Check out this list of great mid-summer reads from The Reader's Loft .
Leaving Rock Harbor
By: Rebecca Chace
On the eve of World War I, fourteen-year-old Frankie Ross and her parents leave their simple life in Poughkeepsie to seek a new beginning in the booming city of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts. Frankie's father finds work in a bustling cotton mill, but erupting labor strikes threaten to dismantle the town's socioeconomic structure. Frankie soon befriends two charismatic young men — Winslow Curtis, privileged son of the town's most powerful politician, and Joe Barros, a Portuguese mill worker who becomes a union organizer — forming a tender yet bittersweet love triangle that will have an impact on all three throughout their lives.
Inspired in part by Chace's family history, Frankie's journey to adulthood takes us through the First World War and into the Jazz Age, followed by the Great Depression — from rags to riches and back again. Her life parallels the evolution of the mill town itself, and the lost promise of a boomtown that everyone thought would last forever.
Center of the Universe
By: Nancy Bachrach
Nancy Bachrach is living in Paris, selling deodorant to the French, when a freak accident kills her father aboard his cabin cruiser, the aptly dubbed Mr. Fix It, in her incongruously named hometown of Providence. Her mother, Lola, the self-proclaimed “center of the universe,” whose medical history reads like the chapter headings of a psychiatric manual, lies in a coma “on deaths waiting list.” Nancy rushes home and sits by her mothers ventilatorthinking about Sunny von Bülow and eyeing the plug. Thus begins a family reunion with her brother, Ben (a piano prodigy and eventual surgeon who was born with three thumbs), and sister, Helen (the wild child, now an “abnormal psychologist”).
By: Stephen Mccauley
What do you do when you discover your spouse has an insignificant other? How about when you realize your own insignificant other is becoming more significant than your spouse? There are no easy answers to these questions, but Stephen McCauley--the master of the modern comedy of manners (USA Today)--makes exploring them a literary delight.
By: Marcel Theroux
Out on the frontier of a failed state, a plane crashes at the edge of an abandoned city. Sheriff Makepeace, the city's last citizen, resolves to go in search of the plane's origins and what is left of a world ravaged by climate change and war. In this startling, post-apocalyptic landscape, Makepeace encounters violent stockaded villages, irradiated cities, and work camps laboring to harness the technologies of a vanished civilization. Far North is an absorbing end-of-days fable (GQ), and an adventure through an unforgettable land, in the company of a remarkable hero for our times.
By: Morten Ramsland
In Doghead, Ramsland treats U.S. readers to a highly imaginative, exuberant saga that follows three generations of a wildly dysfunctional Norwegian family. The tale begins as Asger, the narrator, visits his dying grandma, who has a few corrections to make to certain family stories. Asger learns that contrary to popular belief, Grandpa was not a war hero. Instead, his nickname was Crackpot, and both before and after he escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, he was to put it bluntly, a cheat and a liar. From there the real family history unfolds, and like all great stories, it is a tale that will stay with the reader forever. Doghead is certain to win this internationally celebrated author an equally devoted and enthusiastic following in the U.S.
By: Elin Hildebrand
Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement. It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles. But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended,