look at Us

    Ebook

    Look at Us

    byT. L. Toma

    “Charged with erotic intensity. . . . Toma draws his world with Cheeverian nuance and flair; he’s deeply insightful about the new American culture of ‘watchers’—but to me his greatest skill is his ability to summon pure terror.” —George Dawes Green, author of The Caveman’s Valentine, The Juror, and Ravens “Look at Us is a scrupulous dissection of a contemporary marriage in mortal peril. It’s also a wild ride of a novel, gorgeously written, by turns comic, lyrical, elegiac, disturbing, and profound. I couldn’t put it down until the startling conclusion.” —Valerie Martin, author of Property and I Give It to You Martin, a market analyst, and Lily, a corporate attorney, have a life that many would envy—they share an expensive New York apartment with their twin toddlers, sample the delicacies of Manhattan’s finest restaurants, and take Caribbean vacations. But when the couple’s nanny announces her imminent departure, they panic: how will they ever find a replacement capable of managing their spirited boys? Enter Maeve, a young Irish émigré. Neither of them imagines how indispensable she will become, either to the household or to their marriage. As the family’s domestic bliss takes an unexpected turn, a different type of intimacy evolves, leading to an explosive finale. A captivating, trenchant portrait of class and sexual dynamics, Look at Us reveals just how fragile our social arrangements really are. T. L. Toma lives with his wife in Portland, Texas.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • The Wrong End of the Telescope
    The Wrong End of the Telescope
    The Wrong End of the Telescope

    Ebook

    The Wrong End of the Telescope

    byRabih Alameddine

    By National Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award finalist for An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine, comes a transporting new novel about an Arab American trans woman's journey among Syrian refugees on Lesbos island. Mina Simpson, a Lebanese doctor, arrives at the infamous Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece, after being urgently summoned for help by her friend who runs an NGO there. Alienated from her family except for her beloved brother, Mina has avoided being so close to her homeland for decades. But with a week off work and apart from her wife of thirty years, Mina hopes to accomplish something meaningful, among the abundance of Western volunteers who pose for selfies with beached dinghies and the camp's children. Soon, a boat crosses bringing Sumaiya, a fiercely resolute Syrian matriarch with terminal liver cancer. Determined to protect her children and husband at all costs, Sumaiya refuses to alert her family to her diagnosis. Bonded together by Sumaiya's secret, a deep connection sparks between the two women, and as Mina prepares a course of treatment with the limited resources on hand, she confronts the circumstances of the migrants' displacement, as well as her own constraints in helping them. Not since the inimitable Aaliya of An Unnecessary Woman has Rabih Alameddine conjured such a winsome heroine to lead us to one of the most wrenching conflicts of our time. Cunningly weaving in stories of other refugees into Mina's singular own, The Wrong End of the Telescope is a bedazzling tapestry of both tragic and amusing portraits of indomitable spirits facing a humanitarian crisis.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Late City
    Late City
    Late City

    Ebook

    Late City

    byRobert Olen Butler

    A 115-year-old man lies on his deathbed as the 2016 election results arrive, and revisits his life in this moving story of love, fatherhood, and the American century from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler. A visionary and poignant novel centered around former newspaperman Sam Cunningham as he prepares to die, Late City covers much of the early twentieth century, unfurling as a conversation between the dying man and a surprising God. As the two review Sam's life, from his childhood in the American South and his time in the French trenches during World War I to his fledgling newspaper career in Chicago in the Roaring Twenties and the decades that follow, snippets of history are brought sharply into focus.  Sam grows up in Louisiana, with a harsh father, who he comes to resent both for his physical abuse and for what Sam eventually perceives as his flawed morality. Eager to escape and prove himself, Sam enlists in the army as a sniper while still underage. The hardness his father instilled in him helps him make it out of World War I alive, but, as he recounts these tales on his deathbed, we come to realize that it also prevents him from contending with the emotional wounds of war. Back in the U.S., Sam moves to Chicago to begin a career as a newspaperman that will bring him close to all the major historical turns of the twentieth century. There he meets his wife and has a son, whose fate counters Sam's at almost every turn.  As he contemplates his relationships—with his parents, his brothers in arms, his wife, his editor, and most importantly, his son—Sam is amazed at what he still has left to learn about himself after all these years in this heart-rending novel from the Pulitzer Prize winner.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Three Rooms
    Three Rooms
    Three Rooms

    Ebook

    Three Rooms

    byJo Hamya

    A piercing howl of a novel and "a tart pleasure...with echoes of Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney," about one young woman’s endless quest for an apartment of her own and the aspirations and challenges faced by the Millennial generation as it finds its footing in the world, from a shockingly talented debut author (Kirkus, starred review). “A woman must have money and a room of one’s own.” So said Virginia Woolf in her classic A Room of One’s Own, but in this scrupulously observed, gorgeously wrought debut novel, Jo Hamya pushes that adage powerfully into the twenty-first century, to a generation of people living in rented rooms. What a woman needs now is an apartment of her own, the ultimate mark of financial stability, unattainable for many. Set in one year, Three Rooms follows a young woman as she moves from a rented room at Oxford, where she’s working as a research assistant; to a stranger’s sofa, all she can afford as a copyediting temp at a society magazine; to her childhood home, where she’s been forced to return, jobless, even a room of her own out of reach. As politics shift to nationalism, the streets fill with protestors, and news drip-feeds into her phone, she struggles to live a meaningful life on her own terms, unsure if she’ll ever be able to afford to do so.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Rachel to the Rescue
    Rachel to the Rescue
    Rachel to the Rescue

