What happens: The unnamed narrator weds mysterious heiress Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada and accompanies his new bride to her family's estate, the House of Dreams, where he ignores her instructions not to delve into her past.
Narration: Steve West and Sura Siu trade narrative duties in this atmospheric gothic fantasy.
What it is: a sweeping, character-driven family saga about sacrifice, separation, and survival set in post-Jazz Age Berlin and Revolution era Cuba.
Narration: Edoardo Ballerini earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for his compelling and emotionally resonant narration.
VenCo by Cherie Dimaline; narrated by Michelle St. John
Introducing:Lucky St. James, a young Métis woman who lives with her grandmother in Toronto, and has no idea she's a witch -- until her chance discovery of a silver spoon in a secret passageway leads her to VenCo, a corporate entity that serves as a front for a coven.
Narration: Wampanoag narrator Michelle St. John expertly juggles multiple characters' perspectives in this world-building urban fantasy.
Independence by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; narrated by Sneha Mathan
Starring: sisters Deepa, Priya, and Jamini, whose sheltered lives are shattered when their Hindu family is displaced in the traumatic upheaval of the Partition of India.
Narration: Sneha Mathan's measured narration captures the tension of a tumultuous era in India's history.
Starring:mentally and financially struggling Katrina Kim, who increasingly relies on rigid, maladaptive coping mechanisms to deal with her isolation and soul-sucking job.
Narration: Hannah Choi's fast-paced present-tense narration captures the urgency of unreliable narrator Katrina's mental health decline.
Exiles by Jane Harper; narrated by Stephen Shanahan
Vacation, interrupted: In Southern Australia's wine country, Federal Agent Aaron Falk gets drawn into the case of a woman who disappeared a year earlier from a festival, leaving her infant in a parked stroller.
Narration: Australian narrator Stephen Shanahan returns for this 3rd Aaron Falk mystery and earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for his engrossing and distinctly voiced reading.
What it's about: how bestselling author Peggy Orenstein (Boys & Sex) found solace in the "enforced pause" of the COVID-19 pandemic by undertaking a unique project -- learning to knit a sweater from scratch.
Narration: Author Orenstein earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for her wry and candid reading of her memoir.