Yes, the heroine of The Things We Keep, Anna, is a 38-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease who is confined to an assisted-living facility. But no, Australian writer Sally Hepworth’s second novel is not depressing, and while her narrative can be sad and even painful at times, it is never bleak. On the contrary, the story of Anna and her “boyfriend” at Rosalind House, fellow patient Luke, is tragic but also hopeful, positive and even romantic.
In the final year of the Civil War, 15-year-old horse thief Callum meets a girl who changes his life forever. Both he and the girl, Ava, are orphans—Callum is from Ireland and hasn’t seen his family in years, and Ava’s father and brother were casualties of war. After Callum’s band of marauders finds Ava in her crumbling, dilapidated home and threatens her, Callum sets out to rescue her, leaving the group of pillagers behind and stealing their leader’s horse as transport.
Howard Frank Mosher’s bailiwick for more than 40 years, and the setting for many of his 12 previous books, both fiction and nonfiction, is Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom—called God’s Kingdom by its earliest settlers. This nickname serves as the title for Mosher’s latest novel, which follows the Kinneson family, whose roots in Vermont go back to Charles Kinneson I, who arrived from the Scottish Isle of Skye in the late 18th century. It’s mostly the story of Jim Kinneson, who turned 14 in 1952, and began to write down the family stories gradually passed down to him.
For nine months The Girl on the Train has been lauded as the best thriller of 2015, but it has some real competition with the arrival of The Killing Lessons, a dark, violent novel from British author Glen Duncan (The Last Werewolf) writing under the pseudonym Saul Black.
Simon Watson lives on a precipice: His family’s old house on the Long Island Sound is slowly dying, leaning closer to the sea with every storm, and his job as a librarian is in peril thanks to looming budget cuts. In the midst of all this uncertainty, a bookseller sends a curious book to his doorstep—a journal kept by the proprietor of a traveling carnival. Full of sketches and damaged by water, the book has been passed down and annotated for centuries, and Simon is surprised to find the names of his grandmother and other ancestors within its pages.
Every Fifteen Minutes, best-selling author Lisa Scottoline’s latest page-turner, effectively draws readers in at two levels, both as gripping psychological suspense and as a vivid look into the tangled realms of the heart.
For readers who befriended the magical and sometimes maddening Waverly women in novelist Sarah Addison Allen’s debut novel, Garden Spells, the arrival of First Frost is certain to take the chill out of the bleakest winter day.
It’s difficult to overstate the disastrous impact World War II had on civilians caught in its many war zones. These stories are often overshadowed by tales from the front, but these days the more unusual contributions of civilians to the war effort are being recognized more and more, as in movies like The Imitation Game. Kristin Hannah’s moving The Nightingale joins these ranks.
The stories we consume in youth—whether through books, television, film or song—often become the defining narrative of our lives. A shared affection draws people together, and a mention of a character or a trace of a lyric can immediately transport us to another place and time.
Grace Chapman has a seemingly perfect life: She’s a lifestyle icon with a best-selling author husband, a loving daughter and a gorgeous home outside of New York City. A former cookbook editor, she now cooks legendary meals for the local women’s shelter and plans community fundraisers.