Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 9)

THE MARRYING OF CHANI KAUFMAN by Eve Harris
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"A readable, compassionate portrait of roles, especially women's, in a Haredi community that only occasionally strays into stereotype."
Not just love and tradition, but rules and expectations shape the relationships of two couples from an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, in a British novelist's engaging debut. Read full book review >
A PRIVATE VENUS by Giorgio Scerbanenco
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"The first volume in Scerbanenco's Milano Quartet is a blast from the past, a sleek, stripped-down reminder of the fast, brutal days of Continental noir. Sensitive souls will notice that the author's attitude toward the LGBT community has dated in more glaring ways."
A disgraced doctor's ticket to redemption requires him to rescue a young man even more lost than he is in this slice of noir first served in Italy in 1966 and finally translated into English. Read full book review >

WHEN THE CYPRESS WHISPERS by Yvette Manessis Corporon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"Despite Corporon's obvious love of Greece, her manipulative storytelling is exasperating."
A stressed-out Greek-American restaurant owner visits her grandmother on a Greek island seemingly untouched by time (or Greece's economic crisis) in this romantic tribute to her own roots by debut novelist Corporon, a producer of the syndicated TV show Extra. Read full book review >
CAVENDON HALL by Barbara Taylor Bradford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"Not even the Great War can jar this novel out of its stalwart complacency."
Life—and melodrama—upstairs and downstairs at a Yorkshire stately home, as World War I nears. Read full book review >
SOLSBURY HILL by Susan M. Wyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"A preposterous but at moments oddly beguiling love story blessed with very good shabby-chic taste."
" 'Tis wutherin' weather," comments the implausible manservant in Wyler's debut, giving the reader fair warning of this wispy, occasionally farcical reinterpretation of the Brontë family legend and classic. Read full book review >

THE TRAIN TO WARSAW by Gwen Edelman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"A fine rendering of tormented souls."
An aging couple, survivors of the Warsaw ghetto, revisit Poland after a 40-year absence. Read full book review >
THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME by Hazel Gaynor
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"Still, as the disaster's 102nd anniversary approaches, Gaynor's account surpasses, in subtlety if not in scope, so many flashier treatments."
The fictionalized saga of 14 Irish immigrants from a single parish who sailed on the Titanic. Read full book review >
THE POETS' WIVES by David Park
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"The language is gorgeous, the tone exquisitely highbrow, but the result is disappointingly dull."
In parallel but unconnected narratives, Irish novelist Park (The Light of Amsterdam, 2012, etc.) portrays the inner lives of three women—two historic, one fictional—who have devoted themselves to their difficult husbands' creative needs and ambitions. Read full book review >
LOVE AND TREASURE by Ayelet Waldman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"No big points made here, just strong storytelling combined with thoughtful exploration of difficult issues."
A necklace with a peacock pendant raises provocative questions about loss, guilt and recovery in Waldman's intriguing new novel (Red Hook Road, 2010, etc.). Read full book review >
BY ITS COVER by Donna Leon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"Brunetti (The Golden Egg, 2013, etc.) spends less time with both his charming family and his highly variable colleagues than usual; and with the exception of Franchini, the characters remain distantly evoked rather than vividly present. This one really is for readers who love books."
A rare-book thief is the target in Commissario Guido Brunetti's 23rd case. Read full book review >
FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE by K.A.  Tucker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"Though Tucker's prose and pacing have a vibrant energy, the plot is simply preposterous."
Tucker returns to Miami in her loosely tied romantic series (One Tiny Lie, 2014, etc.), this time focusing on the saintly owner of Penny's Place—the city's most exclusive strip club. Read full book review >
LETTER COMPOSED DURING A LULL IN THE FIGHTING by Kevin Powers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"A welcome debut. We hope that the next sequence finds Powers on safer ground, exploring the possibilities of life away from the front."
Powers, author of the shattering war novel The Yellow Birds (2012), turns to poetry while concentrating on familiar themes of dislocation, fear and "unmoored memory." Read full book review >