April fiction flood!
Even if we aren't getting our April showers, we can still cuddle up and read a good book.
See below for complete descriptions and click the link or call the library to place a hold.
"As Leonora and Max embark on remarkable journeys together and apart, the full story of their tumultuous and passionate love affair unfolds, spanning time and borders as they seek to reunite and reclaim their creative power in a world shattered by war. When their paths cross with Peggy Guggenheim, an art collector and socialite working to help artists escape to America, nothing will be the same"
It's Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans. Their reunion sets her own life down a startling path. Vivid, tender, darkly funny, and beautifully rendered, The Five Wounds spans the baby's first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge.
"From the New York times bestselling author of 'The Paris Wife' comes an atmospheric novel of intertwined fate and heart-wrenching suspense: A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them helpher heal? Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When unspeakable tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino. She spent summers there as a child with her beloved grandparents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her to heal. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. Anna is in no conditionto become involved with the search--until a childhood friend, now the village sheriff, pleads for her help. Then, just days later, a twelve-year-old girl is abducted from her home. The crimes feel frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna's childhood, when a string of unsolved murders touched Mendocino. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with these missing girls, she must learn that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in. Weaving together true crime, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this tense, affecting story is about fate, unlikely redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives--and our faith in one another"
The prize-winning, bestselling author of Gingerbread; Boy, Snow, Bird; and What is Not Yours is Not Yours returns with a vivid and inventive new novel about a couple forever changed by an unusual train voyage. When Otto and Xavier Shin declare their love, an aunt gifts them a trip on a sleeper train to mark their new commitment - and to get them out of her house. Setting off with their pet mongoose, Otto and Xavier arrive at their sleepy local train station, but quickly deduce that The Lucky Day is no ordinary locomotive. Their trip on this former tea-smuggling train has been curated beyond their wildest imaginations, complete with mysterious and welcoming touches, like ingredients for their favorite breakfast. They seem to be the only people onboard, until Otto discovers a secretive woman who issues a surprising message. As further clues and questions pile up, and the trip upends everything they thought they knew, Otto and Xavier begin to see connections to their own pasts, connections that now bind them together. A spellbinding tale from a star author, Peaces is about what it means to be seen by another person--whether it's your lover or a stranger on a train--and what happens when things you thought were firmly in the past turn out to be right beside you.
"Laila desperately wants to become a mother, but each of her previous pregnancies has ended in heartbreak. This time has to be different, so she turns to the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power. When a deal for Laila to acquire a piece of caul falls through, she is heartbroken, but when the child is stillborn, she is overcome with grief and rage. What she doesn't know is that a baby will soon be delivered in her family - by her niece, Amara, an ambitious college student - and delivered to the Melancons to raise as one of their own. Hallow is special: she's born with a caul, and their matriarch, Maman, predicts the girl will restore the family's prosperity. Growing up, Hallow feels that something in her life is not right. Did Josephine, the woman she calls mother, really bring her into the world? Why does her cousin Helena get to go to school and roam the streets of New York freely while she's confined to the family's decrepit brownstone? As the Melancons' thirst to maintain their status grows, Amara, now a successful lawyer running for district attorney, looks for a way to avenge her longstanding grudge against the family. When mother and daughter cross paths, Hallow will be forced to decide where she truly belongs."
Security consultant “Jane Smith” receives an envelope with a key to a storage unit that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and clues leading her to a taxidermied salamander. Silvina, the dead woman who left the note, is a reputed ecoterrorist and the daughter of an Argentine industrialist. By taking the hummingbird from the storage unit, Jane sets in motion a series of events that quickly spin beyond her control.
Soon, Jane and her family are in danger, with few allies to help her make sense of the true scope of the peril. Is the only way to safety to follow in Silvina’s footsteps? Is it too late to stop? As she desperately seeks answers about why Silvina contacted her, time is running out—for her and possibly for the world. Hummingbird Salamander is Jeff VanderMeer at his brilliant, cinematic best, wrapping profound questions about climate change, identity, and the world we live in into a tightly plotted thriller full of unexpected twists and elaborate conspiracy.
Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great-aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper…Venice. Caroline’s quest: to scatter Juliet “Lettie” Browning’s ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for more than sixty years.
It’s 1938 when art teacher Juliet Browning arrives in romantic Venice. For her students, it’s a wealth of history, art, and beauty. For Juliet, it’s poignant memories and a chance to reconnect with Leonardo Da Rossi, the man she loves whose future is already determined by his noble family. However star-crossed, nothing can come between them. Until the threat of war closes in on Venice and they’re forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret that will bind them forever. Key by key, Lettie’s life of impossible love, loss, and courage unfolds. It’s one that Caroline can now make right again as her own journey of self-discovery begins.
"From author Willy Vlautin comes an exploration of greed and opportunism, set amidst a rapidly gentrifying city-a novel taking place over 48 hours in which a young woman must push herself to her limits to get the security she needs for herself and her family"
Four tales of speculative fiction includes the story of an engaged couple trying to fight time and space to get married and a story featuring godlike beings who created Earth and humanity and pass judgement on them.
"This tour-de-force is widely regarded as the quintessential post-WWII Japanese novel. A plan to kidnap a major corporation's CEO becomes an allegory for the alienation of the individual self, a mirror to modern-day Japaense identity. In 1995 in Tokyo, five men meet at the racetrack every Sunday to bet on the horses. They have little in common except a disaffection with their lives. One is a poorly socialized but genius factory welder. One is a demoted detective with a chip on his shoulder. One is an ethnically Korean banker who is tired of being ostracized for his race. One is a truck driver who struggles to make ends meet; he is also the harried single parent of a teenage girl with down's syndrome. The fifth man, Monoi, a sixty-five-year-old drug store owner, is the one who brings them all together. Monoi has a hard past and a tragic present. He grew up in poverty during the war, and gave the best years of his life working for companies that didn't take care of him. Last summer, his only grandson was killed in a highly suspicious one-person car accident; shortly after, Monoi's son-in-law, the boy's father, a successful dentist, committed suicide after a correspondence with Hinode Beer Company, a huge conglomerate where his son had been interviewing. Snooping around, Monoi discovers a very strange chain of communication between his dead son-in-law and a blackmailer over a forgotten family secret. Monoi, alone in the world and intent on revenge, decides to put together a heist that will victimize the corporate behemoth that stole his family: he will kidnap Hinode's CEO and extract blood money from the corrupt financiers who back it. He enlists his four disaffected friends to help pull it off"
"A riveting new collection of short stories from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami. The eight masterful stories in this new collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator: a lonely man. Some of them ... are nostalgic looks back at youth ; others are set in adulthood. Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Haruki himself is present. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides. The stories all touch beautifully on love and loss, childhood and death . . . all with a signature Murakami twist."
"A sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter's fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals-personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others-that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America's most tangled, honest, human roots"
Natalia cannot stop thinking about sex. With this mesmerizing tale of one woman's potent affliction, award-winning Finnish writer Laura Lindstedt makes her American debut. Narrated by an unnamed, ungendered therapist who leaps at the chance to employ their most experimental methods, My Friend Natalia offers a gripping examination of the power dynamics always present but rarely ever spoken about in therapy. "Something flared within me," the therapist notes, "and it wasn't merely sympathy, the emotion I feel for most of my clients. It was more like a sudden experience of harmony, wholly inappropriate given the circumstances." It is clear from the moment Natalia barges into her new therapist's office that she has motives beyond simply fixing her sex life. She is quick to mention that the same exact painting hanging on the therapist's wall-an abstract piece titled Ear-Mouth-once hung in her grandmother's living room. This comment deeply unsettles the therapist, as does the large alarm clock that Natalia brings with her, intent on timing the sessions herself. And the tape recorder. At first, Natalia seems to play along with the rules of therapy. She partakes in the therapist's pain-displacement exercises, word games, and even produces a few anatomical illustrations. She muses on the art of pornography, and boldly examines seminal figures like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, about whom she poses the question, "Did Jean-Paul consider Simone a woman at all? Or was she nothing but a pencil sharpener?" By combining philosophy and literature, repressed childhood memories and explicitly unrepressed erotic experiences, the sessions quickly shed all inhibitions. Still, the therapist can't help but wonder: What does Natalia really want?
"A modern saga that could only have come from South Africa, written in gorgeous prose by the Booker Prize-shortlisted author Damon Galgut. Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa; Anton, the golden boy who bitterly resents his life’s unfulfilled promises; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by a nebulous feeling of guilt. Reunited by four funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country - an atmosphere of resentment, renewal, and - ultimately - hope. The Promise is an epic drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history, sure to please current fans and attract many new ones."
"A woman sits in her apartment in an unnamed English city, absorbed in watching the dramas of her neighbors through their windows. Traumatized into muteness after a long, devastating trip from war-torn Syria to the UK, she believes that she wants to sink deeper into isolation, moving between memories of her absent boyfriend and family and her homeland, dreams, and reality. At the same time, she begins writing for a magazine under the pseudonym "the Voiceless," trying to explain the refugee experience without sensationalizing it-or revealing anything about herself. Gradually, as the boundaries of her world expand, she has to make a choice: Will she remain a voiceless observer, or become an active participant in her own life and in a community that, despite her best efforts, is quickly becoming her own?"
Fifty-seven short stories drawn from past collections celebrate the lifelong significance of this major American writer's essential contribution to a form-illuminating the ways that he has made it his own.
