Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen (Scribner, £8.99)

It’s Pennsylvania in the 1960s, and Mimi Miller lives in the valley that bears her family’s name. She’s a smart girl who could be destined for better things but finds it hard to imagine a world outside this farming-based community, which has changed little for generations. Her agoraphobic aunt, who hasn’t left her house in a decade, is a warning against being too insular. Conversely, her brother Tommy, who came back from Vietnam a wreck, is a cautionary example of the dangers that lurk outside. But she may not have a choice. The dam the government has threatened to build for years now looks certain to submerge their town forever. Others have sold up, but her father continues to fight against the inevitable. Quindlen spins a tale that’s resonant and moving, following Mimi’s journey to adulthood as she works hard, cares for her family and stores up memories for a time when the town that was her life will no longer exist.

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic (Pushkin Vertigo, £12.99)

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This Australian crime writer’s debut is the first in a planned series featuring Caleb Zelic, who is deaf but has a talent for reading people’s expressions and body language. As the boss of a security firm he runs with his partner, Frankie, he has asked his lifelong friend Gary, a cop, to help out on a job. Gary ends up murdered, but not before sending a text saying that someone called “Scott” is after him. Caleb and Frankie look for answers in Resurrection Bay, where Caleb and Gary grew up and where Caleb’s estranged wife still lives. But by doing so they’re putting themselves on the killer’s radar, and the stress may be driving recovering alcoholic Frankie back to drink. Caleb’s disability, and the way it makes him view the world, gives this book a distinctive flavour, and several twists lie in wait as it unfolds at a pace which doesn’t give the reader time to pause for breath.

Mama Tandoori by Ernest Van Der Kwast (Scribe, £7.99)

Whether Mama Tandoori is best described as memoir, fiction or “autobiographical novel” is open to debate, but it’s based on the author’s childhood in the Netherlands under the gaze of a larger-than-life mother with a passion for haggling. Veena was a nurse who came from India, married a Dutch doctor and became an indomitable matriarch. She’s not shy about enforcing her rule with a rolling pin if she deems it necessary, such as when her son Johann brings home a Muslim girl or Ernest declares his intention to be a writer. So devoted is she to her mentally-challenged eldest son that she sends him to faith healers in the hope that he might become a doctor or lawyer, while ignoring the achievements of her other two sons. It’s basically a series of anecdotes and amusing set-pieces, tinged with the kind of poignancy that comes from finding the humour in incidents that must have hurt deeply at the time.