Fiction


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The Summer Wives

Beatriz Williams

In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda’s catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society. But beneath the island’s patrician surface, there are really two clans: the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. In summer, Joseph helps his father in the lobster boats, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he’s determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph’s enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and as the summer winds to its end, Miranda’s caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the island for nearly two decades. Now, in the landmark summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned Shakespearean actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same—determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda’s stepfather eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naïve teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice for the man she once loved . . . even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.

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The Garden Party

Grace Dane Mazur

The Cohens are wildly impractical intellectuals—academics, activists, and artists. The Barlows are Wall Street Journal–reading lawyers steeped in trusts and copyrights, golf and tennis. The two families are reserved with and wary of each other, but tonight, the evening before the wedding that is supposed to unite them in marriage, they will attempt to set aside their differences over dinner in the garden. As Celia Cohen, the eminent literary critic, sets the table, her husband, Pindar, would much rather be translating ancient recipes for his Babylonian cookbook than hosting this rehearsal dinner. Meanwhile, their son, Adam, the poet (and nervous groom), wonders if there is still time to simply elope. One of Adam’s sisters, Naomi, a passionate but fragile social activist, refuses to leave her room, while Sara, scorpion biologist turned folklore writer, sits up on the roof mourning an imminent breakup. And Pindar’s elderly mother, Leah, witnesses everything, weaving old memories into the present. The lawyers are early: patriarch Stephen Barlow and his bespangled wife, Philippa, who specializes in estates, along with Philippa’s father, Nathan, hobbled by age and Lyme disease. Then come the Barlow sons William (war crimes), Cameron (intellectual property), and Barnes (the prosecutor), each with desperate wife and precocious offspring. How could their younger siblings—Eliza, the bride, an aspiring veterinarian, and her twin brother, Harry, recently expelled from divinity school—have issued from such a family? Up and down the dinner table, with its twenty-four (or is it twenty-five?) guests, unions are forming and dissolving while Pindar is trying to figure out whether time is really shaped like baklava, and off in the surrounding forest with its ancient pond different sorts of mischief will lead to a complicated series of fiascoes and miracles before the party is over. Set over the course of a single day and night, Grace Dane Mazur’s brilliantly observed novel weaves an irresistible portrayal of miscommunication, secrets, and the power of love.

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Marry Me

Johanna Lindsey

Summoned back to Philadelphia from the social whirl in London, Violet Mitchell never expected to find her brothers living on the edge of financial ruin while their father seeks new wealth in Montana’s gold fields. With the family’s home and social standing at risk, Violet makes a drastic decision. Morgan Callahan rode away from his family’s cattle ranch to make his own fortune. Now as he finishes exploiting a mother lode of silver, a young woman claiming to be his late partner’s daughter turns up wanting to be taken to her father’s mine. Suspecting that the pretty schemer works for the mining outfit that is trying to steal his land, he has no qualms about snatching her and holding her at his camp where she can do no harm. Morgan underestimated the new thorn in his side. Determined to claim what rightfully belongs to her family, Violet summons up the courage, grit, and spunk to cope with the hazards and discomforts of an untamed land and the disturbingly masculine stranger who holds her fate in his hands. But an error of judgment brings down a hailstorm of calamity and danger that upends her plans and deepens her bond to a man who is not the brilliant match a lady wishes to make but could be all that a strong, passionate woman desires.

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The Good Fight

Danielle Steel

The daughter and granddaughter of prominent Manhattan lawyers, Meredith McKenzie is destined for the best of everything: top schools, elite social circles, the perfect marriage. Spending her childhood in Germany as her father prosecutes Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials, Meredith soaks up the conflict between good and evil as it plays out in real time. When her family returns to the United States, she begins blazing her own trail, swimming against the tides, spurred on by her freethinking liberal grandfather, determined to become a lawyer despite her traditional, conservative father's objections. She rebels against her parents' expectations for her debutante ball and other conventions. She forges a lifelong friendship with a young German Jewish woman whose family died in the concentration camps. And while her grandfather rises to the Supreme Court, Meredith enlists in the most pressing causes of her time, fighting for civil rights and an end to the Vietnam War. From the bright morning of JFK's inauguration, through the tumultuous years that follow as America hurtles toward the twin assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, Meredith joins the vanguard of a new generation of women, breaking boundaries socially, politically, and professionall, but when the violence of the era strikes too close to home, her once tightly knit family must survive a devastating loss and rethink their own values and traditions in light of the times. Encompassing the remarkable people Meredith meets, the historic events she witnesses, and the sacrifices she must make, this is the story of a woman changing her world as she herself is changed by it.

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Half Moon Bay

Alice LaPlante

Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Jane is devastated, but sometime later, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace. And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. But as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.

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Clock Dance

Anne Tyler

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother, yet the prospect is dimming. So, when Willa receives a phone call from a stranger, telling her that her son's ex-girlfriend has been shot, she drops everything and flies across the country to Baltimore. The impulsive decision to look after this woman and her nine-year-old daughter will lead Willa into uncharted territory--surrounded by eccentric neighbors, plunged into the rituals that make a community a family, and forced to find solace in unexpected places.

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The Romanov Empress

C.W. Gortner

Marrying the Romanov heir, nineteen-year-old Danish princess Minnie becomes empress of Russia and treads a perilous path of compromise in a beloved but resistance-torn country where her son becomes the last tsar.

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What We Were Promised

Lucy Tan

Returning home to Shanghai after years of chasing the American dream, Wei Zhen and his newly wealthy family, including his wife, Lina, and their daughter, Karen, must each confront painful secrets and unfulfilled promises.

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The Last Cruise

Kate Christensen

The 1950s vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella is making her final voyage before heading to the scrapyard. For the guests on board, among them Christine Thorne, a former journalist turned Maine farmer, it's a chance to experience the bygone mid-twentieth century era of decadent luxury cruising, complete with fine dining, classic highballs, string quartets, and sophisticated jazz. Smoking is allowed but not cell phones--or children, for that matter. The Isabella sets sail from Long Beach, California into calm seas on a two-week retro cruise to Hawaii and back. But this is the second decade of an uncertain new millennium, not the sunny, heedless '50s, and certain disquieting signs of strife and malfunction above and below decks intrude on the festivities. When a time of crisis begins, the passengers find themselves facing the unknown together in an unexpected and startling test of their characters.

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Blue Hollow Falls

Donna Kauffman

Sunny never expected to find herself owning a centuries old silk mill in the shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains . . . or becoming a half-sister to a ten-year-old named Bailey. Once the shock subsides, she plans to cash in and head back home. But the overgrown greenhouse she finds on the property calls out to the gardener in her, and she senses Bailey’s need for nurturing too. And someone else is making it hard for Sunny to leave: Sawyer Hartwell, an Iraq War hero who wants to make the old mill a creative hub for the artisans of Blue Hollow Falls . . . and wants Sunny to share his vision, and his life. But sexy as this ex-soldier may be, she’s not sure she’s ready to give love a chance.

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Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik

A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, called "a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic" by The New York Times Book Review. Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued. Channeling the heart of the classic fairy tale, Novik deftly interweaves six distinct narrative voices--each learning valuable lessons about sacrifice, power and love--into a rich, multilayered fantasy that readers will want to return to again and again.

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Ride the Savage Land

William W. Johnstone
J.A. Johnstone

When they agree to escort five mail order brides to San Angelo, Texas, Ace and Chance Jensen must defend the ladies against a defrauded outlaw, a crazy ex-husband, Comanche kidnappers, and a clan of woman-hungry backwoodsmen.

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In Dreams Forgotten

Tracie Peterson

After her parents' deaths, Judith Gladstone travels to San Francisco to find her last living relative. Her unrequited love, Caleb Coulter, helps her search, and when his connections lead Judith to a wealthy, influential family, she learns shocking truths about her heritage . . . and finds herself in danger from someone who wants to keep the past hidden.

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Falling for the Boss

Sylvia Pierce
Lili Valente

I'm one puff piece away from tearing up my journalism degree and hurling my laptop into the Hudson River. So when I smell a juicy story brewing at my brother's Wall Street investment firm, I'll do whatever it takes to get my scoop. One clever disguise later, I'm deep undercover as the firm's newest broker, simultaneously gathering intel and spouting off stock tips like a boss. Go me, right? Sure it sounds good on paper, but there's a catch: the actual boss...In the market for a hot tip? Here's one. Don't bang your best friend's sister. Especially when she's an investigative journalist and your company is the target of her latest exposé. Friends with fringe benefits is a sweet deal, but it's not long before I'm falling harder than the post-bubble Nasdaq, hooked on Ellie's sweet smile and determination to make the world a better place.

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Shameless

Gina L. Maxwell

People say I'm shameless. They're right. I like my sex dirty. It takes a hell of a lot to tilt my moral compass, and I always follow when it's pointing at something I want. That goes double when it points straight at the one girl in all of Chicago who's not dying for a piece of me. She's all I can think about, and that's a problem, because she wants nothing to do with me. But I've seen her deepest secrets, her darkest fantasies, and they match mine to a fucking T. I want her. Bad. Now I need to show her how good it can feel...to be shameless.

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Worth the Risk

K. Bromberg

This whole contest was supposed to be easy. I know, I know. Famous last words. It’s a long story, but I messed up at work. Big time. To earn back the trust of my boss, I promised to save one of our magazines. Yep. That Hot Dad contest you’ve seen advertised all over the place was my idea. And if I’m successful, if I’m able to increase our online readership, then I get a shot at my dream job. But the one thing I never expected to happen, happened: Contestant number ten, Grayson Malone. Hello, Mr. Difficult. And did I mention sexy as hell? Unfortunately he knows me. The old me, anyway. And while we might be older now, I remind him of before. Of the woman who broke his heart, who hardened him, and who left him alone to raise the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen. But I don’t want a relationship. And I definitely don’t fall for single dads with baggage. Even ones with chiseled abs and killer smiles. But he got to me. They got to me. Him and his son and their messy, crazy life. But I got to him too. I see the stolen glances. I feel the walls he built start to crumble. I recognize that there’s an unexpected beauty to the chaos in his life. And now that the contest is about to end, we’re left to decide whether the last six months were just fun or if what we have is worth risking it all?

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Nonfiction

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The Poisoned City

Ann Clark

When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins. Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint―a largely poor African American city of about 100,000 people―were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives. It took 18 months of activism and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. But this was only after 12 people died and Flint's children suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster have only just begun. In the first full-length account of this epic failure, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure through democratic decision-making. Cities like Flint are set up to fail―and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences may be mortal.

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