A nice collection of new books just arrived at the shop in time for the weekend. Whether you’re heading to the cottage or lounging at home in the hammock, let these books transport you away…
– “Paris” by Edward Rutherfurd
From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic portrait of Paris that leaps through centuries as it weaves the tales of families whose fates are forever entwined with the City of Light. As he did so brilliantly in London: The Novel and New York:
The Novel, Edward Rutherfurd brings to life the most magical city in the world: Paris.
This breathtaking multigenerational saga takes readers on a journey through thousands of years of glorious Parisian history.
– “The Book of Stolen Tales” by D.J. McIntosh
In 2011 D.J. McIntosh took the book world by storm with her debut novel, The Witch of Babylon. Praised for its “stellar research” and “superb writing,” it introduced readers to John Madison, a rakish New York art dealer with a past, who uncovered a fabulous treasure trove of antiquities in the hills outside Baghdad and the truth behind a famous story long believed to be a myth.
In this highly anticipated sequel, John Madison travels to London to purchase at auction a rare seventeenth century Italian book of fairy tales for an anonymous client. Madison is warned about the book’s malevolent history. Before he can deliver it to the buyer, he is robbed by a mysterious man claiming to be the book’s author. When his client disappears and the book’s provenance is questioned, Madison must immerse himself in the world of European artistocracy and rare book collectors. As the dark origins of certain fairy tales appear to come to life, Madison discovers that a well-loved children’s story contains a necromancer’s spell and points to the source of a deadly Mespotamian plague.
– “Abroad” by Katie Crouch
The city of Grifonia, Italy, is swarming with secrets—thousands of years of dark, murderous secrets.
Taz, a British student who has just arrived for her year abroad, thinks that she will spend her time in Italy sipping wine and taking in the rolling Umbrian hills. But she soon falls in with a cabal of posh, reckless girls—the B4—who turn her quaint fantasies into an erotic and dangerous rush through the darkest realms of friendship and love. Abroad is a chilling parable of modern girlhood from an author who “from her opening line . . . grabs you and never lets go” (People).
Not since Donna Tartt’s The Secret History have we been treated to such an addictive tale of tumultuous adolescence. We see Taz scared and alone, but hungry for new experience and piqued by the thrill of living abroad. We see her roommate, the plainspoken American Claire, who worries about Taz’s motives and expresses sincere concern for her safety—but everything changes when they fall for the same man.
And then there’s what we don’t see—the perils that lurk around the corner. We don’t see the secrets that friends—and lovers—keep from one another. And we don’t see the force that is bigger than Taz, bigger than her friends and loves, a force that seems to be propelling them all toward a dark, awful end. Inspired by real events but tackled with grace and sharpness by a master storyteller, this is Katie Crouch at her finest.
– “Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste” by Carl Wilson
Non-fans regard Céline Dion as ersatz and plastic, yet to those who love her, no one could be more real, with her impoverished childhood, her (creepy) manager-husband’s struggle with cancer, her knack for howling out raw emotion. There’s nothing cool about Céline Dion, and nothing clever. That’s part of her appeal as an object of love or hatred — with most critics and committed music fans taking pleasure (or at least geeky solace) in their lofty contempt. This book documents Carl Wilson’s brave and unprecedented year-long quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan, and explores how we define ourselves in the light of what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate.
– “Longbourn” by Jo Baker
If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.
Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.
– “Road Ends” by Mary Lawson
He listened as their voices faded into the rumble of the falls. He was thinking about the lynx. The way it had looked at him, acknowledging his existence, then passing out of his life like smoke. . . It was the first thing—the only thing—that had managed, if only for a moment, to displace from his mind the image of the child. He had carried that image with him for a year now, and it had been a weight so great that sometimes he could hardly stand.
Mary Lawson’s beloved novels, Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge, have delighted legions of readers around the world. The fictional, northern Ontario town of Struan, buried in the winter snows, is the vivid backdrop to her breathtaking new novel.
Roads End brings us a family unravelling in the aftermath of tragedy: Edward Cartwright, struggling to escape the legacy of a violent past; Emily, his wife, cloistered in her room with yet another new baby, increasingly unaware of events outside the bedroom door; Tom, their eldest son, twenty-five years old but home again, unable to come to terms with the death of a friend; and capable, formidable Megan, the sole daughter in a household of eight sons, who for years held the family together but has finally broken free and gone to England, to try to make a life of her own.
Roads End is Mary Lawson at her best. In this masterful, enthralling, tender novel, which ranges from the Ontario silver rush of the early 1900s to swinging London in the 1960s, she gently reveals the intricacies and anguish of family life, the push and pull of responsibility and individual desire, the way we can face tragedy, and in time, hope to start again.
– “The French House: An American Family, a Ruined Mansion, and the Village That Restored Them All” by Don Wallace
When Francophiles Don and Mindy Wallace received an offer for a house on a tiny French island, they jumped at the chance, buying it almost sight unseen. What they found when they arrived was a building in ruin, and it wasn’t long before their lives resembled it. Plagued by emergency repairs, a stock market crash, and very exasperated French neighbors, the Wallace’s could have accepted their fate. Instead, they embraced it. The French House is the delightfully amusing and picturesque memoir about a family who seized life, rose from the rubble, and built themselves a home away from home.