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.

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.