Archived Staff Picks - February 2014
by Mary Lawson
Recommended by Marilyn
He listened as their voices faded into the rumble of the falls. He was thinking about the lynx. The way it had looked at him, acknowledging his existence, then passing out of his life like smoke. . . It was the first thing--the only thing--that had managed, if only for a moment, to displace from his mind the image of the child. He had carried that image with him for a year now, and it had been a weight so great that sometimes he could hardly stand.
Mary Lawson's beloved novels, Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge, have delighted legions of readers around the world. The fictional, northern Ontario town of Struan, buried in the winter snows, is the vivid backdrop to her breathtaking new novel.
Roads End brings us a family unravelling in the aftermath of tragedy: Edward Cartwright, struggling to escape the legacy of a violent past; Emily, his wife, cloistered in her room with yet another new baby, increasingly unaware of events outside the bedroom door; Tom, their eldest son, twenty-five years old but home again, unable to come to terms with the death of a friend; and capable, formidable Megan, the sole daughter in a household of eight sons, who for years held the family together but has finally broken free and gone to England, to try to make a life of her own.
Roads End is Mary Lawson at her best. In this masterful, enthralling, tender novel, which ranges from the Ontario silver rush of the early 1900s to swinging London in the 1960s, she gently reveals the intricacies and anguish of family life, the push and pull of responsibility and individual desire, the way we can face tragedy, and in time, hope to start again.
Loved this book as I loved Crow Lake.
This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable eBook formats.
by Eileen Goudge
Recommended by Ann
When the two grown daughters of Elizabeth Marshall discover an old diary of their mother's in her attic, it comes as a shock to learn that the true love of Elizabeth's life was not their father. This is the mystery the two daughters must unravel as they stay up late reading the words penned by Elizabeth so long ago. When the two grown daughters of Elizabeth Marshall discover an old diary of their mother's in her attic, it comes as a shock to learn that the true love of Elizabeth's life was not their father. This is the mystery the two daughters must unravel as they stay up late reading the words penned by Elizabeth so long ago. Their mother can't give them the answers: After a massive stroke, she lies mute and near death in a nursing home. Only the pages of her diary can provide clues to what really happened. In a richly detailed journey into the past, we see Elizabeth lose her heart to one man while remaining devoted to another. Finally, she must choose between the stable, loyal Bob...and the electrifying and unpredictable A.J., who spent time in juvenile detention as a teen. When a suspicious fire in the neighborhood is linked to A.J., Elizabeth is faced with another dilemma: She's the only one who can clear A.J.'s name, but to do so would ruin her reputation. Surprisingly, it's Bob who comes to the rescue, forcing Elizabeth to make perhaps the most painful decision of her life....
The Diary is a love story. It's also the story of the unshakable bond between a mother and her daughters.
This book is a good vacation read. There were interesting turns in this book. Hope you enjoy.
This title is available in Regular Print.
If You Find Me
By Emily Murdoch
Recommended by Yvonne
This is author Emily Murdoch's first published novel and it is a gripping contemporary survival story. When I first put this book on hold, I didn't realize that it was shelved as a young adult book -I started it, could not put it down and read it in a day.
The story begins deep in the woods where "Mama" has Carey and six year old sister; Jenessa living secluded in a broken-down camper. Carey has been more like a mother to Jenessa as meth addicted Mama neglects the girls, disappearing for long periods of time, leaving the girls to survive on their own. We just get introduced to the girls when two strangers arrive to take the girls "home". Suddenly, the sisters are thrust into a new family and a society that is like a foreign land to them. Jenessa is selectively mute due to a disturbing event that happened while in the woods and Carey harbors a secret that can change everything. The deep bond of love between the sisters brings beauty and hope to a haunting story. As Carey confronts what happened to her in the woods, the supporting characters in this story are authentic, heartwarming and real.
The story is told in first-person from teen Carey's perspective and there is disturbing subject matter and situations described in detail that make this book heartbreaking and raw. Written simply, the author hides nothing and certainly does not shy away from revealing the horror of abuse.
This title is available in Young Adult Fiction.
The Time in Between
By David Bergen
Recommended by Robert
Charles Boatman, a Vietnam vet and transplanted American, has left the Fraser Valley and has returned to Vietnam after an absence of 29 years. Two of his adult children, Ada and Jon, have followed, concerned that their father may have met some kind of misfortune. Arriving in Vietnam, they attempt to follow his trail, questioning local police officers, local guides, expatriate missionaries or anyone else who may have come into contact with Charles. While Ada gradually learns more about the demons her father lived with, her brother slips off into the gay urban streets of today's Vietnam. Bergen often uses flashbacks to explain why Boatman decided to return to the place which had haunted him over all these years. His daughter chases his shadow, learning enough to forgive him for leaving them. As the reader follows both Charles and his daughter, we discover that the Vietnamese War has faded in the today's Vietnamese memory. Charles's obsessions with a novel written by a former Vietnamese soldier and his own wartime experience have forced him to revisit this land. When his daughter meets Hoang Vu, an artist and philosopher of Charles's acquaintance, she develops a personal attachment in this Asian land. Eventually, we discover what did happen to Charles. We also learn that much has changed since the War ended and that the memories of those who fought there will not be soothed by visiting old tragic locations. Nevertheless, Ada does achieve a certain degree of closure, understanding what secrets tormented her father over the past 29 years. In 2005, David Bergen won the Giller Prize for this moving, moody novel. For those who enjoy a thoughtful mystery.
This title is available in Regular Print and Book on CD.
By Kelley Armstrong
Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent family, she has an Ivy League education, spends her time pursuing volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young CEO with political ambitions.
But suddenly Olivia's world is shattered when she learns that she's adopted, and her birth parents are notorious serial killers serving life for their gruesome crimes. When her secret is made public a news frenzy disrupts her adopted family and fiancé, changing her opinion of the only family she can remember. Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.
Her search takes Olivia to the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents' past.
When the shady but handsome Gabriel Walsh appears with a deal to help Olivia find answers they find a lead that focuses on the Larsen's last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her. There seem to be as many secrets in Cainsville as there are gargoyles.
This title is available in Regular print.
Allegiant (Divergent #3)
By Veronica Roth
Recommended by Pauline
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered--fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature--and of herself--while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
This title is available in Young Adult Fiction, Book on CD, Downloadable audiobook and eBook formats.
The Conjuring -- DVD 2013
Recommended by Kathy
I'd be shocked if we see a better horror film in 2013.
Peter Hartlaub (San Francisco Chronicle)
The mere sound of two hands clapping will have audiences begging for mercy in "The Conjuring," a sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory. Justin Chang (Variety)
Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on the true life story, "The Conjuring" tells the tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse.
Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.
From New Line Cinema comes a feature film drawn from the case files of married demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. "The Conjuring" stars Academy Award® nominee Vera Farmiga ("Up in the Air," TV's "Bates Motel") and Patrick Wilson ("Insidious,") as the Warrens, and Ron Livingston ("The Odd Life of Timothy Green") and Lili Taylor (TV's "Hemlock Grove") as Roger and Carolyn Perron, residents of the house.
Joey King, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Mackenzie Foy and newcomer Kyla Deaver play the Perrons' five daughters, and Sterling Jerins is the Warrens' little girl, Judy. Rounding out the cast are Marion Guyot as Judy's grandmother; Steve Coulter as Father Gordan; Shannon Kook as the Warren's investigative assistant, Drew; and John Brotherton as the local law enforcement official skeptical of the Perron's claims and the Warrens' tactics.
James Wan ("Saw," "Insidious") directs from a screenplay by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes ("The Reaping"). Reuniting with the director are members of his "Insidious" creative team, director of photography John R. Leonetti, editor Kirk Morri, costume designer Kristin M. Burke, composer Joseph Bishara and his "Saw" production designer, Julie Berghoff.
This title is available in DVD format.
This description is taken from http://theconjuring.warnerbros.com/about.html