PositiveBookPageRash profoundly immerses readers in the Appalachia he calls home. His latest collection is highly recommended not only for readers who value protecting our environment but also for anyone who enjoys well-told stories of justice and revenge.
RaveBookPage... [a] stark and elucidating debut novel ... Homa’s remarkable novel serves as a potent and illuminating window into the persecution of the Kurds, which has existed for decades and continues unabated today.
PositiveBookPage... compulsively readable ... Each woman displays Jekyll and Hyde-style personalities, and the reader is kept guessing about which one will emerge the stronger. This creepy psychological thriller is sure to be enjoyed by those who devoured Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and domestic thrillers from authors like Megan Abbott and JP Delaney.
PositiveBookPage... effervescent ... Readers seeking a more linear plot may feel unstable as New Waves bounces between these many storylines, but readers deeply immersed in our increasingly tech-savvy environment will delight in Nguyen’s piercing take on race and gender issues in the workplace, and the ethical debates swirling around social media sites. It’s all delivered with Nguyen’s personal brand of penetrating, acerbic humor.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
RaveBookPageIf readers believe that witch trials in the late 1600s only occurred in the U.S., Kiran Millwood Hargrave will enlighten them with this harrowing story based on well-documented records ... vivid and immersive ... Hargrave skillfully portrays how lines of allegiance are drawn as a handful of women emerge as potential leaders ... an exceptional work of historical fiction with a dramatic setting and perceptive insight into the rippling effects of extremism, as seen through the eyes of a carefully crafted cast of characters.
PositiveBooklistIn this eloquent and elucidating debut story collection she brings the Native experience to life—from the long line of broken treaties and the tragic effect on Native tribes from coast to coast to contemporary repercussions from forced attendance at Indian boarding schools ... touching ... Piatote draws the reader in with spare and perceptive language and resonate empathy for each struggling yet resilient character.
Byron L. Dorgan
PositiveBooklistDorgan uses Tamara’s sad story as the vehicle to explore the history of America’s treatment of its Native population, from broken treaties and lost homelands to extreme poverty and lack of educational opportunities. He isn’t without hope, citing numerous examples of young Native healthcare workers, educators, and lawyers already having an impact on public policy. But he also wants to inspire readers to address the needs of \'pockets of people living in third-world conditions.\'
RaveBook PageShani Boianjiu’s eye-opening and brutally honest debut novel chronicles the abrupt coming-of-age of three young Israeli girls—Yael, Lea and Avishag—who grow up in a small village, attend high school together and are conscripted soon afterward into the Israeli army ... In this gripping debut, she weaves together the familiar coming-of-age milestones such as sexual initiation, the fierce bonds of friendship and the need for independence with the shocking realities of military life—even beyond the battlefield.
Meg Waite Clayton
PositiveBooklist... enlightening, meticulously researched ... Stephan, Zofie, and Stephan’s younger brother make this harrowing journey to an uncertain future, one experienced by so many.
RaveBookPageStrout possesses an uncanny ability to focus on ordinary moments in her characters’ lives, bringing them to life with compassion and humor. Her characters could be our own friends or family, and readers can easily relate to their stories of love, damaged relationships, aging, loss and loneliness. Each phase of Olive’s life touches on a memory, real or imagined ... a remarkable collection on its own but will be especially enjoyed by those who loved Olive Kitteridge. It’s a book to immerse oneself in and to share.
RaveBookPageCruz writes with warmth, empathy and remarkable perception about the immigrant experience. Engaging and illuminating, Dominicana will appeal to readers who’ve enjoyed novels by Sandra Cisneros and Julia Alvarez.
PositiveBooklistIn her grimly haunting memoir, Buchanan reveals many aspects of American racism and sexism as she grapples with a painful legacy.
RaveBookPage[An] engrossing, sometimes shocking and often witty debut novel ... remarkable ... Ffitch’s survival saga of strong, independent women will appeal to readers of Dorothy Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina and the realistic novels by Manette Ansay, especially Vinegar Hill.
PositiveBooklist...[a] biting, astute, immediately engaging novel ... Holsinger perceptively portrays how each couple copes with the stress each family faces in addition to the usual money problems, sibling rivalries, and marital difficulties they camouflage. Given recent college-admission scandals, Holsinger’s tale about money, connections, and education couldn’t be more timely.
Elizabeth A. Fenn
RaveBooklistAnyone who has seen the sensitive portraits of Mandan chiefs painted in the 1830s by George Catlin and Karl Bodmer will be captivated by Fenn’s exhaustively researched history ... Fenn weaves the historical fabric of this proud people, enhanced by archaeological and climate studies tracing their migrations, food sources, and intertribal conflicts. Simultaneously scholarly and highly readable, Fenn’s contribution enriches our understanding of not just Mandan history but also the history and culture of the pre-reservation northern Plains as well.
