Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Review - The Orchardist

by Amanda Chopin

Books can be read and then be easily forgotten. This is not the case with The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin.

Initially, we are introduced to William Talmadge. He lives a quiet life in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains where he has lived since age nine. There are four constants in his life. The first is Caroline Middey, herbalist and midwife, to whom Talmadge entrusts some of his emotions. The second is Clee, a Nez Perce and horse wrangler, whose tribe stops by the valley each year to refresh their horses being taken to auction and to help harvest the fruit trees. The third constant is his mother and sister, Elsbeth. The fourth constant is the land and the fruit orchard which are the steadfast center of Talmadge’s being.

At age forty, his peaceful life is shattered by the appearance of two young girls at the edge of his orchard. They are filthy, hungry, and pregnant. His decision to help the girls, Jane and Della, triggers unexpected events and unintended consequences.  It also brings ghosts from the past that torment Talmadge and other characters in unforeseen ways.  

Amanda Chopin is a writer who scours the English language finding those words with a toughness when needed and a tenderness when appropriate. She explores complex relationships which might make the reader ponder why people forgive some but seek revenge on others. 

The book is a rewarding read. It can be intense at time, but it is well worth the effort. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Now in Paperback - November 2013

Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power
by Jon Meacham
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“It could be argued that few individuals have had a greater impact on the course of our nation's history than Thomas Jefferson. Meacham's engaging biography reveals the extraordinary skills of this uniquely gifted and driven man as well as his heart and soul. In a poetic, moving epilogue, Meacham explains Jefferson's unabated appeal: 'He endures because we can see in him all the varied and wondrous possibilities of the human experience -- the thirst for knowledge, the capacity to create, the love of family and friends, the hunger for accomplishment, the applause of the world, the marshaling of power, the bending of others to one's own vision.' Jefferson's story has never been more perfectly told. Quite simply, Meacham has written a masterpiece!” -- Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
 
 
Astray
by Emma Donoghue
“The short story is the most demanding of arts, and it takes a brilliant practitioner to succeed. Donoghue meets the description with this collection examining immigrants and the dispossessed through the centuries. Lives filled with hope, fear, uncertainty, and desperation are portrayed succinctly, with precise language that tells the stories of those who have dared or been forced to uproot their normal existence.”
-- Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
 
 
 
 
 
 
The House Girl
by Tara Conklin
“Lina, a young, ambitious New York attorney in 2004, never knew her mother. Josephine, a young house slave in 1852, never knew her child. More than a century apart, their lives connect in unexpected ways. Corporate law offices, art museums, antebellum homes, and the Underground Railroad provide the setting for a story filled with secrets, betrayals, and love. Does the ‘House Girl’ title apply to both women? The paths of these strong women will have the reader marveling at the layers Conklin has created to tell their intertwined stories.”
-- Beverly Bauer, Redbery Books, Cable, WI
 
 
 
Life After Life
Jill McCorckle
“Who knew death, regret, and lengthy ruminations about days past could add up to a novel this vibrant, hopeful, and compelling? . . . Gorgeously written . . . McCorkle’s greatest gift is in illuminating the countless tiny moments that make up our time on Earth.” - O: The Oprah Magazine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Now in Paperback - August

Ghostman
by Roger Hobbs


Stunningly dark, hugely intelligent and thoroughly addictive, Ghostman announces the arrival of an exciting and highly distinctive novelist.

Smart and captivating from beginning to end, a stellar debut!”

Jean-Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH







Life Among Giants
By Bill Roorbach

“Roorbach has given readers a totally unique family saga that is infused with love, sex, and murder. This is the kind of story that takes you on a journey from the very first page and races right along to the unforgettable conclusion. I was drawn in by the characters, both sympathetic and despicable. This is a great book to recommend to everyone.”

-- Barbara Kelly, Portland Bookstore,
University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME





Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes

“If you are looking for a romantic love story that will leave you in happy tears, this is the book for you! Suspend disbelief and immerse yourself in the life of Louisa Clark, who takes a job as a caretaker for a young, wealthy, disabled man. After a rocky start, Lou and Will become close, and Will urges her to expand her horizons and escape from their stifling small town. Naturally, love blooms, but can there be a happy ending for two such different people?”

-- Susan Taylor, Market Block Books, Troy, NY





Dear Life
by Alice Munro

A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction

A Best Book of the Year:
The Atlantic, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, AV Club









The Beautiful Mystery
A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
By Louise Penny
“In the eighth mystery in this popular series, Chief Inspector Gamache finds himself investigating a murder in a remote abbey in the wilds of the Canadian forest. The only clue appears to involve an ancient form of church music, the very earliest Gregorian chant. As usual, Penny's complex characters and their multidimensional relationships, as well as the unusual setting, make this a fascinating reading experience. Each book in the series is better than the one before.”

