Linda Hunter's picks


Linda Hunter is a friend of the store & an avid reader. Here are some of her recommendations!

$28.95
ISBN-13: 9780670026630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 3/2013
Ruth, the main character, seems to be much like the author. Both are married to Oliver, and both live on a small island in British Columbia near Vancouver. This minor detail only adds to the intrigue of this engaging novel. One day, Ruth finds a freezer bag caught in the kelp. In the bag are letters, an English diary, a watch, and a second diary in French. The diary in English is written by Nao, a 16 year old Japanese American girl living in Japan. Did the bag come from the tsunami in Japan? The novel is told in alternating chapters by Ruth and Nao—both of whom are people I’d like to know. Nao is struggling with adolescence and high school bullies. Ruth is struggling with a book she’s trying to get off the ground, and is fascinated by Nao’s family: a World War II kamikaze pilot uncle, a 104-year-old Buddhist nun great-grandmother, and a depressed father. Ozeki’s gentle sense of humor and vivid descriptions made this a delightful book that I was sorry to finish.

 


$20.00
ISBN-13: 9781608199778
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 4/2013
If you are attached to your cat, don’t wait! Get this book. You must read this humorous, loving tale about a wandering male cat named Tibia whose personality changed after a 5-week vacation from home. When Tibia returns, his owner’s curiosity (jealousy?) overwhelms her. Why was he able to come back so sleek and smug? Why does he seem to feel no guilt for abandoning her? What is she to do? Hang a GPS device around his neck to see where he goes? Tibia isn’t telling. Since we know he returns, the story isn’t sob-worthy, but it will definitely trigger some smile-chuckles. I’d like to meet the writer Caroline as well as her partner, Wendy, who created the wonderful illustrations.

 


The Grammarian (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9781619021020
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Counterpoint, 2/2013
In this moving novel, set mostly in India, French linguistic researcher Alexandre Luetens goes to study the Telugu language. He stays with an upper class Indian family with two daughters. The oldest, Anjali, is a polio survivor, and the younger, Mohini, is beautiful. They are in the middle of wedding preparations. While Luetens knows a lot about languages, he is less knowledgeable about cultural behavior. The background of Anglo-Indian relations adds to this provocative novel that takes us all the way to Indian independence. 

 


The Burgess Boys (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781400067688
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 3/2013
Strout tells the story of three members of the Burgess family: Jim, the successful lawyer, Bob, the Legal Aid attorney, and Susan—the only one who stayed in Maine—an optometrist. An accident, which claimed the life of their father, was caused by one of the three children when he left them in his car. Bob was the 4-year-old who carried the responsibility, not an easy burden. Outside of family relationships, the issues that Strout examines include: Somali refugee immigration and rural Maine vs. New York City. It’s a compelling story as we might expect from the author of Olive Kitteridge.

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780143122272
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 9/2012
Art and Marion Fowler are in trouble—nearly bankrupt, difficult marriage, some unpleasant history.  Art thinks that a second honeymoon (and some big winnings at a nearby casino) in Niagara Falls may well fix everything. He goes all out—expensive ring, honeymoon suite. Readers may or may not choose to read this as an entertaining parable.

 


If You Find Me (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9781250021526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin, 3/2013
While this is a difficult book to read, Murdoch makes it bearable by giving us a heroine to remember—Carey. Carey’s mother hid her and her sister in a camper deep in the Tennessee woods, where she left them for weeks at a time to feed a drug habit. Finally, Carey’s father, with the help of a social worker, rescues them, and takes them to his home and new wife and stepdaughter. As you might expect, it doesn’t all run smoothly. Secrets, high school life, and competition with the stepdaughter make Carey’s life complicated and this novel a page-turner.

 


The Kashmir Shawl (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781468308020
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Overlook Press, 9/2013
Thomas weaves together two stories centered around Mair who decides to explore her family’s history after the death of her father and the discovery of a beautiful Kashmir shawl. Mair decides to go to India where her grandparents were Presbyterian missionaries, and that’s where her grandmother’s voice takes up that story. Thomas’s descriptions of the Himalayas, especially Kashmir, are particularly evocative. This is a hard book to put down.

 


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781250024114
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picador, 2/2013
If you liked Refuge, you will like this. Williams begins by saying that she’s the same age as her mother was when she died of cancer. Williams’ mother told her to read her journals after she died. But when she opens the first of the many journals on her mother’s shelves it is blank. So are the rest. What does this mean? In her exploration of this phenomenon she reflects upon religious traditions, her family history, and perhaps most memorably, the healing possibilities of nature. This is a wonderful book.

 


Life After Life (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9781616203221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Shannon Ravenel Books, 11/2013
McCorkle describes the lives of the variety of people who live in an assisted living and nursing facility, with each person telling his or her own story. It conveys an understanding of the elderly better than any other book I can think of. There’s a woman who moved there because it was the place where a man she'd had an affair with had come from and a "religious" woman who is the last word in bigoted. McCorkle has a wonderful sense of humor—as do many of her characters. This novel is really wonderful in its humanity and a fascinating read.

 


The Painted Girls (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9781594486241
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 1/2013
Buchanan’s novel is set in the late 1800s in Paris. Three sisters live with their widowed mother who is addicted to absinthe. The mother works as a laundress, but her earnings can’t support them. The chapters alternate between the oldest daughter, Antoinette, and Marie, the middle daughter. Both of them try out for the Paris Opera Ballet, and Marie works her way up to the ballet corps. Antoinette plays the role of caregiver to both of her younger sisters. Poverty in 19th-century France is not so different from poverty today. The means by which these women had to find food for the table hasn’t changed either. The book, based on a true story, takes us on a difficult journey.

 


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781451683677
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atria Books, 4/2013
Trudy, the pride of her parents, lives in Milwaukee and has a serious boyfriend of whom her parents approve. Then he brings his cousin Oskar to visit, and Trudy abandons all propriety and falls in love with him. Oskar is an adventurer, and they leave for a lighthouse position in California where he expects to have time to work on his inventions. The lighthouse is totally isolated, and the only people they have contact with are the main lighthouse keeper, Crawley, and his family. Trudy is a memorable character, and Schwartz's descriptive powers are formidable. This novel is a page-turner.

The Aviator's Wife (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780345528674
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Delacorte Press, 1/2013
Benjamin's historical fiction gives us Anne Morrow Lindbergh's inner thoughts in a way that's similar to Lindbergh's own work in Gift from the Sea. But here we get a much more detailed account of those historical events we know so well, such as the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping, and even Charles' attraction to the Nazis. The latter part of their lives was unfamiliar to me, but it was particularly moving. She was a remarkable woman--a woman of a time whose role was to support her husband, no matter what. Later in her life she came to understand what that role cost her. I recommend the novel for its historical value, but also for Benjamin's insight into women's psychology in that era.

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143186434
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Pintail, 1/2013
I knew very little about Nigeria, so I learned quite a lot from this novel. It’s a coming-of-age novel beginning in rural Nigeria. Morayo is the first-born daughter in a middle-class Nigerian family. Her parents are strongly influenced by a conservative culture that has certain expectations of girls and women. When a male cousin comes to live with them, Morayo learns much more than her parents anticipated. Her aunt, Morenike, provides the support her parents seem unable to give her. Many of the character traits and situations will feel familiar, as they are universal.

Perfect Reader (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780307474803
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Anchor, 7/2011
I’m a sucker for novels set in colleges, so this was a novel I knew I’d enjoy. Flora returns to the small college town where her father had been the college president for his memorial service. He asked her to be his literary executor, even though she had never read any of his books. What’s more, this famous literary critic had started writing poetry. No, she didn’t read those poems either when he sent them to her. What changes had come over her father? What changes will come over her? Interesting to find out!

Park Lane (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9780345803283
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage, 6/2012
Osborne’s first novel is fascinating; her previous book, a biography called The Bolter was also compelling. Park Lane is basically the tale of one upstairs woman (Beatrice) and one downstairs woman (Grace) from just before to just after World War I. Beatrice gets involved in the women's suffrage movement--the radicals, not the more lady-like ones of her mother's generation. Grace expects to find office work in London, but she only finds servants’ work in 35 Park Lane, a fact she conceals from her parents. Her brother, a law clerk, is nearby, fortunately, and he provides connection and support. Both women are profoundly affected by the war itself. If you like Downton Abbey, you'll like this book.

Running the Rift (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9781616201944
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 10/2012
Benaron won the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for this book, and it is well deserved. She humanizes the Tutsi-Hutu conflict in Rwanda by telling the story of an aspiring Olympic runner, Jean Patrick, a Tutsi who grew up in a rural village. He came from a close family whose father taught at a high school. He gets an opportunity to train with a skilled coach. Besides the painful political insights, Benaron also shows us the agonies of training for the Olympics. A riveting story!

The Secret Keeper (Hardcover)

$26.99
ISBN-13: 9781439152805
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atria Books, 10/2012
Morton’s latest novel is located mostly in England and is set in motion by a grown daughter puzzling over the murder she saw her mother commit when she was a teenager. The family never talked about it, and now that her mother is dying, the daughter wants to solve the mystery before it’s too late. We get to know the mother Lauren never had. The mother has spoken very little about her past. It’s interesting to watch the threads emerge from a trunk, a diary, and a journal. The family has been happy for the most part, except for this mystery. The answer appears at the end, but don’t peek! The journey is the best part!

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780452297647
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Plume, 12/2011
Solomon gave me insight into an aspect of World War II that I had not known about before: German- and Austrian-Jewish young women from privileged backgrounds going to England as domestic help to escape Hitler’s rule. Elise, the main character, was the younger daughter of two Austrian artists, one a well-known opera singer, the other an avant garde novelist. Her sister was a violist. As Austrian life became harder and harder for Jewish people, her parents persuaded her to apply to be a maid in an English mansion. She was hired, and therein is the tale. As you can imagine, the switch from being waited on to doing the maid’s duties was difficult. English village life was also a major change for Elise, as she’d previously lived in Vienna. There is a bit of Upstairs Downstairs aspect as well--the butler and cook try hard to train Elise, and the young son and heir is attracted to her. Very hard to put down!

Caleb's Crossing (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143121077
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 4/2012
As we have come to expect from Brooks, this is an absorbing historical novel, set in New England in the 1600s. Caleb is an American Indian living on an island with his tribe. He was renamed by Bethia, the young daughter of a missionary to the Indians who also ministers to an “English” congregation. She is a curious young woman, resisting the cultural norms of the day where women were not to be educated. She teaches Caleb English, and he teaches her his language in secret. The crossing, as you’ve probably guessed, has to do with his crossing into English culture, even attending Harvard. Bethia is a sympathetic narrator. Having lost her own mother, father, and siblings, she understands grief and loss. It is a fascinating, shameful period in American history. However, it is still relevant, as immigrants who try to adapt to new cultures know.

Carry the One (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781451636888
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 3/2012
The “one” is a 10-year-old girl who is killed by a car full of wedding guests, drunk and stoned, unable to react to her sudden appearance on the highway at 3:30 a.m. The reverberations vary from person to person. Three family members--the bride and her sister and brother--are particularly affected. Anshaw traces them, as well as Nick and Olivia (the driver), for the next twenty-five years. It’s a moving book, reminding us of how quickly life can change and how differently people respond. It would be terrific for a book group, I think. Most of the book is set in Chicago.

Dreams of Joy (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780812980547
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2/2012
See has given us other glimpses of Chinese culture, most recently in Shanghai Girls. This novel tells us of two middle-aged Chinese sisters living in Los Angeles, one of whom has a daughter, Joy. At a point of emotional turmoil, she goes to China in search of her father at the time of “The Great Leap Forward.” It was a time of deep mistrust of Americans in China, and she gives up her passport to “help China.” It is a fascinating tale of family ties and secrets. Joy goes to China in a spirit of idealism, despite the warnings of her mother and aunt. She sees the city life in Shanghai first, then the rural life in a collective. Chinese history comes alive for Joy, with consequences, of course.

State of Wonder (Paperback)

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780062049810
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 5/2012
Patchett has again written a gripping novel, this time about both the pharmaceutical industry and the Brazilian rainforest where Dr. Annick Swenson is researching a groundbreaking drug when she goes missing. Dr. Marina Singh is sent to find Swenson and to get an update on her research, because the drug company for which she works has invested great sums in Swenson’s research and wants results. She has not communicated with anyone back home for a long time, and the young man who was sent to find her apparently died. I wouldn’t want to set foot in many of the places she went, with the malaria, poison arrows, 15-foot anacondas, and a cannibalistic tribe nearby. It’s a story of relationships as well as medicine, and I couldn’t put it down.

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780802120106
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Grove Press, 3/2012
Winterson is certainly well-known. I found the story told here somewhat familiar, as it covers the same ground as her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, but this is a memoir--her first ever--and all the more moving, as it includes the real story of her childhood (no kind neighbors lent support or a sympathetic ear, as in Oranges) as well as her adopted mother’s response to that explosive book. It also includes her journey to find her biological mother, which was not an easy task. A wonderfully candid memoir!

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307959850
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 12/2011
There have been a number of Austen imitators, but none as satisfying as this one. James lends her extensive mystery-writing skills to a continuation of the Bennets' saga, combining two genres that might not have been as successful in other hands. This one is set at Darcy’s home (Pemberton). No ghastly serial murders, no extended descriptions of dismemberment and torture--just a good mystery.

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594488412
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 3/2012
Anne Lamott has been a favorite author of mine since I read Bird by Bird, her book about writing. This one deals with the birth of her grandson, Jax, to her 20-year-old son, Sam (an account of his birth is in Operating Instructions: a Journal of My Son’s First Year). Lamott does an amazing job of describing the experience of grandmothering (and being the mother-in-law figure to Jax's mother, Amy) with laugh-out-loud humor and candor. I loved it.

$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062064226
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Harper, 1/2012
Livesey retells the Jane Eyre story, but with a twist. Her writing is delightful with vivid details. After her uncle dies, Gemma is left in the hands of her truly dreadful aunt. A teacher intervenes and gets her into a boarding school, but that turns out to be little improvement. The last third of the novel gives Gemma some new twists on Jane. It is a fascinating book and would be great for book groups to discuss.

Blue Monday (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780670023363
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Pamela Dorman Books, 3/2012
French is really Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, a couple who write mysteries under the above pseudonym. They introduce a new “detective” in the person of Frieda Klein, a psychotherapist. Two children have been abducted, twenty years apart. Her police detective cohort, Chief Inspector Carlsson, doubts any connection. This is one of the best new mysteries I’ve read, and the book jacket suggests that a series is on the way. Klein herself is a mystery. We get very little of her background, but she is certainly insightful about other people’s secrets. I’m looking forward to Tuesday.

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307592736
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 3/2012
It’s definitely much easier to hike the Pacific Coast Trail vicariously than in person, but Strayed’s account took me so close with her detailed descriptions that it almost made my feet hurt. At a particularly low point in her life (she had just lost her mother and gotten a divorce), Strayed saw a brochure about that trail. She decided to hike it, despite no experience with long-distance hiking. It’s a great story, and it is also a cautionary tale for those who are tempted to do the same.

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780312658663
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin, 3/2012
So, are you missing the British ambience of the royal wedding? Would you like another peek at the Upstairs, Downstairs milieu? If so, this is the book for you. Goodwin tells a tale from the Victorian period in which poor dukes, princes, and other royal folk courted American heiresses to give their estates a financial boost. Cora Cash is one of the very wealthiest of heiresses, and she falls in love with Ivo Maltravers, an English duke whose property is seriously in need of a cash infusion--but, of course, it’s more complicated than that . . . The descriptions of the excesses of the Gilded Age are amazing. If you have Anglophile tendencies or you like romances, you will enjoy this novel.

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9780307475275
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage, 9/2011
Michelle Norris of National Public Radio was doing a piece on race relations when she stumbled into her own family stories that had been withheld from her. Some were moderately happy—her grandmother who posed as Aunt Jemima as she toured the Midwest had an opportunity to perform. Others were really painful, such as learning about parts of her father’s life that she would never have guessed from his proud middle-class life in Minnesota. Alabama is the center of those stories, to which she was sent for many summers. I was moved by the book, not because I was unaware of discrimination, but because her parents felt the stories would not be appropriate to tell their children. They are wonderfully appropriate, and I’m so glad that Norris is telling them to all of us.

$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780312600136
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Press, 9/2011
There have been books on Tibet by male adventurers, but this is the first one I’ve read from the vantage point of women--specifically three generations of women; the book is written by the youngest. The oldest, Kunsang Wangmo, was a Buddhist nun who married a Buddhist monk. The lives of Tibetans in the 1920s and 30s is almost unimaginable. While it was a hierarchical, patriarchal society, it was also peaceful. Ancient Buddhist principles were the prevailing custom. If you lived a hard but good life, and followed the “rules,” you could expect a better next life. Kunsang lived through the Chinese invasion, a move to India, and another move to Switzerland. Her Buddhist beliefs carried her through. Her daughter, Sonam, had a more difficult time because she grew up in the transition. It’s a fascinating book that makes clear why Tibetan independence is important.

The Grief of Others (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594488054
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 9/2011
Ricky Ryrie is in the position of more women these days—she’s the partner in her marriage who makes the most money. Her husband, John, is very much conscious of this, since he has chosen to focus on the technical side of theater, currently teaching at a community college. They have two children, Biscuit, ten, and Paul, thirteen. Ricky loses a baby at the beginning of the novel. No one wants to talk about it, but Biscuit certainly notices. Other characters come into the novel as well, and they are mostly well developed. The title is significant, as you’d expect, and most of the characters are dealing with grief, but with different causes. I thought it was an insightful, moving novel.

The School of Night (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780805090697
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Henry Holt and Co., 3/2011
If you are interested in the Elizabethan era, the arguments over who wrote Shakespeare’s plays, or just an interesting mystery with lots of twists and turns, you will enjoy this book. As the book opens, Henry Cavendish is at his college friend’s funeral at the Folger Shakespeare Library. He is an unsuccessful academic, but he’s still interested in scholarly matters. One strand of the novel is his search for a missing letter of Sir Walter Raleigh’s, its having been stolen at least twice. The other strand is the Elizabethan story of heretic scholars meeting at night, and a love story of one of them. It’s fun to read.

A Secret Kept (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780312553494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin, 9/2011
Rosnay wrote the book, now movie, Sarah’s Key, but this one is completely different except for the “secret” part. The novel begins with a serious car accident. Antoine Rey and his sister, Melanie, were returning from a celebration of Melanie’s birthday. She is driving, and starts to tell him something important she remembers from their childhood when she was so overcome by emotion that she drove off the road. Antoine’s reflections fill us in on the history as well as his own current difficulties. (He’s recently divorced and depressed. Two of his three teen-aged children are pushing him away. Oh yes, and he hates his job.) Now his closest sister is in the hospital with a long recovery ahead of her. The family dynamics are the strongest part of the novel. I stayed up late to finish it, so it clearly has some compelling features.

Salvation City (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781594485374
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Trade, 9/2011
Nunez explores religious issues through the eyes of a young boy, Cole Vining, raised by agnostic parents. A major plague has decimated large segments of the population, including his parents, and he is adopted by a conservative minister and his wife from the orphanage where he ended up. They live in Salvation City, consumed by anticipating the rapture. Nunez avoids the obvious stereotypes, and she writes movingly of the issues confronting Kyle in his transformation from one culture to the next. She understands adolescent boys as well as the cultures about which she writes

The Bride's House (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780312600167
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: St. Martin's Press, 4/2011
Dallas gives us three generations living in the same lovely Victorian house that was known to the residents of Georgetown, Colorado, as The Bride’s House. She plunges us into the history and culture of each period as well as the characteristics of the women (and men) who lived there. The house is actually a character too. Dallas takes us from headstong, adventurous Nealie in Goldrush and mining days to Pearl, her quiet daughter, secretary to her father, a mining speculator, then to Susan in the 1950s. The human hearts are the main characters.

The Soldier's Wife (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781401341701
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Hyperion, 6/2011
Vivienne de la Mare who lives on Guernsey, an island off England, knows that World War II is coming closer and closer. Her husband is fighting against the Germans. However, the Germans proceed not only to occupy Guernsey, but four of them move in next door to her, her mother-in-law who is declining into dementia, and her two daughters. Although Leroy certainly shows the evils of war, her book contributes mightily to war literature by avoiding the stereotypes of bad Germans, good Guernsey citizens. The German doctor who lives next door proves to be a good neighbor, both in helping the youngest daughter who is ill and later. It’s a difficult set of choices as she becomes involved with another of the Germans. Leroy doesn’t minimize the complications.

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780446584692
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing, 9/2011
If you like apples, and I do, this is a hard book to read. It’s the story of how an orchard owned a family and the consequences. Theresa herself has a sad tale of a mother unable to nurture and some hardscrabble years. However, she married the handsome son of a successful farmer who grew apples, raised cows, and grew corn. They used a lot of pesticides. As you might guess, that’s where much of the pain lies, along with a mother-in-law with serious control issues. It’s encouraging that Theresa managed to write, get published, and even make enough money to survive. Her editor describes it as Silent Spring set in the Midwest, but I’d add that it has interesting characters and emotion as well.

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781439183328
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Free Press, 7/2011
Bartok writes a painful memoir about her mother, Norma, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when Bartok was very young. She made Mira’s and her sister’s lives frightening and frustrating. Finally they decided to change their names to keep their mother from tracing them and showing up at their workplaces or their homes. But Mira never forgot her mother. She is an artist, and she traveled to Florence, Italy, northern Norway, and even Israel. Then, at age 40, her own brain injury in an auto accident left Mira herself with hard issues to deal with. The reunion of mother and daughters in the final weeks of her life is moving. I learned so much about the day-to-day life of a homeless, mentally ill woman. It’s not a cheery book, but it is one to remember as we see the faces of the homeless on the streets.

Mr. Chartwell (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9781400069408
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: The Dial Press, 2/2011
Mr. Chartwell is a large, very large, black dog, a reference to Winston Churchill’s speaking of his depression as a “black dog.” In this case, we don’t get an immediate identification of Mr. Chartwell who comes to the door of a young woman who is looking for a renter. He’s a human-size dog who speaks, and, of course, there are some humorous elements in the beginning. But as the book goes on, the young woman, Esther Hammerhans, and Winston Churchill both have interactions with Mr. Chartwell, and in the final chapters, Churchill and Hammerhans meet. I was a bit skeptical when I started this first novel, but as I got into it, I did as Coleridge suggested and suspended my disbelief. Then I rather enjoyed it. It’s an interesting authorial device, well worth reading.

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780393081282
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 4/2011
I taught Paula Fox’s young adult novel, Slave Dancer, many years ago, and it was a book I would recommend many times. News from the World is her new book of short stories and essays, still with the wisdom and sharp observation that characterized her early work. She is now 80, and her autobiographical essays are particularly interesting. Her childhood was difficult, having been deposited at an orphanage by her mother, but her observations are not tinged with bitterness—just vivid. I’m going to read her longer memoir, Borrowed Finery, as well. She has not lost a step.

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307377425
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Pantheon, 4/2011
Having been a long-time Mary Gordon fan, I was so pleased to see she had another book out. This one is about two people, Miranda and Adam, who were first loves, but who hadn’t seen each other for almost 40 years. They are in Rome, she for a conference, he to take his daughter to a musical competition. An old high school friend who finds lodging for people in Rome decides to bring them together. This is not a book for someone who needs lots of action and conflict. This is a book for the patient, the person who savors Gordon’s characters’ musings. They have a lot to talk about—40 years’ worth. Muscling in between them is their highly fraught parting all those years ago. We don’t get the scoop on that till very late in the book. Adam is a musician; Miranda a scientist with a strong urge to improve the world. Is beauty more important or social activism? I loved this book. It’s thought provoking, as Gordon’s books usually are.

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780307453020
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Crown, 2/2011
Since the New York Times recommended this travel book for summer reading, I figured it would be good, and indeed, it was. Napoli was in a high-stress job at National Public Radio, and she needed a change. She got it through a chance meeting at a party. Through the man she met there, she went to Bhutan to help a radio station develop. It was targeted at young people, and it became amazingly popular. However, the main story is about her falling in love with Bhutan. It has its liabilities—little central heating or efficient plumbing—but it has many more assets as “the Happiest Kingdom on Earth.” It’s a poor but happy place that is fascinating. Her personal story is also provocative as she recovers from her stress.

The Distant Hours (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781439152799
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Published: Washington Square Press, 7/2011
Morton’s novel makes me think of the Bronte sisters, complete with a Gothic castle and much mystery connected to its three sisters in residence. The narrator, Edie Burchill, also finds mystery connected to her family. Her mother was evacuated from London as a 13-year-old to this very place. She and her mother have never communicated well, and she had a hard time getting any information from her about that experience. However, after she makes an impulsive visit to the village where the castle is, she pursues its history and her mother’s. It’s one of those long, almost Victorian novels, but it’s delightful.

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780312586546
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: St. Martin's Press, 10/2010
Ruiyan Xu writes about a Chinese man, Li Jing, who was injured in an earthquake, damaging his speech center, causing him to revert to English, the language he learned first when his father and he were in the United States. His Chinese wife speaks no English, nor does his young son. Finally, his wife and father decide to bring in a neurological expert from the U.S., Roslyn Neal, a young woman recently divorced, at loose ends, ready to leave for a good reason—to help this young man. She, of course, is a stranger to Shanghai and has no supports there. It is a complicated but compelling novel.

By Xinran
$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781451610895
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Published: Scribner, 3/2011
Xinran was a journalist and radio presenter in China. She tells the stories of the women who sacrifice girls to the one-child policy in China. She tells the stories from different vantage points: a mother who lost her daughter, a midwife, a woman who worked in an orphanage. These are not happy stories, but they certainly make clear the grim realities for mothers of girls in China. They are moving and discouraging. The most hopeful chapter comes from letters from women who adopted Chinese orphans. I hope they bring some comfort to the Chinese mothers.

22 Britannia Road (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780670022632
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Pamela Dorman Books, 5/2011
This is a first novel for Hodgkinson. She writes a powerful story of two married Polish refugees, separated by World War II, reunited in England. Both of them had horrendous experiences in the war itself, but neither shares their stories. They try to rebuild a family at 22 Britannia Road, he trying to be as English as possible, she resisting at times, but wanting to please him. It’s an insightful and interesting angle on the war, and I think it probably reflects some of the difficulties of returning veterans from any war.

South of Superior (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9781594487934
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Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 6/2011
Set in the upper peninsula of Michigan near Lake Superior, this book focuses on people who will never be rich. After acting as caregiver for her dying stepmother, Madeline Stone moves to a very small town in northern Michigan to become the caregiver for the sister of her grandfather’s partner, Gladys, despite the fact that she has never been close to them. Her inner journey in this small town is the main topic of the book. Airgood explores relationships in families, living with poverty, as well as the tension between old timers, who take care of one another, and newcomers, who expect everybody to pay their bills on time. Gladys, who asked Madeline to come, and Madeline have their share of tensions too. It makes a good summer read—good for book groups too.

The Uncoupling (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9781594487880
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Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 4/2011
You may remember Lysistrata, the Greek play that features women going on strike, sexually speaking, to force their husbands to stop warring and come home. Imagine it in a suburban high school setting. A new drama teacher decides to feature this play. If you have spent time in high schools, you will recognize many of the characters. No real villains, but definitely a shortage of heroes. A cold wind follows each woman and girl’s decision for “no more.” This was not a war protest (except in one case)—just a loss of interest, even on the part of the school psychologist who is juggling 3 male relationships. Wolitzer’s generosity to her characters, her sense of humor, and vivid recreation of the high school culture make this a thought-provoking book.

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780307593917
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf, 4/2011
Shin is a widely acclaimed Korean novelist, and this is her first novel to be translated into English. She tells a story that is global, not just Korean. Parents travel to the city (Seoul) to visit their children, but when the father gets on the subway, the mother does not. They can’t find her. First her daughter tells the story, then the son, then the husband, finally the mother. Their memories are powerful, particularly those of the children and husband. The mother comes alive in those recollections. The setting is also interesting with rural vs. urban issues that, again, are universal. Shin gives us a look at a culture about which most of us know little.

Joy For Beginners (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780399157127
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Putnam Adult, 6/2011
The “beginners” are a group of women who supported Kate through her cancer treatments. Kate invites them over for a party to celebrate her return to health, and she concludes the party by telling her friends that she will be going whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon, but if she is going to do that, she wants each of them to do something they fear. The tasks range from the physical (clean up the garden) to the psychological (clean up the books from the husband who left). Bauermeister lets us get to know each of them. It is a pleasure to read--all of the women are interesting and have their own reasons for their fears. A good beach book too.

Mornings in Jenin (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781608190461
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Published: Bloomsbury USA, 2/2010
Abulhawa gives us a picture of Palestinian history since WW II through four generations. As you probably already know, it’s not a happy one, but she shows how complicated it is by the tale of a particular family removed forcibly from their ancestral home in Ein Hod to a refugee camp in Jenin. Amal, the granddaughter of the patriarch, tells the story, which includes the separation of her younger twin brothers, one of whom was appropriated by a Jewish soldier during a raid, snatched from her mother’s arms. So, the story is also of the twin brothers, one reared in a Palestinian camp, the other in middle class Israel. While it is clearly told from a Palestinian point of view, Abulhawa doesn’t tell a simplistic story with all Israelis as bad. It’s memorable.

Here, Home, Hope (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781608320912
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Published: Greenleaf Book Group, 5/2011
My first thought when I started this book is that it seemed like the print version of “Desperate Housewives.” If you like D.H. you’ll like this book. The main character is a stay-at-home mom, Kelly, who struggles with whether she should find employment. She’s married to a lawyer, lives in a beautiful house, has two teenage sons who are at camp, and she’s the envy of many. However, she’s thinking she might go back to work. As a favor to a real-estate selling friend, she decides to try house staging, to make an empty house look more attractive in order to sell it. Lots of drama, affairs, anorexia, and more. Kelly is a likeable character who takes care of everyone else, but we see her grow in the course of the novel.

Backseat Saints (Paperback)

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9780446582377
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Published: Grand Central Publishing, 5/2011

Jackson’s book tells the story of Rose Mae Lolley’s whose judgment in men leaves something to be desired.  As the novel begins, her husband beats her in places that don’t show, and she’s made more trips to the emergency room than we can count.  Her mother left her father who beat her, but he substituted Rose Mae when she departed.  It sounds like a dismal tale, and, of course, parts of it are, but mostly it’s hopeful.  Eventually Rose Mae searches for her mother to understand why she left it.  You’ll remember Rose Mae for sure. Now in paperback!


Men and Dogs (Paperback)

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9780316002141
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Published: Back Bay Books, 4/2011
Crouch’s novel deals with lots of issues. Did Hannah Legare’s father really die in a boat accident or did he just disappear? Did her mother know her stepfather before the “accident”? How many incidents of infidelity should her husband be ready to forgive? When he has his own affair, she tries to win him back and is injured. She goes to her hometown. Should she look up the old boyfriend? Should her gay brother who is emotionally closed agree to adopt a baby with his current live-in boyfriend? In case you wonder about the dogs, her brother has a mute dog. It’s a page turner for sure. Now in paperback!

The Last Brother (Paperback)

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9781555975753
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Published: Graywolf Press, 2/2011
Raj is the middle son of three, born in Mauritius, an island off the coast of Africa, near Madagascar. His father is a prison guard, and he’s curious about it, and he spots a curly-haired blond boy about his age in the prison yard. His name is David. Raj lost both his brothers in a violent storm a year or two before. He knows nothing about World War II, even though it is 1945. Appanah gradually reveals the story of the two boys through the voice of Raj. It is a beautiful story, despite the pain in it. He is 70 as he reflects back on David and his importance in his life. I will remember both boys for a long time.

Home to Woefield (Paperback)

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9780061995194
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Published: Harper Perennial, 3/2011
Juby has successfully written children’s books, but this is her first foray into adult fiction. She puts four very unlikely people together who learn to focus on a project, led by a 24-year-old Brooklyn resident, Prudence, who inherits a farm. Her idealized picture of a verdant farm is nothing like the rocky, run-down reality. She also “inherits” an old man who has worked for her uncle, but he’s not so sure about her. Across the street is a young man whose idea of work is writing blogs, but his mother and her boyfriend throw him out, so he throws himself on Prudence’s mercy. Then there is the 11-year-old whose parents can’t cope with her raising chickens, and place them and the 11-year-old at the farm. It sounds improbable, but it’s pleasant light reading with a lesson or two embedded.

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9781401341664
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Hyperion, 3/2011

In case you are brought to this book by the title, it is not a steamy romance.  Instead it is a retelling of the Donner Party disaster, pioneers caught in the mountains.  Burton retells it through the eyes of Tamsen Donner, George’s wife. The book is based on Burton’s research, but she acknowledges that most of the feeling level elements in the book are based on her imagination.  Her imagination creates Tamsen, a strong, independent woman who was the one who really was “impatient with desire” for adventure.  Needless to say, this adventure was not exactly what she pictured. She is memorable.  The people Burton imagines in all their humanity are mostly sympathetic characters.  It’s an interesting take on a horrific historical event. Now in paperback!


A Trace of Smoke (Paperback)

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780765326904
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Published: Forge Books, 1/2010
This novel features Hannah Vogel, a newspaper crime reporter, who writes under a pseudonym in the 1930s during the rise of the Nazis. It’s a compelling novel that is hard to put down. Hannah’s brother, Ernest, is gay, and is both sought after and harassed by the Nazis, and Hannah finds out that he was murdered in the first chapter. She is a close friend of the wife of the chief of police, so she has to be careful of how far she goes to discover the murderer. The police operate with some fear of the Nazis who have their own enforcement group. The atmosphere of the time and place add an ominous element.

Girl in Translation (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781594485152
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Published: Riverhead Trade, 5/2011

While Kwok gives us the classic immigrant story in some ways, it’s more complicated in others.  Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Shanghai, dependent on her mother’s older sister who runs a factory and employs both of them.  Fortunately Kimberly is very bright, and eventually the school personnel recognize that and see to it that she gets some opportunities.  The fact that women have more choices now changes her story from the classic one.  Does she find love in the factory or move on?  Kimberly is memorable. Now in paperback! 


Devotion: A Memoir (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780061628351
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Published: Harper Perennial, 2/2011

Devotion is a memoir of a spiritual search, not ended, but continuing.  Dani Shapiro explores the deep questions—the existence of God, evil in the world, loss, and death.  She is honest about her own struggles as she explores particularly Buddhism and Judaism.  She has a son who nearly died as an infant.  Her father’s family is Orthodox Jewish.  Her mother was apparently an atheist who followed her husband’s religion after marriage.  Her honesty and humility in this search, as well as her thoughtful explorations, make it a good book for anyone on a spiritual journey. Now in paperback!


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780452296916
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Published: Plume, 12/2010
If you are a yoga practitioner, you may enjoy this novel set in several studios. The main character, Lee, is a particularly talented and empathetic yoga teacher. Mitchell also introduces to Kathryn, her masseuse, and two others who go to her studio, but also other types of studios. The book is as much about relationships as yoga. In addition, Mitchell takes a swipe or two at the corporate approach to yoga.

Secret Daughter (Paperback)

$13.99
ISBN-13: 9780061928352
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks, 4/2011

Gowda tells us a story of two cities—Mumbai, India, and San Francisco, California—and two cultures, combined in the two Drs. Thakkur. Krisnan is an Indian man who emigrated when he was 20; the other, Somer, his wife, was born and raised in the United States. They adopt a 10-month-old daughter from India. It’s also a coming-of-age novel, for both the mother and the daughter.  Asha, the daughter, feels closer to her father, but always wonders about her birth parents. Their collective and individual journeys are moving. It’s a fascinating first novel. Now in paperback!


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143118701
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Published: Penguin Books, 1/2011

You will probably remember Gilbert for Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert’s book about her methods of recovery from a painful divorce. This one is an interesting demonstration of her growth and change. She wants to live in the United States with her companion, Felipe, the man she met in Bali. He also has his business here. However, Homeland Security has other plans. No marriage, no companion.  Neither of them wanted to get married after painful divorces. She explores marriage across cultures as well as across history, measuring her responses against traditions. Her honesty and sense of humor added to my enjoyment of the book. Now in paperback!


$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780767930260
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Crown Archetype, 1/2010

A memoir of a female heart surgeon, the subtitle of the book, is alternately exciting and heart-warming. No question that to be a heart surgeon requires the ability to detach one’s personal feelings for a time. However, Magliato also speaks of the need for warmth at the patient’s bedside. It’s an interesting book not only for Magliato’s story, but also for her educational push for women’s awareness of their danger of heart disease. 


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780425240830
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Published: Berkley Trade, 5/2011
Those of us who loved Little Women are always looking for more about Louisa May Alcott. In this novel, McNees writes about one summer in Alcott’s life, influenced heavily by a recent biography of Alcott. Bronson is not that admirable Mr. March, and Marmee isn’t quite the paragon of Little Women. McNees’ speculation rings true. Louisa believes she has to choose between marriage and freedom, but it is a struggle. It’s an interesting book with a realistic twist.

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781590307717
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Trumpeter, 3/2010

Moore experienced the deaths of three friends in a relatively short time, and she took her comfort from nature.  Her observations are thoughtful and vivid, whether they be about herons or about her friends.   I never thought I’d be interested in a rubber boa.  She is not a traditionally religious person, apparently, but she certainly contributes to a reader’s spiritual journey.  It is a beautiful book to be savored, chapter by chapter.


$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780061370472
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Published: HarperOne, 2/2010
Taylor is an Episcopal priest who left the parish to find her way to connect to God in the world, not the church. Each chapter gets a title that begins with “The Practice…” Her sense of humor and self deprecation make this book not at all stuffy. She makes use of Buddhist resources as well as Christian mystics, but this is not a scholarly compendium. It is a delightful, grounded book for spiritual exploration.

The Children's Book (Paperback)

$16.95
ISBN-13: 9780307473066
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Published: Vintage, 8/2010

Byatt conveys the Victorian era through World War I through the eyes of a children’s author, Olive Wellwood.  Byatt includes plenty of history as well as plot.  We see two generations, English and German, and I’m struck by that connection since I often just think of them as enemies.  Like Olive’s family, it’s much more complicated than that.  It is a large tome (675 pages), but I’d say it was worth every page.  Her characters come to life, and none of them is cardboard. The role of children’s books of the era (not only Olive’s) is also thought-provoking. It is a fascinating book, featuring mostly artistic types, but with a physician thrown in.


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143118572
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Published: Penguin Books, 10/2010
Finally a book that ends happily! This first novel looks pretty grim at first—a 12-year-old taking care of her psychotic mother in her father’s absence. He took a traveling salesman job to get away from home. They live in a small town, so, of course, everyone knows her situation. Midway through the novel, her life does a dramatic turn-around, and she goes to live with an eccentric great-aunt in Savannah. After all the unpleasant parts of her life before, now she has good things happening. Hoffman gives us some interesting characters and situations on the way. It’s a great beach read.

Sacred Hearts (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780812974058
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 4/2010
This is the third novel in Dunant's series about women in the Renaissance. As you might guess by the title, it's about a particular convent, Sancta Caterina in Ferrara, in Northern Italy in 1570. The various personalities of the nuns from the abbess to the youngest noviate are vividly drawn, along with glimpses of the culture of the time. The focus is mostly on Suora Zuana, the dispensary mistress who uses the books and ideas of her doctor father to keep the convent in good health, and Serafina, the newest noviaite, who rebels against her confinement in the convent. The characters are memorable, and the history is interesting, if disturbing. Good historical fiction.

The Lacuna (Paperback)

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9780060852580
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Published: Harper Perennial, 8/2010

Kingsolver takes us to Mexico and New England in this novel: from Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in 1929 to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the late 1950s. Harrison Shepherd is a rather lonely boy in Mexico, half-American and half-Mexican.  However, he finds a job making plaster for Diego Rivera’s huge murals in Mexico City as a teen-ager.  His contacts through Rivera included Leon Trotsky for whom he was a cook and secretary.  He kept notebooks about his life from the time he was an adolescent.  Violet Brown, later his secretary, is the one who preserved them and who comments at various points in the novel.  While the Mexican portion of the novel moved a bit slowly for me, the latter half was terrific, detailing his life in Ashville, NC.  Kingsolver again illuminates a portion of history as well as creating memorable characters.


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780393339055
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 10/2010
Gordon gives us the biography of one of the great photographers of the 20th century, Dorothy Lange. Many of us will always connect her with the photograph of the migrant worker with her children, “Migrant Mother.” It is such a moving picture. However, Lange’s life encompassed more than her photography. She mothered at least 6 children, although she struggled mightily to balance that role with her professional career. In portraying her struggles with that issue, as well as political battles over her left-leaning politics, Gordon gives us a fully rounded picture of Lange as a woman in her time, pushing the limits. It has fascinating photographic details as well as the personal ones.

If You Follow Me (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780061732850
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 3/2010
Watrous’s novel follows a young woman who has followed her lover, Carolyn, to a small town in Japan where she and Carollyn are to teach English.  The cultural confusions are many, but at the beginning, gomi, what we would call trash, provides a serious cultural test—particularly which items go into which barrel.  In a small country with lots of people, that is more of a problem that we might think!  Some romance and other cultural confusions make it a quick read and one that provides both humor and pathos.

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780345520043
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Ballantine Books, 4/2010
Gael has created a novel around Arthur Bell Nichols’ courting of Charlotte Bronte. For those of us who are long-time fans of the Brontes, it rings true. It is difficult, I’m sure, to create characters who are already in the public domain, but she differentiates the sisters well, and even Bromwell, the troublesome brother, seems like a human being, not a caricature. However, the romance, long in its development, is the center of the novel. Charlotte’s own development is a critical element, of course. It’s thoroughly enjoyable.

Home (Paperback)

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780312428549
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picador, 9/2009
I was a little reluctant to read this novel because I thoroughly enjoyed Gilead. I was afraid this would be disappointing. It was not. It's also perfectly understandable without reading Gilead. I liked the narrator, 38-year-old Glory, daughter of a Presbyterian minister, the dutiful one who came home to care for her father in his last years. The plot revolves around Glory and her older brother, Jack, who was the family's black sheep. Or was he? The theological questions are as interesting as the characters. I got quite a different perspective on Ames, the narrator in the earlier novel. I think I may have liked it better than Gilead.

The Age of Shiva (Paperback)

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780393333633
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 1/2009
It's a good time to get more information on India. This novel takes us from 1955 through India Ghandi's years from the perspective of Meera, just 17, the middle sister. She marries a musician, but they go to live with his parents who are orthodox Hindus, in contrast to her progressive father who even has Muslims in their home. She rebels in many ways, but when she has her baby, her perspective changes. Her growth and understanding over the years, along with the historical insights, make this a book to read and understand better the cultural conflicts in India. While I have no background in Hindu mythology, it clearly plays a significant role in Suri's novel.

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780061472558
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 2/2010
Frank and Ellie Benton are ex-pats from the U. S. living in rural India where Frank runs a factory. They left to escape the memories of the loss of their 7-year-old son to an unexpected illness. Frank latches onto the 9-year-old son of their servants. It's a complicated tale of two cultures, as well as relationships within the two marriages. If you are looking for a happy ending, this isn't the book for you. However, Umrigar creates memorable characters as well as revealing the costs of industry in India.

Vaclav & Lena (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781400069316
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: The Dial Press, 5/2011
Tanner tells the story of two Russian immigrant children, Vaclav and Lena, who bonded immediately when they met on a trip to Coney Island. They were both mesmerized by the magician they saw. They are from very different backgrounds; Lena’s is a traumatic one. Vaclav has a doting mother, Raisa, who also dotes on Lena. However, one day Lena disappears. One day years later, Lena reappears, having been adopted by a loving single woman. She wants to search her past with Vaclav’s help. It’s an engrossing novel with magic hovering in the background.