The heart of this moving story belongs to Tom Ryder–a man whose expectations for the future and assumptions about his own strength and power are persistently and devastatingly undermined by the arrival of a sour gas plant on the border of his southern Alberta farm in the early 1960s. The emissions from the plant poison not only his livestock but the relationships he has with his family, most especially with his wife, Ella. The family is left without viable legal recourse against the plant, and Tom must watch his farm dwindle away, his sense of himself dwindling away with it. The novel moves into the present with the story of Tom”s son, Bill, who reacts to his father’s disappointments by rising through the managerial ranks of an oil company in Fort McMurray, hiding from his guilt in the local casino. Bill pushes himself towards a crisis in conscience through a relationship he has with a Native woman whose community is threatened by the actions of his company.
Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout’s “magnificent gift for humanizing characters.” Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.
With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art. (www.amazon.ca)
Touted as the next Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train by British debut author Paula Hawkins is the new runaway bestseller that everyone wants to get their hands on – our library holds are up to 48 now, seemingly out of nowhere!
The plot: After witnessing something shocking, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
While you’re waiting for your copy with bated breath, why not try one of these psychological suspense nail biters?
Harrison, A.S.A., The Silent Wife. 2013.
Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl. 2012.
Watson. S.J. Before I go to sleep. 2011.
French, Tana. The Secret Place. 2014.
Hannah, Sophie. The Other Woman’s House. 2012.
About the book:
Follows the life journey of chef Hassan Haji, who progresses from his family’s modest restaurant in Mumbai to master haute cuisine in an elegant Parisian restaurant. “That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that come along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist.” And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life in this novel. Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, it is a succulent treat about family, nationality and the mysteries of good taste.
Interview with the Author
About the book…
A daring young woman will risk her life to find her destiny in this atmospheric, beautifully drawn historical debut novel—a tale of love, hope, and danger set during the First World War.
Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love. But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother’s rigid expectations forbid Lilly from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventually becomes an ambulance driver in the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps—an exciting and treacherous job that takes her close to the Western Front.
Assigned to a field hospital in France, Lilly is reunited with Robert Fraser, her dear brother Edward’s best friend. The handsome Scottish surgeon has always encouraged Lilly’s dreams. She doesn’t care that Robbie grew up in poverty—she yearns for their friendly affection to become something more. Lily is the most beautiful—and forbidden—woman Robbie has ever known. Fearful for her life, he’s determined to keep her safe, even if it means breaking her heart.
In a world divided by class, filled with uncertainty and death, can their hope for love survive. . . or will it become another casualty of this tragic war?