by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
Summer is beginning, and for some people that means a chance to lounge on the patio with a good book. Some of the new books at the library might be just what you’re looking for.
“Miramar Bay” by Davis Bunn is a gentle romance that has been compared to the novels of Nicholas Sparks. Bunn has been a bestselling Christian fiction author for some time, but this book doesn’t have the inspirational aspect he’s been known for. A Hollywood actor flees his life of fame and an engagement to an heiress, taking a job in an idyllic small town working as a waiter. Reviewers say it’s emotional and captivating.
“The Burial Hour” by Jeffrey Deaver is the thirteenth book in the Lincoln Rhyme series. Rhyme is a wheelchair-bound forensics expert who is making wedding plans when he and his fiancée get involved in the case of a businessman kidnapped from a New York City street in broad daylight. The kidnapper left a miniature noose at the scene, and soon a video appears of the victim struggling for his life. Book reviews say this one has a very complicated, even improbable, storyline and that it isn’t the strongest installment in the series, but it’s still a solid mystery novel.
For those who like historical romance, “My One True Highlander” by Suzanne Enoch may be your cup of tea. Scottish Highlander Graeme must deal with the disaster his foolish younger brothers have caused when they kidnap Lady Marjorie, the daughter of their English neighbor. Reviewers call it “thrilling,” “colorful,” and of course “romantic,” set in a beautiful summertime landscape in the Highlands.
Donna Leon’s latest Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery has been getting stellar reviews. “Earthly Remains” finds the reliable Brunetti burning out on handling the criminals of Venice; he takes a leave of absence in the villa of a relative, out on an island in the lagoon. When the villa’s caretaker disappears, Brunetti feels he must return to his job to investigate. Reviewers say these novels are strong on character development and a sense of place. Kirkus Reviews described this book as “a vacation for your own soul.”
“The Stars are Fire” is Anita Shreve’s newest novel. The fictional story of an unhappily married mother is set within the true story of the Maine fire of 1947. Between October 13 and 27 of that year, nine towns were entirely destroyed, 851 homes and 397 seasonal cottages burned down, and half of Acadia National Park was wiped out. In this novel, a pregnant woman flees to the beach with her two young children, watching her house burn to the ground while her husband works with the other volunteer firefighters in an attempt to save the town. Reviewers say the plot of this one is not really very strong, but that it’s worth reading for the history and the writing style.
For those who prefer science fiction, there’s “The Book of Joan” by Lidia Yuknavitch. A retelling of the story of Joan of Arc, this novel is a dystopian nightmare set on a platform floating over the destroyed and radioactive Earth. Humans are damaged echoes of what they used to be, saving stories from history by branding and grafting them onto their skin while they live under a dictator’s rule. A group of rebels takes inspiration from young eco-terrorist Joan’s story.
Science fiction, literary fiction, mystery, or romance – find the book you want for a leisurely summer day by visiting the library.