British author Charles Lambert’s latest, The Children’s Home, is like a strange dream in which you can’t quite tell if you’re awake. Morgan, its disfigured, 20-something protagonist, lives isolated in his powerful family’s sprawling home. His estranged sister sent a housekeeper to live with him, and soon after, children began arriving. They appear with no backstory—one, in fact, materializes out of thin air—and Morgan and the housekeeper, Engel, become parents of sorts. The resulting story is a weird, poignant journey reminiscent of Calvino that explores fear, power, revenge and redemption.
Just after well-known British mystery writer Ruth Rendell died in May of this year, at the age of 85, her life and talents were described in the media with words like “brilliant,” “discomfiting” and “challenging.” Readers who’ve long been gripped by Rendell’s imaginative crime fiction, however, knew that already. From her popular Chief Inspector Wexford series with such hallmarks as the top-notch An Unkindness of Ravens and Not in the Flesh, to standalone classics like A Dark Adapted Eye (as Barbara Vine) and A Judgment in Stone, right up to her last, Dark Corners, the author’s unsettling prose has always attracted legions of readers.
'Tis the season for spooky reads! As the days in October get a little colder and the nights get a little longer, it's the perfect time to curl up with best-selling author Audrey Niffenegger's new and lovingly curated collection of ghost stories, Ghostly. Featuring Niffenegger's original illustrations and a few of her own stories alongside classics (Poe's "The Black Cat") and newer works by Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link, readers are sure to find something that moves and quietly haunts them in this book.
The challenge for an author who writes about a lonely character is to make that character interesting—and keep him that way. Happily, this is what Lori Ostlund has done in After the Parade, her sensitive and realistic tale of the excruciatingly lonely Aaron Englund. What’s intriguing about him is that he seems not to mind his loneliness. This may seem odd, for the difference between loneliness and solitude is that a person minds the former and doesn’t mind the latter. But Aaron holds his pain like a shield against a world that never had much use for him.
The sequel to breakout hit The Rosie Effect, a return to Jan Karon's beloved Mitford and a spirited historical novel make for lively group discussion this month.
It’s sometimes amazing to realize how an obsession for sports can take over a life. In John L. Parker Jr.’s amiable new work, a prequel to his 1978 bestseller Once a Runner, Quenton Cassidy, teenage native of Citrus City, Florida, is so wrapped up in his athletic pursuits that the great upheavals of his era—the Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of JFK, civil rights and the arrival of the Beatles for goodness’ sake!—stick in his mind the way anything sticks to Teflon.
Let Me Explain You is about the American dream: the good, the bad, the ugly and the hilariously relatable. It’s one family’s story of an old world clashing with a modern one. Thick Greek coffee goes up against Starbucks; microwave cereal stands alongside freshly butchered lamb; arranged marriages end in divorce; and traditions buckle against everything from homosexuality to Facebook.
How well can you really know someone? Can you comprehend the hidden desires harbored by your neighbor, your fiancé, your best friend or your daughter? Or do you only see the fiction they present to the world?
We asked award-winning novelist Kate Walbert a few questions about her luminous new novel—and her own relationship with New York City.
Does a spy thriller written by a former CIA officer offer an unbiased view of the world of espionage? Who knows, but it seems the answer may be both yes and no.