This issue comes out on Tax Day, and if you’re like me, you’ve been working on your returns right up until the last minute. Now you’re done, and you deserve a really absorbing novel to make up for all the aggravation. You’re in luck! There are some great ones coming out in April.

Marlena by Julie Buntin (April 18): “Sensitive and smart and arrestingly beautiful, debut novelist Buntin’s tale of the friendship between two girls in the woods of Northern Michigan makes coming-of-age stories feel both urgent and new….Devastating; as unforgettable as it is gorgeous.”

Marlena_cover A Single Spy by William Christie (April 25): “Alexsi…is a wily 16-year-old hustler and thief in 1930s Russia. After he is arrested, turned into a spy, and forced to become a Soviet double agent in Nazi Germany, his gift for self-preservation is tested to the max….Christie's enthralling novel defies expectations while striking all the chords that make spy fiction so enjoyable.”

The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life by Sharon Pywell (April 4): “Two very different sisters, their post–World War II cosmetics business, a swashbuckling pirate novel, and a dead dog with a shoe fetish are among the wildly disparate ingredients Pywell stirs into a zesty fictional stew….Smart, funny, and compulsively readable: this one may finally win the underrecognized author the wider audience her talent deserves.”

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio (April 11): “For a clique of aspiring Shakespearean actors at an elite arts academy, the line between performance and reality dissolves, with disastrous results….This novel about obsession at the conservatory will thoroughly obsess you.”

Startup by Doree Shafrir (April 25):  Two women—a social media manager for a hot app company and a tech reporter—team up “to expose the tech-bro patriarchy for what it is” in this “feminist satire that’s as addictive as it is biting.”

Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.