This is a moving first novel, "The Given World," by Marian Palaia. It takes place during the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's in the life of a woman whose brother goes missing in the Vietnam War. Palaia perfectly captures how the war changed the lives of the loved ones back home.
Florence Gordon is this novel's unforgettable female protagonist, a 75-year-old New Yorker whose family arrives in the city and brings with it some messy issues. Her name is the book's title, and she's an inspiration -- not only for the novel's characters, but also for readers.
This is a review of Bruce Holbert's new, second novel, "The Hour of Lead," and why I wish I'd read his debut, "Lonesome Animals," first.
Audrey Magee's novel "The Undertaking" is about newlyweds caught up in Berlin society and the Eastern Front during World War II. Stark, moving and intelligent, this is Magee’s fictional debut.
"Ordinary Grace" is one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. Of note, it just won the the Edgar Award for best novel, announced last week. Two other winners appear here, as well as a link to the full list of nominees and winners in all the categories for the Mystery Writers of America 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards.
"Redeployment" is a collection of 12 fictional stories written by a former U.S. Marine who served in the Iraq War. They are piercing in emotional honesty and unforgettable.
Jeff VanderMeer's "Annihilation," his first book in the new Southern Reach Trilogy, became my obsession for a few days. I could've read it in one day -- it's just south of 200 pages -- but I didn't want this riveting, bizarre story to end.
Derek B. Miller's "Norwegian by Night" is as intense as it is entertaining -- a crime story taking place in Oslo and the hinterlands of Norway, featuring an octogenarian Korean War vet who deserves a place in the Colorful Characters Hall of Fame,
Mark Slouka's new novel takes place in the late Sixties, in a small town. Here two teenagers form a bond that becomes their salvation. Seductive, nostalgic prose, vivid, likable characters and a masterful story. It's all here.
Europa Editions publishes some of the best world literature, and that includes Caryl Férey’s "Mapuche." It's absorbing crime fiction that draws from Argentina's dark time of "the disappeared." Intense and gratifying.
A. X. Ahmad has created an intriguing protagonist in his first novel, “The Caretaker.” Add to that India’s nuclear capability, an American hostage in North Korea, a nervous U.S. Senator and a bunch of thugs, and you've got an exciting literary thriller.
Neil Gaiman is the author of more than twenty books and the recipient of numerous literary honors. His newest novel is "The Ocean at the End of the Lane."
Constance Schuyler is another one of Patrick McGrath's emotionally unstable characters. In this, his 10th work of fiction, he’s based the psychological twist on Constance's bad relationship with her father. Unfortunately, it creates a bit of a dull dramatic thump. Here's why.
Here is a debut novel that's rich in setting and very fun to read. Its odd events are highly entertaining, and the narrator is a good guy with a clever sense of humor. He's tracking birds in deep forests at 5 a.m. and experiencing hilarious situations. Killer tornado included.
Here's a novel categorized for teens, but just like "The Hunger Games" and "The Book Thief," "Code Name Verity" is a good bet for adult readers. It's an involving story created with an unusual narrative strategy, making this Edgar Award-winner a five-star read.