Toby’s Room by Pat Barker
PR6052.A6488 T63 2012
One day in 1917, Elinor has a sudden premonition that Toby will not return from France. Three weeks later the family receives a telegram informing them that Toby is “Missing, Believed Killed” in Ypres. However, there is no body, and Elinor refuses to accept the official explanation. Then she finds a letter hidden in the lining of Toby’s uniform; Toby knew he wasn’t coming back, and he implies that fellow soldier Kit Neville will know why.
Gone by Mo Hayder
PR6058.A9776 G66 2010
Jack Caffery’s newest case seems like a routine carjacking, a crime he’s seen plenty of times before. But as the hours tick by and his investigation morphs into a nightmare, he realizes the sickening truth: the thief wasn’t after the car, but the eleven-year-old girl in the backseat. Meanwhile, police diver Sergeant Flea Marley is pursuing her own theory of the case, and what she finds in an abandoned, halfsubmerged tunnel could put her in grave danger. The carjacker is always a step ahead of the Major Crime Investigation Unit, toying with their minds in taunting letters, and ready to strike again. As the chances for his victims grow slimmer, Jack and Flea race to fit the pieces together in time.
Skagboys by Irvine Welsh
PR6073.E47 S57 2012b
The prequel to the novel Trainspotting. Mark Renton has it all: he’s good-looking, young, with a pretty girlfriend and a place at university. But there’s no room for him in the 1980s. Thatcher’s government is destroying working-class communities across Britain, and the post-war certainties of full employment, educational opportunity and a welfare state are gone. When his family starts to fracture, Mark’s life swings out of control and he succumbs to the defeatism which has taken hold in Edinburgh’s grimmer areas. The way out is heroin. It’s no better for his friends. Skagboys charts their journey from likely lads to young men addicted to the heroin which has flooded their disintegrating community. This is the 1980s: a time of drugs, poverty, AIDS, violence, political strife and hatred – but a lot of laughs, and maybe just a little love; a decade which changed Britain for ever.
Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding
PR6108.A724 P35 2012
It is the early 1950s. A nameless man is found on the steps of the hospital in Iasi, Romania. He is deaf and mute, but a young nurse named Safta recognizes him from the past and brings him paper and pencils so that he might draw. Gradually, memories appear on the page: the man is Augustin, the cook’s son at the manor house at Poiana, where Safta was the privileged daughter. Born six months apart, they had a connection that bypassed words, but while Augustin’s world stayed the same size, Safta’s expanded to embrace languages, society, and a fleeting love one long, hot summer. But then came war, and in its wake a brutal Stalinist regime, and nothing would remain the same
The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
PR9499.3.R596 W38 2012
Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother’s body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic, or is she what she claims to be: a grieving young sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? Single-minded in her mission, she refuses to move from her spot on the field in full view of every soldier in the stark outpost. Her presence quickly proves dangerous as the camp’s tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil when the men begin arguing about what to do next.
Stormy Weather & Other Stories by Lisa Alther
PS3551.L78 S76 2012
Stormy Weather & Other Stories is probably as close as Lisa Alther will ever come to writing an autobiography. These stories, written over the course of her career, are set in the three places that have meant the most to her. The first five stories reflect Alther’s early years growing up in the Southern mountains—close to nature, using animal imagery to make sense of her world. Four stories are set in Vermont in the milieu that shaped her as a young adult. Marinated in the politics of the 1970s—the Back-to-the-Land days of hippies, communes, and the Women’s Movement—these stories portray the optimistic explorations of alternative models for parenthood, relationships, and sexuality that flourished during those years. The final three stories are set in New York City, where her characters, unmoored by nature or by tight-knit communities of like-minded friends, search for meaning within the privacy of their own souls. All the stories are loosely linked, with a minor character in one sometimes emerging to play a major role in another. Most of these stories were published in journals or anthologies, though three are previously unpublished.
San Miguel by T. Coraghessan Boyle
PS3552.O932 S26 2012
On a tiny, desolate, windswept island off the coast of Southern California, two families, one in the 1880s and one in the 1930s, come to start new lives and pursue dreams of self-reliance and freedom. Their extraordinary stories, full of struggle and hope, are the subject of T. C. Boyle’s haunting new novel. Thirty-eight-year-old Marantha Waters arrives on San Miguel on New Year’s Day 1888 to restore her failing health. Joined by her husband, a stubborn, driven Civil War veteran who will take over the operation of the sheep ranch on the island, Marantha strives to persevere in the face of the hardships, some anticipated and some not, of living in such brutal isolation. Two years later their adopted teenage daughter, Edith, an aspiring actress, will exploit every opportunity to escape the captivity her father has imposed on her. Time closes in on them all and as the new century approaches, the ranch stands untenanted. And then in March 1930, Elise Lester, a librarian from New York City, settles on San Miguel with her husband, Herbie, a World War I veteran full of manic energy. As the years go on they find a measure of fulfillment and serenity; Elise gives birth to two daughters, and the family even achieves a celebrity of sorts. But will the peace and beauty of the island see them through the impending war as it had seen them through the Depression?
In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin
PS3558.E4775 I5 2012
In 1946, Harry Copeland has returned after fighting in the 82nd Airborne from North Africa all the way to the Elbe. Reluctantly assuming the direction of the family fine leather goods manufacture, he finds his life unsatisfactory and on hold – until he is “accidentally” united with Catherine Thomas Hale, the woman for whom he has been waiting all his life, although the forces behind his patience have never been revealed to him. A young actress, singer, and heiress, she has been waiting for him, even if she has known this only in flashes that do not come clear to her until the end of the narrative, and that have not prevented her engagement to a much older man who has been taking advantage of her since childhood. The meeting of Catherine and Harry, their courtship, and their intense love, play out on the stage of New York awakening at mid-century – in the deep worlds of the theater, industry, and high finance, and during the collision of aristocratic New York society with the formidable wave of second-generation, fully assimilated Jews. Though after being broken in the war Harry wants nothing but peace, family, and love, organized crime carries on its extortions as always, even in a city now full of the kind of men who stormed the Pointe du Hoc and the Siegfried Line. This becomes his moral and physical struggle. While Catherine’s is of a different nature, it is just as consequential, and the courage required of her is perhaps even greater.
Goldberg Variations by Susan Isaacs
PS3559.S15 G65 2012
Gloria Garrison nee Goldberg isn’t getting any younger. At seventy-nine, it’s time for her to plan for the future of Glory, Inc., the Santa Fe-based beauty makeover business that Gloria has grown from zilch into an eleven-million-a-year bonanza. But now Gloria has alienated her former business partner and chosen successor. Who will take over Glory? Gloria’s never been big on family and wrote them all out of her will, but suddenly she must contemplate her three grandkids as possible candidates. There’s twenty-nine-year-old Daisy, a New York story editor for a movie studio. Her brother, twenty-seven-year-old Matt, does sports PR. He can charm his way around ball players, the press, and a flurry of women. And there’s gutsy Raquel, who at age twenty-five is laboring away as a Legal Aid lawyer. She’s Catholic and a Goldberg and proud of it. When Gloria sends business-class tickets to tempt the three grandkids for a visit, they couldn’t be more surprised. Stranger still is the revelation that one of them and only one, may be offered the chance to inherit Glory.