Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

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Baby Frankie is born into an unusual family. Her mother is desperate to find someone to take care of her child and she doesn’t have much time. Noel doesn’t seem to be the most promising of fathers but despite everything, he could well be Frankie’s best hope. As for Lisa, she is prepared to give up everything for the man she loves; surely he’s going to love her back? And Moira is having none of it. She knows what’s right, and has the power to change the course of Frankie’s life . . . but Moira is hiding secrets of her own. Minding Frankie is a story about unconventional families, relationships which aren’t quite what they seem, and the child at the heart of everyone’s lives.

“Binchy’s worldview is a large, benevolent one, and the reader is happier for it. . . . Bless her big Irish heart.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Maeve Binchy has done it again [with] yet another warm tale of individual growth and human community, [in which] she assembles a large cast of characters and deploys them with her characteristic playfulness . . . Binchy specializes in exploring human foibles without spelling them out in tiresome detail . . . There’s a good chance that many readers, like this one, will consider Minding Frankie one of Binchy’s best novels yet.” —BookPage

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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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I can’t say enough about this book and have already placed it in the hands of my favorite readers. The main character survives an impoverished childhood at a very young age in the North Carolina marshes only to remain isolated for the rest of her life. She opens her heart to everything that lives and breathes in this foreboding, haunting place.  You will too.  It is nature writing at its best with an added coming of age story, romance, and murder mystery.  Guaranteed a deep reading experience.

“A lush debut novel, Owens delivers her mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose. It’s clear she’s from this place—the land of the southern coasts, but also the emotional terrain—you can feel it in the pages.  A magnificent achievement, ambitious, credible and very timely.”—Alexandra Fuller, New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature….Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Carries the rhythm of an old time ballad. It is clear Owens knows this land intimately, from the black mud sucking at footsteps to the taste of saltwater and the cry of seagulls.”David Joy, author of The Line That Held Us

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From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein

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While this is written by a former stenographer in the Obama administration, politics don’t play that large a role in the book. Instead, this memoir is primarily about a young woman navigating life after graduating college, trying to find a career path in Washington, and falling in love. There are a lot of fun stories about working for the president (such as getting to fly on Air Force One) balanced with relationship heartbreak and the author’s dreams of becoming a writer.

“[Dorey-Stein] writes with wit and self-deprecating humor but is fully aware, too, of the pomposity and petty spite of official Washington. She’s at her best and funniest when recalling the physically unhealthy and vaguely ridiculous work of following the president wherever he goes.”The Wall Street Journal

“History lesson meets soap opera. In this poignant, brutally honest, and often-funny work of self-reflection, Dorey-Stein pulls no punches and tells all she learned from and about the president who ‘taught me to look up.’”Booklist

“Hilarious . . . Dorey-Stein writes with honesty and panache.”—Publishers Weekly

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Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

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Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, EsquireVogue, The Washington Post, The GuardianUSA TODAY, Time • A New York Times Notable Book

“A magnificent achievement, at once a suspenseful noir intrigue and a transporting work of lyrical beauty and emotional heft” (The Boston Globe), “Egan’s first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you’re reading historical fiction at all” (Elle).  Experience Anna Kerrigan’s world as the first woman diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard just after Pearl Harbor and her search for her missing father that weaves in and out of a world of gangsters, sailors, bankers, and union men.

“Egan’s propulsive, surprising, ravishing, and revelatory saga, a covertly profound page-turner that will transport and transform every reader, casts us all as divers in the deep, searching for answers, hope, and ascension.”Booklist (starred review)

“This large, ambitious novel shows Egan at the top of her game. Anna is a true feminist heroine, and her grit and tenacity will make readers root for her.”Library Journal (starred review) 

“Tremendously assured and rich, moving from depictions of violence and crime to deep tenderness. The book’s emotional power once again demonstrates Egan’s extraordinary gifts.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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The Lost Family by Jenna Blum

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The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. This book tugged at so many emotions for me. I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter.

“This exquisitely crafted and compassionate novel offers a lesson in honesty, regardless of how difficult the truth may be. It will offer plenty of discussion for book groups.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“(Blum) takes on the difficult task of rendering generational trauma visible, and does it with such humor and empathy, you can’t help but be swept along for the ride.” (Village Voice)

“Blum avoids the sap of happy endings and easy resolutions in this perfect encapsulation of the changing times and turbulence of mid- and late-20th-century America.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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The Dance of Anger : a Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner

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“Anger is a signal and one worth listening to,” writes Dr. Harriet Lerner in her renowned classic that has transformed the lives of millions of readers. While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely, or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless. In this engaging and eminently wise book, Dr. Lerner teaches both women and men to identify the true sources of anger and to use it as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change.

“Of all the books that have been written about the personal relationships of women and what to do about them, this is the most sound. Like a family heirloom, it can be passed from generation to generation as it is based on profound and lasting truths.” (Peggy Papp, M.S.W., The Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy)

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Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy

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This lovely tale depicts the surprises and changes that come about with aging. Upon the unexpected death of her husband, Sarah finds strength and a capacity for caring that she never thought she would know without him. Amid bittersweet memories of her beloved Charles, Sarah becomes the unlikely den mother to an ever-growing bunch of lost souls. Surprising her wary family and even herself, she discovers a will to go on and share her home and thus her heart again. She likens the way her house fills with boarders to the way in which a cuckoo inserts itself into the nest of another bird and makes its home there. (Library Journal summary)

“A truly engrossing novel….An excellent book club selection.” ―Library Journal

“A story about the profound gifts of time, love, and loss. . . . Maloy’s message is about affirming the profundity of grief by expressing that energy in positive ways. This story is her generous vision of how things could be.”–The Olympian

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Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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This is the first novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who went on to write the bestselling books Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists. Purple Hibiscus is the story of a religious family in Nigeria, narrated by teenage daughter Kambili. Kambili witnesses many changes in her country while also dealing with issues at home, particularly her abusive, overbearing father. This is a beautifully written, powerful coming-of-age story.

“Breathtaking . . . Adichie is very much the twenty-first-century daughter of that other great Igbo novelist, Chinua Achebe.” —The Washington Post Book World

“The author’s straightforward prose captures the tragic riddle of a man who has made an unquestionably positive contribution to the lives of strangers while abandoning the needs of those who are closest to him.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes . . . Adichie’s understanding of a young girl’s heart is so acute that her story ultimately rises above its setting and makes her little part of Nigeria seem as close and vivid as Eudora Welty’s Mississippi.” —The Boston Globe

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Bound for Gold: A Peter Fallon Novel of the California Gold Rush by William Martin

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Just published!  William Martin, local author and very frequent Weston library patron, gave a presentation about his book at the Weston Public Library on July 26th.  Now we have read it.  Expertly researched, vivid details, and nimble writing guarantee a rollicking wild read! Highly recommended.

“Plenty of skullduggery and labyrinths of mystery lace this gem about the California gold rush. The prose and plot are as sharp as a broken piece of glass. Another masterpiece from the master of historical fiction.” ―Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

“Epic in scale, eloquent in execution, Bound for Gold is a pure delight. The great Forty-Niner gold rush comes to vivid life in William Martin’s skillful, suspenseful, and original retelling, and its resonance into the present is nothing short of mesmerizing.” ―John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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The children of a family living in a small Russian village love listening to fairytales. As the youngest daughter Vasya grows up, she is drawn into real magic that threatens her family and community. Book 1 of the Winternight Trilogy.

“Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family.”Booklist (starred review)

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