New Books of November 2012

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
By Susannah Cahalan
Susannah Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the brilliant, lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. A team of doctors would spend a month—and more than a million dollars—trying desperately to pin down a medical explanation for what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, as the days passed and her family, boyfriend, and friends helplessly stood watch by her bed, she began to move inexorably through psychosis into catatonia and, ultimately, toward death. Then, at the last minute, celebrated neurologist Souhel Najjar joined her team and, with the help of a lucky, ingenious test, saved her life. He recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of “demonic possessions” throughout history.

Flight Behavior
By Barbara Kingsolver
Dellarobia Turnbow has spent more than a decade tending to her small children on a failing farm, oppressed by poverty, isolation and her husband’s antagonistic family. She eases her boredom by flirting with a handsome younger man and arranging to meet up with him. But the tryst never happens. Instead, she walks into something on the mountainside she cannot explain or understand: a forested valley filled with silent red fire that appears to her a miracle. After years lived entirely in the confines of one small house, Dellarobia finds her path suddenly opening out, chapter by chapter, into blunt and confrontational engagement with her family, her church, her town, her continent, and finally the world at large.

The Forgotten
By David Baldacci
Army Special Agent John Puller is the best investigator for the US Army. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida. The local police have ruled his aunt’s death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller’s father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be. What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt’s death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed.

After Clare
By Marjorie Eccles
Lady Emily Fitzallan has returned to the country house where she spent her childhood for a family wedding. Leysmorton Manor brings back many memories, especially of her elder sister Clare, who vanished one day after going for a walk, never to return. But the disturbing discovery of a soldier’s skeleton at the base of an ancient Yew tree brings the past shockingly into the present. Could the man’s untimely death have its roots in Clare’s disappearance, which occurred almost half a century ago . . .?

Sweet Tooth
By Ian McEwan
Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named “Sweet Tooth.” Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one.

Cross Roads
By William Paul Young, author of the bestselling novel “The Shack”
Anthony Spencer is egotistical, proud of being a self-made business success at the peak of his game, even though the cost of winning was painfully high. A cerebral hemorrhage leaves Tony comatose in a hospital ICU. He ‘awakens’ to find himself in a surreal world, a ‘living’ landscape that mirrors dimensions of his earthly life, from the beautiful to the corrupt. It is here that he has vivid interactions with others he assumes are projections of his own subconscious, but whose directions he follows nonetheless with the possibility that they might lead to authenticity and perhaps, redemption. The adventure draws Tony into deep relational entanglements where he is able to ‘see’ through the literal eyes and experiences of others, but is “blind” to the consequences of hiding his personal agenda and loss that emerge to war against the processes of healing and trust. Will this unexpected coalescing of events cause Tony to examine his life and realize he built a house of cards on the poisoned grounds of a broken heart? Will he also have the courage to make a critical choice that can undo a major injustice he set in motion before falling into a coma?


New Books of October 2012

All Things New
Lynn Austin
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well. Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival–and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine’s mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak…but a bitter hatred fuels her.

Block 11
Piero Degli Antoni
When three prisoners escape from Auschwitz, 10 others are selected for execution. The commandant gives them an impossible choice. Choose from among themselves a single sacrifice to be killed, and the other nine will live. He gives them 24 hours to decide which one of them shall be shot. Disease and desperation whittle their numbers, before being bolstered by new prisoners. Then he shortens the time the prisoners have to reach a decision. The prisoners continue to argue on their own behalf, until settling upon an audacious solution. Who will live and who will die in this untenable situation?

The Giving Quilt
Jennifer Chiaverini
Post-Thanksgiving at Elm Creek Manor, aspiring -quilters are enjoying a special winter session of quilt camp. When Sylvia asks the participants in Quiltsgiving, a post-Thanksgiving weeklong get-together, why they quilt and why they give, their answers point to personal tragedies and triumphs, reminding readers of the powers of generosity and friendship. From widowhood, to library closures, or physical injuries, each woman has her own challenges. Despite the particulars of each obstacle or victory, these women find encouragement in one another, and as they quilt, they stitch together their strengths to cope with individual struggles.

