Mailbox Monday is a chance for book lovers everywhere to shout out all of the new books that they've recently acquired. Dolce Bellezza, one of my favorite bloggers, is hosting for the month of June. Feel free to join in the fun.
- San Miguel; T.C Boyle (paperback swap) - On a tiny, desolate, windswept island off the coast of Southern California, two families, one in the 1880s and one in the 1930s, come to start new lives and pursue dreams of self-reliance and freedom. Their extraordinary stories, full of struggle and hope, are the subject of T. C. Boyle’s haunting new novel.
- The Woman Upstairs; Claire Messud (paperback swap) - Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and
lover. She has instead become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend
and neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Then into her
life arrives the glamorous and cosmopolitan Shahids—her new student
Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale, and his
parents: Skandar, a dashing Lebanese professor who has come to Boston
for a fellowship at Harvard, and Sirena, an effortlessly alluring
When Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies, Nora is drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family; she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora’s happiness explodes her boundaries, and she discovers in herself an unprecedented ferocity—one that puts her beliefs and her sense of self at stake.
Told with urgency, intimacy and piercing emotion, this brilliant novel of passion and artistic fulfillment explores the intensity, thrill—and the devastating cost—of embracing an authentic life.
- Quartet in Autumn; Barbara Pym (purchased in NH) - This is the story of four people in late middle-age - Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia - whose chief point of contact is that they work in the same office and they suffer the same problem - loneliness. Lovingly, poignantly, satirically and with much humour, Pym conducts us through their small lives and the facade they erect to defend themselves against the outside world. There is nevertheless an obstinate optimism in her characters, allowing them in their different ways to win through to a kind of hope.
- Some Tame Gazelle; Barbara Pym (purchased in NH) -Belinda and Harriet Bede live together in a small English village.
Shy, sensible Belinda has been secretly in love with Henry Hoccleve—the
poetry-spouting, married archdeacon of their church—for thirty years.
Belinda’s much more confident, forthright younger sister Harriet,
meanwhile, is ardently pursued by Count Ricardo Bianco. Although she has
turned down every marriageable man who proposes, Harriet still welcomes
any new curate with dinner parties and flirtatious conversation. And
one of the newest arrivals, the reverend Edgar Donne, has everyone
talking.A warm, affectionate depiction of a postwar English village, Some Tame Gazelle perfectly captures the quotidian details that make up everyday life. With its vibrant supporting cast, it’s also a poignant story of unrequited love.