Eli's Promise by Ronald H. BalsonGermany, 1946: Despite the betrayal of his employee-turned-war-profiteer Max Poleski, Polish Jewish businessman Eli Rosen and his son Isaac have both survived the Holocaust and managed to reunite. With no sign of his wife Esther however, Eli begins the daunting task of searching for her in a sea of displaced people.
Chicago, 1965: Eli learns that Max is up to his old ways, exploiting political corruption and the Vietnam War for financial gain. Seeing a chance to stop the destruction of more lives, Eli's new plan is to bring Max to justice by any means necessary.
The Glass House by Beatrice ColinWhat it is: an engaging and intricately plotted story of family dysfunction, fading aristocratic glory, and frustrated female ambition set in rural Scotland just before World War I.
Starring: Antonia McCullough, an aspiring artist who lives a quiet life with her husband on her family's decaying estate Balmarra House; Cicely Pick, the wife of Antonia's estranged brother George, who arrives from Darjeeling with a secret plan to lay claim to Balmarra.
The Lost Shtetl by Max GrossWhere it's set: Kreskol, an insular Polish shtetl so isolated that its residents escaped the horrors of the Holocaust and the rest of the 20th century.
What happens next: A divorcee's flight from the village inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will drag Kreskol and its people into the 21st century, for better or worse.
Read it for: the surprising moments of absurdity and laugh-out-loud humor in this thought-provoking novel.
Actress by Anne EnrightWhat it is: a character-driven account of the larger-than-life personality and career of Irish acting legend Katherine O'Dell, as told by her novelist daughter Norah.
Read it for: the engaging portrait of well-meaning but complex Katherine, who struggles to navigate fame and single motherhood in an era without models for either.
About the author: Irish writer Anne Enright's previous novels include The Green Road and Man Booker Prize-winning The Gathering.
Marlene by C. W. GortnerWhat it's about: the compelling professional and personal lives of legendary German-American actress Marlene Dietrich.
Why you might like it: Gortner revels in the details of formative eras in Dietrich's life, from the seductive and seedy cabaret scene of Weimar Berlin to the star-studded USO tour she participated in during World War II.
Try this next: The Only Woman in the Room by Heather Terrell, which tells the story of Austrian actress and scientist Hedy Lamarr and her unique contributions to the war effort.
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