As a black woman working for the FBI in the 1980s, Marie is somewhat of an outsider, until she is offered an assignment to get close to the leader of Burkino Faso. The novel shifts through different time periods in Marie’s life to show how her parents, sister, and sons have all shaped her life. This is well written and engaging.
“[This] unflinching, incendiary debut combines the espionage novels of John le Carré with the racial complexity of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Echoing the stoic cynicism of Hurston and Ellison, and the verve of Conan Doyle, American Spy lays our complicities—political, racial, and sexual—bare. Packed with unforgettable characters, it’s a stunning book, timely as it is timeless.”—Paul Beatty, Man Booker Prizewinning author of The Sellout
“Suspenseful . . . This story of espionage, told from the perspective of a woman of color, doesn’t gloss over how family and personal relationships, as well as institutional racism and chauvinism, complicate a career in secret intelligence, raising questions about U.S. involvement in developing countries and the obstacles faced by women and minorities in law enforcement. Should be a popular book club selection.”—Library Journal (starred review)
Yangsze Choo’s The Night Tiger pulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive novel is the intimate coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible. (Amazon) I dedicated one weekend to this lovely escape and I loved every reading minute.
“A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world.” ―Kirkus (starred review)
“Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop to Choo’s superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)
An engrossing book that seamlessly weaves human drama with historical racism in 1920’s Oregon. “Nobody” or Alice, wounded in almost every way, is on the run from the Mafia in Prohibition-era Harlem, and lands in Portland’s only hotel for blacks. The story begins and sweeps the reader into the lives of the unforgettable residents of the hotel. And then the Ku Klux Klan shows up. A cracking good read.
“This historical novel, which carries strong reverberations of present-day social and cultural upheavals, contains a message from a century ago that’s useful to our own time: ‘We need to do better at solving things.’ A riveting multilevel thriller of race, sex, and mob violence that throbs with menace as it hums with wit.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The Paragon Hotel is set a century ago, but its themes of social and cultural upheaval feel sufficiently fresh that you might think twice about calling Lyndsay Faye’s sixth novel historical fiction. But calling it terrific—not for a minute should you hesitate to do that….The great strength of “The Paragon Hotel” is Ms. Faye’s voice—a blend of film noir and screwball comedy….The jauntiness of the prose doesn’t hide the fact that Ms. Faye has serious business on her mind. At bottom, The Paragon Hotel is about identity and about family—those we’re born into and those we create.”—The Wall Street Journal
What woman could hold her own and be married to Ernest Hemingway? Meet Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gelhorn, who did become one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. I have read both The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun, but McLain’s novel portraying this stormy, passionate marriage is by far the best of the three.
“Wonderfully evocative . . . This is historical fiction at its best, and today’s female readers will be encouraged by Martha, who refuses to be silenced or limited in a time that was harshly repressive for women.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Propulsive . . . highly engaging . . . McLain does an excellent job portraying a woman with dreams who isn’t afraid to make them real, showing [Gellhorn’s] bravery in what was very much a man’s world. Her work around the world . . . is presented in meticulous, hair-raising passages. . . . The book is fueled by her questing spirit, which asks, Why must a woman decide between being a war correspondent and a wife in her husband’s bed?”—The New York Times Book Review
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, Esquire, Vogue, The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA 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)
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)
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
I’m not sure I’ve ever read a funny World War II book before, until this one. Noel is a 10-year old orphan assigned to live with Vera, a single mother living outside London. Noel is very smart, Vera is very desperate to earn money, and together they make an unlikely duo. This book has a lot of humor, great characters, and just the right amount of emotion.
“I try not to say, ‘If there’s one novel you should read this summer..’ but Crooked Heart tempts me to say it.” (Scott Simon, NPR)
“Crooked Heart explores the Blitz during World War II from two utterly inventive perspectives…. A charming, slanted counterpoint to Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.” (Library Journal, starred review)
“In ‘Crooked Heart,’ Lissa Evans’s absorbing and atmospheric comic novel, another quietly heroic orphan joins the canon….This is a wonderfully old-fashioned Dickensian novel, with satisfying plot twists….Both darkly funny and deeply touching….It’s a crooked journey, straight to the heart.” (New York Times Book Review)
“The most purely charming read of the summer…. The novel’s heart may be crooked, but it is completely in the right place. And if wanting a happy ending for this offbeat pair is wrong, I can’t imagine a reader on earth who would want to be right.” (Christian Science Monitor)
This book is recommended by a Weston library patron.
“World War II in an English village seen through the eyes of the most delicious cast of characters you’ll ever meet—The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a masterpiece of secrets, misdirection, village gossip, and gleeful disregard for anything but the main chance, as the Home Front learns to carry on. Seldom do you find a writer with such a deft touch—Jennifer Ryan sweeps the reader along to the very last page in a remarkable debut. “
— Charles Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge series
“There’s so much happening in Chilbury: intrigue, romance and an unforgettable cast of characters who aren’t always as they appear. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a charming slice of English wartime life that warms the soul like a hot toddy.”
— Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls