Check out this list of great mid-summer reads from The Reader'sLoft .
Leaving Rock Harbor
By: Rebecca Chace
On the eve of World War I, fourteen-year-old Frankie Ross andher parents leave their simple life in Poughkeepsie to seek a newbeginning in the booming city of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts.Frankie's father finds work in a bustling cotton mill, but eruptinglabor strikes threaten to dismantle the town's socioeconomicstructure. Frankie soon befriends two charismatic young men —Winslow Curtis, privileged son of the town's most powerfulpolitician, and Joe Barros, a Portuguese mill worker who becomes aunion organizer — forming a tender yet bittersweet lovetriangle that will have an impact on all three throughout theirlives.
Inspired in part by Chace's family history, Frankie's journeyto adulthood takes us through the First World War and into the JazzAge, followed by the Great Depression — from rags to richesand back again. Her life parallels the evolution of the mill townitself, and the lost promise of a boomtown that everyone thoughtwould last forever.
Center of the Universe
By: Nancy Bachrach
Nancy Bachrach is living in Paris, selling deodorant to theFrench, when a freak accident kills her father aboard his cabincruiser, the aptly dubbed Mr. Fix It, in her incongruously namedhometown of Providence. Her mother, Lola, the self-proclaimed“center of the universe,” whose medical history readslike the chapter headings of a psychiatric manual, lies in a coma“on deaths waiting list.” Nancy rushes home and sits byher mothers ventilatorthinking about Sunny von Bülow andeyeing the plug. Thus begins a family reunion with her brother, Ben(a piano prodigy and eventual surgeon who was born with threethumbs), and sister, Helen (the wild child, now an “abnormalpsychologist”).
By: Stephen Mccauley
What do you do when you discover your spouse has aninsignificant other? How about when you realize your owninsignificant other is becoming more significant than your spouse?There are no easy answers to these questions, but StephenMcCauley--the master of the modern comedy of manners (USAToday)--makes exploring them a literary delight.
By: Marcel Theroux
Out on the frontier of a failed state, a plane crashes at theedge of an abandoned city. Sheriff Makepeace, the city's lastcitizen, resolves to go in search of the plane's origins and whatis left of a world ravaged by climate change and war. In thisstartling, post-apocalyptic landscape, Makepeace encounters violentstockaded villages, irradiated cities, and work camps laboring toharness the technologies of a vanished civilization. Far North isan absorbing end-of-days fable (GQ), and an adventure through anunforgettable land, in the company of a remarkable hero for ourtimes.
By: Morten Ramsland
In Doghead, Ramsland treats U.S. readers to a highlyimaginative, exuberant saga that follows three generations of awildly dysfunctional Norwegian family. The tale begins as Asger,the narrator, visits his dying grandma, who has a few correctionsto make to certain family stories. Asger learns that contrary topopular belief, Grandpa was not a war hero. Instead, his nicknamewas Crackpot, and both before and after he escaped from a Naziconcentration camp, he was to put it bluntly, a cheat and a liar.From there the real family history unfolds, and like all greatstories, it is a tale that will stay with the reader forever.Doghead is certain to win this internationally celebrated author anequally devoted and enthusiastic following in the U.S.
By: Elin Hildebrand
Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of herdaughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor inher Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins.Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms ofexcitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who pridesherself on preparing for every possibility, could never havepredicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcingthat she's cancelled her engagement. It's only the first hint ofwhat will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dusthas even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chessinto a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from thefirst new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help ofher younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all fourare headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coastof Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. Nophones, no television, no grocery store - a place withoutdistractions where they can escape their troubles. But throwsisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remoteisland, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes muchmore. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, oldloves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known.
By: Pam Jenoff
Ten years ago, U.S. State Department intelligence officerJordan Weiss's life was turned upside down when she was told hercollege boyfriend, Jared, drowned in the River Cam. In a shockingdiscovery, though, she realizes that things weren't as they seemedand that she had been lied to and betrayed by those closest to her.Reeling from the shock-- and the knowledge that Jared is stillalive--Jordan resigns her State Department post and sets off insearch of answers. Traveling to Jared's last known whereabouts onthe French Riviera, she encounters Nicole, a mysterious woman whoflees after refusing to disclose what she knows about Jared.Following Nicole across Europe, Jordan soon discovers that she isnot alone in her pursuit-- Aaron, a handsome and enigmatic Israeli,is chasing Nicole for his own cryptic reasons. Though distrustfulof each other, Jordan and Aaron join forces on a journey that takesthem half a world away, and only steps ahead of grave peril. AsJordan draws closer to finding the answers that have eluded her fora decade, larger questions remain: Can she reconcile her attractionto Aaron with her unresolved feelings for Jared, the only man sheever loved? Will the truth be too devastating to handle or finallyset her free? Will she have a chance at happiness at last?Thrilling, romantic, and impossible to put down, A Hidden Affairgives us a brave and relentless heroine who never gives up on hersearch for the truth.
By: Jodi Picoult
They tell me I'm lucky to have a son who's so verbal, who isblisteringly intelligent, who can take apart the broken microwaveand have it working again an hour later. They think there is nogreater hell than having a son who is locked in his own world,unaware that there's a wider one to explore. But try having a sonwho is locked in his own world, and still wants to make aconnection. A son who tries to be like everyone else, but trulydoesn't know how. Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger'ssyndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressinghimself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has aspecial focus on one subject — in his case, forensicanalysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to thepolice scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what theyneed to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked bya terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob withquestions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's — notlooking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flataffect — can look a lot like guilt to law enforcementpersonnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in,feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma,it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding thatalways threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's anotherindication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over thissmall family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commitmurder?
House on Salt Bay Road
By: Carin Clevidence
A fireworks factory explodes in a quiet seaside town. In thehouse on Salt Hay Road, Clay Poole is thrilled by the hole it'sblown in everyday life. His older sister, Nancy, is more interestedin the striking stranger who appears, dusted with ashes, in theexplosion's aftermath. The Pooles--taken in as orphans by theirmother's family--can't yet know how the bonds of their makeshifthousehold will be tested and frayed. As their aunt searches forsigns from God and their uncle begins an offbeat courtship, theyare pulled toward two greater cataclysms: the legendary hurricaneof 1938 and the encroaching war.
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