*Text courtesy of NoveList Plus, LibraryThing and Goodreads*
& Sons by David Gilbert
An intricately layered novel about a famous reclusive writer andhis three sons finds their bond tested by the weight of long-held secrets and a cumbersome legacy shaped by boarding school, Hollywood and the elite circles of the publishing world.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
A first novel by a Pushcart Prize-winning writer is set in a rural village in December 2004 Chechnya, where failed doctor Akhmed harbors the traumatized 8-year-old daughter of a father abducted by Russian forces and treats a series of wounded rebels and refugees while exploring the shared past that binds him to the child.
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon
Forging an intense friendship in their senior year at Harvard, Ed, a Jewish, girl-crazy scholarship student; and Hugh, a Boston Brahmin who dedicatedly pines for the one who got away; abruptly and mysteriously go their separate ways years later and pursue very different lives that are shaped by their past bond.
A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn
While consulting at an Egyptian library, software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi is kidnapped and her talent for preserving memories becomes her only means of escape as the power of her ingenious work is revealed, while jealous sister Judith takes over Josie’s life at home.
A Guide to being Born by Ramona Aushbel
Presents a collection of new short stories that feature imaginative explorations of the human condition, including “Atria,” in which a pregnant teen believes that she will give birth to any number of strange animals.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Nao Yasutani is a Japanese schoolgirl who plans to kill herself as a way of escaping her dreary life. First, though, she intends to write in her diary the life story of her great-grandmother Jiko, a Zen Buddhist nun. But Nao actually ends up writing her own life story, and the diary eventually washes up on the shore of Canada’s Vancouver Island, where a novelist called Ruth lives-and begins to investigate how the bag traveled from Japan to her island, and why it contains what it does.
All That Is by James Salter
Returning to America after World War II, former naval officer Philip Bowman finds a position as a book editor and loses himself in a world of intimate connections and surprising triumphs until he is betrayed by the woman he loves, which sets him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.
All the Land to Hold Us by Rick Bass
Interweaving multiple narratives of the residents of Midland Texas, a lonely widower, a spinster Mormon school teacher, a one-legged treasure hunter and a local beauty with big dreams are all connected by place and human longing against a backdrop of greed, regret and redemption.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
Separated by respective ambitions after falling in love in occupied Nigeria, beautiful Ifemelu experiences triumph and defeat in America while exploring new concepts of race, while Obinze endures an undocumented status in London until the pair is reunited in their homeland 15 years later, where they face the toughest decisions of their lives.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
The best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns presents a story inspired by human love, how people take care of one another and how choices resonate through subsequent generations.
Archangel by Andrea Barrett
A twelve-year-old boy discovers the wonders of science and the natural world from motorized bicycles, to airplanes, to x-ray technology, and genetics in this collection of five stories.
Babayaga by Toby Barlow
In 1959 Paris, a CIA agent mystified by Parisian girls, a beautiful young witch, a police detective turned into a flea while investigating a murder, and a fun-loving American in way over his head find their paths crossing in unusual ways.
Benediction by Kent Haruf
A terminally ill cancer patient is attended throughout his final days by his wife and daughter while the trio contemplates their relationships with an estranged son, a situation that stirs up painful memories for a new next-door neighbor who has recently lost her mother.
Big Brother by Lionel Shiver
A couples comfortable, if sometimes strained, routine is changed with the arrival of Pandoras morbidly obese big brother, Edison. Edison interjects himself into Pandoras world and forms a bond with Pandoras stepchildren, opening doors to the past and to her parents that she would rather keep shut. Determined to keep her family together, Pandora embarks on a challenge to help her brother take control of his life.
Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant
A tale inspired by the lives of Borgia siblings Lucretia and Cesare traces the family’s rise in the aftermath of Rodrigo Borgia’s rise to the papacy, during which war, a terrifying sexual plague, and the family’s notorious reputation forge an intimate bond between brother and sister.
Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee
A collection of stories includes the tales of a student who is entangled in her professor’s shadowy past, a dinner party that marks the end of multiple marriages, and a matchmaker who is hired to find a partner for her soulmate.
Brewster by Mark Slouka
Still reeling from the death of his older brother, a sixteen-year-old track star befriends a street-fighting rebel and together they search for redemption amidst the social changes of 1968.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes, until eventually they learn there is another side to the sensational story.
Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns
When a Rhode Island nurse discovers that an infant left in her charge has been abducted, detective Woody Potter embarks on a baffling case with ties to a dead insurance investigator, a local Wiccan sect, a yoga center and a growling funeral director.
Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck
Fighting to forge an identity independent of her famous husband, Zelda Fitzgerald, committed to a Baltimore psychiatric hospital in 1932, finds a friend in nurse Anne Howard, who, drawn into the Fitzgeralds’ tumultuous lives, questions who the true genius is.
Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani
A tale set in post-revolutionary Iran follows the experiences of Neda, Omid, Sheida and other individuals from three generations of families whose political activist loved ones were murdered during the violent purges inside Tehran’s prisons.
Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown
Kidnapped by a ruthless early 19th-century woman pirate and ordered to serve exquisite Sunday dinners or forfeit his life, renowned chef Owen Wedgwood transforms meager shipboard supplies into sumptuous meals while the pirate queen pushes her exhausted crew to track down a deadly privateer.
Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III
A collection of short stories examines the lives of suburbanites seeking solace and gratification in food, sex, work, and love. Written by the author of House of Sand and Fog, and the memoir Townie.
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem
A multigenerational saga focuses on two extraordinary women, including Rose, a tyrannical Communist who terrorizes her neighborhood with her absolute beliefs, and her daughter Miriam, who embraces the counterculture of Greenwich Village.
Fools by Joan Silber
This collection of interconnected stories begins with the anarchist daughter of missionaries in Manhattan who runs away to be an activist and ends with a wealthy young adulterer in Paris who is outsmarted by the object of his desire.
Guests on Earth by Lee Smith
A young orphaned piano prodigy in 1936 is admitted to a North Carolina mental hospital under the care of a celebrated doctor and receives innovative treatment based on exercise, diet, and art therapies alongside Zelda Fitzgerald.
Harvest by Jim Crace
A stable fire in a remote English village leads to disputes between newcomers who are wrongly accused and long-term residents who refuse to believe one of their own could be responsible.
Help for the Haunted by John Searles
Struggling with the loss of her parents, who helped haunted souls find peace, Sylvie Mason pursues the mystery, moving closer to the truth of what happened that night as she comes to terms with her family’s past.
His Wife Leaves Him by Stephen Dixon
A long, intimate exploration of the interior life of a husband who has lost his wife; as achingly simple as its title: A man, Martin, thinks about the loss of his wife, Gwen. In Dixon’s hands, however, this straightforward premise becomes a work of such complexity that it no longer appears to be words on pages so much as life itself.
House Girl by Tara Conklin
A novel of love, family, and justice follows Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in a Manhattan law firm, as she searches for the “perfect plaintiff” to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.
Is this Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt
Twelve-year-old Lewis and his divorced, working mother Ava Lark move to a desirable, but inhospitable Boston suburb, where Lewis befriends two other fatherless children, but when one of them goes missing, Lewis and Ava are further ostracized.
It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris by Patricia Engel
Lita del Cielo is given a year to study in France by her Columbian-American parents, after which she is expected to return home to work for the family business. When Lita ends up falling in love with a boy in Paris she has to decide whether to stay or go back home after her year is over.
Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge by Peter Orner
A collection of short stories includes tales about a woman who is widowed before her divorce is fanalized and two brothers who play under the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick.
Let Him Go by Larry Watson
In 1951 North Dakota, years after losing her son in a horse riding accident, Margaret Blackledge seeks to retrieve her grandson from the daughter-in-law who ran off with another man but finds her efforts challenged by her reluctant husband and the boy’s stepfamily.
