debut novel

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The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

If Taylor Greer can manage to graduate high school without getting pregnant, she can manage anything. Ready for an adventure and a life better than what is offered in her small town in Kentucky, Taylor heads West in an old VW Bug. But before her car dies in Tucson, Arizona, and she begins her new life working at Jesus is Lord Auto Repair, Taylor becomes the one thing she worked so hard to avoid--a mother--after a stranger gives her a 3 year old. This is an awesome story with great characters, funny moments (and some heartbreaking ones), and a satisfying ending.

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

Who knew that going to church could be deadly? North Carolina in the mid-1980s feels very far away from the world of 21st century Massachusetts in this debut Southern Gothic novel about 9-year-old Jess and his mute older brother, Stump. When the boys spy through a window and see something they shouldn’t, the consequences are fatal. We hear the story from three disparate but convincing characters: Jess, the sheriff, and the elderly local midwife who has spent a lifetime observing and helping the townspeople.

A Good House by Bonnie Burnard

This quiet yet compelling novel begins in 1949 and ends in 1997. It is the multigenerational story of Bill and Sylvia Chambers of Stonebrook, Ontario, and their extended family. These are ordinary people living ordinary lives full of imperfection, conflict, births, deaths, secrets, loyalty and love over the course of 50 years. The prose is simple but subtle and finely crafted, revealing the meaning and beauty of everyday lives.

Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander

It is not easy to describe this one.  Our protagonist is a seemingly normal middle aged man who has just moved to a seemingly normal rural town.  Solomon Kugel has a lovely wife, and new son, and an elderly mother living with him in his newly purchased, sprawling farm house.  Apparently, he may also have Anne Frank living in his attic… Check Our Catalog

The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak

Local author Andrew Krivak tells the story Jozef Vinich, who begins life in a bleak 19th century Colorado mining town, only to end up fighting for the Kaiser in World War One.  Krivak’s debut novel offers the story of a man returning to the roots of his ancestors, finding new family along the way, only to have the horrors of war disrupt all that he had come to take for granted.  Krivak packs a lot of emotion into the rather small book. 

We the Animals by Justin Torres

What is it like growing up the youngest of three brothers of a mixed race family in upstate New York?  At times it seems that it can be pretty dangerous.  Torres offers a short, quick stories that follow our narrator as he grows up in a family that teaches him to love, to fight and to survive.  Check Our Catalog

The Ghost of Greenwich Village by Lorna Graham

Eve Weldon, a newly hired writer for a morning news show, is struggling to recreate the fabulous life her mother had in Greenwich Village in the 1960s. But Eve has few friends, trouble finding love and a ghost living in her apartment. And it's not the type of ghost that slams doors and tries to scare her away. No, instead it is the ghost of an almost, could-have-been famous Beat writer who demands Eve write his stories.

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

This debut novel is a little bit gritty, a little bit gothic.  Set in mid-century, rural Ohio and West Virginia, Pollock's landscapes are as bleak as his characters' lives.  Pollock introduces us to a cast of orphans, preachers and murderers whose lives all seem to intersect.  This is a page turner of the darker sort.  Check Our Catalog

Snowdrops by A.D. Miller

This debut novel is written as a man's confession to his future wife.  British lawyer Nick Platt finds himself working in corporate law in the oil rich Russia of the early 2000's.  The story begins when Nick bumps into a pair of young and enticing Russian women.  These young women prove to be 'shady' characters, but no more shady than the business dealings Nick finds himself involved with.  The rest of the book finds Nick giving in to the seductions of Russia's women and wealth.  Snowdrops was recently shortlisted for the Booker Prize. 

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