Aug 22, 2013
As summer winds down, here's the first of three guides to the most talked about books of the summer (in case you missed them while out enjoying the beautiful weather!) Get ready for fall with these great reads! (See also Part 2: Gripping Nonfiction and Part 3: New Novels by Beloved Authors.)
Novels You Can't Put Down
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Hamilton - Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can't be made, and promises that won't be kept.
The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver - Noa P. Singleton sits on death row in a maximum security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date. She is visited by a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is a heartbroken mother of the victim and now wants to see the death penalty delayed--if only Noa reveals her motive.
& Sons by David Gilbert - A famous reclusive writer and his three sons find 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.
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.
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight - Single mother Kate thinks her overachieving daughter has committed suicide by jumping to her death at school--until she gets a text reading "She didn't jump." Now she must piece together Amelia's hidden life and secrets to discover what really happened.
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.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon - It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son's relationship with an American girl.
The Returned by Jason Mott - Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time.... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep--flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.
Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter - When the story opens on May 11, 2011, Saras son, Jason, has been missing for nine days from a Special Operations Forces mission on the same night as the Bin Laden raid. At the end Sara will find herself on an unexpected journey full of surprise.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected.
You Are One of Them by Elliot Holt - Sarah Zuckerman and Jennifer Jones are best friends in an upscale part of Washington, D.C., in the politically charged 1980s. With Cold War rhetoric reaching a fever pitch in 1982, the ten-year-old girls write letters to Soviet premier Yuri Andropov asking for peace. But only Jenny's letter receives a response, and Sarah is left behind when her friend accepts the Kremlin's invitation to visit the USSR and becomes an international media sensation.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani - Exiled to an equestrian boarding school in the South at the height of the Great Depression for her role in a family tragedy, strong-willed teen Thea Atwell grapples with painful memories while acclimating to the school's strict environment.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl - On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley's life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova--a man who hasn't been seen in public for more than thirty years.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline - Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to 'aging out' out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life--answers that will ultimately free them both.
Coming Soon! End of Summer Reads, Part 2: Gripping Nonfiction!