Beyond the Best Sellers

stardustThese books did not make the Best Seller list but they are still good reads!

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley
This is Priscille Sibley’s first novel. The novel opens on the aftermath of a tragic accident that leaves astronaut, Elle Beaulieu brain dead and the families at odds about life support once they learn that she is pregnant. The story is told from Matt’s point of view. Sibley does a good job of weaving their back story with the present scenes of medial and courtroom drama. A good read alike of fans of Jodi Picoult.

The Bughouse Affair by Marcia Muller
On a lighter note Marcia Muller has written a new series. Two former Pinkerton detective form forces and set up their own detective agency in San Francisco. This first novel in the series has the detectives trying to solve several burglaries with the help of “Sherlock Holmes”. Takes place in late 1880′s

The Good Dream </a>by Donna VanLiere
The setting is 1950 in a small Tennessee town, and Ivorie Walker finds herself lonely after the death of her elderly mother. When she discovers a boy stealing from her garden, she reaches out to uncover where he comes from and seeks to help him, only to face fierce resistance from the town who wants to keep certain secrets. This is a character driven novel with strong women, mystery and inspiration.

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
While dealing with her husband’s infidelity, Beth tries to recapture the independent, creative spirit she used to be through writing. What emerges is a startling new voice, one that will help her heal. Newly separated Olivia Donatelli is struggling to understand the unraveling of her marriage, and to make sense of her eight-year-old autistic son Anthony’s short life and accidental death. A chance encounter between these two women develops into an unexpected and meaningful friendship, giving one writer the opportunity to find her voice and a grieving mother a chance to finally understand her son. The characters are flat and the stories of the broken marriages really aren’t developed and didn’t need to be there. I only included this book because I thought the author’s portrayal of autism and its misunderstandings and effect on the family were well done.

In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin
Leisurely paced and intrically plotted this novel is about Harry, a Jewish special-ops WWII paratrooper (we learn all the throttling details in sustained flashbacks) who has just returned home from the front to find his family’s top-of-the-line leather goods company failing and his father dying. Harry is determined to rescue. When he spies a beautiful woman on the Staten Island Ferry he seeks to learn her identity and to marry her. Catherine turns out to be a level-headed, musical, blue-blooded heiress. With the backdrop of 1940s mobster rule and Harry’s business woes their love grows against all odds.

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