LOOKING FOR LOVE
In A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Love Stories, best-selling author Sebastian Faulks spins five very different yet closely linked stories into a larger, moving narrative. Set in different eras, each story focuses on a lone character adrift and in need of love. During World War II, Geoffrey, a British prep-school teacher turned soldier, falls for a French woman who deceives him. Jeanne, an illiterate maid in 19th-century France, leads a work-filled life with few distractions, but she’s also on a remarkable spiritual quest. Elena, a neurobiologist whose story is set in the future, is able to recall scenes from the other stories in the book and find solace in them. Each richly developed narrative stands on its own even as it illuminates and enlarges its companion pieces. Faulks moves effortlessly between eras and locales to create a breathtaking mosaic—a narrative about our innate need for connection and the ways in which the past influences the future.
In her much-praised debut novel, Reconstructing Amelia, Kimberly McCreight builds a powerful story around a mother’s worst nightmare. Kate, a single mom, is heartsick over the apparent suicide of her 15-year-old daughter, Amelia. Staff at the private academy Amelia attended tell Kate that her daughter was depressed because she’d been caught cheating and jumped off the school roof. But when Kate receives an anonymous text that indicates otherwise, she sets out to redeem her daughter. A career-driven lawyer, Kate is persistent in her quest, and the troubling discoveries she makes about Amelia—her questionable friendships, her membership in an exclusive girls’ club at school—reveal the stresses from which her daughter suffered. This chilling novel is narrated by both Kate and Amelia, whose Facebook posts and emails flesh out the story. McCreight writes with sensitivity about ever-relevant topics like grief, the mother-daughter bond and bullying. A hypnotic mystery from a promising new writer, this is a timely book about the dangers of being a teen in today’s technology-oriented society.
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Melanie Benjamin, the best-selling author of Alice I Have Been, offers a fictional portrayal of an intriguing real-life figure in her new novel, The Aviator’s Wife. The fascinating heroine is Anne Morrow, the introverted daughter of a millionaire diplomat and the woman who captured the heart of Charles Lindbergh. The two meet in Mexico City in 1927, not long after Lindbergh’s famous flight across the Atlantic Ocean. When they marry, the union makes headlines around the world. Although she becomes the first female glider pilot to earn a license in the United States—one of her many accomplishments—Anne is always perceived as the wife of a famous adventurer, and she struggles to find an identity of her own. Benjamin brings her protagonist to vivid life, recounting the major events that marked her marriage, including the kidnapping and murder of her baby. She also convincingly probes Anne’s emotional interior, giving readers a sense of what might have made this extraordinary woman tick.