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"I'm a big fan of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, but McCall Smiths new book has nothing to do with that storyline. 'Trains & Lovers', a quick, sweet read tells teh story of four strangers who meet by chance on the train journey from Edinburgh to London. What happens to them along the short journey might happen to any of us. The four reveal themselves to eachother in the course of conversation about their lives. Unlikely to see eachother again, they are nonetheless altered by their brief encounter.
A great summer read!" - Eileen
"On the fictional island of Fina in Denmark, the parents of 14 year-old Peter and his clairvoyant sister, Tilte, have gone missing. Religious clerics, they've suddenly risen to fame. The children set off to rescue or apprehend them - they aren't sure which and neither are we. the pursuit becomes a madcap chase as the children collide with a cast of characters, some helpful, others who seek to make them wards of the state. It's a wild ride, although the plot feels liek a comedy, Hoeg's story is ultimately about love, loss, loneliness and transcendence." - Eileen
"This is the first book I've read by Rakoff, a writer well known for his humor in books like 'Don't get too comfortable' and 'Half Empty and his regular stories on 'This American Life'. It's probably not the one to start with, but i wanted to read it after hearing him speak about it. He wrote the books as he was dying of cancer at only 47 years of age. these barely overlapping stories - a young irish immigrant in the early 20th century in Chicago, a young gay man in San Francisco in the 1960s, an office girl in the 1950s New York and others - are written in verse, which might seem odd but works perfectly. Its a spare, beautiful work that meditates on the redemtive power of love, the fleeting nature of life, and the power of kindness." - Eileen
"Living in California, 11 year-old Julia has a life not unlike most girls her age. "At school we dissected frogs, we ran the mile, our spines were checked for scoliosis". But what makes her life different is that time inexplicably slows down and the Earths days stretch to 72 hours. No one knows what cuases 'the slowing' as they come to call it, but America unravels. The Government insists the country stays on clock time, even when daytime and night time are no longer attached to light and dark. "Real timers" move away, friends and families fall apart, animals and plants die. Yet somehow, life moves forward. In the midst of all this, Julia falls in love.
Karen Walker Thompson weaves a compelling tale of an extraordinary adolescent living in an extraordinary time in the not so distant future." - Eileen
"In her wonderful style of story-within-a-story, she revisits some of the characters from past books, like 'Old Nanpush" and 'Moonshum'. The central point involves Joe, a 12 year-old American Indian boy living in a North Dakota reservation in the 1980's. When his mother is brutally attacked, Joe wants to help find the perpetrator and see justice served.
Within this plot, Erdrich draws bonds of love between Joe and his parents, among him and his three best friends, and all of the other aunts and uncles and community members that make his world whole." - Eileen
"Lidia Yucknavitch is brilliant. She has once again created a story beyond any imagination. Dora is a young 17-year-old living in Seattle with an illusive father and a vacant mother. She hates life. She hates herself. She hates her parents. She hates her shrink. She loves Obsidian. She loves her friends. They are her Family - 'The Posse'. they show up for each other and they live for each other. Each has their own quirk, but that's what makes you love them. A Dragqueen, a flamboyant gay, a skinny blond and Obsidian - Doras love. You beocme part of this dark and twisted world where Dora and her friends live." - Heather