Dr. Trisha Raje
brings modern day morés
and an introverted personality to this Austen classic as she
subconsciously creates problems from miscommunication. Unexplored
emotions and hesitance toward introspection lead Dr. Trisha to
misadventures. Dear Readers watch her spar with the sexy caterer,
whose mother’s favorite book inspired her to name him Darcy—he
goes by DJ. She attempts to reconnect with her family, guilt-ridden
by a long ago transgression of her friend, who has shown up recently
to lure in the caterer. Dr. Trisha remains focused on his sister, her
patient, how she can aid her in reframing her outlook toward her
future as an artist without sight. Dev’s work is, as usual, lush
and gorgeous and emotional and sexy as hell, with complex, realistic
characters in complicated situations in which they must untangle
themselves, eventually giving in to intense feelings. A brilliant
storyteller, she carefully weaves into a well-known story a
contemporary character, her Indian-American culture, and a romance
inspired by, well, gourmet food. Of course. I was fortunate to
receive a copy of this wonderful story through Edelweiss.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award winning author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after. Her books have been on NPR, Washington Post, Library Journal, and Kirkus Best Books of the year lists, but Sonali is most smug about Shelf Awareness calling her “Not only one of the best but also one of the bravest romance novelists working today.” Sonali lives in Chicagoland with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog. Find more at sonalidev.com.
A terrible tragedy unleashes a fateful chain of events for two
families from starkly different worlds in a breathtaking new tale of
suspense that doubles as a razor-sharp take on class conflict in
In his remarkable debut, THE EAST END(Park
Row Books; May 7, 2019; $26.99 U.S./$33.50 CAN.),
novelist Jason Allen constructs a multi-layered story
about the powerful and the powerless, about love and loss, and about
self-destruction and the possibility of redemption. Set in the
Hamptons over one explosive holiday weekend, this immersive must-read
illuminates both sides of the socio-economic divide in a place where
dreams of escape drive potentially catastrophic decisions.
Unfolding from multiple perspectives, THE EAST END opens
with the countdown to Memorial Day underway and recent high school
graduate Corey Halpern in need of a fix. A townie, he burns off
his resentment of the affluent “invaders” who flock to the
community in the summer months by breaking into their lavish mansions
and pulling harmless pranks. Staring down a bleak future, he sees his
hopes of going away to college vanishing. He can’t disappear, not
when his troubled mother, Gina, is barely making ends meet, trying to
get away from an abusive, deadbeat husband, and chasing pills with
too much booze. Trapped in a downward spiral, she staggers towards
rock bottom as Corey and his brother look on helplessly.
Before calling it a night, Corey makes one last stop at the
sprawling lakeside estate where he and Gina work. There he intends to
commit his first-ever robbery but nothing proceeds according to plan.
Married billionaire CEO Leo Sheffield shows up to his ultra-exclusive
Gin Lane property early, accompanied by his handsome, much-younger
lover, Henry. In an instant, everything changes: Drunk, high, and all
alone, Henry is the victim of a fatal poolside accident.
Unfortunately for a distraught Leo, Corey saw what happened—and so
did someone else.
For this immensely privileged man who is not used to getting his
hands dirty, his very existence now depends on containing the
collateral damage. And time is running out. Leo’s overbearing wife
and three grown children will be arriving soon, along with a house
full of high-maintenance guests. Desperate to preserve his fortune
and his freedom, Leo takes irrevocable steps that expose him to
scandal and far worse. Over the next few tension-filled days, hidden
entanglements, unexpected opportunities, and clashing loyalties
propel Corey, Gina, and Leo to extremes—and ultimately, to shocking
outcomes no one will anticipate.
Atmospheric, emotionally probing, and complexly unmissable, this
kaleidoscopic narrative plunges its brilliantly realized characters
into timely, all-too-relatable moral quandaries that defy easy
answers and resound long after the final page.
Corey breaks into the houses of the wealthy who summer in the Hamptons, to play pranks on them as a way to vent his frustrations as a local serving these “invaders.” The night he chooses to enter the home of his mother’s employer Mr. Sheffield, he learns a scandalous secret and witnesses a tragedy, and then he falls in love. The weekend brings a multitude of challenges for the Sheffield family and Corey’s mom, who’s fighting a drug addiction and a violent ex, as well as Corey and his new love. Allen brilliantly portrays the blurred lines of integrity and honesty for the haves and have-nots in a scenario that flips dependency from one to the other and exposes everyone’s agenda. No character is truly endearing, nor is any character wholly evil, but all are complex, self-serving and compassionate in turn. Fans of “Somethings in the Water,” “Beautiful Bad,” or “Hunting Annabelle” will appreciate this story. It’s a peek at what we might do if we had the chance, and what happens when we involve ourselves in something that’s not our business. I received a digital copy of this fantastic story from Park Row Books through NetGalley.
