Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
The author has based her story on the life of her mother. In 1965, 15 year old Ana marries a man nearly twice her age and moves from the Dominican Republic to New York City. She is not in love with her husband, Juan, but her marriage will make it possible for her family to move to America. She finds herself trapped with a controlling husband. When he has to return to the Dominican Republic on business, she finds herself with freedom-free to go to Coney Island, free to take English lessons, and free to maybe fall in love with Juan’s younger brother, Cesar.
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
This novel combines an historical story with a contemporary one. Told in alternating chapters, the novel goes back and forth between the research being done by a reclusive university librarian and her intern, and two women who forged an unlikely friendship based on adversity in the “Home” in Texas.
Knife by Jo Nesbo
The fictional Harry Hole is back and he just can’t catch a break. Drinking too much, he it thrown out of his house by his wife, but when she is murdered, Harry blames a criminal, a serial murderer, whom he put in jail and who has now been released. It’s a well constructed mystery with lots of twists and turns.
Lake of the Ozarks by Bill Geist
Mid-western families in the 1960’s loved to vacation at Lake of the Ozarks, and Bill Geist spent many a summer at a small resort owned by his uncle. Looking back on his life as a successful writer, humorist and award winning correspondent for CBS Sunday morning, he believes that the time spent there made him into the person he has become. It’s a fun read, and you will laugh out loud.
Live a Little by Howard Jacobson
This is the “late in life” story of two senior citizens who find meaning in each other even as they confront their own fears about the future-and the past. Beryl has had a full and active life and now is facing memory loss. Shimi’s memory is too good-he is still trying to deal with traumas from his past. The two strike up an unlikely friendship that brings happiness in surprising ways.
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
A happily married couple who cannot conceive a child foster a child who has been abused. From the start, her behavior is appallingly difficult, but she behaves well with the husband, who persuades his wife to formally adopt her. The story is told from the point of view of the husband, wife and their dedicated social worker. It’s well written, and comes with a few big surprises.
Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center
Cassie is a female fire fighter in Texas who relocates to Boston to help care for her ailing mother. The Boston fire house is more backwards than the one she left in Texas-there is more hazing of her because she is a woman and the firehouse lacks proper funding-but there is a very attractive rookie. Center is good at creating characters, and she writes well about strong women who must deal with adversity-and find love as well.
Tidelands by Phillipa Gregory
Usually Gregory writes about royalty, but in this novel, she turns to an ordinary woman living in the 1640’s in England. Bright, strong-willed, trying to survive -rumored to be a witch-Alinor has not been dealt an easy hand. This is the first entry in what is planned to be a multi-generational, multi-volume saga about a family that starts out in rags-and survives.
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The suspense novel starts out with Rowan Caine, a young woman who has been hired to be a live-in nanny in a house located in an isolated Scottish town, writing a letter to a lawyer to help her as she has been charged with murdering one of the children in her care. Rowan’s dream job turns into a nightmare-but there are enough twists and turns to keep the reader happy as she tells her tale.
The Whisper Man by Alex North
A young boy in a small English town has been abducted under the same circumstances as five other people who were abducted and killed 20 years ago. But that killer is safely in jail. One of the people who investigated the first murders is assigned the case, and he must work fast, as the next victim looks like it might be the young son of a widowed man who has just moved into town.