RaveBooklistIn her latest novel, Ohlin...paints a luminous portrait of two half-sisters ... Ultimately uplifting, Ohlin’s touching, beautifully crafted story traces the unbreakable bond holding the sisters together, even when miles apart, through many changes.
PositiveBookPage... psychologically astute ... Pitoniak perceptively traces the fracture of Violet and Stella’s sisterlike bond, leading to a denouement the reader will not anticipate. The author’s insightful glimpse into the competitive world of television news, as well as her spot-on portraits of these two ambitious women, come together in an emotional, gripping novel sure to become a popular summer read.
PositiveBookPage[An] entrancing multigenerational family saga ... Grames’ debut will find broad appeal as both an illuminating historical saga and a vivid portrait of a strong woman struggling to break free from the confines of her gender.
Linda Legarde Grover
PositiveBooklistThe first half of Grover’s multigenerational story follows the girls from one loveless foster home to another as they struggle to remember their mother. The larger story is that of the reservation ... The tragic legacy of Indian boarding schools, including Rainy’s fetal alcohol syndrome, hovers over Grover’s sad but ultimately uplifting tale.
PositiveBooklistRay’s poignant suffering is but one example of the bigotry and fear experienced by Japanese-born U.S. citizens after Pearl Harbor, the same bigotry and fear of the other that still sadly exists in America today ... Ray’s story of young love and loss as well as an often-omitted aspect of WWII history will resonate with teens.
PositiveBookPage\"... engaging and immersive ... One of O’Nan’s gifts is his ability to craft his characters with such uncanny attention to detail that the reader comes to care for them as the author does ... It isn’t necessary to have read the other novels in O’Nan’s Maxwell family saga to enjoy Henry, Himself. But readers who enjoy this poignant, everyman story will surely want to read them next. His stories of one upper-middle-class Pittsburgh family will resonate with many readers, especially fans of Anne Tyler’s character-driven novels set in Baltimore.\
PositiveBooklist\"[Henrdrik] documents events both humorous and sad: scooter crashes at hallway intersections, the adventurous dinner outings planned each fortnight by the Old-But-Not-Dead Club (of which he is an original member), the restarting of the Residents’ Committee in order to voice concerns about the bland dining-room fare, the stringent pet policy, and, above all, the dwindling and imminent death from cancer of his best friend, Evert. Interspersed among these daily entries are Groen’s thoughts on the Dutch royal family, the horrific plight of the many refugees reaching European borders, and the failings of the Dutch health-care system. A realistic and perceptive glimpse into the aging process, shaped by empathy, optimism, and vibrant wit.
RaveBooklist\"Treuer methodically guides the reader along the path of Native history since that 1890 massacre ... each [phenomenon the book covers] is embellished not only by Treuer’s extensive documentation but also by anecdotes populated by members of his own family and longtime friends from Leech Lake. His scholarly reportage of these 125 years of Native history thus comes to vivid life for every reader.\
PositiveBookPage\"Annie Ward’s debut has all the familiar ingredients of the recent outpouring of psychological thrillers—dynamic but unreliable female narrators, a story that bounces between different characters’ perspectives, and secrets that remain buried throughout years of friendship or marriage—but it’s set apart by its unusual settings ... A twist in the closing pages will catch even the most jaded reader off guard, making Beautiful Bad a good read for fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and A.J. Finn.\
PositiveBookPage\"Lisa Jewell’s domestic thrillers regularly show up on bestseller lists, and her latest, Watching You, should be no exception ... But only near the end does one suspect emerge as the killer—and a shocking final revelation completely takes the reader by surprise. Jewell’s latest will be quickly devoured by readers of Gillian Flynn, A.J. Finn and Ruth Ware.\
PositiveBooklistKim’s...second novel is a timely and moving historical saga ... [a] heartfelt story, one which will greatly appeal to readers who enjoy the multicultural novels of Lisa See and Amy Tan, stories that enlighten as well as entertain.
PositiveBookPage\"... insightful, witty and acutely honest ... In Family Trust, [Wang\'s] dissection of the glamorous appeal of this superficial slice of life succeeds on many levels and will appeal to a wide variety of readers.\
PositiveBooklist OnlineMah, a food and travel writer, brings her love of food and knowledge of wine-making to bear in her second novel, a charismatic blend of mystery, romance, and post-WWII French history. Kate is studying for her third and final attempt at passing the famously difficult master of wine exam. She travels to Burgundy for a few weeks of study at the vineyard that has been in her family for generations but which she has long avoided ... Mah’s engaging story resonates on many levels and will appeal to readers who enjoy the family sagas of Kate Morton and Kristin Hannah.