Lexicon by Max Barry
Recruited into an exclusive government school where students are taught the science of coercion to support a secretive organization of “poet” world manipulators, orphaned street hustler Emily Ruff becomes the school’s most talented prodigy before catastrophically falling in love, while a seemingly innocent young man is rendered a pawn in a dangerous power struggle.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Ursula Todd is born on a cold snowy night in 1910 — twice. As she grows up during the first half of the twentieth century in Britain Ursula dies and is brought back to life again and again. With a seemingly infinite number of lives it appears as though Ursula has the ability to alter the history of the world, should she so choose.
Life after Life by Jill McCorkle
The staff and residents at Fulton, North Carolina’s retirement facility, share the realities of their lives, from a prominent lawyer who feigns dementia to escape life with his son, to a woman who keeps a scrapbook of every local crime.
Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt
Presiding over her family and its legacy of masterpiece Civil War art, North Carolina society maven Jerene Jarvis Johnston takes increasingly haphazard steps to protect her grown children from their own heedlessness.
Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff
The NPR radio essayist and award-winning author of Fraud presents an edgy novel in verse that traverses the experiences of characters linked by acts of generosity or cruelty throughout major historical events of the 20th century.
Margot by Jillian Cantor
In a reimagining of the life of Anne Frank’s sister Margot, Margie Franklin, working as a secretary at a Jewish law firm in Philadelphia, finds her carefully constructed life falling apart when her sister becomes a global icon.
Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Imagines the lives of the subject of the photograph, photographer, and a college professor who finds a connection to a family legacy in the image of the iconic “Migrant Mother.”.
Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
Struggling to support her family in mid-nineteenth-century New York, writer Frances Osgood makes an unexpected connection with literary master Edgar Allan Poe and finds her survival complicated by her intense attraction to the writer and the scheming manipulations of his wife.
My Education by Susan Choi
Warned about the womanizing activities of Professor Nicholas Brodeur before her arrival at his prestigious university, graduate student Regina Gottlieb is nevertheless captured by his charisma and good looks before falling prey to his volatile wife.
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
Caring for her family on their mid-twentieth-century tobacco farm after the loss of her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy connects with Grace County social worker Jane Forrester, who strains her personal and professional relationships with her advocacy of Ivy’s family.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
When the daughter of a cult horror film director is found dead in an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, investigative journalist Scott McGrath, disbelieving the official suicide ruling, probes into the strange circumstances of the young woman’s death.
No One Could Have Guessed the Weather by Annie-Marie Casey
Forced to give up her posh life and move to a tiny Manhattan apartment when her husband loses his job, Lucy unexpectedly falls in love with her new home and forges close friendships with three women who are also struggling with the disparities between the ambitions of their youth and middle age.
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
When Charles Talent Manx, an unstoppable monster who transforms children into his own terrifying likeness, kidnaps her son, Victoria McQueen, the only person to ever escape his unmitigated evil, must engage in a life-and-death battle of wills to get her son back.
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his 13th year, a man explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Close to aging out of the foster care system, Molly Ayer takes a position helping an elderly woman named Vivian and discovers that they are more alike than different as she helps Vivian solve a mystery from her past.
Pacific by Tom Drury
A story alternating between Iowa and Los Angeles follows Joan Gower, a mother who deserted her family but wants a second chance with her son, Micah, who moves with her to L.A. and has trouble adjusting to its fast and furious life of excess.
Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Following the death of their father, both Marie and Antoinette find their lives change drastically as one girl is sent to become a ballet dancer while the other’s line of work moves her lower and lower in Parisian society.
Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
Sharing a family life in the 1930s near the legendary Palisades Amusement Park, a family of dreamers explores ambitions and cultural boundaries that are challenged by the realities of the Great Depression, multiple wars and the park’s eventual closing in 1971.
Paris was the Place by Susan Conley
A luminous emotional portrait of a young woman living abroad in Paris in the 1980s and trying to make sense of the chaotic world around her as she learns the true meaning of family.
Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch
After killing the wrong man, Coll Coyle is chased by his victim’s father, an expert and ruthless tracker bent on vengeance, from County Donegal, Ireland, to the work camps of the Pennsylvania railroad in 1832.
Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet
While a convenience-store clerk navigates the pitfalls of his father’s imprisonment and the baffling attentions of two young women, a high school freshman endures her parents’ fundamentalism and cruel classmates by joining a circle of dark misfits.
Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
When the strongest earthquake in U.S. history occurs just north of their St. Louis home, Kate and Jeremy find the disaster further complicated by Kate’s self-proclaimed-medium twin’s prediction about a more powerful earthquake, a situation that places Kate under public scrutiny and reveals her own psychic abilities.
Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon
A highly anticipated debut novel from 5 Under 35 National Book Foundation honoree featuring a Korean War refugee who emigrates to Brazil to become a tailor’s apprentice and confronts the wreckage of his past.
Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
Confined to Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage during the Great Depression, Chinese-American boy William Eng becomes convinced that a certain movie actress is actually the mother he has not seen since he was seven years old.
Sparta by Roxanna Robinson
When college graduate and Marine Conrad Farrell returns home to Katonah, New York, after four years in Iraq, and he’s found that something had gone wrong, though things should be fine: he hasn’t been shot or wounded; he’s never had psychological troubles. But as he attempts to reconnect with his family and his girlfriend and to find his footing in the civilian world, he learns how hard it is to return to the people and places he used to love.
Sweet Thunder by Ivan Doig
After inheriting a fixer-upper, newlywed Morrie Morgan returns to 1920s Butte, Montana, to fight a rival newspaper and help the miners working for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company.
Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh
A third-generation beekeeper who relates better to the constant companions in his hives than most people must come to terms with the loss of his long-time friend, Claire, who was killed during a burglary gone awry.
Ten Things I’ve Learned About Love by Sarah Butler
Drawn to dangerous world regions and unconventional careers, Alice, the black sheep of her family, rushes to say goodbye to her dying father; while Daniel, an artist suffering from synesthesia, clings to thoughts of the daughter he has never been able tofind.
Tenth of December by George Saunders
A collection of stories includes “Home,” a wryly whimsical account of a soldier’s return from war; “Victory Lap,” a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.
The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd
Unable to move on five years after the death of her young husband, Celia maintains strict boundaries with her tenants until a woman on the run from a marital betrayal compels Celia to expand her world in ways that make her more open to friendship, risk, and intimacy.
The Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon
An average mother of two working in investigation fraud gets drawn into a shady and eccentric underworld after looking into the finances of a billionaire computer geek.
The Blood of Heaven by Kent Wascom
After running away from home, Angel Woolsack, a preacher’s son, settles on the rough frontier of West Florida where he is swept up in a violent new world as would-be revolutionaries plot to break away from the young United States and create a new country under the leadership of renegade Aaron Burr.
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Catalyzed by a nephew’s thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.
The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen
Twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is haunted by memories of Tarble, the women’s college she fled from ten months earlier, and the painful love affair that pushed her to the brink of tragedy. When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate named Beth arrives on her doorstep, Ruby is plunged into a dark mystery.
The Cat by Edeet Ravel
Single mother Elise has her world destroyed when her son is killed in a car accident. But isolation proves to be impossible, and before long others insinuate themselves into her life—friends, enemies, colleagues, neighbors, a former lover—bringing with them the fragile beginnings of survival. Powerfully moving and deeply humane, The Cat is an unforgettable novel about the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit.
The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetze
After crossing oceans, a man and a boy arrive in a new land. Here they are each assigned a name and an age, and held in a camp in the desert while they learn the language of their new country. Once free to begin their new life, the search for the boys mother begins, and on the journey is an instructive one in this profound, beautiful and continually surprising novel.
