Andrei, a struggling academic, moves to Moscow to take care of his 90-year old grandmother. She’s suffering from dementia and Andrei is having trouble reconciling his own memories of Moscow with the contemporary kleptocracy. Slowly, Andrei draws closer to his grandmother and discovers that there are some wonderful people in the terrible country.
Vale returns home from New Orleans to search for her mother after Hurricane Irene has swept her away. We get the stories of three generation of Vermont women as the novel fill us in on how we came to the moment that Vale's mother was wandering alone in the streets when the hurricane hit. I loved how MacArthur weaves music into almost every scene giving the book an emotional soundtrack.
This powerful depiction of the life of a woman born into slavery who lives to see the Civil Rights movement is a remarkable feat in storytelling. Miss Jane Pittman survives the depredations of violent Rebel soldiers, white supremacists and plantation owners to become a beacon for her community as they fight against segregation. Through it all, she knows her own mind and refuses to live in fear.
A chorus of voices tells the story of a dying New England town in this expertly crafted novel. A billionaire who moved to town after the 9/11 attacks has taken over as mayor. He abolishes all taxes, finances the tiny government himself, but the motives of his benevolence come under scrutiny by the town's conspiracy theorist. The story illuminates the struggles of America that are playing out in our public life.
Improvement is a wide ranging novel told in stories that connects disparate people through time and place to one tragic accident. Kiki, a free-spirited young adult of the 1970s turned wised woman, is the novel's lodestar. Silber masterfully pulls together the threads of lives in places as remote as rural Turkey and as common as New York City like a finely made Persian rug.
In this deeply emotional and sensual novel, Pritchett reminds us that even in dark moments there are sparks of joy and renewal. Each character gets their own chapter, and together their stories form a tapestry of a community blessed with love and humanity. Pritchett’s book will let you forget the turmoil in the world around us, and luxuriate in what it means to be simply and beautifully human.
Percival Everett gives us the story of Kevin Pace, an artist working on a giant secret canvas, during three key times in his life: his adventures in El Salvador in 1979, an affair he had in France, and dealing with his pregnant daughter and secret painting in the present time. Everett develops each of these stories and for the most part lets the reader's draw their own conclusions of how they fit together. This is one of the finest novels written by a true American master.
This is the perfect novel for the Downton Abbey crowd. A servant from one household has a fling with the heir of the neighboring house. The action of this novel mostly takes place on one day in 1924 England. It’s the day before the heir is to marry and the illicit lovers treat each other with tenderness as they try not to say the words good bye.
These short stories take place in Northern New Mexico and show us communities that are struggling with their traditional religions and the modern world. In one a pregnant girl is the receptionist for the Catholic Church in another tale a town recreates the passion and the man playing Jesus decides that he is willing to suffer as much as Jesus did. Quade writes with great compassion and drama.
Duffy rewrites history, mythology and fairytales with women as the focal point in this remarkably diverse collection of poems. Whether Shakespeare’s wife is using a sonnet to get her story told or Darwin’s wife is skewering him with a rhyming couplet, you can be assured that Duffy’s nimble style will amaze and amuse you.