Bee Fox is a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. But her mother, Bernadette, is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect. Then Bernadette goes missing, and Bee begins a search that will take her to the ends of the earth.
After a brutal attack on his mother, 13-year-old Joe Coutts pursues the truth — and a sense of justice, separate from law enforcement. In this National Book Award-winning novel, Louise Erdrich unspools a mystery that has upturned both a North Dakota reservation and the family that Coutts hopes to save.
On a rocky patch of Italian coastline circa 1962, a daydreaming young innkeeper has an almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet. She draws him into her glittering world, from the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to the back lots of contemporary Hollywood, and both begin to cling to an improbable dream.
Louisa's ordinary life changes when she takes a job working for the wheelchair-bound Will, who is no longer able to live a life of extreme sports and worldwide travel. Will is he cannot go on the way he is, but Louisa sets out to show him that life is still worth living. Soon, his happiness means more to her than she expected.
Bored housewife Dellarobia Turnbow is tired of living in poverty on a failing farm, and she's frustrated by her marriage to the boy who got her pregnant in high school. Then one day, as she's hiking through rural Tennessee on her way to meet a lover, she witnesses a miraculous event on an Appalachian mountainside. The beautiful, ominous vision ignites a media and religious firestorm that changes her life forever. Barbara Kingsolver addresses rural life, climate change and environmental stewardship in this story of personal awakening.
Over dinner at an Amsterdam restaurant, two couples — brothers and their wives — discuss a terrible crime most likely committed by their sons. The crime is not yet public, but grainy video footage exists — and both sets of parents know it depicts their offspring. As the conversation deepens, one wrenching question gets clearer and more pressing by the moment: How far will each family go to protect those it loves?
Out-of-work Web designer Clay Jannon copes with a layoff by taking a job at a used-book store in San Francisco. It's not long, though, before Clay discovers that his new workplace has more in store for him than books alone. Codes and secrets lead to one very weird book club in this debut novel by Robin Sloan.
After Tom moves his young bride to an isolated lighthouse home on Australia's Janus Rock, the couple suffers miscarriages and a stillbirth. Tom allows his wife to claim an infant who has washed up on the shore, only to witness a rift in their marriage that is further complicated by a search by the baby's desperate mother.
Two longtime friends and bandmates are co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl. Their wives are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives. When an ex–NFL quarterback announces plans to build his latest megastore nearby, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their little enterprise. Meanwhile, their wives also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence.
Sage Singer is shocked when Josef Weber, an old man who's particularly loved in her community, asks her to kill him. But when he reveals why he deserves to die, she starts to question her beliefs, and wonder if fulfilling his request would be justice or murder.
Tara Conklin's debut novel links the stories of Lina Sparrow, a 21st century lawyer, and Josephine Bell, an artistically talented 19th century slave. As Josephine plans her escape from a Virginia plantation, Lina goes in search of the perfect plaintiff for a slavery reparations lawsuit.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout has edited a collection of America's best short stories of 2013, including works by Junot Diaz, Alice Munro, Daniel Alarcon and Lorrie Moore.
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