The Dark Road by Ma Jian
The Chinese dissident author of Stick Out Your Tongue explores the human cost of China’s one-child policy as reflected by a rural family on the run from the state, describing how a cultural imperative to have a son prompted their decision to conceive a second child before becoming subject to cruel government practices of enforced abortion and sterilization.
The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally*
Joining the war effort as nurses in 1915, two spirited Australian sisters, carrying a guilty secret, become the friends they never were at home and find themselves courageous in the face of extreme danger as they serve alongside remarkable women during the first World War.
The Deep Whatsis by Peter Mattei
The writer of the feature film, “Love in the Time of Money,” presents a detailed exploration of the insular parts of the contemporary advertising industry in a darkly comic tale that reflects the Brooklyn-based culture of hipster consumerism, obsessive branding and corporate advertising run amok.
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Meeting at an Amsterdam restaurant for dinner, two couples move from small talk to the wrenching shared challenge of their teenage sons’ act of violence that has triggered a police investigation and revealed the extent to which each family will go to protect those they love.
The Enchanted life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley
Evelyn Roe’s life is transformed when she finds a strange being all but buried on her family’s farm, a being that soon morphs into a man named Adam, whom she falls in love with.
The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth Silver
Visited by a high-powered attorney who has initiated a clemency petition on her behalf and who is also the mother of her victim, death-row inmate Noa is slowly persuaded to share the events surrounding the murder in spite of her reluctance to reveal
the whole story or have her life extended.
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
Arriving in New York to pursue a creative career in the raucous 1970s art scene, Reno joins a group of dreamers and raconteurs before falling in love with the estranged son of an Italian motorcycle scion and succumbing to a radical social movement in 1977 Italy.
The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore
When Leona, the brilliant seamstress who taught her how to sew and offered to save her from her abusive father, passes away, single mother Emmalee Bullard, struggling to do what is right, must fight for all she holds dear.
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
When she agrees to become a ghost bride for the wealthy Lim family’s son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances, Li Lan must dive into a shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife to find the truth.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Aloneand abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend’s family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting–just the beginning in this story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the enormous power of art.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Combining elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, this stunning debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures, Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, who form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Fleeing her violent master at the side of legendary abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debate in mid-19th-century Kansas Territory, Henry pretends to be a girl to hide his identity throughout the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. By the best-selling author of The Color of Water.
The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman.
When a famous, reclusive painter asks them to sell a never-before-seen portrait, an art history professor and an eccentric young art authenticator find their task complicated when they attempt to locate the two women in the portrait, who seem to have disappeared.
The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna
Gost is surrounded by mountains and fields of wild flowers. The summer sun burns. The Croatian winter brings freezing winds. Beyond the boundaries of the town an old house which has lain empty for years is showing signs of life, as Laura and her children refinish the house with the help of Duro Kolak, the man who lives nearby alone with his dogs. But Gost is not all it seems; conflicts long past still suppurate beneath the scars.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarity
Discovering a tattered letter that says she is to open it only in the event of her husband’s death, Cecelia is unable to resist reading the letter and discovers a secret that shatters her life and the lives of two other
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Forging a powerful bond in the mid-1970s that lasts throughout subsequent decades, six individuals pursue respective challenges into their midlife years, including an aspiring actress who harbors jealousy toward friends who achieve successful creative careers.
The Last Summer of the Camperdowns by Elizabeth Kelly
Meet the well-heeled Camperdown family of Wellfleet, Massachusetts and their rivals the Devlins, as seen through the eyes of 12 year-old Riddle James Camperdown in the summer of 1972. As an old love triangle, bitter war wounds, and the struggle for status spiral out of control, Riddle can only watch, hoping for the courage to reveal the truth.
The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian
Hoping to safeguard themselves from the ravages of World War II within the walls of their ancient villa in Florence, the noble Rosatis family become prisoners in their home when eighteen-year-old Cristina’s courtship by a German lieutenant prompts the Nazis to take over the estate, a situation that leads to a serial murder investigation years later.