Jason Allen grew up in a working-class home in the
Hamptons, where he worked a variety of blue-collar jobs for wealthy
estate owners. He writes fiction, poetry, and memoir, and is the
author of the poetry collection A Meditation on Fire. He has
an MFA from Pacific University and a PhD in literature and creative
writing from Binghamton University. He currently lives in Atlanta,
Georgia, where he teaches writing. THE EAST END is his first
Maddie fell hard for Ian, British security detail, when she taught
English in Bulgaria and her BFF Joanna was a humanitarian working in
Macedonia before and during their civil war. He’s hard to pin down,
even after she marries him despite Joanna’s inexplicable hostility
toward him. He insists on moving from NYC to her small, Kansas
hometown, though he spends much of his time in the Eastern bloc,
working in a security business he started with his brother after
leaving his government position. The story unfolds in layers as it
goes back and forth in time and around the globe to explain the
horrible murder. Ward does an excellent job evoking sympathy for
Maddie, who appears to be on the receiving end of Ian’s PTSD. This
novel portrays young American idealists who get caught up in tragedy,
differences in maturity levels of best friends, and how lack of
self-awareness contributes to obfuscation, as a mismatched romance
leads to its horrifying conclusion. I was fortunate to receive this
brilliant story from the publisher Park Row Books through NetGalley.
A time travel criminal shot Kin’s Temporal Corruption Bureau retrieval beacon, stranding him in 1996. In the two decades it took his colleagues from 2142 to find him, he built a life with a wife and daughter. Regulations force him back to the future, where he’s been missing for only weeks from his work and his fiancee. His inexplicable disappearance, and her mother’s death, sends his daughter spiraling downward. He breaches protocol, reaching out to her digitally, endangering both. Chen brilliantly maintains time travel integrity, with its possibilities and limitations, placing his main character in an organization enforcing law throughout time, with strict safety policies for agents preventing him from aiding his daughter. This is a family drama that just happens to have a time travel element—a well-written, speculative suspense novel. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy from the publisher Mira Books through NetGalley.
Liza witnesses, via
Skype, a masked man entering her friend’s home while her friend is
upstairs tending to a child. She drives all night to make sure she’s
okay after her friend doesn’t answer the phone, but Molly, the
friend, dismisses the idea that a man came into her house, and she
break’s Liza’s heart. Returning home to a life-changing event
sends Liza back to her hometown, where no investigation is proceeding
for the mystery man. Strawser digs deep into the fears of a married
couple in multitudes of trouble, the evolution of friendship, and a
reluctant return to one’s roots. She brilliantly intertwines the
consequences of the characters’ actions as they rush headlong into
premature conclusions. This novel is a great look into love
resurrected and the ability to access romantic love after a trauma.
Strawser is a talented storyteller. I was fortunate to receive a copy
of this wonderful book from the publisher Macmillan through
inherits the yearbook that the class of 1969 dedicated to her mother,
their teacher. Attending every class reunion of that year’s class,
her mom dashed off judgment calls in that yearbook, while alienating
her family further. Daphne has no use for it and tosses it in
recycling, only to discover her neighbor has rescued it and has
documentary plans for it, focusing on her mother’s life. In her
attempt to repossess it, Daphne learns exactly how much she didn’t
know about her mother, and how much better her father knows her than
she realized. Secrets explode, Daphne explodes…romance ensues.
Lipman creates a
character whose complexity makes her less endearing than interesting,
leading dear reader to enjoy her ups and downs from outside the
emotions, yet still root for her as she makes terrible life
decisions. Choices made by all family members in the past reverberate
in the presence, causing confusion and offering challenging choices.
