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Contemporary Novels, New on the Shelf

Strongsville librarians have three new choices

Book reviews from Strongsville librarians Jennifer Niederhausen, Dona Stein and Heather Timko
, Adult Services Division
, Strongsville Branch Library

This week’s picks are new contemporary novels. Stop in to your local library branch to check-one out today. Happy reading!

How Lucky You Are By Kristyn Kusek Lewis, September 2012, 352 pages. 

In the tradition of Emily Giffin and Marisa de los Santos, this is an engaging and moving novel about three women struggling to keep their longstanding friendship alive. Waverly, who's always been the group's anchor, runs a cozy bakery but worries each month about her mounting debt. Kate is married to a man who's on track to be the next governor of Virginia, but the larger questions brewing in their future are unsettling her. Stay-at-home mom Amy has a perfect life on paper, but as the horrific secret she's keeping from her friends threatens to reveal itself, she panics.

As life's pressures build all around them, Waverly knows she has some big decisions to make. In doing so, she will discover that the lines between loyalty and betrayal can become blurred, happy endings aren't always clear-cut, and sometimes you have to risk everything to gain the life you deserve.

The Language of Sisters: a Novel By Amy Hatvany, July 2012, 275 pages.

Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny. Though her search for happiness—both in career and in love—has fallen short of her dreams, Nicole pretends that all is well. Then a shattering event turns her world upside down, and suddenly, she is back in her hometown, caring for her pregnant sister and trying to heal her embattled relationship with her mother. Reunited with her family and forced to confront the guilt that haunts her, Nicole finally has the chance to be the sister she always wished she’d been. And when she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life, Nicole rediscovers the beauty of sisterhood—and receives a special gift that will change her life forever. Fans of women fiction authors like of Jennifer Weiner and Diane Chamberlain will enjoy this author.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel By Maria Semple, August 2012, 330 pages.

Bernadette Fox is notorious.  To her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle, and people in general, has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence, creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world. This is a satisfying new novel and a must read.

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