Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Reading Ahead: May 2017, part 4

Historical fiction across a variety of backdrops is the name of the game in today's post!

The Stars Are Fire, by Anita Shreve. This got a last minute publishing date change and is available to readers today! Based on the true story of the largest fire in Maine history, Shreve's new novel begins in October 1947, when after a summer long drought, fires break out all along the Maine coast from Bar Harbor to Kittery and are soon racing out of control from town to village. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her husband, Gene, joins the volunteer firefighters. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, Grace watches helplessly as their houses burn to the ground, the flames finally forcing them all into the ocean as a last resort. The women spend the night frantically protecting each other and the children only to come ashore at dawn to a world changed beyond recognizing. Shreve (The Pilot's Wife, The Weight of Water, etc.) is always a favorite. Also available in Large Print.

New Boy, by Tracy Chevalier. This modern retelling of Shakespeare's Othello is part of the ongoing Hogarth Shakespeare series following other retellings like Margaret Atwood's Hag-seed, 2016 (The Tempest), etc. Here, Othello is retold against the backdrop of a 1970s suburban Washington schoolyard. Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again. Also available in Large Print.

Saints for All Occasions, by J. Courtney Sullivan. Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. The story then shifts forward fifty years, and finds the sisters in very different circumstances. Told in Sullivan's (The Engagements, Maine, etc.) unique style. Also available in Large Print

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