Literary

Visible City by Tova Mirvis

In Visible City, author Tova Mirvis explores the anonymity and intimacy of life in New York City, juxtaposing the public and private lives of community members in a transitioning neighborhood of pre-war apartments. Recovering attorney Nina, now a stay-at-home mom, uses her son’s toy binoculars to scrutinize the lives of an older couple living opposite her family on the block. When an innocuous meeting at Starbucks leads to a budding friendship with one half of the couple, Nina struggles to reconcile what she once imagined with what she now knows about their lives.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

The Wooden Barn is a last-resort boarding school where “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent teenagers” go to recover from personal trauma. Jam Gallahue is sent there by her parents after losing the boy she loved, and finds herself selected to be part of the elite class Special Topics in English with the beloved, soon-to-retire teacher Mrs. Quenell. The class focuses on a specific author – this time, Sylvia Plath – and as the students begin their assigned journal entries, they realize that writing in the journals brings unexpected transformation.

Flight of the sparrow : a novel of early America by Amy Belding Brown

Based on the real-life story of Mary Rowlandson (1637-1711) who lived in an outpost town in 1600’s Massachusetts this enthralling novel tells the story of Mary’s capture by Native Americans in an Indian raid.  Mary became a slave to a powerful female Indian leader and witnessed both savage cruelty and kindness while adapting to the Native American culture.  When she returned to English society and her minister husband she often felt shunned by her community and conflicted by the cruelty and prejudices imposed upon the Native Americans.  This novel gives a fresh in

The Hundred–Foot Journey by Richard Morais

When a horrific fire destroys their modest Mumbai restaurant and steals the life of a beloved wife and Mummy, the grief-stricken Haji family emigrates from India.  An extended period of mourning spent traveling throughout Europe culminates with this gregarious family opening an inexpensive Indian restaurant in the small alpine town of Lumiere, France.  Cultural differences soon escalate between the Haji family and Gertrude Mallory---longtime owner of a two-star restaurant a hundred-feet across the street---leading to a terrible accident jeopardizing the health of  fourteen-ye

Road Ends by Mary Lawson

Road Ends completes Lawson’s trilogy of work set in the remote rural landscape of Northwestern Ontario.  The Cartwright’s---a sprawling dysfunctional family with seven children---reside in the small, farming community of Struan.  Family patriarch and breadwinner, Edward Cartwright, is manager of the local bank. The story unfolds from multiple points of view alternating between him and the two oldest Cartwright offspring, Tom and Megan, both in their early twenties.

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman

Raised by a band of con-artists and outsiders, Tooly Zylberberg has always led an unconventional life.  Taking solace in her isolated existence, she is currently running a failing bookstore in a small village in Wales when an old boyfriend from New York sends her an urgent message about a man from her past he mistakenly believes is her father.  Against her better judgment, Tooly flies to New York City and finds that the message was about Humphrey - a self-proclaimed grumpy intellectual from Russia who helped raise her.

The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch

In 2005, having something of a quarter-life crisis after working as a staffer on a failed presidential campaign, former Ivy leaguer Will Baker leaves New York City and his long term girlfriend for a year-long English graduate program at Oxford University.  Will quickly falls into an eclectic group of friends, and in love with smart and elegant British student Sophie.  As his year at Oxford progresses, Will increasingly questions his identity and his future.  Charles Finch’s vivid, lyrical, coming of age novel perfectly captures the bittersweet magic of studying abroad.

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