The Racketeer
John Grisham
Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five. Malcolm Bannister, also known as the Racketeer, former attorney and current prison inmate, knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied. What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .

The Round House
Louise Erdrich
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends to get some answers on his own.

Little Star
John Ajvide Lindqvist
A man finds a baby in the woods, left for dead. He brings the baby home, and he and his wife raise the girl in their basement. When a shocking and catastrophic incident occurs, the couple’s son Jerry whisks the girl away to Stockholm to start a new life. There, he enters her in a nationwide singing competition. Another young girl who’s never fit in sees the performance on TV, and a spark is struck that will ignite the most terrifying duo in modern fiction.

PageTurners Reads “Defending Jacob”

Defending Jacob
by William Landay
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. When a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. As the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own– between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, August 2, at 6 pm in the Bottom Shelf Room at the Rice Lake Public Library. Eight people attended the discussion. The average score awarded to this book was  3.31 out of 5 books; the lowest score was a 2 / 5 and the highest score 4.5 / 5.

Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.


Defending Jacob by William Landay is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There over ten copies of this book in the MORE System. Please visit the card catalog website or call us at 234-4861 to reserve a copy today.

New Books of August

Bride of New France
Suzanne Desrochers
Laure Beausejour has been taken from her destitute family and raised in an infamous orphanage to be trained as a lace maker. Striking and willful, she dreams of becoming a seamstress and catching the eye of a nobleman. But after complaining about her living conditions, she is sent to Canada as a fille du roi, expected to marry a French farmer there. Laure is shocked by the primitive state of the colony and the mingling of the settlers with the native tribes. When her ill-matched husband leaves her alone in their derelict hut for the winter, she must rely on her wits and her clandestine relationship with an Iroquois man for survival.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
Matthew Dicks
Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He’s been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear. Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy. When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him – and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo’s very existence.

By Starlight
Dorothy Garlock
In early 1930s Montana, in the small town of Colton, Maddy Aldridge struggles to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Jeffers Grimm comes to her with a proposition too great for her to turn down: open an illegal speakeasy in the mercantile’s basement, defy Prohibition, and make enough money to make her worries disappear. But, unbeknownst to Maddy, Jeffers has also made a deal with the mob to bring huge quantities of alcohol across the Canadian border and store it in the mercantile. He wants to get rich, regardless of who stands in his way. Jack Rucker used to live in Colton and had been in love with Maddy before he moved away to become an agent for the Bureau of Prohibition. Now, after hearing rumors of a bootleg operation, the Bureau wants him to go back and hide in plain sight. What will Jack do when he finds out what Maddy is up to? Can he and Maddy rekindle the love they once knew? If Jeffers discovers Jack is a federal agent, to what ends will he go to silence him forever?

Goodbye for Now
Laurie Frankel
Sam Elling is a brilliant software engineer, so brilliant that he develops an algorithm to allow grieving people to communicate with their dead loved ones. Initially created to help his soul mate, Meredith, when her beloved grandmother, Livvie, dies; and using previous electronic communication between Meredith and Livvie, he sets up “dead mail” between them. Soon Sam, Meredith, and her cousin establish RePose. Ethical and religious issues arise (as when parents of terminally ill children spend time videotaping rather than living in the moment), and Sam has qualms about how helpful his service really is until he needs it himself.

City of Women
David R Gillham
Berlin 1943, in the midst of war, offers little comfort for the women left behind. Sigrid, a seemingly dutiful wife to a husband serving on the Russian front, copes with a tedious job, a hostile mother-in-law, rationed food, air raids, and the fear of stepping out of line. There is always someone eager to denounce a neighbor for an unguarded moment or outburst. Sigrid has her secrets but holds them close: a Jewish lover from the recent past, and a random event that draws her into a chain of people hiding and protecting Jews. Even though her naïveté takes her to dangerous places, she is wise enough to be cautious. Life becomes more fraught when Sigrid’s wounded husband returns.

Trickster’s Point
William Kent Krueger
Cork O’Connor and Jubal Little are deep in the Minnesota wilderness bowhunting, a long-standing tradition among these two friends, when the unthinkable happens. Little is killed by a stray arrow that turns out to have been O’Connor’s, and he becomes the primary suspect in the murder. He understands full well that he’s been set up. As he works to clear his name and track the real killer, he remembers his long, complex relationship with the tough kid who would grow up to become a professional football player, a populist politician, and the lover of the first woman to whom Cork ever gave his heart. Jubal was known by many for his passion, his loyalty, and his ambition. Only Cork knows that he was capable of murder.

New Books of June 2012

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.

New Books of March 2012

The O’Briens
Peter Behrens
In a family saga that begins in 1887, we follow Joe O’Brien through a harsh childhood in the Canadian bush, then into the wider world where three siblings enter the religious life, another dabbles in real estate, and Joe builds railroads. On a business trip to Venice, CA, he meets and marries Iseult and brings her back to Canada to live. Over their years together, Joe becomes the wealthy owner of a construction company, occasionally escaping to New York for alcoholic benders, while Iseult dedicates herself to their three children, her photography, and helping the less fortunate. Through births and deaths, love and wars, they struggle to make sense of themselves and their marriage.

The Good Father
Noah Hawley
Paul Allen, a successful Manhattan rheumatologist is completely stunned when two Secret Service agents inform him that his son by his first marriage, 20-year-old Daniel Allen, aka Carter Allen Cash, has killed a rising political star and presidential candidate. Resistant to the idea that his son is the actual assassin, he is taken aback when Daniel pleads guilty. He then becomes obsessed with finding out how his son could commit such a barbaric act. Combing Daniel’s childhood for clues to the one parental misstep that sent him down the path to becoming a killer and poring over documentation of Daniel’s every move in the 18 months prior to the assassination, Paul becomes a haunted figure.

The Dog Who Danced
Susan Wilson
Justine Meade has spent most of her 43 years on the move. She left home young, got in and out of an early marriage, and had a son who, unhappy with her restless life, went to live with his father. When Justine learns that her father is dying, she hitches a cross-country ride with a long-haul trucker from Seattle to Massachusetts, hoping for a resolution to their relationship. Her companion on the journey is Mack, a sheepdog trained to dance. But at a rest stop, her ride drives off, unknowingly taking Mack with him. Later abandoned, Mack is found by an older couple still grieving after their teenager daughter’s suicide years earlier. Meanwhile, Justine reaches her father in time to revisit the fight that sent her away from home. She gets a new perspective on the past while Mack, nearer to Justine than she realizes, helps the old couple heal. When chance reunites Justine and Mack, she decides to get back in touch with her son.

Carry the One –a Novel
Carol Anshaw
The one that must be carried when the Kenney siblings add themselves up is the girl who was hit and killed when two siblings, Nick and Alice, were driving home, stoned and stupid, from their sister Carmen’s wedding. That’s the first chapter: the rest of the novel and the rest of their lives-sex and drugs and prison visits, family parties and divorce, raising teenagers, painting, politics, and addiction-play out with that guilt and loss forever in the background.

Another Piece of My Heart
Jane Green
Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she’s finally found him. Ethan – divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia – is a devoted father and even better husband. Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood – leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives and in their hearts.

New Books of December 2011

Lost December
By Richard Paul Evans
When Luke Crisp graduates from business school, his father, CEO and co-founder of Fortune 500 Crisp’s Copy Centers, is ready to share some good news: he wants to turn the family business over to his son. But Luke has other plans. Taking control of his trust fund, Luke leaves home to pursue a life of reckless indulgence. But when his funds run out, so do his friends. Humbled, alone, and too ashamed to ask his father for help, Luke secretly takes a lowly job at one of his father’s copy centers. There he falls in love with a struggling single mother and begins to understand the greatest source of personal joy.

The Drop
By Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch has two new cases demanding his attention. In the first, DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? Then in a second case, Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving’s son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch’s longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation. Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a killer operating unknown in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
By Julie Klassen
Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt–and sweet independence. Observing both brothers as an “invisible” servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life?

The Leopard
By Jo Nesbo
After two women are found dead in Oslo, each with bizarre puncture wounds that were caused from the inside of their mouths, police are baffled, but homicide detective Kaja Solness is called to Hong Kong to track down a former serial killer specialist, Harry Hole, whom they hope can solve the case. Hole has to battle a new enemy-the impending death of his father-as well as the usual suspects: one (or more?) pathological killers, natural dangers, internecine warfare within the Oslo police department, and, most of all, himself.

The Winter Palace –a novel of Catherine the Great
By Eva Stachniak
Catherine the Great was born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, this “pale, appealing sliver of a girl” arrives in St. Petersburg in 1743 as a potential bride for Peter, Empress Elizabeth’s weak-willed nephew and heir. Readers follow Catherine from her early years of barrenness and disfavor through her even more demoralizing years of motherhood. While Elizabeth tolerates and even encourages Catherine’s sexual liaisons, she separates her from her children. During the massive rebuilding of the Winter Palace and war with Prussia, which impoverish Elizabeth’s subjects, a steelier, more confident Catherine emerges.

New Books of November 2011

The Boy in the Suitcase
Lene Kaaberbol
Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, who works helping illegal refugees, gets a call from an estranged friend begging her to pick up a package in one of the lockers at the main Copenhagen train station. The package turns out to be a suitcase with a drugged three-year-old boy inside. When the friend is murdered, Nina realizes she’s caught in the middle of a kidnapping case. Nina must use her connections in the refugee community to discover the identity and nationality of the child before she can find out who is behind his abduction.

Paper Angels
Billy Coffey
Andy Sommerville is guided by and angel named Old Man, but his angel fails to prevent something terrible that claims the life of a precious friend and leaves Andy badly burned. Regaining consciousness in the hospital, Andy feels abandoned by Old Man and also feels that nothing really matters any more until he opens up to a beautiful counselor named Elizabeth. He shares the secret of his angel and of 12 odd items the Old Man told him to store in a special box. Each of these apparently unrelated trinkets launches memories of choices and life lessons that combine to provide answers for Andy about his life’s purpose and why God allows suffering.

The Pilgrim
Hugh Nissenson
Coming of age as a New England Pilgrim was a tough, bloody and sexy business. Charles Wentworth always had doubts. Raised in the English town of Winterbourne, “a godly town,” as the son of a minister, the young man has all his needs cared for. But unlike his father, or even their illiterate servant Ben, his faith is shaky. Perhaps because of various heartaches and brutality not uncommon as the 17th century began, Charles cannot believe he will be among the elect, those he believes are predestined to be saved. When the opportunity to emigrate to New England comes, he grabs it. The freedom to worship, however, comes with starvation, sickness and the constant fear of Indian attacks. It also brings the promise of new love and–eventually–the promise of salvation.

The Time in Between
Maria Duenas
Sira Quiroga begins life as the bastard daughter of a humble seamstress in Madrid, but bad luck, fate, and the crooked path -toward true love all lead her to a life of adventure, and high-stakes espionage. When young Sira is abandoned by her lover in Morocco, she is forced to reinvent herself as a sophisticated dressmaker to the expatriate community while the Spanish civil war devastates her homeland. Her work brings her into contact with powerful men, compelling women, and a man she believes to be a journalist and perhaps the love of her life. When the British government asks her to return to Madrid to spy for them as World War II sweeps Europe, she reluctantly agrees, but in doing so becomes a heroine.

