Booksellers from across New England asked to name the best New England debut and the best book on a New England subject selected "The Good Thief" by Hannah Tinti and "The Given Day" by Dennis Lehane, respectively. Tinti's designation as a new England author comes with an asterisk: She grew up in Salem, but has lived in New York City since 1995.
Two more recommendations:
Joelle Beck of Boxcar & Caboose Bookshop in Saint Johnsbury, Vt.: "Darkness Under The Water" by Beth Kanell is a beautifully written young adult novel focusing on Vermont's Northeast Kingdom in the 1920s. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to know about the Abenaki Indians and their relationship with Vermont and its government during this era. It's also a timeless tale of first love and friendship.
Jennifer Doucette of Books on the Square in Providence, R.I.: One of our favorites from a New England author is "Climbing the Stairs" by Padma Venkatraman. The story of a young Indian girl who struggles with the restrictions of a traditional family, it is told from the girl's point of view. We have hand sold this book to numerous book groups and teachers, who all come back with nothing but praise.