Title: The Guest Room
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Publisher: Doubleday, January 2016
Summary/Review: In the blink of an eye, Richard Chapman’s home goes from bachelor party venue to bloody crime scene in this riveting novel by Chris Bohjalian.
No one could have predicted the carnage that would occur, or imagine the tragic events that led to the doomed party. As alcohol and indiscretions abound, two young women, or the “hired” entertainment, make a desperate life or death decision that will have tragic repercussions for all.
Chris Bohjalian is a master of writing a woman’s point of view, and this novel is no exception. The Guest Room doesn’t just bring to light one of the many terrible crimes committed against women throughout the world, but brings the horror into our lives, and into our homes.
Who will like this book?: Someone who is looking for a literature-focused thriller with a deeper meaning. Someone who doesn’t shy away from difficult or controversial topics.
If you liked this, try this: If you’ve read (and loved) Chris Bohjalian before, this won’t be an exception. However, the style is different from previous books.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
If this looks like something you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!
Title: Mrs. Hemingway
Author: Naomi Wood
Publisher: Penguin, May 2014
Summary/Review: Favorable comparisons with Paula McLain’s outstanding novel “The Paris Wife” are inevitable and deserved, and anyone who enjoyed “The Paris Wife” will no doubt love “Mrs. Hemingway.” What makes Naomi Wood’s book such a treat is that the reader will get to know not just one but all four of Ernest Hemingway’s wives – Hadley, Pauline, Martha and finally, Mary. And through the story of the wives and their relationships also comes a vivid portrayal of the tortured man they loved. Wood’s writing flows with a deceptive ease; make no mistake that the pain and suffering the women experienced was real and not romanticized in these pages. In fact this fictionalized account of the lives and times of these people feels as real as any well-researched biography; perhaps this comes from all of the research that the author did, visiting Hemingway’s homes and old haunts in Chicago, Paris, Antibes, Key West and Havana. “Mrs. Hemingway” is beautiful, gripping and tragic – a worthwhile revisiting of what may be a familiar story.
Who will like this book? Fans of historical, literary fiction, particularly those who love reading fictionalized biographies. And anyone who likes to read about the lives of writers.
If you like this, try this; The Paris Wife by Paula McLain; Z: a Novel of Zelda by Therese Ann Fowler; Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck.
Recommended by: Mary C, Branch Reference Librarian
If this looks like a book you’d like to try, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold!
Title: A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
Publisher: Algonquin, March 2009
Summary: Robert Goolrick resurrects the Gothic romance! This book is so dark, suspenseful, sensual, and scary that I’m not quite sure how to begin to explain it, accept to say that is absolutely fabulous. It’s 1907 Wisconsin, the dead of winter, and everything is dark, frozen, covered with snow. Ralph Truitt stands on the platform of the train station, awaiting the arrival of his new wife-to-be under the watchful eyes of practically everyone who lives in his small rural town (that is everyone who hasn’t gone murderously insane.) Catherine Land sits on the train, having answered Truitt’s ad in the newspaper, on her way to marry him. She says goodbye to her past, literally throwing the remnants of it out the window of the private railway car he has sent for her (yes, he’s that rich). We don’t know much, but we know that Catherine is definitely not who she’s pretending to be, and that’s only the beginning of all of the terrible secrets buried in this book.
Part DuMaurier, part Poe, part Bronte (and even a little bit part Stephen King), Goolrick has masterfully created a suspenseful tale that will leave you breathless, really. He writes for all of the senses, and brings us to a world that is simply tragic and utterly beautiful.
Recommended by: Mary, Branch Reference
Title: The Leisure Seeker
Publisher: William Morrow, January 2009
Summary: The Leisure Seeker isthe second book by Mr. Zadoorian. He wrote Second Hand,which was an ABA Booksense 76 selection, a Barnes & Noble Award Finalist, and the winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award.
This book is a charming little read about an elderly couple who flee across country against the wishes of doctors and family members. It starts off a little roughly but soon the reader is engaged in the adventure of a couple married sixty years who are determined to visit Disneyland one last time. There are no real surprises along the way save for some nice words of sentimental wisdom. Nevertheless I did find myself rather moved. The end of the story has a twist but not altogether unexpected.
Recommended by: Karen, Deputy Town Librarian
Title: The Sound of Butterflies
Author: Rachael King
Summary: Thomas Edgar, an amateur naturalist, joined an expedition to the rainforests of the Amazon determined to be the first to capture the elusive butterfly he calls “Papilio Sophia.” He returns home several months later a changed man. Having deteriorated both physically and mentally, he is either unwilling or unable to speak. His young wife Sophie sets out trying to solve the mystery of what happened to her husband in a desperate attempt to bring him back to his former self. Slowly, we learn of the atrocities that befell Thomas and his fellow travelers in the Brazilian Amazon, culminating with the traumatic event that renders Thomas speechless.
This wonderful debut novel from New Zealander Rachael King takes us from turn of the century London to the rainforests of Brazil. Through letters, diary entries, and multi-character narration, we experience the social constraints of London, the dark side of the booming rubber industry of the Amazon, and the perils found in the wilds of the rainforest.
Who will like this book?: Historical fiction and adventure readers.
If you like this, try this: The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
Recommended by: Mary, Reference Librarian