Sep 05, 2013
As summer winds down, here's the third of three guides (see also Part 1: Novels You Can't Put Down and Part 2: Gripping Nonfiction) to the most talked about books of the summer. Revisit the writing of your favorite authors with these new novels!
New Novels from Well-Known and Beloved Authors
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.
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan - The story of four couples linked over several decades by one diamond ring, and the woman who launched the most famous diamond campaign in the world.
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.
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer - The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents become and the shapes their lives take.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
Flora by Gail Godwin - Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen's decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of World War II. Their relationship and its fallout, played against a backdrop of a lost America will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler - Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-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.
The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman - Two newly-single sisters, one a divorceé, the other a widow, become roommates with a handsome, gay cupcake-baker as they try to return to the dating world of lower Manhattan.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - Presents a story inspired by human love, how people take care of one another, and how choices resonate through subsequent generations. Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything.
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver - When her massively overweight brother, a once slim, hip New York Jazz pianist, comes for a visit, Pandora is forced to choose between her exercise fanatic husband and her brother, who desperately needs her support in losing weight.
The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls - Two motherless sisters--Bean and Liz--are shuttled to Virginia, where their Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that's been in their family for generations. When school starts in the fall, Bean easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz becomes increasingly withdrawn. Then something happens to Liz and Bean is left to challenge the injustice of the adult world.
Happy end-of-summer reading!