    Ebook

    Rachel to the Rescue

    byElinor Lipman

    Rachel Klein is sacked from her job at the White House after she sends an email criticizing Donald Trump. As she is escorted off the premises she is hit by a speeding car, driven by what the press will discreetly call "a personal friend of the President." Does that explain the flowers, the get-well wishes at a press briefing, the hush money offered by a lawyer at her hospital bedside? Rachel’s recovery is soothed by comically doting parents, matchmaking room-mates, a new job as aide to a journalist whose books aim to defame the President, and unexpected love at the local wine store. But secrets leak, and Rachel’s new-found happiness has to make room for more than a little chaos. Will she bring down the President? Or will he manage to do that all by himself? Rachel to the Rescue is a mischievous political satire, with a delightful cast of characters, from one of America’s funniest novelists.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • That Summer: A Novel
    That Summer: A Novel
    That Summer: A Novel

    Ebook

    That Summer: A Novel

    byJennifer Weiner

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Weiner, the undisputed boss of the beach read, is back with another stunner.” —The New York Times “That Summer Is Your *IDEAL* Beach Read.” —Cosmopolitan Named a Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2021 by Marie Claire, Bustle, Good Morning America, CNN, PopSugar, Good Housekeeping, Frolic, Country Living, and Working Mother From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship. Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night? While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy? From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Other Black Girl: A Novel
    The Other Black Girl: A Novel
    The Other Black Girl: A Novel

    Ebook

    The Other Black Girl: A Novel

    byZakiya Dalila Harris

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Good Morning America, Esquire, and Read with Marie Claire Book Club Pick and a People Best Book of Summer Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Parade, Goodreads, Fortune, and BBC ​​Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, The Other Black Girl is an electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing. Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust. Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW. It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career. A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Yes, Daddy
    Yes, Daddy
    Yes, Daddy

    Ebook

    Yes, Daddy

    byJonathan Parks-Ramage

    "A gut-churning, heart-wrenching, blockbuster of a first novel . . . Parks-Ramage is an extraordinary new talent and Yes, Daddy is truly something special." —Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things A propulsive, scorching modern gothic, Yes, Daddy follows an ambitious young man who is lured by an older, successful playwright into a dizzying world of wealth and an idyllic Hamptons home where things take a nightmarish turn. Jonah Keller moved to New York City with dreams of becoming a successful playwright, but, for the time being, lives in a rundown sublet in Bushwick, working extra hours at a restaurant only to barely make rent. When he stumbles upon a photo of Richard Shriver—the glamorous Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and quite possibly the stepping stone to the fame he craves—Jonah orchestrates their meeting. The two begin a hungry, passionate affair. When summer arrives, Richard invites his young lover for a spell at his sprawling estate in the Hamptons. A tall iron fence surrounds the idyllic compound where Richard and a few of his close artist friends entertain, have lavish dinners, and—Jonah can’t help but notice—employ a waitstaff of young, attractive gay men, many of whom sport ugly bruises. Soon, Jonah is cast out of Richard’s good graces and a sinister underlay begins to emerge. As a series of transgressions lead inexorably to a violent climax, Jonah hurtles toward a decisive revenge that will shape the rest of his life. Riveting, unpredictable, and compulsively readable, Yes, Daddy is an exploration of class, power dynamics, and the nuances of victimhood and complicity. It burns with weight and clarity—and offers hope that stories may hold the key to our healing.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • Under the Wave at Waimea
    Under the Wave at Waimea
    Under the Wave at Waimea

    Ebook

    Under the Wave at Waimea

    byPaul Theroux

    “Theroux’s work is like no one else’s.” –Francine Prose, New York Times Book Review From legendary writer Paul Theroux comes an atmospheric novel following a big-wave surfer as he confronts aging, privilege, mortality, and whose lives we choose to remember. Now in his sixties, big-wave surfer Joe Sharkey has passed his prime and is losing his “stoke.” The younger surfers around the breaks on the north shore of Oahu still idolize the Shark, but his sponsors are looking elsewhere. One night, while driving home from a bar after one too many, Joe accidentally kills a stranger near Waimea, a tragedy that sends his life out of control. As the repercussions of the accident spiral ever wider, Joe's devoted girlfriend, Olive, throws herself into uncovering the dead man’s identity and helping Joe find vitality and refuge in the waves again. Set in the lush, gritty underside of an island paradise readers rarely see, UNDER THE WAVE AT WAIMEA offers a dramatic, affecting commentary on privilege, mortality, and the lives we choose to remember. It is a masterstroke by one of the greatest writers of our time.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
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