There are five debut novels on this list, which is incredible! This list is also comprised of varying styles and genres within fiction, but whatever your preference, all are worth your time to explore and experience.
TIN MAN by Sarah Winman - see my full review in an earlier post
WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan - From the first page to the last, the reader feels like being on an adventure that covers several locations, issues and characters. At its center is the friendship between the two main characters, a young slave named Washington Black, and the brother of his owner who "frees" him, Christopher Wilde. Christopher is a bit of a mad scientist and naturalist who sees untapped talent in Wash and he enlists his services to work with him on projects, taking him from the Caribbean plantation where he is a slave, to America and then eventually to Canada. Their relationship is fraught with complexity and questions, especially as they part ways in the North, much to Wash's surprise and angst. From that point over several years, Wash questions his freedom and abilities and is in perpetual search for his long lost friend in one form or another. He eventually lands in Europe, expanding his academic horizons and personal search. This book maintains a deliberate pacing, absorbing the reader. The characters are vivid and wholly realized, dazzling the reader. The themes of friendship, betrayal and freedom are closely observed, making it a new slave narrative necessary for a new generation.
AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones -