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Beyond Bestsellers - Fiction

October - December 2014 Issue

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Akhtiorskaya, Yelena. Panic in a Suitcase.
In this touching portrayal of the immigrant experience, a Russian Jewish couple from the Ukraine moves to Brooklyn with their daughter and grand-daughter, while their son stays in the old country.

Elkins, Kimberly. What Is Visible.
This fictional memoir tells the story of Laura Bridgman, who lost her vision and hearing to scarlet fever as a child, and learned to communicate by touch, as Helen Keller later did.

Ferrante, Elena. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.
This third volume in a series of four "Neapolitan Novels" continues to explore the lives of two Italians, childhood friends, who are now living in the late 1960's amid social and political upheaval, and absorbing new ideas about the roles of women in society.

Fishman, Boris. A Replacement Life.
In this dark comedy, an unsuccessful young writer lets his grandfather talk him into writing up a bogus claim for Holocaust reparations.

Foulds, Adam. In the Wolf’s Mouth.
This historical novel tells the interconnected stories of three soldiers fighting in North Africa and Sicily during World War II: an Englishman, an American from an Italian family, and an Italian who became a New York mobster.

Gardam, Jane. The Stories.
This is a collection of 28 short stories, written over a period of more than thirty years, with a wide range of characters and imaginative situations.

Grant, Katharine. Sedition.
In this novel set in late 18th century London, a group of wealthy merchants buy their daughters piano lessons in an attempt to win them husbands among the nobility.

Heller, Peter. The Painter.
In this suspenseful and thoughtful novel, an expressionist artist starts a fight with a man abusing a horse, and kills him. He then continues to paint while dodging the police and his victim's family.

Henderson, Smith. Fourth of July Creek.
In this novel set in a small town in Montana in the 1980's, a social worker, who himself has a troubled life, tries to help the young son of a paranoid survivalist, and is caught up in the man's dark secrets when the FBI arrives to investigate him.

Henriquez, Christina. The Book of Unknown Americans.
A family moves from a small town in Mexico to Delaware in hopes that their teenage daughter will be able to make a better recovery from a head injury.

Johnston, Bret Anthony. Remember Me Like This.
This novel begins with the unexpected reappearance of a teenager who had been kidnapped four years before. Although overjoyed by his return, his family members suffer as they acquire increasing understanding of his ordeal.

King, Lily. Euphoria.
Inspired by an event in the life of anthropologist, Margaret Mead, this is the fictional story of a love triangle among three anthropologists working in New Guinea, who display three completely different approaches to studying other cultures.

Koch, Herman. Summer House with Swimming Pool.
In this Dutch psychological thriller, a physician takes his family on vacation with one of his celebrity patients and his circle, leading to tragedy for one of his daughters.

Lawson, Mary. Road Ends.
A young woman leaves her rural Northern Canadian town and moves to London in order to finally have a life of her own, and watches from a distance as the family that had depended on her falls apart without her.

Ma, Kathryn. The Year She Left Us.
An eighteen-year-old woman, adopted as a baby from an orphanage in China and critical of her upbringing, goes back to China to look for her father, leaving her adopted mother, aunt, and grandmother devastated.

Malik, Tania. Three Bargains.
This is the story of a boy in northern India, whose intelligence enables him to rise from poverty into wealth, until he makes a mistake which forces him to run for his life.

McKeon, Darragh. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air.
In this novel set in 1986, a Moscow surgeon, whose marriage has just failed, takes refuge in his work, treating victims of the Chernobyl disaster.

Murphy, Yannick. This Is the Water.
In this offbeat thriller, a serial killer stalks a group of young teenage competitive swimmers in New England.

Netzer, Lydia. How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky.
In this unusual novel, an astronomer who is trying to prove the existence of God, and a mathematician working on a superconductor, meet at the Toledo Institute of Astronomy, and fall in love.

Norman, Howard. Next Life Might Be Kinder.
In this story set in Nova Scotia, a widower, who believes he sees his wife on the beach when he goes for evening walks, recalls their romance and her murder.

O’Donnell, Lisa. Closed Doors.
In this novel set in a small community on an island off the Scottish coast, a young boy who likes to eavesdrop tries to understand a secret his family is desperately trying to keep.

Rieger, Susan. The Divorce Papers.
In this comic novel filled with facsimiles of legal documents, a criminal defense lawyer working for a prestigious New England law firm takes on the divorce case of the daughter of one of her firm's wealthiest clients.

Row, Jess. Your Face In Mine.
In this book that explores issues of identity, a man who comes back to his hometown of Baltimore meets a white, Jewish man he had known in high school, who had since had racial reassignment surgery and looks African-American.

Rowland, Amy. The Transcriptionist.
The main character in this novel is a lonely, isolated woman who works for a newspaper, transcribing tapes and
typing up news stories.

Ryan, Donal. The Thing About December.
This Irish novel has a chapter for each month, and follows its main character through a year, as he copes with the death of both of his parents, and the responsibility of owning a parcel of land that has suddenly become valuable.

Shin, Kyung-Sook. I’ll Be Right There.
In this novel from South Korea, a woman recalls a love affair with a sad ending in her youth during a time of political turmoil in her country.

Winton, Tim. Eyrie.
In this novel from Australia, a divorced, drug-addicted, unemployable loser reconnects with a childhood friend and her grandson, who need his help.

Wyld, Evie. All the Birds, Singing.
In this dark, suspenseful novel, a self-reliant young Australian woman, with a mysterious and dark past, raises sheep alone on an island off the coast of England.