Thursday, February 2, 2012
Speaking of Sharon, she's one of our more dependable reviewers, and there's quite a lot on her radar this month. Here's some of her picks for February:
The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey (Reagan Arthur)
This is the story of Mabel and Jack, a middle-aged couple who are homesteading in 1920 Alaska. They are suffering both mentally and physically, and they are drifting away from each other. Jack is determined to do all of the farm work himself, being too proud to ask his wife or neighbors for help. Mabel is suffering from loneliness, and she is pining away for a child of her own. Their future looks as bleak as the Alaskan landscape until, on a whim, the couple builds a snow child together. In the morning, they are surprised to find that the creature made of snow is gone, including the hat and mittens that Mabel put on it. Miraculously, they spot a little blond girl running through the forest. The girl, Faina, becomes an important part of their lives, and the daughter that they never had. The Snow Child is a retelling of an old fairy tale, and will capture both the heart and the imagination of the reader.
History of a Pleasure Seeker, by Richard Mason (Knopf)
This is the story of Piet Barol, a handsome young charmer who flirts his way into a position as a tutor for one of the wealthiest families in Amsterdam. The Vermeulen-Sickerts clan consists of Maarten, father, Jacobina, his wife, Louisa and Constance, daughters, and Egbert, Piet’s young charge, who is afraid to leave the house. It is Piet’s job to teach Egbert, as well as try to help him face his fears about going outside. He also manages to seduce the lady of the house, fend off the advances of other family members and servants alike, and earn the respect and friendship of his employer. This is a beautifully written, sensual period piece that will delight readers.
Sharon Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Friends Like Us, by Lauren Fox (Knopf) Willa and Jane are best friends and roommates. When Willa attends her high school reunion, she reconnects with Ben, her best friend from school. Her nerdy pal has become a handsome man. Things get complicated when Ben and Jane fall in love. The newest novel from Lauren Fox is a funny and poignant tale of friendship and love. Residents of Milwaukee’s east side and Shorewood will feel right at home in these pages. As I am both a Shorewood resident and a fan of witty dialogue, I enjoyed it greatly. (Event at Boswell 2/16)
Defending Jacob, by William Landry (Delacorte)
What would you do if you suspected that your son, a boy you had known and loved for fourteen years, was guilty of a heinous crime? Would you refuse to believe such a thing or would you begin to imagine that the child you love is something other than what you thought, a monster capable of murdering a classmate? This is just the situation that faces Andy Barber in this enthralling new legal thriller. Andy is the First Assistant District Attorney who is called to investigate the murder of a fourteen year old boy in his town. When his own fourteen year old son, Jacob, becomes a suspect in the case, he must recuse himself from the investigation and concentrate on defending his son. Fans of Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent will find this story similar, but with a definite narrative of its own.
All recs by Boswellian Sharon Nagel. Much thanks to you from Daniel and all blog readers!
Posted by Daniel Goldin at 4:01 PM