Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, 17 year old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. Marie is defiant in this timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.
“Groff has created a labyrinth of jewel-like moments . . . and transformed it into a novel that is perfect for right now.”-BookPage, STARRED review
“A relentless exhibition of Groff’s freakish talent. In just over 250 pages, she gives us a character study to rival Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell .” – USA Today“
Just when it seems there are nothing but chronicles of decline and ruin comes Lauren Groff’s Matrix, about a self-sufficient abbey of 12th-century nuns—a shining, all-female utopian community… it is finally its spirit of celebration that gives this novel its many moments of beauty.” –Wall Street Journal“
Transcendent prose and vividly described settings bring to life historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208. Groff has outdone herself with an accomplishment as radiant as Marie’s visions.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
For more than 700 years, the vast, rambling Trelawney Castle in Cornwall–turrets, follies, a room for every day of the year, four miles of corridors and 500,000 acres–was the magnificent and grand “three dimensional calling card” of the Earls of Trelawney. By 2008, it is in a complete state of ruin due to the dulled ambition and the financial ineptitude of the twenty-four earls, two world wars, the Wall Street crash, and inheritance taxes. (from the publisher) Four women dominate the story and discover what really keeps a family together. An utterly delightful and refreshing read.
“Rothschild is a witty, stylish storyteller and her overall message feels timely.”—Lucy Atkins, The Sunday Times
“A real page turner . . . sparklingly acerbic social satire . . . . Funny and absorbing, House of Trelawney is the perfect antidote to a grey, Scottish winter’s day.”—John Badenhorst, The Courier & Advertiser
“Nothing is left out in this madcap . . . novel, which parodies British aristocracy on one hand and the social-climbing world of new money on the other. There are odd, unlikely romances, a suicide, and babies born out of wedlock . . . Ms. Rothschild is an intelligent writer and an elegant prose stylist. The first female chair of the National Gallery, she describes her characters’ physical characteristics with the eye of someone who’s spent a lifetime looking carefully at paintings . . . Britain, that “sceptered isle,” is a shadow of its former self. But one thing the British haven’t lost is their sense of humor, and Ms. Rothschild provides a large dose of it in this quirky satire.” —Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal
What a delightful road trip – except the ride is on a narrowboat on British canals for four months. Two middle-aged women desperate to ditch their mundane life situations, as luck would have it, cross paths briefly with an older woman who lives on the canals. They trade homes and the slowed time and shared struggle give each the courage to make life-changing choices. . A breath of fresh air during our pandemic, claustrophobic, confined-in-our-homes times. Excellent read.
“Lovely…Another heartening story about the possibility of striking out in a new direction at any age. It is also a soothing read, especially welcome in these anxious times.” ―Christian Science Monitor
A touching, hopeful story about figuring out what matters and mustering the courage to make necessary changes.” ―NPR
“Fans of Jane Smiley and Hannah Mary McKinnon will enjoy Youngson’s immersive, lyrical account of the women’s narrowboat summer, especially the colorful characters they meet along their journey.” ―Booklist
“Youngson, a heartfelt storyteller, takes readers on a charming excursion that provides a comforting, tender escape.” ―Shelf Awareness
This book concludes the acclaimed Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel. These engrossing works of historical fiction follow Thomas Cromwell, an influential adviser to Henry VIII. In this final novel, Cromwell begins to lose favor with the king, who is on his fourth marriage and turning on many of the people around him. If you haven’t read the other books, be sure to read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies first.
“Deep, suspenseful, chewy, complex and utterly transporting―truly a full banquet. Most miraculously of all, it’s every bit as good as the first two books, both of which won the Booker Prize…. ―Elizabeth Gilbert, The Wall Street Journal Magazine
“The Wolf Hall trilogy is probably the greatest historical fiction accomplishment of the past decade.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“This is rich, full-bodied fiction. Indeed, it might well be the best of the trilogy simply because there is more of it, a treasure on every page…The brisk, present-tense narration makes you feel as though you are watching these long-settled events live, via a shaky camera phone… Mantel has…elevated historical fiction as an art form… At a time when the general movement of literature has been towards the margins, she has taken us to the dark heart of history.” ―The Times (London)
This new nonfiction book explores the early days of World War II in England, specifically Winston Churchill’s leadership during the Blitz. Even though we know what happened, this is a suspenseful page-turner filled with interesting stories and anecdotes about the key players in England, the United States, and Germany. In our current times, you may also find inspiration in reading about ordinary citizens facing a scary and challenging situation with courage and creativity.
“Through the remarkably skillful use of intimate diaries as well as public documents, some newly released, Larson has transformed the well-known record of 12 turbulent months, stretching from May of 1940 through May of 1941, into a book that is fresh, fast and deeply moving.”—Candice Millard, The New York Times Book Review
“A propulsive, character-driven account of Winston Churchill’s first year as British prime minister . . . Readers will rejoice.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Larson’s skill at integrating vast research and talent for capturing compelling human dramas culminate in an inspirational portrait of one of history’s finest, most fearless leaders.”—Booklist (starred review)
A pleasure to read, deliberate writing – short crisp chapters, surprising twists of good storytelling, memorable characters, and compassionate and tender scenes of mother and daughter. What else does one need to recommend this a fine book?
“Singer’s novel travels up and down the scale of sorrow, reflecting the musical and psychological connotations of her title…This haunting story…feels suspended in a murky state between memory and presence, happiness and despair.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“An unusually layered debut. In short, taut chapters, [Underground Fugue] alternates between two families who have suddenly become neighbors…When terror strikes, the plot accelerates and the novel’s strands converge brilliantly.” —Publishers Weekly
“I haven’t been able to get Underground Fugue out of my mind. Haunting and breathtaking, this debut sticks, the way good literature always does, because it awakens us to the majesty—all the pain, all the joy—our lives contain.” —Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever
I’m not sure I’ve ever read a funny World War II book before, until this one. Noel is a 10-year old orphan assigned to live with Vera, a single mother living outside London. Noel is very smart, Vera is very desperate to earn money, and together they make an unlikely duo. This book has a lot of humor, great characters, and just the right amount of emotion.
“I try not to say, ‘If there’s one novel you should read this summer..’ but Crooked Heart tempts me to say it.” (Scott Simon, NPR)
“Crooked Heart explores the Blitz during World War II from two utterly inventive perspectives…. A charming, slanted counterpoint to Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.” (Library Journal, starred review)
“In ‘Crooked Heart,’ Lissa Evans’s absorbing and atmospheric comic novel, another quietly heroic orphan joins the canon….This is a wonderfully old-fashioned Dickensian novel, with satisfying plot twists….Both darkly funny and deeply touching….It’s a crooked journey, straight to the heart.” (New York Times Book Review)
“The most purely charming read of the summer…. The novel’s heart may be crooked, but it is completely in the right place. And if wanting a happy ending for this offbeat pair is wrong, I can’t imagine a reader on earth who would want to be right.” (Christian Science Monitor)
I stopped reading another great book when I read the review of this book. Within pages I was hooked! A captivating true crime story of an unlikely thief (a 20 year old, American concert flute player) and his even more unlikely crime (breaking into the Tring Museum –home to the largest and oldest ornithological collections in the world) in 2010 in London. The author is relentless in his pursuit of the facts, the thief(s), and the appalling greed for our natural treasures. I can’t stop thinking about it. Put this title on hold at the library!
“This extraordinary bookexposes an international underground that traffics in rare and precious natural resources, yet was previously unknown to all but a few. A page-turning read you won’t soon forget, The Feather Thief tells us as much about our cultural priorities as it does about the crimes themselves. There’s never been anything like it.” —Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of TheHidden Life of Dogs
“A fascinating book . . . the kind of intelligent reported account that alerts us to a threat and that, one hopes, will never itself be endangered.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Captivating…Everything the author touches in this thoroughly engaging true-crime tale turns to storytelling gold. . . . Johnson’s flair for telling an engrossing story is, like the beautiful birds he describes, exquisite. . . . A superb tale about obsession, nature, and man’s ‘unrelenting desire to lay claim to its beauty, whatever the cost.’”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
This is a new writer for me. Best friends Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad have always been inseparable. But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol’s Feeder Canal, Abdi can’t–or won’t–tell anyone what happened. Noah is British. Abdi is a Somali refugee. And social tensions have been rising rapidly in Bristol, England. The writer keeps the tension at high pitch, a real page turner. Against this background of fear and fury two families fight for their sons and for the truth. The writer’s empathy for her characters is spot-on. (Includes reading discussion questions.)
“Macmillan captivates readers with a story just as addictive as her first… [and] shines when exploring the intricacies of relationships… Fans of Tana French, Ruth Ware, and Gillian Flynn will become completely entrenched in the unfolding details.” (BookPage)
“With lovely prose, depth of character and an intelligent narrative, Macmillan lifts the level of suspense with stiletto-like precision: a tiny graze here, a shallow cut there and, eventually, a thrust into the heart. At once profoundly unsettling and richly rewarding.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)