Maria's Staff Picks
"You remember The Crucible, right? Well, talk about a witch hunt…
Sarah Langen’s Good Neighbors searing commentary on suburbia will have you riveted, a bit repulsed, and giving your own neighbors a second look. Set in the near future, the story focuses on a cataclysmic event that took place in 2027 and the subsequent fallout that followed. Clever, funny, and sometimes wrenchingly sad Good Neighbors is a good read."
"Female adolescence, in all its potent and scary splendor, is on display in this impressive new book from author Vendela Vida. The story is set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s Sea Cliff Neighborhood in the 1980s… Eulabee who is “13 going on 14” has had a falling out with her best friend, the popular Maria Fabiola. She finds herself alone, an outcast amongst her once closest confidantes. When Maria Fabiola disappears one day, as in Poof. Gone. Eulabee is shaken but suspicious. What ensues is a readers delight! A compelling book. I highly recommend it."
"Mikel Jollet was born into the commune turned infamous cult Synanon. At age five he leaves (think escapes) in the middle of the night with his mom and older brother. The life that follows is riddled with poverty and strife. Almost a Triptych: boy, teenager, man; Jollets powerfully told story is utterly captivating. The raw beauty and poetic prose of his writing lends light to the telling of this unforgetable book."
“'Mom blogs, Juggling jobs & Personal probs- Oh My!'
J. Courtney Sullivan’s latest novel will certainly resonate with parents raising kids in today’s busy and ever-changing world. On a deeper level it speaks to the isolation one can feel mothering a young child; the strain of dealing with aging parents and difficult family dynamics; overstepping boundaries in the name of helping out. In other words, Sullivan writes the everyday and ordinary life and she does it extremely well. Insightful and LOL funny, I very much enjoyed this read."
"A powerful debut novel from author Etaf Rum. Set in contemporary Brooklyn, Rum writes about Arab-American women…women oppressed and silenced; severe limitations set on them because as the author herself was told: a woman is no man. Yet, these women endure with resilience and spirit. A complex telling, it is both a familiar story of familial lies, secrets kept and the devastating consequences that follow… At the same time it shines light on the darker aspects of tradional Arab culture. A brave offering from a new and vital voice in fiction."
"Ah…but Tana French can spin a tale… characters charming yet menacing with a plot as twisting as the Irish country roads. Cal Hooper-former Chicago detective has moved into a small Irish village snuggled next to the mountains. He’s in search of a simple and quiet life, no drama, maybe get a dog. Trey Reddy-a young impoverished mountain kid is in search of answers, a brother gone off missing and no one seeming to care much. So much for Cal’s peace and quiet. The Searcher is an atmospheric jewel of a read. As with all French’s books it will be hard to put down. To quote a line: ‘S only gorgeous!"
"This book is part domestic drama and thriller. From the onset of this suburban set story you know much is to be revealed. Along the way it becomes apparent Ng’s book is also a powerful statement on social norms, the power of art, and the family ties that bind and those that strangle. An excellent read."
"Forget page-turner… This book is a page-“terror”. You will rip through it! The unthinkable: your child is kidnapped. Money must be paid; and it gets worse. You must kidnap another child or yours will die. They too, must pay and kidnap a child or you must kill their child, and on and on it goes. The Chain is fast paced Suspense at it’s best…"