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Wandering Stars: A novel by Tommy Orange - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780593318256
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf - February 27th, 2024

Neither prequel nor sequel to his critically-acclaimed previous novel, Tommy Orange's new work is deeply related to the Pulitzer Prize-nominated There There. Starting with the 1864 attack at Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado, Wandering Stars follows one family through the generations from that massacre to present day Oakland just after the tragic events at the powwow that are the centerpiece of There There. Multi-layered and deeply felt, Wandering Stars explores themes of family, identity, addiction and so much more. Another masterpiece from an exceptional writer. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

You Only Call When You're in Trouble: A Novel by Stephen McCauley - Book Review

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You Only Call When You're in Trouble: A Novel By Stephen McCauley Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250296795
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - January 9th, 2024

As a big fan of McCauley's previous novel, My Ex-Life, I found his new book equally page-turning, hilarious, life-affirming and wise. The layers and complexities of family are explored in ways I've never read before. The main characters, very much soulmates, are an uncle and his niece, each going through a career crisis. His sister/her mother, who is always on the brink of crisis, throws a gala that exposes and strains the bonds of friendship and family. McCauley's writing is as deep as it is funny. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

North Woods: A Novel by Daniel Mason - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780593597033
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House - September 19th, 2023

It is a novel about a house in western Massachusetts. And a piece of land. It's about the people who inhabit the house across many generations and hundreds of years. The natural history of the area is meticulously explored. There are murders. Ghosts. The way Mason has woven countless threads together as the stories progress and the characters accumulate nearly defies belief. This book is astonishingly good. The first book I have read in years that I could have turned the last page and proceeded back to page one. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Let Us Descend: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781982104498
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Published: Scribner - October 24th, 2023

From the stunning first sentence through the hell of the narrative to the heart-bursting final pages, Let us Descend is a formidable novel and a testament to the author's utterly unique voice. It is told through the experience of Annis, a young enslaved woman in the early 19th century, who is separated from her mother and marched hundreds of miles to a plantation in New Orleans. Every day is its own version of hell yet she manages to tap into what little agency she possesses to survive. A supernatural presence in Annis's journey is as important and real as everything she encounters in the corporeal world. Jesmyn Ward's new novel is a literary event. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

Such Kindness: A Novel by Andre Dubus, III - Book Review

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Such Kindness: A Novel By Andre Dubus, III Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324000464
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 6th, 2023

Tom Lowe has lost just about everything. His wife, a meaningful relationship with his son, his ability to work, and his self-respect. He lives with constant, near-crippling pain. This extraordinary novel opens with his attempt to steal the garbage of the banker who sold him a loan he couldn't afford back when Tom had everything. He is pretty close to rock-bottom. Then a few chance encounters with strangers who treat Tom like a human being who deserves respect awaken a subtle shift in his attitude. Dubus has written a powerful and moving story that I found nearly impossible to put down. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


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