Thursday, April 17, 2008

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos

"Having met Cornelia Brown in de los Santos's well-reviewed debut, Love Walked In, we now follow her and her oncologist husband, Teo Sandoval, to suburban Philadelphia. Piper Truitt lives across the street with her husband and two young children. She considers herself the arbiter of style and local propriety. Add to the mix waitress Lake and her son, Dev, who is enrolled in a private academy far superior to his previous California public school. From the outset, Cornelia and Piper are traveling down different paths, while Cornelia and Lake seem to hit it off. Go figure? But there is more beneath the surface of these women and their motivations than the lovely locale can mask. Dev thinks he and his mother moved to the area because his long-lost (and unknown to him) father is there. But how do you go about locating someone who's been gone for 13 years? Then Piper becomes caregiver to her longtime friend Elizabeth, diagnosed with cancer, a role that seems more appealing to Piper than wife to Kyle. These family dynamics collide and reconfigure in a variety of ways that readers will find fascinating. De los Santos keeps us totally engaged with these fragile creatures, who get under our skin and, ultimately, into our hearts."

~Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

"Four years after the release of her best-selling novel, The Namesake, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lahiri returns with her highly anticipated second collection of short stories exploring the inevitable tension brought on by family life. The title story, for example, takes on a young mother nervously hosting her widowed father, who is visiting between trips he takes with a lover he has kept secret from his family. What could have easily been a melodramatic soap opera is instead a meticulously crafted piece that accurately depicts the intricacies of the father-daughter relationship. In a departure from her first book of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri divides this book into two parts, devoting the second half of the book to "Hema and Kaushik," three stories that together tell the story of a young man and woman who meet as children and, by chance, reunite years later halfway around the world. The author's ability to flesh out completely even minor characters in every story, and especially in this trio of stories, is what will keep readers invested in the work until its heartbreaking conclusion."

~Sybil Kollappallil, Library Journal Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison

"Red-headed witch Rachel Morgan has a demon after her, but that's just one of her many troubles in this action-packed sixth installment of Harrison's Hollows series (after 2007's For a Few Demons More). A nice guy might be moving into Rachel's town and life, but she's still getting over her last boyfriend, whose murder she has yet to solve. Elf politician Trent Kalamack wants her to go to the ever-after on a dangerous mission. Rynn Cormel, Cincinnati's new master vampire and ex-leader of the free world, is interfering in her life. Her friend, former demon familiar Ceri, is unexpectedly pregnant, by an unexpected partner. On top of all this, Rachel worries she may have had a too close encounter with a vampire and soon becomes concerned about her own abilities with demon magic. With the help of her feisty mother, Alice, and her pixy partner, Jenks, Rachel boldly tackles every challenge amid a cascade of plot twists that will delight Harrison's fans."

~ Publisher's Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker

"Tucker offers a cure for modern readers seeking an enjoyable literary page-turner that also explores serious social issues such as addiction, ethics and genetics. Tucker's fourth and most ambitious novel (following Once Upon a Day) is her first to have a male protagonist. Sardonic and emotionally aloof, Matthew Connelly directs his energies away from romantic entanglements and toward his work as an executive at pharmaceutical giant Astor-Denning. His bitter ex-girlfriend, Amelia, works as a medical ethics watchdog and is poised to take Matthew and his company down. But the appearance of homeless 10-year-old Danny and his toddler sister shakes up the lives of the combustible pair. In crisp, lively prose, Tucker cleverly executes a series of surprising twists that, coupled with the Big Pharma backdrop and cinematic feel, make the novel as fast-paced as a thriller, but with astute and often humorous observations about the shifting morality of 21st-century America. The relationship dilemmas at the center of this story make it an excellent choice for book clubs, but the novel should also increase Tucker's male readership and solidify her position as a gifted writer with a wide range and a profound sense of compassion for the mysteries of the human heart."

~Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.