Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh’s richly imagined novel, Sea Of Poppies (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26), is based on the historical record. After slavery was abolished in Britain, ship-owners found other ways  to obtain workers for large plantations in the West Indies and Africa. They tricked, kidnapped, or, in connivance with local authorities, offered unfortunate people a choice between prison and transport. Ghosh has painted a large and attractive cast of Indians and others who end up on board an old slave ship, the Ibis, bound for Mauritius. Among them are: Deeti, a young woman with second sight;  Zachary Reid, one of the crew, son of a Maryland freedwoman;  Paulette Lambert, the daughter of the curator of the Botanical Garden; and her best friend from her youth, Jodu, whose mother was her wet nurse. There are some really bad guys too, many of whom, I am happy to say, get their just reward. Luckily, Sea of Poppies is the first part of a trilogy—after almost 500 captivating pages, the story is merely getting started. 

Sea of Poppies: A Novel (The Ibis Trilogy #1) By Amitav Ghosh Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312428594
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - September 29th, 2009

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - David Wroblewski

The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle (Ecco, $25.95) is partially a love story between young Edgar and the dogs his family raises, and partially an adventure story as he struggles to tell the truth without speaking a word. This well-paced epic rollicks across the Northern Wisconsin countryside, replete with stunning visual details and intriguing characters.  David Wroblewski tells a nuanced, dense story with lyrical ease. As the central mystery unfolds, you’ll find yourself staying up much too late in order not to leave Edgar’s side. With one of the finest debut novels ever, Wroblewski gives us characters and scenes that we will come back to again and again.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel By David Wroblewski Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061374234
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - September 8th, 2009

Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri’s third book, Unaccustomed Earth (Knopf, $25), is a collection of eight short stories, each of which packs the punch of a novel.  In the title story, Ruma debates the merits and disadvantages of asking her aging father to live with her growing family; in another, Sudha watches her brother throw away his life in the grips of an addiction he cannot control; in a third, Amit considers how his Bengali upbringing and values are so thoroughly different from those of his American wife, and how that affects their relationship. Lahiri deftly spins her satisfying stories in a way that not only makes you identify with the memorable characters, but also builds toward a stunning conclusion that will haunt you long after you close the book.

Unaccustomed Earth (Vintage Contemporaries) By Jhumpa Lahiri Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307278258
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - April 7th, 2009