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Reader name: Lynn
Hometown: Clarkston, Michigan
Favorite genre: fiction
Favorite authors: Maggie O’Farrell, Lionel Shriver, Pat Conroy, Philip Roth, John Updike
Favorite books:  The Vanishing Act of Esmee Lennox, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Prince of Tides

Looks like Lynn enjoys literary novels with plenty of tension—even better if it’s family tension. I could recommend many, many books that this bill, but I'll stick to a couple of recent favorites.

First up, The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst, which is intriguing both for its setup and for the mystery at its heart. The protagonist, writer Octavia Frost, reconnects with her son after he is accused of murder. At the same time, Octavia is in the midst of a provocative new project which provides insight into her past—a book comprised of re-written endings of all her previous novels.

Another winner is Faith by Jennifer Haigh, about a priest at the center of a pedophile scandal and his devout Boston relatives. It's impossible to put down this ripped-from-the-headlines story made even better with elegant writing.

As a bonus, both of these novels are now available in paperback and would make excellent book club picks. (Check out the February Book Clubs column for even more recommendations for your reading group.)

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