Big Fiction February
Great fiction is coming out each month. Here’s a rundown of a few indie bookseller favorites for February.
We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida
Fell right into We Run the Tides, a coming-of-age novel set in San Francisco in the mid 1980’s. The characters came to life, as well as the emotional roller coaster of pre-teen/teenager times. The book began to falter for me toward the end, but Vida saved it beautifully with her perfect ending–almost forty years later. I enjoyed reading her choice of the Wharton quote both before and after my reading–well-chosen!
Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen
Each shocking, intimate story in this collections packs a punch that will leave you thinking about it for days! I recommend this to anyone who loves short stories that illuminate a culture and experience that is not your own.
The Removed by Brandon Hobson
The Removed tells the story of a Cherokee family, fifteen years after the fatal shooting of their teenaged son at the hands of a prejudice police officer. The mother attempts to reunite the remaining siblings and their father struggling with dementia for a bonfire commemorating the anniversary of his death. But “story” is the wrong word. Instead of plot, this book delivers a haunting and detailed tapestry of tragedy and the grief (both immediate and ancestral) that begets it. The Trail of Tears serves as the locomotive force that moves the book along in a real sense but spiritually as well; some journeys never end, some are full of pain and some lead us home. Rooted in Cherokee folklore, The Removed examines pain and unimaginable sadness, but more importantly provides a way towards healing, forgiveness, and I dare say even hope.
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
Susan Meissner’s historical fiction novels have the ability to let me travel back in time. In The Nature of Fragile Things, we travel back to the Great San Francisco Earthquake, With Meissner’s well researched novel, the reader has no problem imagining that they are standing right in the devastation the earthquake and subsequent fire brought to San Francisco. The story revolves around three women who have all experienced heartache that bind them together to form an alliance to help them survive what might have been devastating circumstances otherwise. The two stories intertwine in such a way that you will not be able to stop turning the pages until you have reached the end. Thank you to Edelweiss for the digital review copy.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
t’s hard not to fall in love with the main character, Elsa. In typical Kristin Hannah style, and through no fault of her own, Elsa perseveres against all odds. The depiction of life during the dust bowl is spot on and the conditions in California during that time are enlightening.
The Power Couple by Alex Berenson
This novel is an exploration of a twenty year marriage and a story of a kidnapping. Rebecca and Brian’s marriage seems to have it all – excellent federal careers – Rebecca with the FBI and Brian with the NSA – a nice house in the suburbs of D.C. They have two healthy teenage children – Tony and Kira. But, after two decades together they seemed to have drifted apart. So, to try and revive their relationship they decide to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a family trip to Europe. They start in Paris and then go to Barcelona and everyone is having a great time until one night in Barcelona Kira doesn’t come home from a dance club. They are frantic to find her and enlist the help of the local FBI liaison as well as local police. Tony tells them that Kira had a date with a man named Jacques that she originally met in Paris. He had traveled to Barcelona to see her. Why would he do that? After finally locating security camera footage, they know that Kira was drugged and kidnapped by two men and a woman. Was she just a random victim? Or, is her abduction some how related to her parents’ jobs? Another thing that builds up in long relationships is secrets. Not everything is revealed when people first meet and things happen during the course of a marriage that are better left unsaid. But some secrets can be very dangerous and result in collateral damage to people that you love or thought you loved. Is it possible to love your spouse more than your children or vice versa? Will you make sacrifices for your children that you will not make for a spouse? I loved the fast pace of this book and the surprising twists and turns that kept me reading long past my bedtime! Excellent thriller. Enjoy!
Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
If I had to describe Milk Fed in a word: it would be luscious. This is the sexiest book about heartbreak, desire and appetites I’ve ever read. It’s wildly hilarious, singluar and erotic – all the things that make up a Melissa Broder novel. When Rachel, a lapsed anorexic Jew meets Miriam and an Orthodox Jewish woman completely unafraid of food and how much of it she consumes, she becomes infatuated. She’s mesmerized not just by Miriam but also the space Miriam takes up that is unabashed and unafraid. As their unlikely friendship blossoms, the novel puts their hunger, their appetites, desire and longing – physical, spiritual, emotional and mental – under the microscope. It’s a fierce, sexy and original novel about food, body and the gods we keep.