Resolution/Redemption: Books that make you want to say, “Hmmm.”
Amnesty by Aravind Adiga
“Danny” is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, Australia, denied refugee status after he fled from Sri Lanka. Working as a house cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal life. But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered.
Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald
The Pine Creek Motel has seen better days. Henny would call it charming, but she’s always seen the best in things. Like now, when she’s just met an untimely end crossing the road. She’s not going to let a tiny thing like death stop her from living fully―not when her friends and family need her the most.
The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons
For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There’s just one tiny problem: He’s dead.
Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown
In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband–and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.
Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump
Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights-era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.
Mercy House by Alena Dillon
Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.
The Second Sleep by Robert Harris
A young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in a remote Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artefacts–coins, fragments of glass, human bones–which the old parson used to collect. Did his obsession with the past lead to his death?
Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery
After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild, but small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. Sophie fears that if she relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.
The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin
Georgia Brown’s profession – urology – requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her. Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients.
Apeirogon by Colum McCann
Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. Rami and Bassam had been raised to hate one another. But their lives, however circumscribed, are upended one after the other: first, Rami’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Smadar, becomes the victim of suicide bombers; a decade later, Bassam’s ten-year-old daughter, Abir, is killed by a rubber bullet. And yet, when they learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them.
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.
More than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson
When Addison Killbourn’s husband is involved in a car accident that leaves a woman dead, her perfectly constructed life crumbles apart. With her husband’s memory of that night gone and the revelation of a potentially life-altering secret, Addison has to reevaluate all she thought she knew.
Weather by Jenny Offill
Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a university librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal.
A Long Time Comin’ by Robin Pearson
To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she’s dying doesn’t mean she can’t keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they’d best take it up with Jesus. There’s no room in Granny B’s house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks.
Photos of You by Tammy Robinson
When Ava Green turns twenty-eight, she discovers this will be her last birthday. The cancer she thought she’d beaten three years ago is back — only now it’s terminal, and she’s not going to waste any of the time she has left. All she truly wants is the one thing she’s been dreaming of since she was a little girl: a wedding. The only problem: She doesn’t have a groom.
The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner
As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden.
The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt by Burt Solomon
Theodore Roosevelt had been president for less than a year when on a tour in New England his horse-drawn carriage was broadsided by an electric trolley. TR was thrown clear but his Secret Service bodyguard was killed instantly. John Hay, the Secretary of State, finds himself in pursuit of a would-be assassin, investigating the motives of TR’s many enemies, including political rivals and the industrial trusts.
Remembrance by Rita Woods
Theirs is a complex story of loss and survival told across 200 years by four women, united by the color of their skin and the supernatural powers they command. Two of these women are Gaelle, a Haitian refugee, is a nurse’s aide at the Stillwater Care Facility in present-day Cleveland, and Jane Doe, an old woman who doesn’t speak, has no visitors, and no identity — until a stranger visits and calls her Winter.
Verge by Lidia Yuknavitch
Verge is peopled with characters who are innocent and imperfect, wise and endangered: an eight-year-old black-market medical courier, a restless lover haunted by memories of his mother, a teenage girl gazing out her attic window at a nearby prison, all of them wounded but grasping toward transcendence.
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata
In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript. Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau.
Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman
Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.