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Fiction Recommendations

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Harry Potter meets Aimee Bender, set in the early 20th century: That’s the best way I can think to describe this dazzling novel. I can also tell you that it’s about magic (real magic), a very strange circus, and star-crossed lovers, and that I honestly think you could buy this book for just about any reader and get them hooked. The buzz for this book has been building since spring, and for very good reason. Rejoice! It’s finally here.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Night Circus Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385534635
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Doubleday - September 13th, 2011

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons) has a written a novel that is a break from his usual style. Known for his literary epics that span decades, this new novel, set in North Carolina in the 1960s, is more taut and intimate, but still insightful and lyrical. We meet Luce, a solitary but strong young woman who has retreated to the mountains after life in her small town threatened to break her spirit. When she is handed the task of raising her sister’s orphaned (and near feral) children, Luce must crack open her solitary life, with startling and profound results. Part mystery, part love story, this novel is a page-turner that has surprising depth. The characters and setting of this book help make this a wonderful read.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Nightwoods: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781400067091
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Random House - September 27th, 2011

Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea

Mystical and lyrical, Urrea’s writing is astonishingly captivating. In his highly anticipated new book, Urrea’s heroine from The Hummingbirds Daughter navigates early 20th-century America, searching for a purpose she can live with and a love that will not destroy her. It’s a beautiful novel that feels intense and personal while at once mythically grand. It would be satisfying without having read the first book, and is similar in feeling to Gabriel García Márquez. —Nici

Reviewed by: 
Nici
Queen of America: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780316154864
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - November 28th, 2011

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides is the kind of author who inspires cult-like devotion, and it’s no wonder—his fiction is simply exquisite. It’s been almost 10 years since the publication of Middlesex, and his new novel is well worth the wait. It follows a love triangle between three students, beginning the day of their graduation and following them into years of post-college awakening, disappointment, and growth. I loved the entire book, especially the ending, which I don’t dare spoil here. —Kat

Reviewed by: 
Kat
The Marriage Plot: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374203054
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 11th, 2011

Child in Time by Ian McEwan

Before Atonement, Ian McEwan had already made a name for himself with the publication of one of his earliest novels. Child in Time actually won the Whitbread Award after its release in the late 1980’s. I’m giving you the time frame about when McEwan wrote this book because I want to emphasize that he wrote it long was before the topic of missing children had become a trend. So it is with extraordinary tenderness and insight, that Ian McEwan takes us into the dark territory of a marriage devastated by the loss of a child. What makes this book stand out is the way that time is distilled and such a hard subject is somehow approached with eloquence and intention rather than thrill and shock value. Ultimately this is a love story built on hope and truth and surrender.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
The Child in Time Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385497527
Availability: Backordered
Published: Anchor - November 2nd, 1999

An Accident in August by Laurence Cosse

Laurence Cosse, well known for her Europa hit A Novel Bookstore, has written what could be called a thriller, if you're so inclined. The protagonist, Louise, is a young French woman who is sideswiped by a car on her way home from work. Terrified, she flees, and the next morning, she and the rest of the world learn the identity of one of the crash victims: Princess Diana. Cosse's skillful narration turns what we now think of as tabloid fodder and ancient history back into the present moment—she recalls the shock and grief of many after that fateful accident, and uses it as a backdrop to Louise's mounting fear that she will be apprehended.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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An Accident in August: A Novel Cover Image
By Laurence CossÉ, Alison Anderson (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9781609450496
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Europa Editions - August 30th, 2011

Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

Man Booker Prize finalist Sebastian Barry has written a novel that lends itself to an open dialogue about memory and history. Set in County Sligo, Ireland, Barry tells the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Roseanne is nearing her 100th year and is living in a residential hospital. When one of the doctors begins to interview Rose, he finds himself immersed in the Irish conflict in its immediacy as Rose’s aging memory seems to bring the past to the present moment. The story that unfolds is mesmerizing and elegant and begs to question the vision that is it possible restore with language that which has been taken away by history? This is a wonderful read.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
The Secret Scripture: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143115694
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Books - April 28th, 2009

The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville

For fans of Easter Island, this is your next read. Based on a true story, Kate Grenville tells the story of Daniel Rooke, an astronomer/navy lieutenant who is sent to the newly discovered New South Wales as part of the British colonial movement in1788. With the picturesque wilds of old Australia as its backdrop, Grenville brings to life the complications and excitement of what it must have been like to be living in unmapped territory. We watch as Rooke, always somewhat of a loner, finds himself surrounded in sudden intimacy when he is accepted and trusted by the local aborigines. In the same way he carefully notes and studies the constellations, Rooke begins to learn the culture and dialect of his new friends, taking time to record and set down his new linguistic findings. Using the original journal entries of Daniel Rooke, and the knowledge of what happens next in his life, Grenville depicts the startling decision that Rooke makes when he is asked to serve in a colonial duty that he can no longer agree with. This is one of the most beautifully written tales I have read that speaks to how language is not made up of words and letters but relationship and meaning, and it brings to light the beauty that can be shared if we hold one another as equals rather than foreigners in a great world.

The Lieutenant Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780802145031
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Grove Press - September 14th, 2010

19th Wife by David Ebershoff

This incredible novel is part murder mystery, part historical fiction, and part coming-of-age story. The protagonist is a young, gay exile from a fundamentalist polygamist compound, who has been living as a runaway for years. News of his father’s murder (and his mother’s arrest for said murder) brings him back to the home he thought he’d never see again in an attempt to clear her name. Twined with this contemporary narrative is a historical fictionalization of Brigham Young’s journey across America, his adoption of polygamy, and the rebellion of his young 19th wife. There’s a lot going on in this book, and Ebershoff makes it work. A seriously impressive novel.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The 19th Wife: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812974157
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 2nd, 2009

The Lovers by Vendela Vida

Vendela’ Vida’s The Lovers is one of those titles that lingers long after its read. The plot follows Yvonne, a middle-aged woman, suddenly widowed as she journeys to Turkey to revisit the place of her honeymoon—she is conflicted in her need to both escape but also dive into the grief around her husband’s death. In taut and seemingly spare language, Vida brings us hauntingly close to Yvonne’s world, where suddenly everything is no longer what it was. When Yvonne befriends a young boy on her travels, the loss of her husband breaks through, and what happens next left me with my heart pounding. This is a tale that beckons us to wonder if escape is possible in a world where human relationships rest in connection, love, and letting go.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
The Lovers: A Novel Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780060828400
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Ecco - June 28th, 2011

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