TIME

The Best Fiction Books of 2019

THE 10 BEST FICTION BOOKS

1. THE NICKEL BOYS

Colson Whitehead

Inspired by a Florida news story, the Pulitzer Prize winner imagines two black boys fighting to survive a juvenile reformatory in the Jim Crow South. Like The Underground Railroad, this book draws from U.S. history to underscore the continued relevance of the characters’ oppression.

2. THE TESTAMENTS

Margaret Atwood

The legendary author returns to the Republic of Gilead 34 years after the release of her classic, The Handmaid’s Tale. Her page-turning sequel traces the rise and ultimate fall of the totalitarian theocracy, a society with frightening parallels to the ugliest aspects of humanity.

3. LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE

Valeria Luiselli

A family of four embarks on a road trip from New York to Arizona, hoping to discover news of two Mexican children whose mother, an acquaintance, awaits them in the U.S. Luiselli, who was born in Mexico, offers a timely and illuminating reflection on family separation.

4. THE NEED

Helen Phillips

While home with her young daughter and infant son, Molly, a paleobotanist, believes she hears an intruder. But who—or what—has invaded the overworked mother’s world that

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