Authors may write in links, creating sequels, trilogies, and long-running continuations. These repeated visits to the same characters—and often locations and time periods—are a gift to readers, serving as a kind of storywell that is constantly refreshed. This fall offers a bounty of such treats. Here are five books of note—some expected, some surprising, but each welcome.
- MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese: Doubleday). Atwood returns to her vivid, imaginative, and astoundingly realized dystopian world first conjured in Oryx and Crake with this tale that concludes the dystopian trilogy and picks up directly after the events of The Year of the Flood. The story is largely main character Toby’s to tell and, through Atwood, is brilliantly realized.
- Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker (Blue Rider). Circling back to the main character of The Anthologist (2009), poet Paul Chowder, Baker offers readers a richly characterized and music-filled meditation on Chowder’s obsessions and desires as he longs for his lover, Roz, and meanders through his days.
- Sycamore Row by John Grisham (Doubleday). Readers familiar with A Time To Kill will remember Grisham’s valiant lawyer Jake Brigance and the trial of Carl Lee Hailey, the father who shot down the scum who raped his daughter. Revisiting the same landscape three years after Jake defended Carl Lee, Grisham once again sets Ford County on fire.
- Enon by Paul Harding (Random). Coming back to the Crosby family and the New England setting first portrayed so wondrously in Harding’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize–winning debut novel, Tinkers, readers now encounter Charlie Crosby and follow his year of harrowing loss and grief.
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Scribner). When fans last stood by Danny Torrance, the psychically gifted young boy in King’s 1977 novel The Shining, he was struggling to survive the ominous intentions of a haunted house. Decades later he must come to the aid of another child, with even more gifts, who is being sought by a sinister group with grisly intentions.