Kerry’s Fiction Picks

All the books I’ve chosen this time have different places in the title and are indeed set in different locations.

Syndetics book coverA guide to Berlin
There’s not too much information on this one, but it has a truly international cast of characters.  Travellers from Italy, America, Japan and Australia gather in an apartment complex in Berlin.  They bond over their shared love of Nabokov and tell stories.  (The title is taken from a Nabokov short story written in 1925).  An act of violence shatters the group’s connections and changes their lives’ paths.

Syndetics book coverVilla America
This one is written by a former New York Times journalist.  She’s chosen the couple who inspired Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night – Sara and Gerald Murphy.  They spent their heyday in the Riviera in the 1920s.  This is more a fictionalised biography of the couple.  “Liza Klaussman expertly evokes the 1920s cultural scene of the so-called “Lost Generation.” Ravishing and affecting, and written with infinite tenderness, Villa America is at once the poignant story of a marriage and of a golden age that could not last” (Amazon).

Syndetics book coverLast night in Montreal
This is one of the earlier works (her debut in fact) by Emily St Mandel, who’s had some success this year with Station Eleven.  It’s about Lilia who has spent her whole life, including childhood, travelling from city to city changing her identity.  She is unable to remember her early childhood after her father turned up on her doorstep and took her from her mother.  Lilia feels she is being followed by something or someone (maybe tracked by a private detective), so she keeps on disappearing from friends and partners.  Finally, her last boyfriend becomes determined to find out her story and secrets, following her from New York to Montreal.  What mystery does he uncover?!