-- Anne McMahon, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI




Heads in Beds
A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
By Jacob Tomsky
“Here is the authentic voice of the Front Desk Agent: funny, experienced, profane, and able to tell a good story or two. Tomsky shares his story of beginning as a parking valet and rising to the heights of the front desk, with a horrifying detour through the housekeeping department along the way. This book is packed with characters, anecdotes, celebrities, and useful information for any hotel guest, such as 'Don't be afraid to tip the Front Desk Agent if you are after an upgrade.' Heads in Beds does for hotel workers what Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential did for restaurant workers. It should be an instant classic!”

-- Mary Muller, Market Block Books, Troy, NY

Monday, July 8, 2013

Now in Paperback - July

Wallflower in Bloom
by Claire Cook

“Deirdre Griffin's life is not her own. Her high-maintenance, charismatic brother, Tag, is a New Age guru and a national sensation. As his gatekeeper and personal assistant, Deidre's frustrations with her family, and herself, bring her to a hysterical moment. After drowning her sorrows in vodka, Deidre gets herself voted onto Dancing With the Stars as a replacement by way of Tag's online followers. This is a very funny read that will make you roll your eyes about family!”
-- Joanne Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA





You & Me
by Padgett Powell
“Experience the utter joy of shooting the breeze on the porch with a couple of crotchety, intelligent old codgers. Inventive, funny, and profound, Powell turns phrases like a dervish in this Southern-styled ersatz retelling of Waiting for Godot. A wonderful book that perfectly captures kicking back and trying to make sense of the crazy world streaming by.”
-- Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA







Tigers in Red Weather
By Liza Klaussmann
“Pull up a chair, pour a cup of tea - or something stronger - and get ready to travel from post-WWII America to 1980s Martha's Vineyard. You are about to meet five beautifully drawn characters who will fascinate you and break your heart. Klaussmann brilliantly weaves their lives together and, as the story unfolds, we find that each of them is covering up something. The dynamite ending comes as a complete surprise and yet it is so right. Don't miss this gem.”
-- Elaine Petrocelli, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA




A Killing in the Hills
By Julia Keller
“Keller makes a powerful entry into the crime fiction field with the introduction of Bell Elkins, a prosecutor in rural West Virginia, who must not only deal with a triple murder but also must constantly contend with a deteriorating society beset by the scourge of methamphetamine. Finely drawn characters, strong plot lines, and keen attention to a growing problem in rural America make this a gripping read.”
-- Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI


Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Review - In the Garden of Beasts

In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson
A reader of books about Germany and the rise to power by Hitler could assume that there is nothing more to be written on that subject. The reader would be wrong.

Erik Larson asks readers to “put aside what we all know-now-to be true, and try instead to accompany my innocents through the world as they experienced it.” These two innocents are Frank E. Dodd, America’s first ambassador to Germany, and his daughter, Martha.

Frank E. Dodd is not President Roosevelt’s first pick for the America’s ambassador to Germany, but time is running out and America needs a representative. A historian known for his work on the American South and Woodrow Wilson, Dodd enters Germany in 1933 when President Hindenburg is the remaining “counterbalance” to Hitler’s power and in-fighting between Hitler and his subordinates contributes to the precariousness of being an Ambassador. Dodd’s “sober” temperament runs contrary to the diplomatic flurry of late-night dinners and living beyond one’s means. He is uncomfortable in the world of diplomacy where Hitler power brokers mix freely and frequently with foreign dignitaries and expectations are that America will stay out of the internal German conflicts.

Although Frank Dodd views his job as Ambassador seriously, his flirtatious twenty-four year old daughter does not. Martha takes full advantage of the many social opportunities inherent in his father’s position without regard to the consequences of her behavior for herself, her family, or her father. Eventually, Martha pays a price for her blindness to the everyday world of Germany, 1933. 

It is the everyday living of Ambassador Dodd and Martha Dodd which makes this book stand out in a crowded field of non-fiction reads. It also raises the often-discussed question, “What makes a hero? Is Frank E. Dodd a hero? Did his actions which did not ingratiate himself to the powerful or elite make him a hero”? 

Read In the Garden of Beasts so you can answer this question for yourself.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review - The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden
By Kate Morton
 
 
The Forgotten Garden is a beautifully written book, a must read for anyone who loves fairytales. Like all fairytales it includes a beautiful castle, a few Princesses, an evil Queen, a kindly village couple, an Ogre and of course a handsome Prince. In 1913 a tiny girl is left alone on a ship that is sailing to Australia and so begins a story that will take us through many years as Nell searches for her true identity. Nell has in her possession a lovely book of fairy tales written by the lady she only knows as the authoress. This book will eventually lead her on a great adventure in Cornwall and years later her granddaughter Cassandra to the truth. The Forgotten Garden shows us the damage that can come from secrets and also how love and faith can show us the way.
Submitted by Diane Vaughn

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review - Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

 
Winner of the 1984 Booker Prize for Fiction

Hotel du Lac tells the story of Edith Hope, a romance novelist, who "for her own good" is sent away for a respite vacation outside Geneva at a hotel by a lake. In many ways, this is a wonderful book club selection because of the interesting (but not necessarily likeable) characters, and their motivations which are not always obvious. The ending left our members differing significantly over what choice Edith has made as she plans to return to England.

Brookner's Hotel du Lac is not for the reader looking for action. Most of our members felt that "little happened" in the course of the story. However, this IS a book for readers who enjoy elegant, astutely observed prose with meticulously drawn characters.

Monday, April 29, 2013

May - Now In Paperback

Is This Tomorrow
A Novel, by Caroline Leavitt


In 1956, Ava Lark rents a house with her twelve-year-old son, Lewis, in a desirable Boston suburb. Ava is beautiful, divorced, Jewish, and a working mom. She finds her neighbors less than welcoming. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. The neighborhood—in the throes of Cold War paranoia—seizes the opportunity to further ostracize Ava and her son.

Years later, when Lewis and Rose reunite to untangle the final pieces of the tragic puzzle, they must decide: Should you tell the truth even if it hurts those you love, or should some secrets remain buried?


City of Women
A Novel, by David R. Gillham

"The writing is a great mix of the literary and commercial, page-turning and suspenseful, with a morally complex, intelligent heroine at its center. If you’re a fan of well-written historical novels in the vein of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, this one is for you."--Slate







The Dog Stars
A Novel, by Peter Heller
A San Francisco Chronicle and Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year


Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley.

But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static-broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for.



Gold
A Novel, by Chris Cleave
It's the ultimate test of a mother's love...
If your dreams pull you in one direction and your heart in another, which should you follow? This is the question that haunts Kate Meadows, a world champion athlete whose eight-year-old daughter Sophie is battling a recurrence of childhood leukemia just as Kate is about to compete for her last chance at an Olympic gold medal. For years, Kate has sacrificed everything for her family and watched her best friend and closest rival, Zoe Castle, conquer the world stage. Kate has never won gold and will have to go through Zoe—who has everything to lose—to get it. Now her child is facing a life-threatening illness, and the stakes are higher than ever. How can she do what is right for her daughter without abandoning all of her dreams?




Istanbul Passage
A Novel, by Joseph Kanon



Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even expatriate American Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs in support of the Allied war effort. Now as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, Leon is given one last routine assignment. But when the job goes fatally wrong—an exchange of gunfire, a body left in the street, and a potential war criminal on his hands— Leon is trapped in a tangle of shifting loyalties and moral uncertainty.
Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Istanbul Passage is the unforgettable story of a man swept up in the dawn of the Cold War, of an unexpected love affair, and of a city as deceptive as the calm surface waters of the Bosphorus that divides it.


A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
A Novel, by Suzanne Johnson

“Two worlds collide with the discovery of a mysterious inheritance. On one side of the globe in the 1920s, three young women embark on an adventure along the famous Silk Road. On the other side of the world in present day London, two young strangers bond over a beautiful illustration with a history. Decades of family tradition and mystery become unraveled as the stories come crashing together.”
-- Morgan Kiedrowski, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI







The Lower River
A Novel, by Paul Theroux

A taut, tense, darkly suspenseful novel about a man who flees to Africa after his marriage falls apart, only to be caught up in a precarious situation in a seemingly benign village.











The Right Hand Shore
A Novel, by Christopher Tilghman

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A masterful novel that confronts the dilemmas of race, family, and forbidden love in the wake of America’s Civil War.










The Roots of the Olive Tree
A Novel, By Courtney Miller Santo


An extraordinary new voice in contemporary woman’s fiction, Courtney Miller Santo makes her magnificent debut with The Roots of the Olive Tree, a novel that will delight fans of Sarah Blake’s The Postmistress, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and the works of Kristin Hannah. Set in a house on an olive grove in northern California, The Roots of the Olive Tree is a beautiful, touching story that brings to life five generations of women—including an unforgettable 112-year-old matriarch determined to break all Guinness longevity records—the secrets and lies that divide them and the love that ultimately ties them together.



The Yellow Birds
A Novel, by Kevin Powers

A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive.

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.

In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.

With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.





Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Review - The Second Messiah


The Second Messiah
By Glenn Meade
An Afternoon Book Club Selection
A new Pope has been chosen, a Pope who has a mission that threatens the church and its vast wealth.  A  Dead Sea Scroll has been discovered in the desert near Jerusalem, a scroll that could shake the faith of both the Christian and Jewish communities.  Add to the mixture a hunky archaeologist. Two beautiful women, a very wealthy man with his own agenda and you have a page turning conspiracy.

The afternoon book group had a very interesting and divided discussion on this book and its premise of a second Messiah.  Many felt that the book did not cover the scroll and its revelations thoroughly enough while the other half could not find any fault with the author’s coverage.  I would suggest that you read the Second Messiah and come to your own conclusion.
Submitted by Diane Vaughn

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review - One Was A Soldier


The evening book club inadvertently started with the sixth book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series. The members who had read all the books in the series (and loved them) were concerned we wouldn't have the full picture of the characters picking up so late in the series, and they may have been right. But, having said that, I found One Was a Soldier by Julie Spencer-Fleming to be an enjoyable read. And, although I think I might have benefited from reading previous novels, Spencer-Fleming filled in the background details needed. 

Clare Fergusson is in distress, she has just returned from combat, and in many ways is behaving erratically. She is suffering with flashbacks and other PTSD symptoms. Being a minister, she is unwilling to let anyone, even her lover, Russ, see the pain that is consuming her.

While the military service and its consequent problems are the backdrop of the story and an important theme, the mystery drives the story forward. 

Another returning soldier in Clare's support group has been found dead. It looks like suicide, but Clare and the other members of the group are suspicious.

As the mystery is unraveled by amateur Clare and professional Russ, we see the effects that military service has on each of the members of Clare's support group. Although this book deals with the painful difficulties veterans have returning to "normal" life, I would still describe this novel as an easy read. I started and finished it in less than a weekend, and it kept me going until the last page.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April - Now in Paperback

Stop by Hattie's Books for these titles - Now in Paperback!

Beautiful Ruins
A Novel by Jess Walter
 Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

“A marvel, an absolute gem of a beach read that is both hilarious and heartbreaking.”Huffington Post








Light Between Oceans
A Novel by M. L. Stedman
“An extraordinary and heart-rending book about good people, tragic decisions and the beauty found in each of them.”—Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
Love Anthony
A Novel by Lisa Genova
"Love Anthony broke my heart in the best way! I read it spellbound and breathless. If you don't know Lisa Genova's work already, meet your new favorite writer, storyteller, enchanter." —Heidi W. Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, Winner of the Bellwether Prize
 
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
A Novel by Rachel Joyce
“A cause for celebration . . . [Joyce] has a lovely sense of the possibilities of redemption. In this bravely unpretentious and unsentimental take, she’s cleared space where miracles are still possible.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
 
Wild
From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,
by Cheryl Strayed
A Best Nonfiction Book of 2012: The Boston Globe, Entertainment WeeklyA Best Book of the Year: NPR, St. Louis Dispatch, Vogue
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Now in Paperback - March

The Orchardist
A Novel, by Amanda Coplin
At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison. In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel, Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions. --Indiebound.org



All Woman and Springtime
A Novel, by Brandon W. Jones
“Mr. Choy had the perfect business plan, with almost no cash outlay for staff. His porn business used North Korean refugees who had nowhere to run. Three young women who were taught from birth that there is no free will and that their every action must benefit the Glorious Leader are easy prey. One is beautiful, one brassy, and one has internalized all of her pain and thinks with numerical precision. This is a compelling and unflinching tale of personal survival, politics, and, above all, friendship that will stay with you. Astounding!”
-- Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
The Book of Jonas
A Novel, by Stephen Dau
“This debut deals with the aftermath of acts of war, told from the perspective of Jonas, a war orphan, relocated to the states, and Rose, the mother of the American soldier who aided him. Spare and moving, the story details the confusion and fear of both the soldiers and the civilians in an unnamed Muslim country. Tension builds as Jonas reveals more about the event that destroyed his home, and the inclusion of journal entries by Rose's son, Christopher, serves to add yet another view of the consequences of battle. Believable, intelligent, and ultimately redeeming, The Book of Jonas demonstrates the lasting impact of relationships even - maybe especially - in a time of war.”
-- Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Equal of the Sun
A Novel, by Anita Amirrezvani
“Persia in the 16th century is rife with intrigue and danger. The Shah has died without a successor, and his daughter and protege, Princess Pari Khan Kanoom, maneuvers to secure a position of power in a man's world. She is aided by the eunuch, Javaher, a man who loves the princess more than life. Based on historical figures, this sumptuous portrayal of the royal court of Persia is the story of a woman who took risks and made her mark on history.”
-- Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
The Univited Guests
A Novel, by Sadie Jones
“This is a comedy of manners in an Edwardian family manor in the English countryside that quickly spins into a zany tale of people who are not who they appear to be or even who they think they are. Its many twists and turns keep the reader amused and completely intrigued. A delightful romp!”
-- Karen T. Harris, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book Review - State of Wonder


