By Jane Henrickson Baird
Anton, Maggie. Rav Hisda’s Daughter, Bk. 1: Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery. Plume: Penguin Group (USA). ISBN 9780452298095. pap. $16; eISBN 9781101603451.
Complex discussions of Jewish law and tradition as well as detailed descriptions of the culture and customs of the times enhance this wonderful story of Hisdadukh, a woman of third-century Babylon who embraced a life of study and service. (LJ 9/1/12)
Bohjalian, Chris. The Sandcastle Girls. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385534796. $25.95; eISBN 9780385534802.
Laura never gave much thought to her ancestry until she discovers that her grandparents lived through the Armenian genocide of 1915. Drawing on his own heritage, Bohjalian has written a moving and compelling novel about love and loss and a generations-old secret. (LJ 6/1/12)
Ivey, Eowyn. The Snow Child. Reagan Arthur: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316175678. $24.99; eISBN 9780316192958.
In this evocative retelling of a Russian folk tale set in 1920 Alaska, a childless East Coast couple finds an unexpected blessing while homesteading in the unforgiving wilderness. (LJ 12/11)
Joinson, Suzanne. A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar. Bloomsbury, dist. by Macmillan. ISBN 9781608198115. $25; eISBN 9781608198320.
In 1923, Evangeline English and her sister, Lizzie, are missionaries heading for the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar. In contemporary London, Frieda befriends a Yemeni refugee and inherits possessions of a dead woman she doesn’t know. A charming and immensely satisfying expedition between the past and the present. (LJ 2/1/12)
Motion, Andrew. Silver: Return to Treasure Island. Crown. ISBN 9780307884879. $24; eISBN 9780307884893.
This rollicking, imaginative sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of piratical adventure follows the children of Long John Silver and of Jim Hawkins as they continue their fathers’ quest for buried treasure. (LJ 5/15/12)