Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Staff Pick

Immediately engrossing as her previous novels have been, Unsheltered (Harper, $29.99) resounds with the bright moral clarion call we’ve come to expect from Barbara Kingsolver.  Willa Knox thought she had done everything right. But when her professor-husband’s college shutters, she finds herself in Vineland, New Jersey, suddenly underemployed and responsible for an aging father-in-law, two adult children recently returned to the nest, with mounting stacks of bills and only the leaky roof of an inherited Victorian mansion of slipshod craftsmanship over their heads. Kingsolver pairs this all-too-timely tale of economic vulnerability with that of Thatcher Greenwood, fretting over the same structurally unsound house a century earlier. A principled young science teacher in the Vineland schools, Thatcher longs to introduce the new theories of Charles Darwin one hundred years earlier, but is saddled with responsibilities to his new wife and her status-conscious family.

Unsheltered: A Novel By Barbara Kingsolver Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062684561
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Harper - October 16th, 2018

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Staff Pick

Like all Anne Tyler’s delicious novels, Clock Dance (Knopf, $26.95) is full of flawed and lovable characters who find new ways of being needed and who, in a blended family, make surprising and meaningful choices. The story focuses on Willa; raised by a mercurial and impetuous mother, Willa grows up determined to be exactly the opposite: she wants to be taken for granted and disappear—to the point where, held at gunpoint on a plane, she’s reluctant to make a scene and so does nothing. But life has a way of revisiting early missteps, and after living in Arizona Willa returns to her native Baltimore to care for the child of her son’s ex-girlfriend. This at first makes little sense—until you realize that Willa is retracing personal childhood traumas, and her actions are motivated by the need to rescue the little girl she once was. Then there’s that cactus on the book’s cover: “Just water it from time to time but not too much.  It can stand a lot remember; it doesn’t need to be pampered.” No, a cactus doesn’t need pampering, but pampering others is what gives Tyler’s characters their purpose and their heart.  We all need meaning in our lives—and meaning for Tyler comes from connection with others, however flawed or marginal they may be.

Clock Dance: A novel By Anne Tyler Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984833648
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House Large Print - July 10th, 2018

Love Is Blind by William Boyd

Staff Pick

William Boyd’s Love Is Blind (Knopf, $26.95) is the story of Brodie Moncur, a piano tuner born with perfect pitch. It is his perfect pitch that takes him from a banal village in Scotland to the cosmopolitan cities of Edinburgh, Paris, and St. Petersburg. It is in these cities that he meets John Kilbarron, “the Irish Liszt,” and his romantic companion, Lika Blum. It is within this triangle of different people that conflicts of love, duplicity, and revenge fester. It is an age-old story told with Boyd’s clear and elegant style of writing. Readers who have missed Boyd’s beautifully-written narratives about a hero’s journey through a particular time period will rejoice at Boyd’s return after a three-year silence. Readers who have not yet read him but still enjoy good historical fiction will find Love Is Blind as a good entry point to Boyd’s marvelous oeuvre. 

Love Is Blind: A novel By William Boyd Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525655268
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - October 9th, 2018