Beyond Bestsellers - Fiction

October - December 2012 Issue

See also:

Boyd, William.  Waiting for Sunrise.
In this literary thriller, an English actor comes to Vienna in 1913 for psychoanalysis; after an affair with a beautiful sculptor, he lands in jail, escapes to London with help from the embassy, and is coerced into undertaking dangerous counter-espionage missions when the First World War begins.

Carey, Peter.  The Chemistry of Tears.
A museum curator, grieving after the death of her long-time married lover, is assigned to to repair a valuable old mechanical duck, and to study a set of nineteenth century diaries written by the man who commissioned the machine.

Cleave, Chris. Gold
Three English cyclists are preparing to compete in the 2012 London Olympics, with assistance from their coach, a former competitor himself. At the same time, two of them are also caring for their eight year old daughter, who is very ill with leukemia.

Freudenberger, Nell.  The Newlyweds.
A Bangladeshi woman meets an American engineer on an online dating site, and comes to America to marry him. She then plans to bring her parents to the U.S., but family and financial problems intervene.

Gann, Kirby.  Ghosting
In this novel set in Kentucky among a violent group of outlaws and addicts, a drug runner goes missing along with a great deal of marijuana, and his half-brother and his boss both set out to find him.

Gray, Francine du Plessix.  The Queen’s Lover
In this historical novel based on memoirs and letters, a Swedish nobleman meets the young and recently-married Marie Antoinette at a masquerade ball in Paris. When he returns from war in America, the two have a passionate affair, which is ended by the French Revolution.

Joinson, Suzanne.  A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar.
This novel brings together two stories – that of an English missionary who travels in 1923 to the Muslim Chinese city of Kashgar, accompanied by her adventurous sister; and that of a contemporary Londoner who discovers that she’s inherited the possessions of a complete stranger at the same time that she is befriending a homeless refugee from Yemen.

Karunatilaka, Shehan.  The Legend of Pradeep Mathew.
In this drily humorous book set in Sri Lanka in the 1990’s, an alcoholic sports writer tries to find a mysterious and legendary cricket player for a television series he is producing.

Keesey, Anna.  Little Century
In this frontier novel set in Oregon in the early Twentieth Century, a recently orphaned 18-year-old woman moves west to homestead near the property of her distant cousin, and finds herself in the middle of conflict between cattle ranchers and sheep ranchers.

Kiefer, Christian.  The Infinite Tides
An American astronaut returns from several months at the International Space Station to find that his daughter has died in a car accident and his wife wants a divorce.

Lanchester, John.  Capital
This contemporary novel tells the story of the  struggling residents of Pepys Road, once an affordable neighborhood in South London, who find themselves receiving threatening and anonymous postcards that say, “We want what you have.”

Olmstead, Robert.  The Coldest Night
In this love story and war novel set in the 1950’s, a young and poor West Virginia man falls in love with a wealthy young woman. They run away together to New Orleans, but after her family breaks them up, he enlists in the Marines and serves in brutal combat in the Korean War.

Parameswaran, Rajesh.  I Am an Executioner: Love Stories
This is a collection of imaginative short stories with unusual narrators, such as a tiger in a zoo who loves his keeper too much, and an executioner whose new wife is horrified when she discovers his profession.

Perillo, Lucia.  Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain
The characters in these 14 vibrant short stories written by a poet and naturalist are residents of a small town in the Pacific Northwest.

Rogan, Charlotte.  The Lifeboat.
In this psychological drama set in 1914, a young newlywed woman survives three weeks in an overcrowded and unstable  lifeboat after a passenger ship explodes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Segal, Francesca.  The Innocents
In this contemporary novel which pays tribute to Edith Wharton’s novel, “The Age of Innocence”, a young man, who has grown up in a closely-knit Jewish community in London and is engaged to his boss’s daughter, is tempted by her more free-spirited cousin.

Taylor, D.J.  Derby Day
Inspired by a British panoramic painting of horse-racing at Epsom Downs, this novel, set in 1868, brings together the stories of a large number of colorful Victorian characters, most of them either predators or prey.

Theroux, Paul.  The Lower River.
An older man, whose business and marriage have recently failed, returns to the African country of Malawi, where he had served in the Peace Corps 40 years earlier. But he finds that the school he built is a ruin, and he quickly becomes disillusioned with the greed of the villagers.

Walter, Jess.  Beautiful Ruins
In this madcap comedy, a starlet, who has been filming the movie, “Cleopatra” in Rome with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in 1962, arrives in a resort town after inconveniently becoming pregnant. The story then shifts 50 years into the future, to show what has happened to some of the characters.

Watkins, Claire Vaye.  Battleborn
This is a collection of short stories, set in the author’s home state of Nevada, about people who are trying to connect with the past, the land, and each other.

Williams, Beatriz.  Overseas
In this romantic fantasy, a New York businesswoman and a British businessman fall in love in 2007. But the British man has a secret – he’s actually from a different time, and is really a British officer in World War I.

Wright, Tom.  What Dies in Summer
In this coming-of-age and suspense novel set in Dallas, Texas, a teen-aged boy and his cousin, who live with their grandmother, find the body of a murdered and mutilated young woman.

Zimmerman, Jean.  The Orphanmaster
In this murder mystery set in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1663, a Dutch trader and an English spy investigate the disappearances and gruesome murders of a series of orphans.