PositiveBookPageProulx’s second novel opens an incisive window into the seemingly predictable lives of two upper-middle-class families that slowly unravel over one long year, following two calamitous events ... Proulx deftly delves into the inner psyches of each of her flawed characters, bringing some level of understanding to their otherwise inexplicably bad choices. Her tale of the downward spiral experienced by these two families seems as real as if we were reading it in the newspaper or hearing it on the local news.
Meg Waite Clayton
PositiveBooklist OnlineClayton uses her meticulous research skills to bring to life the wartime years of Martha Gellhorn ... Clayton brilliantly demonstrates the ways in which both Gellhorn’s articles for Collier’s and the novels Hemingway wrote during those years ... Clayton’s take on their boozy, love-hate relationship is packed with details of the war... a dramatic backdrop for her fictional tale of two vivid personalities and world-altering writers.
RaveBookPage\"Picoult begins her riveting saga at the end of the story, when George Goddard—a distraught, anti-abortion father whose teenage daughter recently had an abortion at the Center—storms inside, fires several shots and takes an unknown number of hostages ... A Spark of Light is another winner for Picoult—a provocative exploration of an issue that is in the spotlight now more ever before.\
PositiveBookPage[A] haunting, vividly cinematic tale ... Dybek’s poignant tale of the harsh realities of war juxtaposed with a dreamlike love story will linger with readers in the same manner as Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient.
PositiveBookPageUmrigar places these two old women, steeped in the strict class distinctions of their upbringing, in the midst of modern-day Mumbai. Through the character of Maya, the author builds hope for classes to better themselves, for gender equality and for a decrease in homophobia and sexual assault in India’s future. Her emotional portrayal of these two strong women will be a popular choice for book clubs, and for readers who enjoy multicultural family sagas.
RaveBookpageAs Us Against You opens, Beartown’s future is threatened: first by the possible closure of its only factory, and second by the bankruptcy faced by the town’s hockey club. Hockey isn’t merely a game to the town’s inhabitants—their whole lives revolve around the Bears’ wins and losses. Backman’s latest saga focuses on the first hockey season following the schism, brilliantly portraying the way each magnetic character copes with the hatred and violence that has engulfed these two small towns as their teams prepare to do battle ... Backman stirs this volatile mélange of disparate characters until the inevitable explosion occurs, leaving Beartown sadder but perhaps wiser than before ... His depiction of this small town will resonate especially with readers who struggle with the racism, homophobia and misogyny that exist in their own communities.
PositiveBookPage[Go Ask Fannie] displays her marvelous gift for creating vibrant and believable characters while keeping a keen, often humorous eye on their less desirable traits ... Hyde’s insightful and engaging novel is highly recommended.
RaveBooklistMany indigenous authors have portrayed the horrific conditions endured by Native children in boarding schools in both the U.S. and Canada throughout much of the twentieth century. But perhaps no author has written a novel with such raw, visceral emotion about the lifelong damage resulting from this institutionalization as Wagamese ... a story that will long haunt all readers.
PositiveBookPageLawhon’s extensive research traces Anna’s steps backward from 1970, when a Hamburg court determines that her claim is 'not proven.' In the years leading up to this moment, she is institutionalized, interviewed by Anastasia’s family and contemporaries, and romanticized in plays and movies ... Though DNA evidence has finally proven what happened to the Romanov family, Lawhon’s labyrinthine tale remains fascinating to the end.
RaveBookPage\"Girls Burn Brighter focuses an enlightening lens on contemporary headlines that often seem abstract. Readers of Rao’s vital, vibrant novel will not soon forget these two strong, driven young women.\
RaveBookPage...a beautifully crafted depiction of a cloister of nuns in early 20th-century Brooklyn as they move in and out of the lives of a young Irish widow and her daughter ... McDermott illuminates everyday scenes with such precise, unadorned descriptions that the reader feels he or she is there, hidden in the background. The agony of the sick in body or mind, the guilt over ignoring church doctrine, the power of love to erase loneliness—each is treated with McDermott’s exquisite language, tinged with her signature wit. Her latest is highly recommended—a novel to savor and to share.
RaveBooklistRatner’s descriptions of Teera’s confrontation with her past, even as she experiences, once again, the beauty of her homeland, alternate with the old man’s memories of his life in captivity with his old friend, Teera’s father. The juxtaposition is unnerving and powerful as the reader is transported from scenes of unbearable torture to glimpses of monks arriving at a temple, their saffron robes 'like a row of candle flames moving across the land.' Ratner, herself a Cambodian refugee, has penned another haunting, unforgettable novel.