In 1897 Elspeth, a midwife, returns to her homestead to find her family murdered and is accidentally shot by her sole surviving son, 12 year old Caleb. Elspeth is nursed back to health by Caleb and leaves with him to track down the killers. With a sense of time, place, and mystery reminiscent of A Reliable Wife, we soon learn the long-held secrets that formed their family and how these secrets may have contributed to the murder. Told in the alternating voices of Caleb and Elspeth, this debut pulls together the deep meanings of motherhood, adolescence, and the brutality of western frontier life.
This short memoir is a fascinating read, covering the subtle evolution of the author as he immerses himself in the rugged life of a Montana ranch hand. Peppered with interesting detail about the daily and sometimes mundane tasks on the ranch, you get a real sense of the work with a mix of isolation and camaraderie. It’s not the story of a young man trying to find himself, but rather a young man growing more into himself. But the real story is in the growing relationship between the author, the work, the land, the weather, the cattle, and the wolves.
A great choice for fans of Gone Girl. I read it in 1 sitting.
The best novel of 2013! Told throughout a decade in war-torn Chechnya it follows 3 main characters--an incompetent doctor with the soul of an artist, a surgeon hardened by the reality of war and an 8-year old girl forced to endure too much. A BRILLIANT first novel!
This book reminded me of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. It's a beautiful first novel.
Alice Hoffman's finest book (and that is coming from a HUGE fan.) A mesmerizing tale from the perspectives of 4 women forced together at the Roman defeat of the Jews at Masada. Magical, as always, but in a historical setting the magic weaves a deeper, richer tale.
My favorite debut novel in years!
This smart & engrossing debut by a McSweeney's award winner is a story about the stories we tell ourselves. 16 year old Nora disappears from her upscale community one Halloween and a group of boys who knew her spend their lives haunted and affected by what may have happened to her. Reminded me of The Virgin Suicides.
Norman, a true master, once again brings his beautiful, spare writing to a morally complex story. Wyatt Hilyer's parents both commit suicide after learning they are in love with the same woman. This sends Wyatt to live with his aunt, uncle, and adopted cousin Tilda. So begins his tale of love, sorrow, and sacrifice all against the backdrop of World War II.
Super cute! A bird opens a school for his new friend Rocket and sparks his interest in "the wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet." Rocket practices with spelling and reading all winter and when the bird returns in the spring, Rocket can read! My kids love spelling along with the practice words and putting letters together for fun words like "grrrrrr".
Recovering from imprisonment in Pinochet's Chile for teaching political poetry, Bernardo meets Michela, herself a survivor of tragedy. BUT--wait, this is an amazing, beautiful book about the human experience and the resilience of the human heart. This is the first book of the acclaimed Copenhagen Quartet to be published in the United States. My favorite book so far this year.
This family has the same joys, desires, and problems as your own--they just have 4 wives and 28 children. A wonderfully crafted story of the family with a little dark comedy. The chapters narrated by the 12 year old boy are heartbreaking and touching. I couldn't put it down!
A woman answers a newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife" in early 20th century rural Wisconsin. Who is she? Who is this wealthy, lonely, troubled man who placed the ad? A page-turning, literary tale with echoes of classic tales like Wuthering Heights and Rebecca.
Maybe you've read this--maybe you think it's too old fashioned. NO! It's like chick-lit you can feel good about. I longed for more, more Austen after I re-read this. Funny, oh-so witty.