Trespasses, by Louise Kennedy

Staff Pick

Louise Kennedy's superb debut explores terrain already well-covered in works of fiction and non-fiction over the past several decades. But Trespasses is one of the best novels I’ve read about daily life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The story is built around the relationship of a Catholic schoolteacher, Cushla--who works part-time as bartender in the family pub now run by her brother, and also tends to a mother in the grip of alcoholism—and an older, married Protestant barrister with mostly progressive sensibilities. Kennedy conveys how, in the lives of everyday people in Belfast and its environs, the extraordinary becomes ordinary during times of religious and sectarian strife. British soldiers routinely stop Catholic motorists for no reason, neighbors check under their car hoods every morning for bombs, and children in Cushla’s class exhibit the scars of violence, poverty, and social humiliation. This is a powerful and beautifully constructed novel that brings fresh perspective to an old landscape.

 

Trespasses: A Novel By Louise Kennedy Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593540893
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - November 1st, 2022

The Love of My Life, by Rosie Walsh

Staff Pick

I’m a sucker for Australian and British mysteries and my newest favorite is British writer Rosie Walsh’s The Love of My Life. In this examination of love, commitment, and deception, the reader is kept guessing about a laundry list of secrets that tumble out one by one as the life of the protagonist, Emma, begins to unravel. The veneer of a happy and successful family—Emma is married to a smart, compassionate obituary writer named Leo, and they have a young daughter they adore—loses its luster when Emma is diagnosed with cancer and Leo starts preparing a file obit in the event of her death. He soon finds that Emma is not the Emma he thought he knew. Subplots emerge, and characters with unclear motives populate the pages. Walsh, who has written another novel under her own name and several under a pseudonym, says her motive is always to tell a great love story. In this novel, she does just that.

 

The Love of My Life: A Novel By Rosie Walsh Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593296998
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - March 1st, 2022

Carrie Soto is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Staff Pick

As a lifelong tennis player, rabid tennis fan, and once a reporter covering professional tennis for The Washington Post, I was dubious that Taylor Jenkins Reid could pull off a novel about an aging former champion’s return to the tennis tour. But I have liked Jenkins Reid’s work in the past so I decided to dive into Carrie Soto is Back. I’m glad I did. As clichéd as the story sounds, Jenkins Reid illuminates it with memorable characters, a nuanced understanding of the sport, great dialogue, and a penchant for humor and entertainment. This is the perfect novel for this season – not too heavy, not too light, a fun read with some deeper messages undergirding the plot. Bonus: If you are partial to audiobooks (please get them through Libro.fm, which partners with independent bookstores), this is a great one to listen to. You’ll enjoy cameo appearances from former players and commentators Patrick McEnroe and Mary Carillo.

Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel By Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593158685
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ballantine Books - August 30th, 2022

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