RaveBooklistHarding...creates powerful character studies, reflects on societal expectations from a variety of viewpoints, and ramps up unmanageable chaos in a tale that is unforgettable on many levels. The small cast allows the author to present thoughtful interior monologues as each character considers their actions and responses and makes adjustments before the next event comes along and rearranges our understanding of everything. Readers ready for a roller coaster ride of guilty admissions peppered with red herrings and actual clues pertaining to the crimes committed will read straight to the end. A great choice for fans of Celeste Ng, Gillian Flynn, and Liane Moriarty.
Sofía Segovia trans. by Simon Bruni
RaveBooklist[R]eaders will quickly bond with the families and secondary characters, as Segovia, author of the acclaimed The Murmur of Bees (2019), makes each individual memorable. The variety of background stories and voices allows for greater understanding of shared experiences and creates deeper emotional engagement ... Based on actual events and expertly translated to retain the author’s nuanced dialogue and inner reflections, Segovia’s novel provides the domestic perspective of those caught in conflicts they have no power to change. Book groups and individual readers will find plenty to appreciate and discuss.
Caterina Bonvicini, Trans. by Antony Shugaar
RaveBooklistIn a novel focused on dark, messy relationships, acclaimed Italian writer Bonvicini creates satisfying characters who are charming, short-sighted, selfish, and loving ... Her rendering of the politics and social structure of Italy from 1975 to 2013 have a nuanced authority, and the blend of the personal and political feels authentic and adds depth and significance to the story ... Readers will appreciate the star-crossed pain Bonvicini delivers from start to finish.
PositiveBooklistThis is not only a daughter’s memoir about the realities of her mother’s life, but also a work of history about an inhumane system and a reminder to always consider the pain others may be hiding. Readers will find it hard not to flinch over the fraught lives of Dorothy and her family, but this thoughtful account creates a context for compassion.
RaveBooklistThis is a wondrous mix of memoir and biography as Cohen provides detailed portraits of Austen, her family, and their world and analyzes how this context inspired Austen’s indelible novels. This is a book not to be hurried through but consumed in small portions and pondered over as it sparks introspection. The deep knowledge of and respect for Austen’s novels will equally impress Austenites and readers less versed in her works, and all will appreciate the information found in Cohen’s notes and bibliography. As readers absorb these pages, personal notes will be made and quotes shared.
PositiveBooklistHamill’s honesty in questioning past choices and their consequences as well as his slow realization that he’s gay will emotionally engage readers as, telling unvarnished truths about his family, he provides a unique look into a world unknown to most of us. Recommend this memoir to fans of Wild Game (2019) by Adrienne Brodeur and A Forever Family (2018) by Rob Scheer.
RaveBooklistJust like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships, all largely set within and reflecting the often intrusive atmosphere of a small country community. Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending, while devoted Austen fans will pore over these pages, savoring the deeper connections between the lives of Jenner’s postwar characters and of Austen’s creations. The pleasures are many in this clever tribute to the beloved and endlessly influential Austen and the English village tale.
MixedLibrary JournalReaders looking for a strong atmospheric setting in the gothic style will be drawn in by this psychological thriller. Less satisfying are the interesting if underdeveloped characters.
PositiveBooklistUnafraid of a challenge, Whitaker founded her own path to sobriety, and it may offer inspiration to others in need of guidance or permission to find their own paths, too ... Whitaker presents thought-provoking facts about the effects of alcohol that most readers will be unaware which, once learned, should be cause for serious reflection, including the scientific consensus that drinking alcohol can cause certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. Whitaker is the founder of the alternative treatment program Tempest.
PositiveBooklist... timely, yet not political ... Ahmad’s thoughtfully built anthology covers the span of 300 years and 30 countries, and readers will find satisfaction whether they read it section by section, or by randomly choosing selections as the mood strikes. Ahmad’s introduction explains the concepts and reasons behind the structure of the book, information about the authors is also provided, as well as lots of suggestions for further reading and viewing.
PositiveBooklistIn her witty and charming style, Lutz...offers a genre-busting work of fiction that will satisfy readers looking for a seriously engaging read. The story itself is disturbingly plausible, and the humanly flawed characters make choices, good and bad, based on their backgrounds, all blending smoothly into a darkly comedic mystery ... As tangled as the truth often is, this novel keeps readers on the edge of their seats while opening a conversation about public shaming, economic privilege, gender inequity, and revenge versus justice.
Maylis De Kerangal Trans. by Sam Taylor
RaveBooklist\"Kerangal’s concise tale is as engaging for the relatable ordinariness of its characters and events as for its tracking of a chef’s professional development. The sparse prose increases the impact of carefully chosen details, and the translation retains the power of the compact novel’s original French. Kerangal proves that the best reads can come in small packages.\
RaveLibrary JournalReaders should expect to give up weekend plans once they start this novel. Using fictional characters in a story based on real-life efforts to find Nazi fugitives provides a new historical viewpoint. Quinn builds her characters through small details, allowing readers to develop opinions on who’s being honest and what their next action might be. The weaving of separate threads into a cohesive, satisfying end is subtle and skillful ... A great choice for historical fiction fans, particularly of World War II–set novels, mystery readers, or anyone seeking well-crafted stories in which good triumphs over evil.
Mathias Enard, Trans. by Charlotte Mandell
PositiveLibrary JournalAll the characters are genuinely likable and relatable, especially in their flaws ... A snappy writing style and changing viewpoints make the pages of this debut fly by as readers will want to know what happens next.
PositiveBooklist OnlineKate Matthews recently moved to London and found a job with a small newspaper in the Brixton district...Working with 86-year-old Rosemary Peterson, longtime lido member and instigator of the resistance, Kate finds professional recognition and a real friend ... Populated with...multidimensional characters covering a wide span of ages and backgrounds, Page’s debut novel makes it easy for readers to imagine themselves in the mix. The bond that grows between Kate and Rosemary feels natural and draws attention to how isolated individuals are becoming. A smart suggestion for book clubs and readers who enjoy substance with style.