Last week I did not manage to get a Mailbox post up, so this week includes the books that have arrived at my home over the last two weeks…a fantastic array of genres.
The good folks at Harper Collins sent me an Advance Readers Edition of the newest novel by Wally Lamb. We Are Water is due for release in October 2013 and it looks amazing. I enjoyed I Know This Much is True (read my review), and found much to like about The Hour I First Believed despite its cumbersome weight (read my review) so I’m looking forward to Lamb’s latest work. The publisher describes We are Waters as “a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy.” This layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, is told in the alternating voices of the Ohs—nonconformist, Anna; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest. It is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.
Wally Lamb is the author of the New York Times and national bestseller The Hour I First Believed, as well as the novels She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, both #1 New York Times bestsellers and Oprah’s Book Club selections. He lives in Connecticut with his family.
From Other Press came Days in the History of Silence by Merethe Lindstrom (translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce) which is being released this month. I am very fond of books in translation, and this literary fiction novel looks particularly good. From the publisher:
Eva and Simon have spent most of their adult lives together. He is a physician and she is a teacher, and they have three grown daughters and a comfortable home. Yet what binds them together isn’t only affection and solidarity but also the painful facts of their respective histories, which they keep hidden even from their own children. But after the abrupt dismissal of their housekeeper and Simon’s increasing withdrawal into himself, the past can no longer be repressed. Lindstrøm has crafted a masterpiece about the grave mistakes we make when we misjudge the legacy of war, common prejudices, and our own strategies of survival.
Publisher’s Weekly writes about the book:
This remarkable novel explores the theme of silence in many different forms – a children’s game, a refuge, a lie, a punishment, a solution – and shows its impact on those who long to be spoken to…The prose is simple and elegant, revealing an extraordinary talent.”
Merethe Lindstrøm has published several novels and collections of short stories, and a children’s book. She was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize and for the Norwegian Critics’ Award in 2008 for her short-story collection The Guests. The same year, she received the Doubloug Prize for her entire literary work. Days in the History of Silence is her most recent novel, nominated for the Norwegian Channel 2 Listeners’ Novel Prize, and winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize and the Norwegian Critics’ Prize. She lives in Oslo, Norway.
Anne Bruce has degrees in Norwegian and English from Glasgow University covering both Nynorsk and Bokmål, classic and modern texts, written and spoken Norwegian, as well as Old Norse, Icelandic, Swedish, and Danish. She has traveled extensively throughout Scandinavia on lecture and study visits, and undertaken translation and interpretation for visiting groups from Norway. She has translated Wencke Mühleisen’s I Should Have Lifted You Carefully Over, Jørn Lier Horst’s Dregs, and Anne Holt’s Blessed Are Those Who Thirst.
Mother, Mother: A Novel by Koren Zailckas (September 2013) arrived from Crown Publishers. Written with the style, dark wit and shrewd psychological insight that made Smashed a bestseller, Zailckas’s first novel promises to be unforgettable. This is the terrifying story of a mother’s love gone too far. From the publisher:
Josephine Hurst has her family under control. With two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home, her life is picture perfect. She has everything she wants; all she has to do is keep it that way. But living in this matriarch’s determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn’t been easy for her family, and when her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison.
Resentful of her sister’s new found freedom, Violet turns to eastern philosophy, hallucinogenic drugs, and extreme fasting, eventually landing herself in the psych ward. Meanwhile, her brother Will shrinks further into a world of self-doubt. Recently diagnosed with Aspergers and epilepsy, he’s separated from the other kids around town and is home schooled to ensure his safety. Their father, Douglas, finds resolve in the bottom of the bottle—an addict craving his own chance to escape. Josephine struggles to maintain the family’s impeccable façade, but when a violent incident leads to a visit from child protective services, the truth about the Hursts might finally be revealed.
Koren Zailckas is an internationally bestselling writer, and has contributed to The Guardian, U.S. News & World Report, Glamour, Jane, and Seventeen magazine. She currently lives with her family in the Catskills mountains of New York.
Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes arrived from Harper Collins (August 2013). I read Into the Darkest Corner last year and ended up enjoying it quite a bit (read my review), so I am eager to read this latest novel by Haynes which “explores our darkest fears, showing how vulnerable we are—and how easily ordinary lives can fall apart when no one is watching.” Book description from the publisher:
Police analyst Annabel wouldn’t describe herself as lonely. Her work and the needs of her aging mother keep her busy. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbor’s decomposing body in the house next door, and she is appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed the woman’s absence. Annabel sets out to investigate, despite her colleagues’ lack of interest, and discovers that such cases are frighteningly common in her hometown.
Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst, a civilian role that involves determining patterns in offending and criminal behavior. Dark Tide is her second novel; rights to her first, Into the Darkest Corner, have been sold in twenty-five territories. Haynes lives in England in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son. Learn more about Haynes and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Reagan Arthur Books (Hachette Book Group) sent me a hardcover edition of Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina (February 2013), the third book in the Alex Morrow series which I have been reading this summer with BOOK CLUB. Read my reviews of the first two books: Still Midnight and The End of Wasp Season. In Gods and Beasts, it is the week before Christmas when a lone robber bursts into a busy Glasgow post office carrying an AK-47. An elderly man suddenly hands his young grandson to a stranger and wordlessly helps the gunman fill bags with cash, then carries them to the door. He opens the door and bows his head; the robber fires off the AK-47, tearing the grandfather in two. Enter DS Alex Morrow who begins to search for the killer and discovers a hidden, sinister political network.
Denise Mina is the author of Deception, the Garnethill trilogy, and Field of Blood. She lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with her family. Learn more about Mina and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Finally, from Tor Forge came the latest Caitlin Strong novel by Jon Land. Strong Rain Falling (August 2013) is being lauded as an action packed tale with a gutsy, resourceful, flawed and vulnerable heroine. From the publisher:
Mexico, 1919: The birth of the Mexican drug trade begins with opium being smuggled across the U.S. border, igniting an all-out battle with American law enforcement in general and the Texas Rangers in particular.
The Present: Fifth Generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and her lover Cort Wesley Masters both survive terrifying gun battles. But this time, it turns out, the actual targets were not them, but Masters’ teenage sons.
That sets Caitlin and Cort Wesley off on a trail winding through the past and present with nothing less than the future of the United States hanging in the balance. Along the way they will confront terrible truths dating all the way back to the Mexican Revolution and the dogged battle Caitlin’s own grandfather and great-grandfather fought against the first generation of Mexican drug dealers.
Jon Land is the critically acclaimed author of thirty novels, including the bestselling series featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break and Strong Vengeance. In addition, he is that author of the nonfiction bestseller Betrayal. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Learn more about Land and his work by visiting the author’s website.