Fiction

I was drawn to this novel by its premise…a little boy who repeats a tale of such confusion and chaos that those around him are unsure of whether to suspect abuse or an early diagnosis of childhood schizophrenia.  Yet as the novel continues, we understand that the boy is in fact remembering—trying desperately to understand his present day life, with the life that he had before.  Interweaving actual documentation of reincarnation by children who seem to be able to report data and substantiated facts of the life they lived before, Guskin weaves together a wonderful tale that is at once a murder-mystery, a depiction of love and loss, and an active questioning of the clarity between past and present. The topics that are touched in this novel are fodder for Bookgroups, and while this is a page-turner, it is also a literary debut that brings to front the scope of just how much we do not know. - S.M.C.

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The Forgetting Time Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250118714
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - February 7th, 2017

At seventeen, in medieval England, Sarah makes the ultimate commitment as a woman of God: she is voluntarily enclosed in a cell for the rest of her life, the door nailed shut, to pray and be kept pure for Christ. Yet memories haunt her—the childbirth-related deaths of her mother and younger sister, the bones of the cell’s previous anchoress buried under her—and her grip on reality loosens. Slowly we discover that the reasons for her denunciation of earthly world are more complex than a desire to be close to God. - Julia

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The Anchoress Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250094674
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Published: Picador USA - June 14th, 2016

Louise Erdrich first published this title as The Antelope Wife in 1998, but on a road trip she was hit with an understanding that she had to go back to the novel, and rewrite it: one of her protagonists was demanding a different perspective. The result is this new shape-shift of a novel, published in 2016, and now titled Antelope Woman. Weaving in and out between present day and history, as well as the urban city versus the remote reservation, Erdrich tells the story of Klaus Shawano who abducts Sweetheart Calico, an Ojibwe woman who is as alluring as she is mysterious. As the story continues, we see how this one act is actually a culmination of history in the making, as unbeknownst to Klaus, his family as long been intertwined with that of Sweetheart’s. Erdrich writes in her foreword to this rewritten novel that Sweetheart is her “wise wildness”—and oh how the novel captures that. A completely mesmerizing tale of the collision between love and obsession, mothers and daughters, white and indigenous, past and present, magic and reality, and humor and tragedy, bookgroups will be stunned by how one seemingly haphazard act reveals itself to be a beautiful tale of interconnection and history. - S.M.C.

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Antelope Woman Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062375285
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Published: Harper Perennial - November 29th, 2016

“You were warned.” The words uttered to stoic timber baron Pemberton before he’s introduced to seductive, brilliant Serena invoke no apprehension. He immediately brings her home as his business partner and wife. Both feel they’ve met their match—until Serena’s ambition and thirst for power obliterate more than just their forests’ hardwoods. Spellbinding and atmospheric, this novel pulls us into the 1930s North Carolina logging industry and into a blinding love that questions where devotion ends and obsession begins. - Julia

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Serena Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061470844
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Published: Ecco Press - September 29th, 2009

The Gloaming is a dreamy, dark book about a woman escaping the fallout of a tragic accident she doesn’t fully remember, and the abandonment of her husband, by hopping a plane to Africa. With powerful prose that evokes disturbance and uncertainty, the novel is divided effectively into two sections: the first told from the perspective of beautiful Pilgrim Jones, and the second from the various characters who encounter her. Some view her with conviction and envy, others with desire. With undertones of women’s vulnerability/strength and the ways in which they are preyed upon, the sense of place, and of being out of place, are also strong. Finn's writing has all the hallucinatory pleasures of Paul Bowles, with that language and story so clear yet unsettlingly veiled.

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The Gloaming Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512477
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Published: Two Dollar Radio - September 20th, 2016

For those looking for a book that is deeper, richer than your average summer read, this is the book for you. Set on the eve of World War I, the story centers around a fascinating cast of characters in a small coastal town that will worm their way into your heart. It’s a novel about transitions, showing the slow build from carefree innocence to the whirlwind of devastation that is war. It’s about love, loss and the ways our lives defined but also forged and refined by what we endure. - Jax

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The Summer Before the War Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812983203
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Published: Random House Trade - February 21st, 2017

I picked this up thinking to escape the world I find myself living in, and while the French countryside and German villages are beautifully rendered, this was no easy escape. Werner’s struggles with being complicit in the madness and cruelty surrounding him ring painfully true, and Marie-Laure’s fight for survival is anything but restful. - Jax

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All the Light We Cannot See Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476746586
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Published: Scribner Book Company - May 6th, 2014

What I love most about this haunting and beautiful fairytale from Ivey is the way she evokes the wilderness as her setting. Alaska, in all its harsh and terrible beautiful, is as much a character as the elderly couple struggling to survive and the young girl who appears seemingly by magic into their lives. I lost myself in this story, in the best possible way. - Jax

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The Snow Child Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316175661
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Published: Reagan Arthur Books - November 6th, 2012

Confession: reading To Kill a Mockingbird as an adult I was…not impressed. However, I adored this book. While Mockingbird lives safely in childhood, relying on heroes older & wiser, Watchman is harsher, calling present adults to account. This is a rawer book – more honest, with a greater message for those waiting for an Atticus today. - Jocelyn

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Go Set a Watchman Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062409867
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Published: Harper Perennial - May 3rd, 2016

Kundera is one of the great writers of the last half of the 20th century and this, in my opinion, is his masterpiece. His pitch-perfect evocation of the artistic and intellectual life in Czechoslovakia following the Prague Spring, and the story of his very human (i.e. flawed) quartet of main characters, will nourish your mind and break your heart. - Rico

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060932138
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Published: Harper Perennial - July 5th, 2005

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