By Olen Steinhauer
MY SUNSHINE AWAY by M.O. Walsh
ANOTHER ONE TO WATCH....
CRAZY LOVE YOU by Lisa Unger
Lisa Unger has a knack for writing the kind of edgy psychological thriller that lures you in and wraps itself around you. Then, just when you think I got this story nailed, she whooshes you off into another direction. When you settle there, you know you better not get comfortable. This is a light read, a twisted tale, suspenseful and fast paced....mixed reviews.
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I commend Oprah for influencing people to read...a major accomplishment! I don't always like her selections but hopefully this current choice will be a good one. I'm glad she's chosen a new author, that's a departure...although the focus of the novel is vaguely familiar. Anyway, I'm downloading Ruby and have high hopes.
RUBY BY CYNTHIA BOND
The epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her—this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.
Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York.
Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city--the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village--all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby Bell finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood.
With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town’s dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.
Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage.
(Reviewed by www.bookmovement.com )
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Blog reader, Betsy S. recently recommended To The End of the Land by prominent Israeli author, David Grossman. I wanted to share her comments as it's such a timely topic. Released in 2010, this novel was started three years before his son, Uri's death in a Mid-East conflict. Reviewers agreed To the End of the Land is a compelling and profound read.
"I could not put this book down. The humanity of the characters, the intensity of the relationships, the backdrop of Israeli history, the poignancy of current events left me absolutely breathless..."
To the End of the Land tells the story of Ora, who leaves her home in Jerusalem to walk across Israel to Galilee, in order to avoid the "notifiers" who might arrive at any moment to inform her of the death of her son. It is the trip they had planned together to celebrate his discharge from military service. Instead, he volunteers to rejoin the army in a high-intensity offensive – "a kick-ass operation" – against the Palestinians at the start of the second intifada.
Ofer has been lost to his mother "forever from the moment he was nationalised". Her husband, Ilan, has left her, taking her other son, Adam, with him to South America, after she failed to support Ofer when he was investigated over an incident in Hebron which left a Palestinian trapped in a meat-locker for two days.
Ora is, among many other things, her son's failed conscience, a voice of caution for him and for her country which neither wishes to hear. Her love for him is limitless, but when he justifies the recourse to violence against the Palestinians, her sole focus is on saving "her child from the barbarian standing opposite her".
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Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . .
So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.
When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.
A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
(Amazon Review and Best Book of 2014)
This stranger-than-fiction true crime story finds Safran—a white, Jewish documentary filmmaker from Australia—relocating to Rankin County, Miss., to dig deep into the grisly stabbing murder of a 67-year-old white supremacist in April 2010. A 23-year-old African-American man named Vincent McGee pleaded guilty in the case, but this was no run-of-the-mill race crime. With allegations swirling of a money-for-sex relationship between the founder of a white nationalist organization and his black neighbor, the lure was too great for Safran (a self-proclaimed “Race Trekkie”) to resist. Armed with his Dictaphone and a thirst for the truth, Safran tracks down and interviews nearly all individuals associated with the case, resulting in wildly opposing accounts of what happened that spring evening. The result is a bizarrely unsettling, yet often witty book that paints a disturbing picture of the deep South today.
ISABEL'S WAR by Lila Perl
(This book is appropriate for YA readers as well as adults)
Published posthumously, Perl’s moving WWII novel set in the Bronx traces a Jewish girl’s growing awareness of the atrocities occurring overseas. At first, 12-year-old Isabel views the war as an inconvenience, bemoaning new rationing rules and the growing shortages of luxury items. Similarly, she resents the arrival of Helga, a beautiful German refugee with “a swanlike neck, and luminous gray-green eyes,” who ends up living with Isabel’s family when Helga’s American guardian turns ill. But as Isabel gleans bits of information about Helga’s horrific experiences in Germany and in England, where she was delivered as part of the Kindertransport, Isabel’s heart gradually softens. Now her problem is getting others to believe Helga’s tales and persuading Helga that she is not to blame for what her family suffered. This coming-of-age story offers an authentic glimpse of the 1940s American war effort and corresponding sentiments while introducing a realistically flawed heroine whose well-meaning efforts sometimes backfire.
Douglas and Connie live more or less happily in the suburbs of London with their moody 17-year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells Douglas she thinks she wants a divorce. Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests, Connie had planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family. Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in their marriage and might even help him to bond with Albie. That remains to be seen.....
Blog readers have been recommending MY SISTER'S GRAVE by Robert Dugoni, labeling it an intriguing and exciting thriller...So if you're in the mood for a Grisham-like book, this is a good choice.
Here's what Bookreporter.com had to say.....
MY SISTER'S GRAVE by Robert Dugoni (Mystery/Thriller)
I have been a longtime fan of Robert Dugoni, and his talent has only improved with time. MY SISTER’S GRAVE has everything: terrific plotting, well-drawn characters and solid writing. It’s a cross between a legal thriller and a police procedural. While reading it, I was dropped into a zone with a fast-paced story that grabbed me and wrapped me up in the adventure and storyline.
In it, Tracy Crosswhite is a Seattle homicide detective who is convinced that the man who was convicted of murdering her sister, Sarah, is not the right person. When Sarah’s remains are found in a lake bed 20 years after her death, Tracy’s theory becomes more sound. Her childhood friend collaborates with her to take a fresh look at the crime, and the action ramps up fast....
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