RaveUSA Today...a mesmerizing new look at the aftermath of the war ... Survivors do what they must to carry on, but all three women are haunted by the choices they made during the war. Shattuck was inspired to write the book by her shame over her German heritage, and the wartime era’s links to contemporary political issues. Her book answers the question 'How do good people become Nazis?' with insight and empathy. The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras.
The NightingaleKristin Hannah
RaveUSA TodayThe enduring toll of the loss of a parent. Family estrangement. Sisterhood. And the difficult choices life hands us ... Best-selling author Kristin Hannah (Fly Away) transports her favorite themes to World War II as the Nazis penetrate the Maginot Line and invade France ... Hannah's story becomes a tale of two sisters, set largely in the worst of times. Antoine gone to battle, Viann survives the German occupation in a dangerous dance with a handsome, empathetic Nazi who occupies her house ...a heart-pounding story, based on a real Belgian woman who did what Isabelle did. Hannah's book is most searing as the horrors of war ratchet upward... The novel's soaring finale proves that love conquers even Nazis.
We Are WaterWally Lamb
RaveUSA TodayLamb skillfully mines the darting, banal, petty, random and innermost thoughts of artist Annie Oh, her ex-husband Orion, their children and a few secondary characters. He also gets inside the head of a child molester, to squirming effect – it's not a head you really want to inhabit … The Ohs are complicated and compelling figures. Annie thinks she is protecting her family by not revealing the pain of her past, but hidden truths only beget more secrets and sorrow … Art's power to provoke is a theme that wends its way through We Are Water.
The Husband's SecretLiane Moriarty
RaveUSA TodayAll husbands – and wives – have secrets, but John-Paul Fitzpatrick's is devastating … Moriarty's pulsing pace and engaging characters make it well worth the wait to find out John-Paul's secret. She avoids an unfortunate trend in women's fiction to make men bad guys or doofuses. The men in The Husband's Secret are fully realized, thoughtful and caring, as flawed and faithful as the women who love them … Moriarty presents a nuanced and moving portrait of the meaning of love, both marital and familial, and how life can hinge on a misunderstanding or a decision made in haste.
I Almost Forgot About YouTerry McMillan
PanUSA TodayEverybody wants a happy ending and Georgia’s happy ever after is so ridiculously romantic that it feels churlish to criticize other aspects of this novel. But there are things about Georgia that are downright unpleasant...A longtime, charming patient dies, and that news is telegraphed with a sad-face emoticon. Has it come to this, that an author who can write with such warmth and understanding succumbs to the cheapness of the emoji? McMillan’s fans deserve better...Cheers to McMillan for writing about the possibility of late-life reinvention. But I Almost Forgot is pretty forgettable.
PositiveUSA TodayThis is not an easy novel to read, but Affinity Konar’s evocative storytelling, fierce characters and haunting prose make Mischling equally hard to put down ... Pearl and Stacha are enduring, endearing characters that readers of their saga won’t be able to forget.
The Good People
RaveUSA TodayAdd Kent to the list of terrific Australian novelists writing today. While Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) mines modern marriage and mores for her page-turning mysteries, Kent (Burial Rites) goes back in time to find reality-based stories of women who pay the price for challenging society’s expectations. The Good People has great characters, a setting that seeps into your bones and the always compelling tug between the spiritual and the superstitious.
The SleepwalkerChris Bohjalian
RaveUSA TodayChris Bohjalian is at the full power of his literary legerdemain in his newest book, The Sleepwalker ... Bohjalian teases and tantalizes the reader, alternating chapters with diary entries from a sleepsexer. But whose diary is it? ... The Sleepwalker is Bohjalian at his best: a creepily compelling topic and an illusionist’s skill at tightening the tension. This is a novel worth losing sleep over.
Fear of DyingErica Jong
PanUSA TodayIn Flying as in Dying, sex without connection is not the answer. Jong’s passages about the humor and heartbreak of growing older are knowing, soul-bearing, moving and funny ... The book also takes some ill-advised turns, and here, Dying is just dying for a stronger editor’s hand. Isadora sends Vanessa a spacey sci-fi missive via email that inexplicably gets snapped up by Hollywood. Vanessa gets her groove back on a spiritual retreat to holy caves in India. If you are intrigued by this sometimes maddening journey, by all means, overcome your fears.
Jane SteeleJane Steele
PositiveUSA TodayFaye’s first novel, Dust and Shadow, featured a match of wits between Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper; clearly, she has a way with serial killers. The literary love match that is Jane Steele has already been optioned for a movie. Devour this book, reader, and join me in line at the multiplex.
Miller's ValleyAnna Quindlen
RaveUSA Today...a breathtakingly moving look at a family and a community coming to terms with life and loss from the 1960s to today...Looking back decades after Miller’s Valley has disappeared to the dam’s waters, Mimi holds fast to the memories of the life she once longed to escape. Readers will find Miller’s Valley equally hard to forget.
I'll Take You ThereWally Lamb
PanUSA TodayI’ll Take You There has a hokey plot and a setup that should carry a warning label: Baby boomer nostalgia alert ... this book is overstuffed with clichéd characters who can’t compare with the heroine of his stunning first novel ... not one of Lamb’s more memorable journeys.
The Rules of Magic
RaveUSA Today...an enchanting prequel ... The magic in these endearing witches is in their everydayness. They cope with high-school mean girls, apply to college, play music and oh yes, can hear each other’s thoughts, move furniture with their minds and are unable to sink in water. Like every human being, the witches are doomed to lose the ones they love most. This is the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last 40 pages, savoring your final moments with the characters. Hoffman has conjured up another irresistible novel in The Rules of Magic.