cover image Epically Earnest

Epically Earnest

Molly Horan. Clarion, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-358-56613-7

An 18-year-old navigates first love and turbulent familial relationships in Horan’s hopeful debut, a queer contemporary interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. New Yorker Jane, who went viral after being found as an infant in “an oversized Gucci handbag in the back of the Poughkeepsie train station,” has never met her biological family. When DNA test results—compiled by 18-year-old best friend Algie without Jane’s knowledge—provide an opportunity to meet her biological aunt and cousin, Jane hesitates. She’s even more reluctant to risk rejection, and potential humiliation, by promposing to 18-year-old Gwen, her longtime crush and Algie’s cousin. Luckily, she has Algie and her own 15-year-old cousin, Cecil, whom Algie has feelings for, in her corner as she resolves to reconcile with her infamous past and take a chance on romance. Wilde’s influence is modest at best in this comedy of errors that’s light on the errors and lacks the source material’s stakes and acidity, but Horan’s snappy banter and lighthearted approach to conflict make for a breezy read. Most characters cue as white. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elle Thompson and Uwe Stender, Triada US. (June)