Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Here’s how it works: Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic for each Tuesday. If you check this link, you’ll find she’s assigned topics for several future weeks so you can plan ahead. She adds, “create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list . . . Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you!”
Each week Jana posts a Linky on her blog where you can (if you want) share a link to your post and check out other bloggers’ posts.
This week is a freebie, which means we get to come up with our own topic.
I tend to think that writers, like most people, get better at what they do with practice. Over the years I’ve read a number of debut novels that I found particularly striking because they demonstrate a high level of skill for a new novelist. Here are 10 such remarkable debut novels.
- Darling Rose Gold (2020) by Stephanie Wrobel
- The Black Echo (1992) by Michael Connelly
- Mrs. March (2021) by Virginia Feito
- The Dry by Jane Harper
- The Space Between Worlds (2020) by Micaiah Johnson
- Everything I Never Told You (2014) by Celeste Ng
- The Kite Runner (2003) by Khaled Hosseini
- Miracle Creek (2019) by Angie Kim
- To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
- We Are the Brennans (2021) by Tracey Lange
Darling Rose Gold (2020) by Stephanie Wrobel
What I especially like about this debut novel is the way the author avoids stereotyping the characters with labels and instead shows how both mother and daughter grew into the people they are.
The Black Echo (1992) by Michael Connelly
This novel introduces Connelly’s now iconic detective Harry Bosch of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Mrs. March (2021) by Virginia Feito
Mrs. March is the proud wife of author George March, whose latest novel is a best-seller everyone in Manhattan is gossiping about. But a casual remark about one of the novel’s characters by the shopkeeper at her favorite patisserie nudges Mrs. March over the edge into an overwhelming downward spiral of paranoia, self-doubt, and traumatic memories.
Any convincing portrait of mental instability must create the feeling of chaotic, disjointed thought patterns. Yet the author must control the chaos to allow readers to understand and appreciate what is happening to the character. Anyone who can pull off this feat is a skilled writer indeed, especially a writer who does it so well in her first published novel.
The Dry by Jane Harper
This compelling novel introduced Australian author Jane Harper to the world. She has gone on to write three more novels, all of which live up to the promise of this debut.
The Space Between Worlds (2020) by Micaiah Johnson
In a future when people can travel between parallel universes, the main character of this richly designed world searches for a place to call home. This impressive debut novel provides a fascinating exploration of the multiverse and of questions of identity, elitism/classism, love, home, and belonging.
Everything I Never Told You (2014) by Celeste Ng
Celeste Ng here uses a creative approach to narrative structure to shine a light on issues of multiculturalism and family relations.
The Kite Runner (2003) by Khaled Hosseini
Miracle Creek (2019) by Angie Kim
Angie Kim’s debut novel explores questions of truth, family, and cultural differences through the use of multiple points of view.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
Simply one of the best novels ever written.
We Are the Brennans (2021) by Tracey Lange
Another outstanding debut that uses multiple narrators to look at family dynamics.
© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown