The Cottage at Glass Beach
By Heather Doran Barbieri
Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm. Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters, Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve, and takes refuge on Burke’s Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Just as she begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own, a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course and finally face the truth about her marriage, and her long-buried past.
Far Side of the Sky
By Daniel Kalla
The Japanese Imperial Army rampages through China in 1938 and tightens its stranglehold on Shanghai, a city that becomes the last haven for thousands of desperate European Jews. Dr. Franz Adler, a renowned surgeon, is swept up in the wave of anti-Semitic violence and flees to Shanghai with his daughter. At a refugee hospital, Franz meets an enigmatic nurse, Soon Yi “Sunny” Mah. The chemistry between them is intense and immediate, but Sunny’s life is shattered when a drunken Japanese sailor murders her father. The danger escalates for Shanghai’s Jews as the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Facing starvation and disease, Franz struggles to keep the refugee hospital open and protect his family from a terrible fate.
The Infinite Tides
By Christian Kiefer
Capt. Keith Corcoran, “genius” mathematician, engineer, and astronaut working aboard the International Space Station, discovers during his deployment that his 16-year-old daughter has died in a car wreck and his wife, embroiled in an affair, wants a divorce. Once back on the ground, Keith takes an indefinite vacation from NASA while battling recurring migraines and his sudden solitude, and hanging out at the local Starbucks, where he befriends Peter Kovalenko, an impetuous Ukrainian former astronomer presently working at Target. The two alienated men soon bond and share their various misfortunes while smoking pot, drinking beer, and stargazing through Peter’s telescope in an abandoned suburban lot. Keith’s stasis and confusion stem, in part, from his uncertain job status, but his newfound relationships enable him to strive toward a self that will persevere and survive his losses.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story
By Liane Moriarty
Ellen O’Farrell is a successful hypnotherapist with a thriving practice; a new boyfriend, Patrick; and a newly found emotional distance from her unconventional upbringing. Content for the first time in recent memory, Ellen realizes how tenuous her happiness is when Patrick lets her know that his ex-girlfriend, Saskia, has been stalking him ever since they broke up. As a mental-health professional, Ellen realizes that Saskia isn’t a violent stalker who needs a restraining order but a jilted former lover who probably just needs a listening ear. But when Saskia’s methods of surveillance become more extreme, Ellen has to decide how much longer she’s willing to put up with Patrick’s former life if she wants to be a part of his future.
The Red House
By Mark Haddon
Shortly after their mother’s death, wealthy doctor Richard invites his estranged sister and her family to accompany him on holiday in the Welsh countryside with his new wife and teenage stepdaughter. Angela, a teacher grieving in a much less clinical fashion than her brother, convinces her husband and their three children to come on the premise that it’s the best, or only, vacation they can afford, and so begins the novel’s seven-day drama—each relative descending on the country manse with an obligation either to invite another or to attend on another’s behalf.
The Summer House
By Marcia Willett
Matt has always felt that there was something missing in his life. His mother kept all his childhood memories in a small inlaid wooden box, along with many photos of Matt as a child. But something about these photos has always puzzled Matt. Why doesn’t he remember those clothes? The toys? And where, in the photos, is his sister Imogen? Imogen and her husband, a country vet, are living in a rented cottage with their gorgeous baby but must soon move on. Since her childhood, Milo has assumed the role of honorary father. Knowing how she loves it, he offers to sell them the Summer House, a charming folly in the grounds of his beautiful ancient house on Exmoor, but Imogen’s marriage is threatened when her husband refuses to live so far from his practice. Meanwhile, Matt begins to discover the strange and tragic secret which has affected his whole life.