In Chibundu Onuzo's intriguing new novel, a British woman searches for her lost father. Using a old notebook of his, long abandoned, she discovers his identity and sets off to a small country in Africa to meet him. What follows is a complicated interweaving of politics and history, father and daughter, power, fear and reconciliation. Onuzo's depiction of the the fictionalized nation of Bawana and of her characters' struggles are realistic and creative.
A middle-aged couple meet after many years apart and fall in love. Jacket Weather captures their relationship in perfectly crafted vignettes which tell their story. Michael Capite’s writing is beautiful and expressive, setting an evocative mood. The supporting characters are a treat--from the grumpy old men at the local gym to their longtime friends.Treat yourself to this dreamy read!
We Are Not Like Them is the perfect novel for our time. Set against the backdrop of the police shooting of a Black teenager, authors Christine Pride and Jo Piazza explore its effect on the relationship between two long-time friends, one Black, one white. The novel explores the complexity of race relations on a personal level--how do people begin to talk about race? Is it possible to understand another person’s lived experiences, even if you are the closest of friends? This novel is thought-provoking, honest, and occasionally uncomfortable. We should all read it.
Sarah Ruhl's new memoir, Smile, is much more than a story about her on-going experience with Bell's palsy. It raises so many issues about beauty, about how women are seen and judged in the world, and how your experience of your own attractiveness (or lack thereof) affects so many aspects of your life. Ruhl's observations on the difficulties of parenting are courageous and honest. Don't miss this one!
Another great effort from Ann Cleeves, one of my favorite mystery writers! In the second installment of the Matthew Venn series, two murders take place in bucolic North Devon. As Venn searches for the killer, we are brought deep into the life of the community, with its artists, pub owners, disgruntled farmers, and property developers, whose lives intertwine. It's compulsive reading--don't miss it!
Radiant Fugitives is a heartbreaking story of three Muslim women, told from the perspective of the unborn child of one. Seema is a lesbian, pregnant with her ex-husband's child, and immersed in the politics of the 2008 election. Her estranged sister, Tahera, a devout Muslim, and their mother Nafeesa, have joined her to await the birth of her child. Their painful interactions, expose not only the rifts in their personal histories, but also their experiences as members of different minority groups. This is a thought-provoking illustration of the difficulties we all have in understanding a differing point of view, especially pertinent now.
Ash Davidson’s dazzling debut is set deep in the redwood forests of Northern California. It follows the fortunes of a logging community buffeted by economic pressures and the threat of environmental contamination. A raw study of people tied to the land and a way of life that is both back-breakingly difficult and incredibly beautiful. What a striking and devastating book this is.
Claire Luchette's debut novel is a sensitive portrayal of a young nun at life's crossroads. After their convent is abruptly closed, Agatha and her fellow nuns find themselves running a halfway house in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. There, Agatha confronts the complexities of its residents' lives. With writing as quiet and delicate as Agatha herself, Luchette unfurls Agatha's awakening to the possibilities around her.
In Count the Ways Eleanor and Cam marry and begin to raise their family on an idyllic New Hampshire farm. Maynard follows them and their children for the next 32 years--through joys and pain, agony and peace. She describes, in sorrowful detail, the deep sacrifices parents make and the resilience of familial bonds. If you want an engrossing family story, look no further. I loved it.
Just when you thought Washington, D.C. couldn't be more awful, here comes The Cave Dwellers! Christina McDowell's debut novel is set among the Capital's elite old families. Behind their patrician veneer are stories of racism, adultery, social climbing, back-stabbing, and murder. In other words, all the ingredients for an absorbing read. Enjoy it!
In Boston in 1662, Mary Deerfield petitions for divorce from her abusive husband. From that unlikely beginning, Chris Bohjalian has crafted Hour of the Witch, his latest engrossing and absorbing novel. Rich in the details of colonial history, it is a compelling character study of a fierce and brave woman. The themes of injustice, betrayal, and revenge are intertwined throughout the story, and result in a book that is a pleasure to read until the very last page!
Can Paula McLain switch from writing historical fiction to writing a complex, psychological thriller? Why yes, yes she can! When the Stars Go Dark is the story of a troubled female detective trying to solve the disappearance of a teenage girl, in the town where she herself was raised in foster care. It is rich in detail and expertly plotted. McLain weaves the detective’s personal traumas, the ongoing investigation, and a series of unsolved crimes with an evocative description of the book’s Northern California setting. This is a great page-turner - I can’t wait to see what she writes next!
Gabriele is an unhappy bookseller, undecided about both her professional and personal life. Impulsively, she decides to travel to Rome, to learn more about “Mr.Vietri”, a mysterious customer of the bookstore. As she investigates his life, Gabriele draws closer her own extended Italian family. This book combines both absorbing historical research and an interesting character study, as Gabriele slowly learns to let go of her past fears, and face her future with optimism.
Ali Benjamin’s debut adult novel is an interesting portrayal of a contemporary marriage and the many pressures it faces. Into the lives of her main characters, Benjamin explores many present day issues - the #MeToo movement, the place of social protests, the difficulties of childrearing, and the temptation of infidelity. Zo and Ethan each face a moral dilemma, and the book shows us their individual struggles. While there is sadness and conflict in this book, there is also hope.
A young couple moves to upstate New York where the husband opens a psychotherapy practice. One night, he disappears…With that, Aimee Molloy writes a creepy, twisty-turny, stay up all night thriller - the perfect escape read!
Sue Miller has written a fascinating story of a marriage, with its complexities, sacrifices, and betrayals. Her characters are complex and familiar, selfish and infuriating. As the story unfolds, you will be drawn into Annie and Graham's relationship, and the way it shapes their lives.
In Heidi Pitlor's new novel, Allie Lang, a struggling single mother ghostwrites a memoir for a prominent female politician. As they work together, Allie is forced by her circumstances to make difficult choices to keep her life together. Pitlor does an excellent job of tracing Allie's journey as she learns to value herself and recognize her strengths.
TaraShea Nesbit's new novel is a fascinating imagining of life among the Puritans in the Mayflower colony, and its first murder, narrated largely by two very different women. Though set in the 17th century, its themes of class differences, power, and betrayal are very contemporary. If you live in Massachusetts, read this book!
Mary Pauline Lowry has written a sharp, witty, and funny story about our heroine! You will fall in love with Roxy as she attempts to find meaning by battling the gentrification of her beloved Austin, while simultaneously trying to reignite her love life and deal with the indignities of her low-paying job. Roxy's struggles and triumphs combine to form an engaging and humorous portrait of a young woman trying to find her way!
You will fall in love with Edward Adler! The only survivor of a plane crash that killed his family, Edward is forced to confront both his overwhelming sadness and the onset of adolescence. Ann Napolitano expertly weaves Edward's narrative with the stories of the other passengers on the plane. It is a beautiful and poignant portrayal of grief, coming of age, and the need for connection.
After fleeing her usatisfying life to help an old friend, Lillian finds herself in charge of two children who spontaneously burst into flames. Lillian surprises herself by developing a fondness and a fierce protectiveness for her charges. Although her new responsibilities verify her, Lillian discovers the beauty of feeling needed and of developing connections. A perfect novel to inspire anyone searching for their place in the world!
Can you solve a crime without leaving your home? Agoraphobic and alcoholic, Anna Fox spends her days drinking merlot, watching old movies, and spying on the neighbors. Until one day she sees -- what? A murder? Or a hallucination? You'll zoom through the pages of this psychological thriller to find the answer! Fans of Ruth Ware or B.A. Paris will love this book.
This funny and uplifting novel is about two very different strangers who meet when they help an old man who falls in front of them -- but can they help each other? The characters are very real and damaged, especially Eleanor, who lives a quiet and solitary life until her world is turned upside-down when she opens herself up to the possibility of love and friendship. Eleanor is a character you will never forget.
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Ariel Lawhon's book explores the fascinating story of the final voyage and the ultimate explosion of the Hindenberg. She speculates on the possible cause for this shocking disaster, while telling a crackling story full of spies, Nazis, class structure, and romance. Told through the fictionalized voices of the real-life passengers on board, Lawhon's book will keep you in rapt suspense, wondering who will survive.
Harry Bosch is back in Michael Connolly's newest mystery. Harry, now working for the cold case squad, is called into action when Orlando Merced, a mariachi singer, dies ten years after a shooting. In his quest for the killer, Harry crosses paths with the political and business establishments of Los Angeles - and connects the unsolved murder to a long ago tragedy in his new partners' life.
The latest in Donna Leon's Venetian mysteries featuring the wily Commissario Guido Brunetti. As always, Venice with its charms, corruption and character, is front and center. And the mystery is a good one also!
Me Before You is a funny, poignant, heartbreaking story of a quadriplegic former "master of the universe" and his working class female caretaker. You will continue thinking about the characters and the ethical dilemma at the center of their relationship long after you have finished reading - and crying.
An unflinching look at the life in the Mumbai slums. Boo uses her reporting skills to illuminate the poverty, corruption, fear and hopelessness suffered by some of the world's poorest people. This book reads like a novel, but tragically every word is true.
A young childless couple lives on a remote island where the husband is the lighthouse keeper. One day, a boat floats up with a dead man and a baby - alive. The choices the couple make in the wake of this discovery shatters and transforms many lives. How much should you do for the person you love, and can you live with the consequences?