Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gossip, by Beth Gutcheon.

This novel deserves to be read if only for the way it is written.  (You’re given (approximately) one-and-a-half pages of cliff-hanging current introductory and then you’re thrown safely back up onto the cliff and have to read through to find out how and why you were left dangling.)  The story– of a gossip columnist and her gossip-worthy family– is fascinating as well.

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The Book of Jonas, by Stephen Dau.

Fifteen year-old Jonas, known as Younis at the time, is one of the few survivors of an attack on his village during an unnamed, but it could be any, war.  A humanitarian organization facilitates his relocation to the US and as he attempts to assimilate and grow up, we  learn the story of the raid from several perspectives including Jonas’ and an American soldier’s.

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A Partial History of Lost Causes, by Jennifer du Bois.

After watching her father suffer from and linger long years with Huntington’s disease, then discovering she’s a carrier and will develop it as well, Irina decides she must make a  pilgrimage to Russia to visit a former chess prodigy to whom her father posed a profound question (How does one proceed in a lost cause?).

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The Good Father, by Noah Hawley.

From the minute (Dr.) Paul Allen, unbelievably, discovers that it is his son who shot the presidential candidate most charismatically likely to win, he wonders what he did– he thought he was a good father– to make Daniel do such a bad thing.

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The Affair, by Alicia Clifford.

Shortly after her marriage, Celia discovers that her husband was a widower. To take revenge on the Katherine of his heart (and as a way of coping), she begins to write about it. Her book, then books, are published under a pen name. When she dies many years later, her children and grandchildren learn the “truth” of her life from diaries, letters, and notebooks left behind.

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Arcadia, by Lauren Groff.

Even in a utopian ego-less commune called Arcadia there are people and that is where the trouble begins.  Arcadia follows Bit, the first hippie newborn, and chronicles the up and down of the community from the ’70s to the 21st century.

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The Other Shoe, by Matt Pavelich.

Fans of A Simple Plan gather ’round.  In Matt Pavelich’s hypnotizing novel of crime, a young man sets off to experience the wider world before settling down to marriage, work, family but he doesn’t get too far.  The residents of a backwoods Montana town have secrets to keep and connections to maintain.

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