Watching You Without Me by Lynn CoadyStarring: Karen Petrie, a Toronto lawyer who returns to her hometown in Nova Scotia after her estranged mother Irene's death; Kelli, the disabled sister whose care Karen needs to arrange for; Kelli’s home care aide Trevor, whose overly familiar behavior makes Karen uneasy.
Read it for: the sensitive portrayal of the sisters' grief and its effect on their better judgement; the surprising moments of sardonic humor that pop up in Karen's sympathetic narration.
We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia HeaberlinWhat it's about: This intricately plotted and heartwrenching story centers on the disappearance of a young woman and her father, an unresolved case that still haunts the small West Texas town where they were last seen.
Starring: Wyatt Branson, the missing girl's brother who is ostracized after the court of public opinion decides he must have committed the crime; sheriff's deputy Odette Tucker, who visits Wyatt's farm after rumors spread that a teenage girl has been seen on the property; Angel, the traumatized teen whom Odette bonds with immediately.
Little Disasters by Sarah VaughanWhat it's about: Emergency room doctor Liz Trenchard is on duty one night when her friend Jess arrives with her ten-month-old daughter. The baby's injuries are consistent with child abuse, but Liz cannot believe her friend is capable of that and resolves to look for the truth, only to discover more than either woman bargained for.
Reviewers say: "The brisk plot gracefully touches on postpartum depression, female friendships, and the difficulties of parenting" (Publishers Weekly).
Under Occupation by Alan FurstWhat it's about: French author Paul Ricard is known for his spy novels, but that doesn't mean he's working for the Resistance. At least he wasn't until a man running from the Gestapo slipped him an important stolen document shortly before being shot dead.
You might also like: Martin Cruz Smith's The Girl from Venice, which also features a protagonist living in Nazi-occupied territory who gets pulled into resistance activities after a chance encounter with a stranger.
The Saboteur by Andrew GrossWhat it's about: Based on real events, this story follows Norwegian engineer Kurt Nordstrum, a member of the resistance, and his dangerous mission to prevent the Nazis from developing nuclear weapons.
The mission: sneak into the impenetrable and secretive Norsk Hydro factory to destroy the means of producing "heavy water", a critical part of the bomb-making process.
You might also like: the 1965 Kirk Douglas film The Heroes of Telemark, which also tells this remarkable tale.
City of Secrets by Stewart O'NanWhat it is: the thought-provoking, compelling story of Yossi Brand, a Holocaust survivor who illegally immigrates to postwar Jerusalem and joins the Jewish underground movement against British occupation.
Read it for: the complex motives of the characters; the author's spare and elegant writing style.
Reviewers say: "imaginative and nimble" (Booklist); "a probing, keening thriller" (Kirkus Reviews).
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