Catching Genius


Kristy Kiernan - 2007
    Now, years later, they are forced to reunite on the Gulf Coast of Florida as they pack up their childhood home and ready it for sale. The reunion comes at a time when both Connie and Estella must come to terms with painful revelations and devastating consequences in their own lives. And once again, her sister's genius may alter Connie's life in ways she cannot control.

Bread Upon the Waters


Irwin Shaw - 1981
    Far from wealthy they are still reasonably content with their life until one night when their teenage daughter helps a wealthy and lonely Wall Street lawyer. Out of gratitude the lawyer showers the family with gifts and money. The Strands find their lives altered and not necessarily for the best.

Other People's Children


R.J. Hoffmann - 2021
    But then she miscarried—once, twice, three times. Determined to expand their family, the Durbins turn to adoption. When several adoptions fall through, Gail’s desire for a child overwhelms her. Carli is a pregnant teenager from a blue-collar town nearby, with dreams of going to college and getting out of her mother’s home. When she makes the gut-wrenching decision to give her baby up for adoption, she chooses the Durbins. But Carli’s mother, Marla, has other plans for her grandbaby. In Other People’s Children, three mothers make excruciating choices to protect their families and their dreams—choices that put them at decided odds against one another. You will root for each one of them and wonder just how far you’d go in the same situation. This riveting debut is a thoughtful exploration of love and family, and a heart-pounding page-turner you’ll find impossible to put down.

Natural Flights of the Human Mind


Clare Morrall - 2006
    That's just the way he likes it. He speaks to no one except in his dreams, where he converses with some of the seventy-eight people he believes he killed nearly a quarter-century earlier -- though he can't quite remember how it happened. But Straker's carefully preserved solitude is about to be invaded by Imogen Doody, a prickly and unapproachable school caretaker with a painful history herself. Against his will -- and hers -- Straker soon finds himself helping Imogen repair the run-down cottage she's inherited. There are forces gathering, however, as the twenty-fifth anniversary of Straker's crime approaches, and they're intent upon disturbing his precarious peace.

The Practical Navigator


Stephen Metcalfe - 2016
    When his long-absent wife Anita returns unannounced wanting--Michael isn't sure what--a reconciliation? A new relationship? Her role as their son's mother back? Michael must decide whether to give her a second chance or protect his son from more hurt. Meanwhile, a burgeoning relationship that could be heading towards love is put on hold while Michael reexamines his feelings for this woman who abandoned them years earlier.With pitch perfect emotion and a beautiful portrayal of the relationship between a father and son, Stephen Metcalfe's The Practical Navigator has drawn a rich and layered portrait of a what it means to be a family and what it means to be truly loved.

Ellen in Pieces


Caroline Adderson - 2014
    In middle age she sells the house she raised her daughters in, slips off the shell of her old life, and steps out for a first, tentative foray into real contentment--directly into the path of a man twenty years her junior. Her story explodes into multiple points of view. Through the eyes of her lover, Matt, her ex-husband, Larry, her two daughters (one a former addict), her grandson, and a friend who both supports and betrays her, we watch Ellen negotiate the middle years of her tumultuous life as the pieces of who she is finally come together. In its entirety, Ellen in Pieces explores love in its varied forms, the nature of regret (and the possibility of recovery from it), and that greatest human test, mortality.Exquisitely written, absorbing and intelligent, this new novel by Caroline Adderson shows her at the top of her form. Ellen in Pieces is a deeply affecting story, an emotional mirror for all our lives.

Traps


MacKenzie Bezos - 2013
     Jessica is an Oscar-winning actress whose father keeps selling her out to the paparazzi.  Vivian is a seventeen-year-old prostitute who will do anything to protect her twin babies.  Lynn is a recovering alcoholic living in isolation on a ranch in Nevada.  How their fates collide--and how that collision offers each of them a chance at redemption and renewal--is the subject of this emotionally powerful, finely crafted, richly textured novel.

Redemption Mountain


Gerry FitzGerald - 2013
    Virginia and meets a small-town woman and her son who open his eyes to a richer life than he could have imagined.On the surface, Charlie Burden and Natty Oaks could not be more different: She, the daughter of many generations of rural farmers; he, an executive at a multi-national engineering firm. But, in each other, they find the new lease on life they both so desperately need.Natty dreams of a life beyond her small town. She is unhappily married to her high school crush (who now spends more time at the bar than at home) and passes the time nursing retired miners, coaching her son, The Pie Man's, soccer team and running the mountain trails she knows by heart, longing to get away from it all. Charlie has everything he ever thought he wanted, but after 25 years of climbing the corporate ladder, he no longer recognizes his own life: his job has become bureaucratic paper-pushing, his wife is obsessed with their country-club status, and his children have grown up and moved on. When he is sent to West Virginia to oversee a mining project, it is a chance to escape his stuffy life; to get involved, instead of watching from the sidelines. Arriving in Red Bone, though, he gets more than he bargained for: his new friends become the family he was missing and Natty, the woman who reminds him what happiness feels like. When his company's plans threaten to destroy Natty's family land, his loyalties are questioned and he is forced to choose between his old life and his new love in a fight for Redemption Mountain.

Daughter's Keeper


Ayelet Waldman - 2003
    Motherhood was a role that Elaine never embraced and her best never amounted to much. But now Olivia faces prosecution for a naive connection to a drug deal and she needs Elaine more than ever. As the days count down and Olivia's future hangs in the balance, Elaine must decide just how much she is willing to give for a second chance with her daughter.With Daughter's Keeper, Ayelet Waldman has crafted a redemptive journey at once highly emotional and unbearably suspenseful, as Olivia and Elaine's struggle builds to a beautiful, heart-wrenching climax. In this luminous, gripping novel, Waldman brings to life the tensions and the tenderness that forge the unshakeable bond between parent and child. Daughter's Keeper reveals the unlimited boundaries of forgiveness and the sacrifices we make for love.

One Last Dance


Eileen Goudge - 1999
    Instead, they are attending their father's funeral -- and their mother's trial for his murder...With more than three million copies of her novels sold, Eileen Goudge is already renowned for her rich, compelling sagas of women's lives. Now, with One Last Dance, she reaches a new level of drama, suspense, and passion -- and new heights of bestsellerdom!

The Snow Falcon


Stuart Harrison - 1999
    In a small town in the Pacific Northwest, Susan Baker is struggling with the consequences of the death of her husband in a shooting accident, witnessed by her son Jamie, who has withdrawn into introverted silence. When Michael Somers returns to the town where he grew up, provoking resentment and suspicion among the members of the tightknit community, Susan and Jamie are drawn into the middle of a complex drama. Michael is a solitary figure who has spent time incarcerated for something that happened years ago, but which had its genesis long before that, during his troubled childhood. Shunned by the community, Michael struggles to make sense of his life. When he finds a wounded falcon in the mountains, the injured bird becomes a possible route towards redemption and understanding for both Michael and his neighbour’s son, Jamie. The relationship that develops between man and boy, and also Jamie’s mother, Susan is at the heart of the story. However, it is also the spark that ignites tensions among the townspeople and leads to explosive consequences.This is a novel about people struggling with their lives and the things that made them who they are. The characters are forced to confront both their strengths and flaws, and to make decisions that determine their futures. Some choose to face their personal demons, but others refuse to recognise their failings, instead compounding their past mistakes, until they threaten to destroy everything around them.

The Rape Trial


Bidisha Ghosal - 2020
    Nearly a decade has passed since Rahul Satyabhagi, heir to the mega Satyabhagi business empire, had raped Avni Rambha, bested her in court, and gone on to become a men’s rights activist, and the who’s-who of Badrid Bay had breathed a sigh of relief that the sordid mess was over. But now a sting operation proves what many, the three friends included, had suspected all along – he’d been lying. Furious that he has been exposed, Rahul plans to sue the media as well as his long-suffering victim. Now, Rhea, Hitaishi and Amruta find themselves at a crossroad - can they carry on doing nothing? DC Virendra Dixit was among those who’d believed that the Rambha rape case had been a ‘false allegation’, but now the sting tape brings him to a case that promises to be a turning point in his career. Just as he thinks he is nearing a resolution, he finds himself at a crossroad of his own. Rhea, Hitaishi and Amruta have carved out a path that has already affected DC Dixit’s, but do their paths cross? Who is the hunter, and who is the hunted? Can a story of hard questions and difficult choices have an easy resolution?

Estuary


Perumal Murugan - 2020
    His teenage son is calling. What could he want?A seemingly simple demand torments Kumarasurar, who fears it might put his finances—and perhaps his son’s life—in jeopardy. As a father’s anxieties unravel, his memories undermine his self-worth and imaginary scenes of damnation taunt him.Estuary brings alive the different ways—absurd and endearing by turns—in which a man and his young son navigate the contemporary world. In the process, it peels back the layers of Kumarasurar’s loneliness: the hurt of a married man whose wife cares only for the happiness of their child, the endless monotony of an office job, and the struggle of the salaried middle-class to give their children the best chance of success.Perumal Murugan’s latest novel, his first in an urban setting, is also a razor-sharp parody of everything from e-commerce to the fitness industry, art appreciation to political manipulation, cram schools to social networks. Through a meditative exploration of a father’s emotional landscape, Murugan tells of a world wrecked by unchecked consumerism and an obsession with growth, where technology overrides common sense and degrees don’t guarantee education. And, with characteristic tenderness, he also weaves in a way to redemption.ABOUT THE AUTHORPERUMAL MURUGAN is the author of eleven novels, five collections of short stories and five anthologies of poetry in Tamil. Three of his novels translated into English—Poonachi: Or the Story of a Black Goat, Trial by Silence and A Lonely Harvest—were shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature in 2018 and 2019. His other novels translated into English include Seasons of the Palm, shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Pyre, Current Show and One Part Woman. Murugan is now the principal at the Government Arts College in Namakkal.ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR:NANDINI KRISHNAN lives in Madras with assorted four-legged and two-legged beings. She is the author of Hitched: The Modern Indian Woman and Arranged Marriage (2013) and Invisible Men: Inside India’s Transmasculine Networks (2018). This is her first translation from Tamil.

If You Want Me to Stay


Michael Parker - 2005
    tells the story of how he did everything he could to save his family after his mother left and his father’s tenuous hold on sanity unraveled. On a journey from the town of Trent, North Carolina, to the coast, Joel and his little brother Tank thread their way back to their mother, fueled by potato chips, Coke, and the soundtrack of the powerful soul music that their daddy taught them to love. Always keeping the faith that their mother is waiting for them, they move from one kindly stranger to another on their odyssey, Joel ever certain they are being guided to her door: “I was being passed from person to person,” he says, “on my way back into her wide open window.” Caught between the endless idealism of childhood and the sobering tests of adulthood, Joel and Tank bravely negotiate their way through a landscape of love and beauty, abandonment and betrayal, to learn that the one sure thing is often right by your side.

A Man of Affairs


John D. MacDonald - 1957
    A mastermind of the dog-eat-dog world of corporate corruption, Mike Dean uses every asset at his disposal - women, liquor, his own personal magnetism - to take businessmen's minds off their troubles, soften their consciences, muddy their good sense, and bend them to his will. But one of his house guests refuses to see things Mike's way. One of them won't be bought. One of them has a mind, and a heart, of his own. And he's determined to beat Mike at his own game.