State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett

Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler says Ann Patchett "is a genius of the human condition, I can't think of many other writers, ever, who get anywhere near her ability to comprehend the vastness and diversity of humanity, and to articulate our deepest heart." 

The third Tuesday book club couldn't agree more. This book was almost universally enjoyed by our members. There are characters to care about, an unfolding mystery and an exotic location. And, there is also beautifully evocative imagery. 

I read the book a second time in preparation for our discussion and enjoyed it just as much as I had the first time, perhaps a bit more, because I was less concerned with the story and more attentive to the descriptions.

State of Wonder truly has a deep heart and is a pleasure to read.



Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review - Lottery

Lottery
By Patricia Wood

Meet Perry L. (the L is for lucky) Crandall who will immediately tell you that he is not retarded.  You have to have an IQ of 75 to be considered retarded and his IQ is 76.  He is just not as fast as some people.  Enter Perry’s world and discover love, loss, deceit, friendship, honesty, ruthlessness and good old common sense.  You will laugh out loud one moment and reach for a box of tissues the next.  When Perry wins the Lottery it changes everyone around him except Perry himself.  From Perry we learn that it is not what you have in your life but who and that keeping something for yourself is very important.  
The book is well written and the characters so richly developed it is hard to believe that this is Ms. Wood’s first novel.  I look forward to reading her second.
Diane Vaughn 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Now in Paperback - January & February 2013

The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by:
People ∙ O: The Oprah Magazine ∙ Financial Times ∙ Kansas City Star ∙ BookPage ∙ Kirkus Reviews ∙ Publishers Weekly ∙ Booklist
With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for the fans of the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles is a luminous and unforgettable debut novel about coming of age set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.


Believing the Lie
An Inspector Lynley Novel
by Elizabeth George
After writing sixteen Inspector Lynley novels, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George has millions of fans waiting for the next one. As USA Today put it, "It's tough to resist George's storytelling." With Believing the Lie, she's poised to hook countless more.





The Dressmaker
by Kate Alcott
“We’re all riveted by a tragedy, but what happens to the survivors?  The Dressmaker is that rare novel that asks not only what comes next but what we would do in a morally unspeakable situation—and how we live with those choices.  A brave, truly gripping novel.” —Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us








Canada
by Richard Ford

Canada, Richard Ford's long-awaited new novel, is not one to be rushed. While the plot sounds sensational -- robbery, murders, a flight across the Canadian border -- Ford's laconic, measured prose forces the reader to slow the pace and savor the story. This is a novel about actions, intentions, and consequences as well as about belonging, introspection, and the solitary nature of life. Powerful and atmospheric, Canada will excite and gratify Ford's fans and introduce newcomers to a masterful American writer.”
— Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review - a single thread

a single thread
by Marie Bostwick

“Having written three works of historical fiction, the prospect of penning my first full-length contemporary novel was somewhat daunting. My biggest concern was this: could a plot involving ordinary people, living in ordinary times make for compelling reading?” asks Maria Bostwick in the Author’s Note of a single thread.

The only answer to this question is a definite, “Yes.” a single thread introduces the reader to unpretentious Evelyn Dixon who is reeling from a divorce. She impulsively moves from Texas, rents a dilapidated building, and opens the Cobbled Court Quilt store in fictional New Bern, Connecticut. Soon after, she receives news from her doctor which changes everything. Evelyn encounters local philanthropist, Abigail Burgess Wynne, whose scheduled life is shattered by her niece, Liza. An angry Liza is trying to sort out her life and finds solace in unexpected challenges. Evelyn is befriended by Margot who is bored and unemployed but always the optimistic organizer. This patch quilt of four characters plus other delightful personalities each become “part of a bigger design, bound by a single thread.”

a single thread is the first in the Cobbled Court Quilt series. It is a heart warming story whose characters will remain dear to the reader’s heart long after the book is finished. It is also a story which will tug at your heart and pull you into the remaining Cobbled Court Quilt books.