Janis Heaphy Durham walked into the bathroom of her home one year to the day after the death of her beloved husband, only to stare in amazement at what appeared to be a handprint on the mirror. This was just one of many strange things that had happened since Max’s premature death from esophageal cancer at age 56. Was Max trying to contact her from beyond the grave? In her gripping new book, The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death, Durham reveals her own awakening to possibilities beyond the material world.
In the poem she wrote for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, “Praise Song for the Day,” Elizabeth Alexander asked, “What if the mightiest word is love?” In The Light of the World, her memoir about the sudden death of her husband in 2012, the poet, essayist and playwright renders her own exquisite response.
When she married Prince William back in 2011, Kate Middleton didn’t just capture the heart of a future king—she also ensnared the imaginations of women worldwide. Will and Kate’s royal romance has been meticulously documented by the press and even been the subject of a Lifetime movie. Now it serves as the inspiration for the first adult novel by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the duo behind the snarky celebrity-fashion blog, Go Fug Yourself, and authors of two young adult novels (Messy and Spoiled).
The abdication of Britain’s King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, to marry an American divorcee named Wallis Simpson seems to have all the trappings of a romantic legend. After all, he famously announced in December 1936 that he found it impossible to continue on the throne “without the help and support of the woman I love.”
This month's best new mysteries include a genre-bending Swedish suspense novel, a suspicious death in the Everglades, a murderous plan gone awry and a dark cold case.
Even before reading the first words of Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, it’s obvious that this is no ordinary memoir. First there’s the cover, with author Jessie Close in the embrace of her sister, actress Glenn Close. Then there are the photos inside, with captions like, “My dad on the porch of our house in the -paracommando camp in Zaire.”
Kevin Gillooly, the teenage protagonist of Christopher Scotton’s debut novel, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, returns with his mother to her Eastern Kentucky hometown of Medgar after the horrific accidental death of his 3-year-old brother. Kevin’s father hopes a summer under the care of Pops, the family’s cantankerous patriarch and the town veterinarian, will restore the devastated Anne. For Kevin, his time in Medgar is not a retreat, but an introduction to the thorny issues of adulthood, as well as the healing power of nature, thanks to his friendship with Buzzy Fink, a local boy who instructs Kevin in the ways of wilderness.
Forty Days without Shadow, by French journalist Olivier Truc, is set in the remote Lapland of northern Norway, where reindeer are the only livelihood for indigenous Sami herders who brave the dark, Arctic winters to keep vigil over their animals, and where the old ways—even ritualized murder—can still hold sway.
Romance veteran Jill Shalvis' immensely popular Lucky Harbor series is coming to a close this month with One in a Million. In the final Lucky Harbor book, a jilted and jaded former-bride resolves that falling in love just isn't worth the risk, but when a beautiful deep-sea diver arrives to her small town, she questions her decision.
Jill chatted with us over email from her Sierra Mountain home about the beauty of a small town, finishing up a beloved series and of course, cookies.
Reunion is a novel of death and life and family. It’s about the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive, and what happens when those narratives break down and we’re forced to grapple with real life and real people.