The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown
Twenty years after she and her best friend played a prank on a girl who subsequently disappeared, Sadie begins to relive that nightmarish summer after a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town and unsolved mysteries begin to unravel.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
A rising star in Brooklyn’s literary scene who is drawn to women in spite of commitment issues considers relationships with three women who compel him to decide what he really wants out of life.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives–Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America–until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
A bold neo-Victorian murder mystery set in a remote gold-mining frontier town in 19th-century New Zealand. In 1866, a weary Englishman lands in a gold-mining frontier town on the coast of New Zealand to make his fortune and forever leave behind his family’s shame. On arrival, he stumbles across local men who have met in secret to investigate three crimes, events in which each man finds himself implicated in some way.
The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell
In 1929, Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the maid for a prominent family in Missouri, chases down justice after her younger sister is one of forty-two people killed in a mysterious explosion at a local dance hall.
The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood
An obituary writer searching for her missing lover at the turn of the 20th century is linked to a woman considering leaving her loveless marriage in 1963 in this literary mystery from the best-selling author of The Red Thread.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Presents a modern fantasy about fear, love, magic, and sacrifice in the story of a family at the mercy of dark forces, whose only defense is the three women who live on a farm at the end of the lane.
The One-Way Bridge by Cathie Pelletier
Cathie Pelletier draws readers back to the beloved town of Mattagash, a seemingly quiet New England outpost in Maine. Yet Mattagash is anything but tranquil. While its citizens bicker publicly over small-town theft or their neighbors’ offensive mailboxes, they privately struggle through deeper life issues: scandal, loss, failed ambitions, and the scars of war.
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
Working as a typist for the NYC Police Department in 1923, Rose Baker documents confessions of harrowing crimes and struggles with changing gender roles while clinging to her Victorian ideals and searching for nurturing companionship before becoming obsessed with a glamorous newcomer and her world of bobbed hair, smoking and speakeasies.
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
Sent to a home for chronic offenders, 15-year-old foster child Anais is unable to remember the events that led to her sentencing and considers her bleak life in the hands of untrustworthy adults before discovering herself within an ad hoc family that helps her take first steps toward friendship and personal strength.
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
Joining an anthropologist’s 1950 expedition to discover a lost tribe on a remote Micronesian island, a young doctor investigates and proves a theory that the tribe’s considerable longevity is linked to a rare turtle, a finding that brings worldwide fame and unexpected consequence.
The Rathbones by Janice Clark
The fifteen-year-old heir of a once-prosperous seafaring dynasty in New England spends her days in a crumbling ancestral mansion where she studies the secrets of Greek history and navigation before embarking on a voyage that reveals her family’s haunted history.
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Traces the multi-generational saga of the Whittaker family, whose progenitor makes a fortune in the quinine trade before his daughter, a gifted botanist, researches the mysteries of evolution while falling in love with an utopian artist against a backdrop of the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.
The Silence and the Roar by Nihad Sirees
Fathi Chin, a writer whose work has been banned by the authoritarian government, gets caught in a bureaucratic labyrinth when his identification papers are taken after he attempts to help a student being beaten by police.
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Legaski
Bonaventure Arrow is so quiet he can hear everything, including flowers growing, different shades of the color blue, and the voice of his father’s spirit, with this special gift he sets out to soothe his troubled family.
The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls
Abandoned by their artist mother at the age of 12, Bean and her older sister, Liz, are sent to live in the decaying antebellum mansion of their widowed uncle, where they learn the truth about their parents and take odd jobs to earn extra money before an increasingly withdrawn Liz has a life-shattering experience.
The Son by Phillip Meyer
A sweeping and lyrical epic of the American West and a multigenerational saga of power, blood, land, and oil. Follows the rise of one Texas family, the McCoulloughs, from independence from Mexico in 1836, to the Comanche raids of the mid-1800s and onward to the to the oil booms of the 20th century.
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
A young lawyer reflects on the mid-twentieth-century uprising between Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel and government forces that trapped Pablo’s community in a nightmarish existence and culminated in a friend’s murder.
The Translator by Nina Schuyler
When an accident leaves translator Hanne Schubert without the ability to speak her native language she heads to Japan to fight demons from her past and her present after a Japanese novelist accuses her of sabotaging his work.
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma
Haunted by the successes of a long-time rival and unable to let go of his love for a woman who got away, an aspiring writer, determined to discover and tell the truth about the trio’s falling out, struggles to untangle a complicated web of lies.
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Violet Minturn, a half-Chinese/half-American courtesan who deals in seduction and illusion in Shanghai, struggles to find her place in the world, while her mother, Lucia, tries to make sense of the choices she has made and the men who have shaped her.
The View From Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman
Two newly-single sisters, one by a divorce, the other by a death, become roommates with a handsome, gay cupcake-baker as they try to return to the dating world of lower Manhattan.
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
Relegated to the status of schoolteacher and friendly neighbor after abandoning her dreams of becoming an artist, Nora advocates on behalf of a charismatic Lebanese student and is drawn into the child’s family until his artist mother’s careless ambition leads to a shattering betrayal.
The Woman Who Lost her Soul by Bob Shacochis
During the late 1990s, humanitarian lawyer Tom Harrington travels to Haiti to investigate the murder of a beautiful and seductive photojournalist named Jackie Scott during a time of brutal guerrilla warfare and civilian kidnappings.
Tomorrow There Will be Apricots by Jessica Soffer
Two women, one a daughter about to be sent off to boarding school, and the other, a widowed immigrant dealing with loss, find comfort and friendship connected by their love of food when they become friends in a Manhattan cooking class.
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
A tale spanning 150 years and two continents reimagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass, Senator George Mitchell and World War I airmen John Alcock and Teddy Brown through the experiences of four generations of women from a matriarchal clan.
Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda
When a late night adventure on the bay takes a tragic turn, resulting in the disappearance of her best friend, Val, who was washed ashore semi-conscious, is left to deal with the aftermath in their blue-collar neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Wash by Margaret Wrinkle
When a troubled Revolutionary War veteran requires his slave, Washington, to become a breeding sire, an ensuing power struggle and Washington’s resolve to stay faithful to his West African spiritual legacy lead to a loving relationship with an enslaved healer woman who imparts her own experiences and inspires Washington to forge a new understanding of his heritage.
We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Coming of age in middle America, 18-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.
We are Water by Wally Lamb
Anna Oh, a middle-age wife, mother and artist, divorces her husband after 27 years of marriage to marry Vivica, the Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success.
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
Follows ten-year-old Zimbabwe native, Darling, as she escapes the closed schools and paramilitary police control of her homeland in search of opportunity and freedom with an aunt in America.
Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
Fleeing her strict grandmother’s home in 1963 Mississippi, 9-year-old Starla Claudelle becomes an unlikely companion to an African-American woman at whose side she learns harsh lessons about period segregation and family.
White Dog Fell from the Sky by Eleanor Morse
An intimate portrait of 1970s Botswana is told through the intertwined stories of three people including a medical student who is forced to flee apartheid South Africa after witnessing a murder and an American Ph.D. student who abandons her studies to follow her husband to Africa.
Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anthony DiSclafani
Exiled to an equestrienne boarding school in the South at the height of the Great Depression for her mysterious role in a family tragedy, strong-willed teen Thea Atwell grapples with painful memories while acclimating to the school’s strict environment.
You Are One of Them by Elliot Holt
A first novel by a Pushcart Prize-winning writer traces the friendship between all-American girl Jenny and Sarah, the shy daughter of troubled parents, during the height of the Cold War, a bond that is nearly shattered by Jenny’s unexpected fame and plane crash death that Sarah learns a decade later might have been a hoax.
Z: A Novel of Zelda by Therese Ann Fowler
A tale inspired by the marriage of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald follows their union in defiance of her father’s opposition and her scandalous transformation into a Jazz Age celebrity in the literary party scenes of New York, Paris, and the French Riviera.