"With the death of her aunt, the narrator is left to sift through an apartment full of faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs: a withered repository of an entire century of life in Russia. Carefully reassembled with calm, steady hands, these shards tell the story of an ordinary family that somehow managed to survive the myriad persecutions and repressions of the last century. The family's pursuit of a quiet, civilized, ordinary life-during such atrocious times-is itself a strange odyssey. In dialogue with thinkers like Roland Barthes, W. G. Sebald, Susan Sontag, and Osip Mandelstam, In Memory of Memory is imbued with rare intellectual curiosity and a wonderfully soft-spoken, poetic voice. Dipping into various genres-essay, fiction, memoir, travelogue, and history-Stepanova assembles a vast panorama of ideas and personalities and offers a bold exploration of cultural and personal memory."
Thebes is a city in mourning, still reeling from a devastating attack of plague that invaded every home and left the survivors devastated and fearful. This is the Thebes that Jocasta has known her entire life, a city ruled by a king--her husband-to-be. Jocasta struggles through this miserable marriage until she is unexpectedly widowed--now free to choose her next husband, she selects the handsome, youthful Oedipus. When whispers emerge of an unbearable scandal, the very society that once lent Jocasta its support seems determined to destroy her. Ismene is a girl in mourning, longing for the golden days of her youth--days spent lolling in the courtyard garden, reading and reveling in her parents' happiness and love. Now she is an orphan, and the target of a murder plot, attacked within the very walls of the palace. As the deadly political competition swirls around her, she must uncover the root of the plot - and reveal the truth of the curse that has consumed her family. The novel is based on Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone, two of Classical Greece's most compelling tragedies. Told in intersecting narratives, this feminist reimagining of Sophocles' classic plays brings life and voice to the women who were too often forced to the background of their own stories. It is compulsively entertaining fiction that recasts these familiar stories for the twenty-first century reader.
"A semi-autobiographical work that takes place over the course of a single day in the 1980s. Minae is a Japanese expatriate graduate student who has lived in the United States for two decades but turned her back on the English language and American culture. After a phone call from her older sister reminds her that it is the twentieth anniversary of their family's arrival in New York, she spends the day reflecting in solitude and over the phone with her sister about their life in the United States, trying to break the news that she has decided to go back to Japan and become a writer in her mother tongue"
"This stunningly original collection of stories illuminates a spectrum of Latinx, Chicanx, and immigrant women's voices. In confrontations with fraught matrilineal lines, absent or abusive fathers, and the effects of historical violence, these women and girls navigate a male-dominated world where they rely on a resilient mujer network to get them through sometimes supernatural obstacles. In visceral, embodied prose, Fragoza's imperfect characters are drawn with an authentic, sympathetic tenderness as they struggle against circumstances and conditions designed to defeat them. A young woman returns home from college, only to pick up exactly where she left off: a smart girl in a rundown town with no future. A mother reflects on the pain and pleasures of being inexorably consumed by her small daughter, whose penchant for ingesting grandma's letters has extended to taking bites of her actual flesh. A brother and sister watch anxiously as their distraught mother takes an ax to their old furniture, and then to the backyard fence, until finally she attacks the family's beloved lime tree. Victories are excavated from the rubble of personal hardship, and women's wisdom is brutally forged from the violence of history that continues to unfold on both sides of the US-Mexico border"
"Natsuko lives with her husband Taichi, who was forced to stop working eight years ago by the sudden onset of a brain disease. Ever since then, they have been living on her part-time wages and what he receives in disability. But Natsuko is well accustomed to financial hardship. Before meeting Taichi, she lived with her mother, a proud woman who clung to illusions of affluence long after the family riches had dried up. Her mother and her brother are haunted by their former station in life, restless spirits unable to live according to their present realities, and uncomprehending of Natsuko's decision to marry a lowly functionary. One day, Natsuko sees an ad for a rest-and-recreation center posted on a bulletin board: February Only: Weeknights 5,000 Yen (5000 Yen = Approx. 50USD). She recognizes the place as a former luxury hotel--a symbol of that time in her mother's youth when she wanted for nothing. Natsuko's grandfather, who single-handedly built the family fortune, had taken her mother to the storied hotel when she was little. When, for the first time in years, Natsuko and her husband take an overnight trip to a spa that was once a luxury hotel Natusko remembers staying in when she and her family had wealth and prestige. However, the building triggers memories and epiphanies relating to the complicated history of her family. Natsuko's overnight trip becomes a voyage into the netherworld--a journey to the doors of death and back to life. The volume also contains a short story modeled on Junichiro Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters titled Ninety-Nine Kisses, which portrays four unmarried sisters living in an old-fashioned neighborhood in contemporary Tokyo."