The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, recommended by Louise
Part allegory, part coming-of-age tale, part journey, The Lincoln Highway is a tour de force by Amor Towles, beloved author of A Gentleman in Moscow. Towles wears his erudition lightly; though he may reference Odysseus, the Bible and Huckleberry Finn in almost the same breath, he is always sure to share the story of his references with his readers, making us feel better read and more intelligent than we might actually be. The four Musketeers (Emmet, Wooly, Duchess and Billy) – all for one and one for all! – are each on a journey of emancipation. Though they may travel part of the road together, each is on an individual quest and their various backgrounds, characters and life choices inform the outcome for each. Through it all the Lincoln Highway, the first cross-continental road in the U.S., beckons. There are many colorful ancillary characters who pop in and out of the tale; each is full-blooded and real as the protagonists. This is a complex, delightful book I could not put down.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, recommended by Karen
An interesting family saga of generations of the Riva family and how one night can change everyone’s lives. A story of love, life, and the sacrifices we make (or don’t make) for family.
A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong, recommended by Dennis
This is the 6th book in the Rockton/Casey Duncan series. The series focuses on Rockton, a small town hidden in the Canadian Yukon. The town is populated by individuals who are escaping their past. To live there, residents have to be approved by a council and pay an entry fee. This book focuses on the “Hostiles,” primitive and aggressive people who left Rockton and live their life in the wild. It is a mystery as how they became “hostile” – there are others who left Rockton but have retained their humanity. Investigation into the “Hostile” mystery is reawakened by an injured hiker who is found in the woods. Who attacked the woman? Why was she attacked? Were there others in her party? These are all questions Detective Duncan has to answer. As she investigates, she discovers that some of the “Hostiles” did not join their group by choice.
I have enjoyed every book in this series. The characters are well defined, the plots are exciting and there is always a satisfactory ending.
Matrix by Lauren Groff, recommended by Megan
The life story of a 12th-century nun might sound incredibly boring, but Lauren Groff’s novel is anything but dull. Marie is cast out of royal court and sent to an abbey, which she transforms from starving to thriving through sheer force of her incredible will. This book made my head spin – it’s fascinating, feminist, and very compelling. Get thee to the nunnery!
Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller, recommended by Tracie
Eleanor feels the most complete at the Paper Palace, the rustic family cabin in the Back Woods of Cape Cod that she tries to visit every summer. The author bluntly writes about the major events of Eleanor’s life interspersed with family stories, occasions and traditions of the Back Woods. Great characters, fizzled lives – I did not like the ending but any book that pulls at emotions is a good read. This is a good read.
The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery, recommended by Trish
Spend the holidays in Wishing Tree, Washington! Christmas time is about relationships, family, reconnections and love. As Dena and Reggie’s parents renew their wedding vows both sisters find unexpected love.