The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
One cannot deny the beauty of Verghese's writing- lyrical, and engaging.
This is an epic story with multiple threads that he brings together in the end. But it is somber with several deaths, a dearth of joyful moments, and very long.
I strongly suggest reading the notes at the end before you read the book in order to appreciate the many cultural, historical, and literary references.
All The Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby
I must confess that I am a huge fan of Cosby. His stories are set in rural Virginia and contain a lot of violence as befits his genre of "Southern noir".
But his talent is inescapable. His personal story is notable as well https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/05/books/s-a-cosby-razorblade-tears-crime-novelist.html
Such Kindness by Andre Dubus III
How do you regain your self-worth when you have lost everything of meaning? This is what our protagonist is working for -desperately. There is no exultant breakthrough in this tale, just a slow build to acceptance of what life is and how we must carry on.
A Line In The Sand by Kevin Powers
This is a thrill ride- breathless pacing, realistic storyline, and police-procedural detail. Superb illustration of boundless greed by for profits in our military business juxtaposed with the profound grief of those who lost loved ones to war.
Loot by Tania James
An absolute gem of a book! Wonderful story that begins in eighteenth century India, moves to France, to England, and back to France. The story of a famous wood carving and the young boy who follows it after it is pillaged from Tipu Sultan.
Delightful writing and characters make for a marvelous read.
Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur
Family drama set on Cape Cod- mainly Wellfleet. Atmospheric with beautiful depictions of the landscape. The family interactions are recognizable to any reader even if the triggers are different in one's personal history.
A captivating summer book with more heft than a beach read.
Books that did not garner an A rating, but you should check out for yourself-
Save What's Left by Elizabeth Castellano. A funny summer read about an ocean town on the East Coast. Characters are spot on- some a little too annoying.
Fireworks Every Night by Beth Raymer. Darkly comic coming-of-age novel of a girl in Florida in the 1990's and her dysfunctional family and how she saves herself. Do not listen to the Audible version- the narrator loses all the comic aspect to the story.
Owner of a Lonely Heart by Beth Nguyen. Memoir about her relationship with the mother she did not grow up with .