Posted by Book Mavens on 24th January 2012
Title: Night Strangers
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Publisher: Crown, 2011
Summary: The beginning of Chris Bohjalian’s latest book is riveting. It had me gasping for breath as I read about Chip Linton, a seasoned pilot, who had to ditch his jet in Lake Champlain after jamming into a flock of geese. The normalcy of being seat belted into a chair and the next minute hitting the water and going under is frightening. The body count, thirty nine deaths.
Chip, his wife (a lawyer) and their twin ten-year old girls move to New Hampshire in the hope that they can rebuild their lives. However, in a musty dirt floor basement in the corner of the room sits a door that has long been sealed with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. 39 bolts, 39 deaths on the plane. It only gets spookier from there.
This novel is for sure a psychological thriller but it’s also a domestic drama and the story of a family coping with the aftermath of a horrible catastrophe.
The ghost story develops when Chip begins to see some of the dead from the plane crash, but there are also herbalists aka witches who play a huge part in the demise of this family. As you read through you begin to build your own dread on what is going to take place. The ghosts know exactly what they want and Chip is beginning to understand what he must do to help them. Meanwhile you begin to understand that this cult of women, in this tiny town, is definitely moving this plot into a not so happy ending. They are a strong and fearful group to reckon with and Chip and Emily’s twins will play an important role in their desires.
I haven’t read a ghost story in a long in a while but I really enjoyed this one.
Recommended by: Nancy, Deputy Town Librarian
Who will like this book?: Those who are already fans of Bohjalian, or those who enjoy psychological fast-paced thrillers
If you like this, try this: Other Bohjalian books, or other psychological thriller authors such as John Sanford or Jeffrey Deaver
Does this look like something you’d like to read? Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to put a hold or check availability!
Tags: 2011 Releases, Ghosts, New Hampshire, Plane Crash, Twins, Witches
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 3rd July 2008
Titles: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
Summary: It was sheer coincidence that I read these two novels back to back, so I thought it would be nice to review them together. The two stories have a lot in common and share many similar themes, but each one evokes a completely different (and wonderful!) reading experience.
Garden Spells is a delightful story about two half-sisters, Claire and Sydney, their magical garden, and life in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina. The Waverly women have always had mysterious gifts, but they’ve not always embraced them. Claire’s magic comes through the herbs and spices she uses from the famous Waverly garden, while Cousin Evanelle intuits exactly what item people will need the most and gives it to them. Sydney spent most of her life running away from her gifts, but finds herself returning to Bascom with her daughter when her boyfriend becomes abusive. As the bond between Claire and Sydney grows, so does their appreciation of their unusual talents. This book was a pleasure to read, the perfect summer novel.
If Garden Spells is the perfect summer novel, then The Lace Reader is its perfect cold weather counterpart – it’s a bit darker, but still a fantastic read. We meet another family with mystical powers, the Whitneys of Salem, Massachusetts. The Whitney women can read your future in patterns of the Ipswich lace that they help to make, which leads some people to believe they are witches. Towner Whitney thought she’d left all of that behind when she moved to California, but she’s called back home when her beloved Aunt Eva goes missing. Her return to the family home sets off a series of events that are a more than a little unsettling. There are some fascinating people and places in this novel. I particularly loved reading about Salem and Yellow Dog Island, a fictional island of the coast of Massachusetts that’s inhabited by hundreds of wild Golden Retrievers.
By the way, The Lace Reader is one of the books that created a buzz at this year’s Book Expo America. It’s being published in hardcover this month, but we happened to have a previously-published paperback edition on our shelves – and I’m so glad we did!
Who will like these books?: Any fan of Alice Hoffman and Laura Esquivel.
If you like these try: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman; The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen.
Recommended by: Mary, Reference Librarian
Tags: American South, Massachusetts, Mental Illness, New England, North Carolina, Psychics, Romance, Salem, Sisters, Twins, Witchcraft
Posted in Fiction, Literary | No Comments »