April showers bring May fiction novels
Here are some books to enjoy while lounging on the veranda during the times in which we now live. These are all fiction this month, but surely something will entice you.
Emily St. John Mandel is a gifted writer and “The Glass Hotel” delivers. I admit the first two chapters did not grab me, but after that I could not tear myself away.
“Valentine" by Elizabeth Wetmore is a chronicle of the brutal culture of west Texas in the 1970s. Fear, desperation, and anger combine with grit, resourcefulness and determination to propel the women of the oil fields.
“Beheld” is loosely based on historical facts surrounding the Plymouth settlement. I was woefully ignorant of the true story of the Pilgrims and it isn't pretty, but the story author TaraShea Nesbit tells is riveting.
“The Last Taxi Driver” by Lee Durkee, a writer and former cabbie, is profane but laugh out loud funny. Bleak and madcap all at once.
“Saint X” by Alexis Schaitkin tells of a sister's mission to understand the man she thinks killed her sister years ago on a Caribbean island. Both a thriller and a psychological portrait, it is an engaging read.
Daniel Island resident Michael Ferrara has just released his third tome. “Breezing" will school you on the intricacies — both honest and nefarious — of thoroughbred racing.
“A Hundred Suns” by Karin Tanabe is an immersive journey to Indochina in the 1930s. A lush, elegant setting for a thriller, plus an explanation about the politics that ultimately led to the Vietnam War.
I strongly recommend “My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell as an audible book. Stunningly performed by Grace Gummer (Meryl Streep’s daughter), this is a very difficult story of psychological manipulation, power, memory and recovery.
“Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing” by Maryla Szymickowa introduces a Polish Agatha Christie in the form of a determined and resourceful socialite who uses her sense of humor like a blunt object. The character names can be challenging, but stick with it, you will be rewarded with a romp of a read.
Did you like “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles? Then you will enjoy “Simon the Fiddler.” Spare prose delivers an evocative story set just after the Civil War as Simon, an itinerant fiddler, roams Southeast Texas. (“News of The World” is coming out as a movie with Tom Hanks.)