Transit - Rachel Cusk

Staff Pick

At the end of this stunningly original novel, one character observes that he learned more about his wife from her absence than from her presence. This could be said of the protagonist, Faye, (known to readers from a previous novel Outline) who is revealed as she listens to those she encounters. They include an ex lover, builders working on her house, hairdressers, a student and finally in a hilarious finale, acquaintances at a dinner party. As characters confide past experiences, it becomes clear that everyone’s life is in chaos and no one has actually arrived. The writing is pitch perfect. I only I wish I hadn’t finished it so quickly.

Transit: A Novel (Outline Trilogy #2) By Rachel Cusk Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374278625
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 17th, 2017

The First Rule of Swimming - Courtney Angela Brkic

Staff Pick

Rosmarina Island, a fictional composite of several Croatian islands where author Courtney Angela Brkic has spent time, possesses a painful history stretching over centuries of conflict.  Two devoted sisters grow up here and learn to survive. But painful layers of conflict and identity begin to unravel when one of them goes missing on a visit to her American cousins.  You won’t soon forget this island with its craggy rocks, inky sea urchins and glistening seas.

The First Rule of Swimming: A Novel By Courtney Angela Brkic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316217361
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - July 8th, 2014

Commonwealth - Ann Patchett

Staff Pick

Readers partial to family sagas or collections of interlocking narratives will love Ann Patchett’s masterful Commonwealth (HarperCollins, $27.99). Taking up different points of view, with reports that sometimes contradict each other, the novel begins with Franny Keating’s christening party, which turns into a drinking party when Bert Cousins shows up with a bottle of gin. But the event has an unexpected outcome, launching a chain of events that leads to the breakup of two marriages and the creation of a blended family. Over the years, one child dies, the others grow up. Reaching adulthood, Franny Keating becomes romantically involved with a writer who bases his successful novel, Commonwealth, on her family’s experiences. Has he stolen Franny’s story? Has he stolen the whole family’s story, or has he only used key events to craft a narrative of his own? Many chapters of this tale might easily stand alone as short stories; instead, Patchett has crafted a novel spanning several generations and offering different perspectives on a single painful truth. This novel poses the questions of who a narrative belongs to and what is or isn’t appropriation, issues that Patchett knows well from the real life controversy about her memoir, Truth and Beauty.

Commonwealth By Ann Patchett Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062491794
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Harper - September 13th, 2016

Commonwealth: A Novel By Ann Patchett Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062491831
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper Perennial - May 2nd, 2017