Title: A Reunion of Ghosts
Author: Judith Claire Mitchell
Publisher: Harper, March 2015
Summary/Review: This book is an absolute perfect balance of humor and sadness, hope and despair, blessing and curse, past and present, reason and insanity. The story of the Alter sisters and their relatives, living and dead, will not soon leave me. It’s a family history filled with tragedy (loosely based on the story of the German chemist who invented the poisonous gas used in both world wars). Lady, Vee and Delph Alter decide they can no longer live with this legacy of guilt, and decide to end it all on the same day in December of 1999. In an interview, the author Judith Claire Mitchell says that when writing “A Reunion of Ghosts” she felt like she was “alone in a bunker with this family.” It’s that engrossing. This expertly-written and unique family saga is not to be missed!
Who will like this? Someone looking for a historical family saga that will cover a huge range of emotion for the reader
If you like this, try this: Mitchell has written another book, “Last Day of the War” which covers Paris and World War I. If you’re looking for female-centric family sagas, try Kate Morton or Isabel Allende.
Recommended by: Mary, Reference
If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!
Title: Little Bee
Author: Chris Cleave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, February 2009
Summary: Chris Cleave’s second novel is quite an accomplishment. There are some beautiful moments, and some horrific moments throughout this complex story, told to us by two very different women who have been bound together by a violent event. The publishers of Little Bee are asking readers not to “spoil” the story by revealing too much of the plot. While I don’t agree that this is altogether necessary (there’s no big secret revelation, really, a la The Double Bindby Chris Bohjalian), I’ll honor their wishes.
What I can tell you is that I found the voice of Little Bee and her story to be excellently portrayed and very moving. When we first meet her she’s being released from a British immigration detention center after two years. We learn that she’s originally from a war-torn village in Africa, and has escaped almost certain death by stowing away on a ship to England. She reaches out to Sarah and Andrew O’Rourke, a couple from London that Little Bee and her sister met one fateful day on a beach in Nigeria. Sarah, our other narrator, takes Little Bee in even though her own life is in pieces after the suicide of her husband. As the two women together try to imagine how they can possibly create new lives for themselves, we learn more about the awful truth that connects them and brings the story to its inevitable, heart-wrenching conclusion.
Recommended by: Mary, Branch Reference
Title: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death
Author: Charlie Huston
Publisher: Ballantine, January 2009
Summary: Charlie Huston has a reputation for using vulgarity and profanity in his writing. His newest novel will cement that reputation. The dialogue, however, did not offend me because it was true to the characters. I couldn’t imagine them speaking any other way.
Webster Fillmore Goodhue, Web for short, is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and has been slacking off a bit. Once a middle school teacher, he is now living off his best friend Chev. Web is offered and encouraged to accept some part time work with Clean Team. Apparently, the trauma scene and waste cleaning industry is very competitive and the employees of Clean Team have to watch their backs. It doesn’t help that Web gets involved with a beautiful young woman who needs him to “clean up” a mess in a seedy motel room. Web finds himself in all kinds of trouble, and even though his life has been in a downward spiral, he still tries to be a good person and do the right thing.
The descriptions of the trauma scenes are grisly and may be too much for some readers. If you can get over past the language and the gore, this book is really rather amusing.
Who will like this book? Anyone who will admit, even if its just to themselves, that they like inappropriate dialogue and blood and guts.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator
Title: Hold Tight
Author: Harlan Coben
Summary: First, let me just say “WOW”. I have not stayed up well past 2:00 a.m to finish a book in a long time, but this book was worth it. Hold Tight has suspense, thrills, chills… you name it. I found myself rushing through my day so I could get back to reading this book.
One woman is missing. One turns up dead, beaten beyond recognition. Mike and Tia Baye’s teenage son Adam goes missing soon after his best friend commits suicide. Mike has an idea where to look for Adam because Tia insisted on installing a sophisticated spy program on Adam’s computer. They can read his email, his instant messages, and track the websites he has visited. Oh, and Adam’s phone has a GPS. The Bayes’ soon find out that having too much information can lead to disaster.
Betsy Hill finds a picture of her son Spencer, taken the night he committed suicide. She sees Adam in the background of the picture. Betsy now believes Spencer was not alone on the rooftop when he overdosed on prescription drugs and alcohol. Are all of these events connected? You bet they are. Everything comes together in the end, which makes this a great read from cover to cover
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator