This novel is rather a masterpiece I think. Ruth lives on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest and discovers Nao’s barnacle-encrusted diary in a plastic bag, fresh out of the surf–special delivery from Japan. The diary winds the two together inextricably, as if tangled in seaweed, along with the reader. What is the meaning of Nao? And how are we all “time beings”?
The finest novel I’ve read so far this year! Pete Snow is an alcoholic social worker doing the best he can in the almost-Canadian NW corner of Montana. Try as he might to alter the plummeting trajectories in the lives of unwilling, mistrustful and addicted clients, his success/failure ratio is low . . . and his own family struggles are likewise depleting him. Pete faces a most difficult situation in his effort to rescue the young son of a survivalist who is also being pursued by the FBI.
This is a glimpse into a world I never want to see any closer than on a page, but one that’s compelling nonetheless. I’ll be looking for more from Smith Henderson.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
I loved reading this charming story that blooms around Island Books, which stands a few steps from where the ferry docks on a Martha’s-Vineyard-like island. You have love and romance, heartbreak and bereavement, an abandoned babe and a philandering husband. But the real subject is LIFE, the big picture, and what it all amounts to . . . that we all crave connection. That’s where the books come in!
by Megan Miranda
Cop shows have failed me.
I was certain I knew who the “bad guy” was from the second the book asks you to guess. I was completely wrong, but the choice makes sense. Miranda keeps you guessing and wondering about not only present circumstances, but also events in the past that Mallory can’t remember clearly. It is a very intense look at how tragedy can change people’s lives, no matter what the tragedy may be.
Oh. My. Goodness. You don’t need to know much about this book in order to know that you must read it. From the very first page, you know you are in the hands of a master. The story doesn’t even matter (though it’s great) – the writing is that good. This is one that I won’t expound on much so as not to spoil anything, but trust me when I say that you will turn the last page, let go of the breath you didn’t know you were holding, and immediately open it again. Then you will want to tell everyone you know to go read it so you can talk about it! Such a fantastic book!
A.J. Fikry is the owner of a bookshop on a fictional New England island, a tourist destination in the summer and a lonely small town all the rest of the year. After the sudden death of his young wife, A.J. has successfully kept most people out of his life, but when his new publisher’s rep makes an optimistic attempt at helping his business, the walls start to come tumbling down. His last precious possession is stolen. A child is abandoned in his store. And Island Books takes on a whole new meaning for A.J. and the town.
This is a love letter to the world of books, written by an experienced author with a knack for tying characters together. Each chapter begins with A.J.’s notes on a piece of literature important to him, a hook that becomes more important as the story goes on. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to run a bookstore, or grow up with one, this is one you can’t miss.
This debut novel tells the mystical story of Ava, born with wings and a mostly mute twin brother, and the other extraordinary women in her family. We follow her great grandmother’s journey from France to New York, her grandmother’s loss of her three siblings and her flight to the Pacific Northwest, where her mother is born and tries to make a home. It is a story of love in its many forms, of finding acceptance of who you are, and ultimately coming to terms with the world as it stands. A beautifully told tale with a breathtaking conclusion! Great book club potential and a solid story to share with a mother-daughter group.