Yangsze Choo, “The Ghost Bride” (HarperCollins, 2013)
Malaya, 1893. Pan Li Lan, a beautiful eighteen-year-old, has watched her Chinese merchant family decline since the death of her mother from smallpox during Li Lan’s early childhood. Her father lives in isolation and smokes too much opium: bad for business, as anyone can see from the decaying surroundings of... Read More
Virginia Pye, “River of Dust” (Unbridled Books, 2013)
Few possibilities terrify parents more than the kidnapping of a child. Guilt, grief, helplessness, anger, and immobilizing fear mingle to create an emotional stew with a mix of ingredients that varies just enough from person to person to reveal the cracks in once-solid relationships, leaving individuals struggling alone–and often against... Read More
Janet Kastner Olshewsky, “The Snake Fence” (Quaker Bridge Media, 2013)
Sixteen is a difficult age, lodged somewhere between childhood and adulthood. In 1755, young Noble Butler has just finished his apprenticeship as a carpenter, and he wants nothing more than to undertake more advanced training as a cabinetmaker (qualified to produce the beautiful furniture characteristic of prerevolutionary North America). But... Read More
Marie Macpherson, “The First Blast of the Trumpet” (Knox Robinson Publishing, 2012)
There’s nothing quite like sitting down to write a novel about a man who, to quote Marie Macpherson, is blamed for “banning Christmas, football on Sundays,” and the like. What is one to do with such a subject, never mind making him interesting and sympathetic? Yet this is exactly what... Read More
B. A. Shapiro, “The Art Forger” (Algonquin Books, 2012)
Claire Roth can’t believe her luck when the owner of Boston’s most prestigious art gallery offers her a one-woman show. Of course, there’s a catch: he asks her to copy a painting. A small price to pay to revive her stalled career, Claire thinks–until she discovers that the painting in... Read More
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