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Lost in the Forest , by Sue Miller (Knopf). Miller brilliantly examines the past and future of a family struggling to recover from a fatal automobile accident.
March , by Geraldine Brooks (Viking). Brooks's novel conflates Bronson Alcott, Louisa May's father, with the errant Yankee chaplain, Mr. March, who serves in the Civil War during most of Little Women . Not really a biography or a companion to Little Women , March is a wholly original and engrossing story about a man whose lofty principles are scorched by his failings.
Misfortune , by Wesley Stace (Little, Brown). In this ripping transsexual romp through Romantic-era England, an orphaned baby boy is raised as a girl by a mentally unbalanced aristocrat. The child, Rose, grows up to wrestle with the dilemma of who s/he is in a story that our reviewer said "makes you suspend disbelief . . . with great enthusiasm."
My Jim , by Nancy Rawles (Crown). In this very brief novel, Rawles pulls on the thread of a single reference to Jim's wife in Huckleberry Finn to spin the tale of her brutal life from plantation to freedom.
Pearl , by Mary Gordon (Pantheon). A dramatic and self-righteous old liberal finds her principles deeply tested when she gets a call on Christmas night from the American embassy in Ireland. Her quiet, responsible daughter has starved herself almost to death to make a protest no one can understand.
The Position , by Meg Wolitzer (Scribner). In what our reviewer called "a cosmology of matrimony and mating -- with a decidedly Freudian bent," Wolitzer traces the variously warped lives of four adult siblings whose parents wrote a bestselling sex manual in the '70s. Her "prose about things sexual is particularly vivid, and infused with too much comedy to ever turn purple."
Small Island , by Andrea Levy (Picador). Winner of the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Award, Small Island describes the interactions between two London couples, a pair of Jamaican newlyweds and a quintessentially English man and wife who disagree about boarding them in their house.
And Coming Soon . . .
The Big Over Easy , by Jasper Fforde (July)
Blinding Light , by Paul Theroux (June)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ,
by J.K. Rowling (July)
The Interruption of Everything ,