White Truffles in Winter
N.M. Kelby
Delphine Daffis is dying, and she wants her husband, French chef August Escoffier (famous for his restaurants, the Savoy and the Ritz), to create a dish named after her, as he has done for his lover, Sara Bernhardt, and countless others, even Queen Victoria. He had always refused, saying “one should never attempt to define the sublime” but Delphine didn’t believe him for a minute. Delphine hires Sabine, a local beauty stricken with polio as kitchen help to persuade her husband to create a dish named for her. Without one, Delphine fears the world won’t know that the great chef loved her.

New Books of October

The Cat’s Table
By Michael Ondaatje

In 1953, an 11-year-old boy spends 21 unsupervised days, aboard the ocean liner Oronsay, in order to meet up with his mother in London. This voyage proves momentous as significant events during the crossing profoundly impact the boy’s future while immensely expanding his world. Although seemingly at the periphery of society, seated at the so-called cat’s table, the boy’s dining mates are, in fact, a lot more instrumental in the ensuing intrigue aboard the ship than originally appears. As the years pass, the boy grows up to be an acclaimed writer with an international reputation (not unlike Ondaatje, especially for The English Patient, 1992), and frequently returns to the events of those three weeks and demonstrates how “over the years, confusing fragments, lost corners of stories, have a clearer meaning when seen in a new light, a different place.”

The Dovekeepers
By Alice Hoffman

In 70 C.E., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean desert, Masada. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic historical event, Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinary, bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom comes to Masada by a different path.

House of Secrets
By Tracie Peterson

The lives of sisters Bailee, Geena, and Piper Cooper are shrouded in secrecy and shame. A request to return to the beach house of their youth is certain to unearth what they fear the most, and one thing is assured: their family will never be the same again. A romance for one of the sisters provides a welcome distraction. As facts are revealed and each character tries to accept the truth, readers will be riveted by Peterson’s skill in building mystery while deftly addressing the stigma associated with mental illness.

The Marriage Plot
By Jeffrey Eugenides

Set in the early 1980s, this is the tale of Madeleine Hanna, recent Brown University English grad, and her admirer Mitchell Grammaticus, who opts out of Divinity School to walk the earth as a pilgrim in India. Madeleine is equally caught up, both with the postmodern vogue and with the brilliant Leonard Bankhead, whom she met in semiotics class and whose fits of manic depression jeopardize his suitability as a marriage prospect. The book’s fidelity to its young heroes and to a superb supporting cast of enigmatic professors, feminist theorists, neo-Victorians, and concerned mothers, and all of their evolving investment in ideas and ideals is such that the central argument of the book is also its solution: the old stories may be best after all, but there are always new ways to complicate them.

By Charles Frazier

Luce becomes foster mother to young twins when her sister is murdered by her husband. The traumatized children seem to have reverted to a wild state; they do not speak and have a troubling inclination to set fires. She is so isolated that she never even hears the news that her brother in law has somehow been declared innocent and is headed her way, in search of money he believes his deceased wife may have passed along to her. Time passes slowly for Luce and the children: she takes up with a local man who has inherited the rundown hotel where she lives, and the twins gradually begin to open up. When the children’s father arrives on their doorstep, the story takes a shocking turn.

PageTurners Read “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter”

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Tom Franklin

Silas “32” Jones and Larry Ott were great friends for a few brief months in their childhood. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to last. Suspicion is cast upon Larry when a girl goes missing who was last seen with him. Silas moved away to pursue his dreams of playing baseball and Larry remained, convicted but not in prison. Twenty five years later, a new mystery draws them together again. Another girl is missing, and everyone seems to think Larry caused it. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter explores the thin line between friendship and hatred.

The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, October 6 at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library to discuss this book. Six people attended.

Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.


Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are over ten copies of this book in the MORE System. Please visit the card catalog website or call us at 234-4861 to reserve a copy today.

The PageTurners Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library. It usually meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library. Discussion lasts an hour; everyone is welcome.

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