In this fraught and psychologically complex novel, Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth explores the rippling effect of trauma through the years and one woman's battle to be believed in the face of immense hostility. Hjorth's narrator, Bergljot, has been estranged from her family since confronting them about the abuse she endured as a child. A disagreement about a newly drawn family will draws her unwillingly back into conflict with them, but gives her a new opportunity to assert the truth. The novel's nonlinear, impressionistic style is consistently immersive, allowing you to feel every wound and pyrrhic victory Bergljot experiences. Hjorth's uncanny ability to reveal a new psychological wrinkle with every passing page makes reading Will and Testament a unique, emotional journey.
Both a natural evolution for the world of the X-Men and unlike anything done previously with the characters, this collection is an excellent introduction to Jonathan Hickman’s burgeoning “Dawn of X” universe. With House of X and Powers of X, he takes Marvel’s mutants further from the realm of superhero stories and deeper into the world of speculative fiction in an engrossing narrative that spans three timelines and dozens of characters. This is one of the boldest and most ambitious mainstream comics in years, packed with clever world building, humor, pathos, and the promise of so much more. And it’s the rare case of a comic being perfect for both longtime fans and new readers.
Far removed from the world of George Smiley and British intelligence is The Little Drummer Girl, an ambitious and morally complex standalone novel from John le Carré. His protagonist is Charlie, a young actress whose talent and passionate political bent draws the attention of a cabal of Israeli spies. They coerce her into taking a role in “the theater of the real” in order to catch a bomber, and she’s quickly immersed in a world of danger and consummate paranoia. As she dives deeper into her role, Charlie’s sympathies and motivations begin to bleed together in thrilling, painful fashion. Le Carré tackles intensely political subject matter with nuance, and he boldly embraces the humanity and ugliness in each of his characters.