Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger

Her Fearful Symmetry (Simon & Schuster, $26.99) opens with intrigue—furtive actions, a private eye, secretive correspondence, an inheritance, and a haunting love story. The protagonists are two historians working at Highgate Cemetery in London (and therefore on intimate terms with the dead) and two young, creepily codependent twin sisters. But lest you think of the syrupy movie Ghost, the delicate unfolding of this paranormal mystery is like petals opening on a dark rose. As in her equally successful forays into imagined realities, The Time Traveler’s Wife and Three Incestuous Sisters, Audrey Niffenegger demonstrates her talent for exploring her characters’ complex and selfish motivations, and their unconscious manipulations in pursuit of their desires.

Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel By Audrey Niffenegger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439165393
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Scribner - September 29th, 2009

Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel By Audrey Niffenegger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439169018
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 29th, 2010

Brooklyn - Colm Toibin

Elis is an Irish girl pushed by her more energetic sister to immigrate to Brooklyn (Scribner, $25), where the prospects for work and romance seem more promising.  Elis herself is doubtful about leaving her beloved mother and small town, in spite of the constricted life there. The Brooklyn she finds in the early 1950s, the rooming house and her job in the small department store, are part of a world that I remember well, with the hominess and the conservatism of those years. In time Elis finds love and a second family with Tony, an Italian-American. When she is called back to Enniscorthy after a sudden death in the family, she finds herself a different person than the one she was. Colm Tóibín‘s considerable talent and finesse are well displayed in this charming story.

Brooklyn: A Novel (Eilis Lacey Series) By Colm Toibin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439148952
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - March 2nd, 2010

Brooklyn (Eilis Lacey Series) By Colm Toibin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501106477
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - September 8th, 2015

Woodsburner - John Pipkin

John Pipkin’s well constructed and beautifully articulated Woodsburner (Nan A. Talese, $24.95) builds on the historical incident of a distracted Henry Thoreau who accidentally set fire to the woods near Concord, Massachusetts. Pipkin interweaves the lives of several fictional characters representing a changing America in the early 1850s. Oddmund Hus, who works on a nearby farm, has suffered great losses in his young life since immigrating from Norway. He pines for a sweet young Irish-American, Emma Woburn, who, alas, is married to a much older farmer for whom Oddmund works. Eliot Carter, a young bookseller and would-be playwright, happens to be visiting Concord that day from Boston to look for a new store and is enlisted to fight the fire, and a creepy religious zealot, Caleb Dowdy, sees the fire as vindicating his ministry.

In John Pipkin’s remarkable debut novel, Woodsburner (Nan A. Talese, $24.95), the words leap gorgeously from the pages. A fire is accidentally started in the Concord woods on a very dry spring day. The man who started the fire is a deeply depressed Henry Thoreau, who had wanted to cook his fresh-caught fish. Pipkin has created the rest of the memorable characters who were brought together by the fire: a bookseller, Eliot Calvert, who wants to become a playwright;  Caleb Dowdy, a crazed fundamentalist preacher; Oddmund Hus, a Norwegian immigrant, stunted emotionally by another fire in which his parents and the others on the boat perished just before they docked in America; the Czech women Zaleka and Anezkia who had served long prison sentences for engaging in lewd practices; and Emma Manning, whose late father sent her to America to escape the famine. It’s as though the fire burns through to the essence of each person.

Woodsburner: Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Winner By John Pipkin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307455321
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - May 4th, 2010