Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Fiction at Woodbury Community Library

The Spy Lover.   Kiana Davenport

Thrust into the savagery of the U.S. Civil War, a Chinese immigrant fighting for the Union Army, a nurse turned spy, and a one-armed Confederate cavalryman find their lives
inextricably entwined. Johnny Tom, a Chinese immigrant, is promised American citizenship if he serves with the Union Army. But first he must survive the carnage of battles and rampant racism among the ranks. Desperate to find him, his daughter, Era, becomes a Union spy while nursing soldiers in Confederate camps. She falls in love with Warren, a one-armed cavalryman, and her loyalties become divided between her beloved father in the North and the man who sustains her in the South. An extraordinary novel that will stand as a defining work on the Chinese immigrant experience, The Spy Lover is a paean to the transcendence of love and the resilience of the human spirit.

All the Light We Cannot See. Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr’s has written a beautiful and stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany’s Zollverein, “a four-thousand-acre coal-mining complex outside Essen,” the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, Jutta in the Children’s Home, which is run by Frau Elena “a Protestant nun from Alsace who is more fond of children than of supervision” (24-25). The children are enchanted by a crude radio they find and Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

If I Stay. Gayle Forman

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heart-wrenching and beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. This novel is appropriate for young adults and adult readers

Midnight in Europe.       Alan Furst

The Spanish civil war, the so-called "dress rehearsal for World War II," serves as the gripping subject of the latest work of Alan Furst, the author Vince Flynn called "the most talented espionage novelist of our generation." As the midnight of global war approaches, secret operatives and self-motivated anti-fascists search for ways to aid the Republic's faltering army. The task is daunting: With foreign agents nearly everywhere, Spanish émigré Cristián Ferrar  and this ragtag team of allies must thrust into danger to pursue even modest goals. A taut, well-plotted spy novel by an author who continues to win new readers.

                                A Trick of the Light.   Louise Penny

This follow-up to the Agatha Award-winning, Bury Your Dead, finds Armand Gamache, chief inspector of the Montreal police force, and Beauvoir, his lieutenant, still healing physically and psychologically from a fatal police operation gone awry. But this doesn't prevent them from taking on yet another murder case in the secluded village of Three Pines. When resident artist Clara Morrow's solo show at Montreal's premier art museum causes a sensation in the art world, it sets into motion a series of events that expose the vicious jealousies of artists and dealers. Clara's joy rapidly gives way to perplexity when the body of her sociopathic, long-estranged roommate is found in her garden. Gamache's investigation reveals the sad panoply of crippling human aspirations and failures. VERDICT Readers who love literary mystery writers such as Donna Leon will enjoy Penny's latest excellent series entry. (Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law, PA)

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