The integrity of the characters remains resolute as they fluffercate
over “9/10 of the law” and “right to know.” This is an
absolutely FUN story, whipping back and forth in allegiances, and up
and down in storyline. I was fortunate to receive a copy of this
fabulous book from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt through a
A sleeping sickness befalls the little college town of Santa Lora, CA, starting with Mei’s roommate Kara, prompting a quarantine of their dorm. Quickly overwhelmed, the hospital sets up the children who succumb in the public library. The patients wake up in random order with time span and chronology confusion, or they never wake up—dying or coming to consciousness days, weeks, months after succumbing. Mei becomes part of the relief effort by those immune to the illness. Thompson Walker brilliantly moves in and out of the epidemic containment through cordon sanitaire and the sleepers’ astonishingly realistic dreams. Graphic descriptions of virtual long lives lived for decades and anomalies that persist after awakening draw the reader into the deep wells of grief and confusion of those who wake to a lesser reality. The frustrated anger and desperation of family and friends prevented from contacting loved ones is credibly shown by such irrational actions as climbing the quarantine fence and rushing the police. The author references other such unusual occurrences, and how conspiracy theories can easily form from a frightening epidemic never diagnosed by doctors. It brings to mind the sleepy sickness brought on by the Spanish flu epidemic of the early 20th century, whose victims remained catatonic for decades. I was fortunate to receive a copy of this well-written, wonderfully told novel from the publisher Random House through a Goodreads giveaway.
Anna Roux’s life changed drastically when her husband moved them
from Paris to the American Midwest. Her profession as a dancer fades
to history, and she disappears inside herself, despair manifesting as
anorexia. In a holiday visit home, her family’s shocked reaction to
her appearance prompts her husband to commit her to a strict program
at 17 Swann Street, where Anna learns the hard way to eat again.
There’s so much more going on than Anna feeling fat, so much
involved in succumbing to an insidious disease. Zgheib carefully
maneuvers through the complexity of her character’s inner turmoil.
As a contributing factor as well as an integral part of Anna’s
support system, her husband is explored through his emotional roller
coaster, denial, and finally, tough love response to her illness.
This story paints a
detailed description of a unique life with an unfortunately common
disease, where one cannot point to any one action as a causation.
Readers with no connection to this illness still will reel from the
pain of a young woman who feels out of control of her own life, who
cannot reconcile her less than desirable circumstances with the love
she feels for her husband, sympathizing with her as she is forced to
confront the voice of anorexia telling her that she is not enough.
The slow, challenging journey is well told by a talented writer. This
is a must-read for the awareness and understanding it brings. If
anorexia has touched your life in any way, offer this story to
friends and family. Even if it hasn’t, read and share for the
Yara Zgheib’s poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting portrait of a young woman’s struggle with anorexia on an intimate journey to reclaim her life.
The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.
Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears—imperfection, failure, loneliness—she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live: women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.
Yara Zgheib is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in International Affairs in Diplomacy from Centre D’études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris. She is fluent in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish. Yara is a writer for several US and European magazines, including The Huffington Post, The Four Seasons Magazine, A Woman’s Paris, The Idea List, and Holiday Magazine. She writes on culture, art, travel, and philosophy on her blog, “Aristotle at Afternoon Tea” (http://www.aristotleatafternoontea.com/).
Amber goes on a blind date. Her date is blind. Literally blind. This
she knows. What she learns is that he’s in trouble, and she gets
pulled into it, dragging her two friends along by texting. At first,
she desires advice from two friends with wildly different
personalities. As the evening takes her to shady places she’d never
otherwise be, the story turns into a narration of unexpected events,
including druggie roommates, pill parties, and police evasion—all
through texts. It’s funnier still when the two friends argue via
texts. This is a clever story portraying the ubiquitous nature of
current technology use by those who grew up with it. It’s a fun
read for a little respite from the tedium (or tragedy) of life.
Matthew Cave is
assigned to report on a mummy suspected to be the first Viking found
in Greenland. After the mummy disappears, and the police officer
guarding it killed in a most horrific manner, Matthew investigates a
story decades old based on the similar style of murder of four local
men. The tale grows exponentially as he learns about the murders’
connections to child molestation, kidnapping, politics, and a
mysterious, tattooed woman just released from prison. Secrets are
revealed, crimes are solved, and living / dead are confirmed.
Nordbo writes a
graphic, bones-laid-bare crime novel with the setting of Nuuk,
Greenland as prominent as a main character. The Danish / Greenlandic
tension is pushed and pulled throughout the story, with national
politics and corruption affecting local affairs. Twists and turns
abound as new evidence surfaces, but the main source of a policeman’s
journal written during the earlier crimes takes the reader back in
time for a more intimate feel. A major information dump at the end
does its best to feel natural, coming from the appropriate
characters. In any case, the tale is multi-layered, with storylines
that converge for a revelatory denouement. I was fortunate to receive
a digital copy from Text Publishing Company through NetGalley.