A wonderful selection from this month’s recently received new contemporary fiction, all provide great reading experiences. We feature some wonderful writers with new titles from Amit Chaudhuri, Patrick Gale, Joyce Carol Oates and Anne Tyler. Enjoy.
Buried / Jussi Adler-Olsen ; translated by Martin Aitken ; translation consultant: Steve Schein.
“Over three years ago, a civil servant vanished after returning home from a work trip to Africa. Missing, presumed dead, the man’s family still want answers. It is one of the many unsolved crimes facing Department Q, Denmark’s specialist cold case unit led by Detective Inspector Carl Mørck. But what Carl doesn’t know is that the key to the investigation can be found right here in Copenhagen. Fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson survives on the run by sleeping rough and hiding in the shadows. He has seen more than most people do in a lifetime. But what does he know that makes him so afraid? And can the police find him before whoever he is running from?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Odysseus abroad / by Amit Chaudhuri.
“It is 1985. Twenty-two-year-old Ananda has been in London for two years, practicing at being a poet. He’s homesick, thinks of himself as an inveterate outsider, and yet he can’t help feeling that there’s something romantic, even poetic, in his isolation. His uncle, Radhesh, a magnificent failure who lives in genteel impoverishment and celibacy, has been in London for nearly three decades. Odysseus Abroad follows them on one of their weekly, familiar forays about town. All the while Ananda has far-ranging ruminations (into the triangle between his mother, father, and Radhesh, his mother’s brother, his father’s best friend; his Sylheti/Bengali ancestry; the ambitions and pressures that rest on his shoulders); in Radhesh’s often artfully wielded idiosyncrasies; and in the spiky, needful, sometimes comical, yet ultimately loving connection between the two men.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Glass : a novel / Alex Christofi.
“Glass is pure. Glass is transparent. Glass is sharp. Günter Glass, ex-milkman and aspiring window-cleaner, is certainly pure. And he’s pretty transparent. But the jury’s still out on how sharp he is. What naïve young Günter does have is a head for heights and, ever since he visited a glassblower’s workshop as a child, an unusual fixation with glass. When a minor adventure up the spire of Salisbury Cathedral makes Günter a local celebrity, John Blades – window-cleaner to the stars – comes calling. He wants Günter to join him in London to clean Europe’s tallest skyscraper, the newly constructed Shard in London Bridge. With his mother recently passed away, his dad retired and no money to pay off the mortgage, Günter takes Blades up on his offer and soon finds himself, for the first time, among the bright lights of London.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A place called Winter / Patrick Gale.
” A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence, until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. As he is forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonized Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Still Alice / Lisa Genova.
“Fifty-year-old Alice Howland, a Harvard professor of cognitive psychology, is at the top of her game. Her children are grown, her marriage secure, her career on fire when suddenly, after mere months of forgetfulness, she finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. With no cure or treatment, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose in her everyday life as her concept of self gradually slips away, leaving her unable to work, read, take care of herself, recognize her loved ones, even understand that she is unwell. Without memory or hope, she is forced to live in the moment, which is in turns beautiful, terrifying, and surprisingly uplifting.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The ladies of the house / Molly McGrann.
“On a hot July day, three elderly people are found dead in a dilapidated house in Primrose Hill. Reading the story in the newspaper as she prepares to fly to Italy, Marie Gillies has an unshakable feeling that she is somehow to blame. How did these three people come to live together, and how did they all die at once? The truth lies in a very different England, and in the secret world of the ladies of the house” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
God help the child / Toni Morrison.
“A tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. There is Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths, and finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The rocks / Peter Nichols.
“Set on the island of Mallorca, The Rocks is a double love story told in reverse. Opening in 2005 with a dramatic event that seems to seal the mystery of two lives, the story moves backwards in time, unravelling over sixty years, amid the olive groves and bars, the boats and poolside parties, the lives and relationships of two intertwined families within an expat community of endearing and flawed characters.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Jack of spades : a tale of suspense / Joyce Carol Oates.
“Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about: his twenty-eight mystery novels have sold millions of copies in nearly thirty countries, and he has a top agent and publisher in New York. He also has a loving wife, three grown children, and is a well-regarded philanthropist in his small New Jersey town. But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym “Jack of Spades,” he writes another string of novels, dark potboilers that are violent, lurid, and masochistic. These are novels that the refined, upstanding Andrew Rush wouldn’t be seen reading, let alone writing. Until one day, his daughter comes across a Jack of Spades novel that he has carelessly left out and begins to ask questions. Then Rush receives a court summons in the mail explaining that a local woman has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. Rush’s reputation, career, and family life all come under threat and unbidden, in the back of his mind, the Jack of Spades starts thinking ever more evil thoughts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A spool of blue thread : a novel / Anne Tyler.
“The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)