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novel times

Here is the fiction to keep an eye out for in 2023

We take a look at the standout books set to be published in the coming six months.

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER list of books to get excited about reading.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the most tantalising novels set to be released from January – July 2023.

Which ones are you looking forward to the most?


  • The Witches of Vardo – Anya Bergman

Bonnier Books

This epic novel is set in Norway in 1662, at a time when it’s dangerous to be a woman.  Zigri is sent to be tried as a witch – but her daughter Ingeborg sets off into the wilderness to bring her home. She’s joined by the daughter of a witch called Maren, while we also meet a former mistress of the King of Denmark, who is captive alongside Zigri.

  • The End of Nightwork by Aidan Cottrell Boyce


A man named Pol has a rare ageing disorder which means he can age many years overnight – or stop ageing for years at a time. He and his wife live a normal life, but the arrival of a new child has strained their marriage  and not to mention his obsession with a 17th century apocalyptic prophet.

  • The Shards by Bret Easton 

Penguin Books

We meet a group of privileged LA high school friends as a serial killer strikes across the city, in Easton Ellis’s first novel in 13 years.

  • Colleen Hoover – Heart Bones

Simon & Schuster

This novel by the BookTok star is about  two young adults from completely different backgrounds who embark on a tentative romance, unaware of what the future holds. Beyah Grim, who had a tough life in Kentucky, is due to head to Penn State. But two months beforehand, an unexpected death leaves her homeless and forced to spend the remainder of her summer in Texas. She crosses paths with her wealthy neighbour Samson, and they have a summer fling. 


  • In Ordinary Time by Carmel McMahon

Duckworth Books

At the age of 20, Carmel McMahon left Ireland for New York, with just $50 to her name. Her hybrid memoir unpacks those years and also how she dealt with alcohol addiction, as well as taking in Irish social history during her lifetime.

  • The Home Scar by Kathleen McMahon


Kathleen McMahon – a granddaughter of the Irish short story writer Mary Lavin, who was a favourite of the New Yorker’s – wrote a wonderful novel called Nothing But Blue Sky, which came out in 2020, and was about a man grappling with his wife’s death and wondering how much they really knew about each other. Her latest is about two half-siblings who are drawn back go Galway after a dramatic storm, and in doing so must face their past, including the havoc caused by their late mother.

  • A Spell of Good Things by Ayobami Adebayo 

Penguin Books

Nigerian writer Ayobami Adebayo bings us to modern Nigeria in this novel about family secrets, romantic obsession and political corruption. We meet Wuraola, a doctor from a wealthy family, and Eniola, who begs to make a living, who are drawn together. 

  • Big Swiss by Jen Beagin


Californian author Jen Beagin writes about a sex therapist whose transcriptionist falls in love with a client – with explosive results. Jodie Comer is already set to star in the series adaption for HBO.

  • Perpetual Comedown by Declan Toohey

New Island Books

Author Declan Toohey, who was born in Scotland and raised In Co Kildare, writes an experimental, funny and adventure into the mental breakdown of a literature student, Darren Walton, as he attempts to prove the existence of a third narrative dimension.

  • The Silence Project by Carole Hailey 


This novel is about Emilia Morris, a teenager whose mother Rachel starts a cult known as The Community. Years later, the members of the cult take their lives and the world judges Rachel – but her daughter hasn’t spoken out yet. Then she publishes her own memoir, called The Silence Project.

  • In Ascension – Martin MacInnes

Atlantic Books

Scottish author Martin MacInnes tells the story of Leigh, who is drawn to water to escape from her unhappy home. As an adult, she turns to marine biology and joins an exploration team trying to find evidence of the earth’s first life forms – and finds something that brings what we know about the beginning of human life into question. 

  • Wild Geese by Soula Emmanuel 

Footnote Press

Set over a single weekend, this novel tells the story of an Irish trans woman named Phoebe Forde, who’s living in Scandinavia with her dog Dolly. She’s settling into life when she unexpectedly reconnects with her first girlfriend from before her transition.


  • Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry

Head of Zeus

Sebastian Barry’s latest novel is about a retired policeman who has moved to a Victorian castle overlooking the Irish sea. He’s pulled into his dark past though when two former colleagues turn up at his door with questions about an old case. 

  • Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery


Irish author Nicole Flattery’s debut novel is set in NYC in 1966, and centres around Mae (17), who is hired as a typist for Andy Warhol. She befriends two other transcribers and the trio explore their lives in the colourful world – but Mae must figure out how to remain herself during such a dynamic time. 


  • The Lock-Up by John Banville

Faber Banville continues his bestselling crime series with a novel set in 1950s Dublin. Dr John Strafford and pathologist Dr Quirke investigate after the body of a woman is found in a lock-up garage in the city. 

  • Shy by Max Porter


The great Max Porter returns with his third novel, a polyphonic story about teenager Shy, who is sent to a home for ‘very disturbed men’. Sure to be intense and moving.

  • Service by Sarah Gilmartin 


A young woman, Hannah, learns that famed chef Daniel Costello is facing accusations of sexual assault. She used to work at his restaurant, and is thrown back to her time there. Meanwhile, Daniel is wondering if his life will fall about over something he can’t remember, and Julie is asking herself whether it’s all worth it. We’ve had a sneak peek of this fantastic novel, which moves between the viewpoints of Daniel, Hannah and Julie, and tells a layered and thoughtful story about misbehaviour and who bears the impact of it. 

  • How to Build A Boat by Elaine Feeney 

Penguin Books

Award-winning author and poet Elaine Feeney returns with her second novel, following her debut As You Were. In this, we are introduced to Jamie O’Neill, a 13-year-old boy who wants to do two things: build a perpetual motion machine, and connect with his mother Noelle, who died when he was born. His mission transforms the lives of his teachers Tess and Tadgh.    

  • Soldier Sailor by Claire Kilroy


This highly anticipated novel is Claire Kilroy’s first in a decade, and is about the early days of motherhood – dealing with the change of identity and pressure it puts on a marriage. Can a figure from the past give the protagonist a lifeline?


  • The House of Doors by Tan Twan Enga  


Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng returns with his first new book in a decade, which is about love, betrayal and morality in 1920s Penang, drawing on real events. It centres on a couple’s friendship with author William Somerset Maughan.

  • Cacophony of Bone by Kerri Ní Dochartaigh


Kerri Ní Dochartaigh’s lyrical nature writing was showcased in her debut Thin Places. In her second book, she writes about a year of change and enforced isolation, when she has her first child during the pandemic. 

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