See all of LJ’s 2013 Bests
Atkinson, Kate. Life After Life. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316176484. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316230803.
Ursula Todd was born in 1910 and is fated to die and be reborn over and over until she “gets it right.” Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to prevent two world wars? Love it or hate it, this darkly comic novel by the winner of the Whitbread Award will stick with you. (LJ 3/15/13)
Baker, Jo. Longbourn. Knopf. ISBN 9780385351232 $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385351249.
Elizabeth and Darcy take a backseat in this retelling of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice. Instead, the focus is on the servants who keep the household running smoothly, for the most part. Captivating and delightful; a must-read for fans of Austen, Upstairs/Downstairs, and Downton Abbey. (LJ 8/13)
Keneally, Thomas. The Daughters of Mars. Atria. ISBN 9781476734613. $32.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476734637.
Following the death of their mother, Australian sisters Naomi and Sally Durance volunteer as nurses during World War I. It isn’t often that war is presented through the eyes of those who care for the wounded and dying. Breathtaking, magnificent, and authentic; from the author of Schindler’s List. (LJ 6/15/13)
Lansdale, Joe R. The Thicket. Mulholland: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316188456 $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316248754.
In a matter of days, Jack Parker loses his parents to smallpox, his grandfather to murder, and his sister to kidnappers. With the help of a cunning bounty hunter and an ex-slave grave digger, he sets out on an epic journey across turn-of-the-20th-century East Texas to rescue his sister. A coming-of-age Western “laced with bravado, good humor, action, and heart.” (LJ 9/1/13)
McBride, James. The Good Lord Bird. Riverhead. ISBN 9781594486340. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101616185.
Freed by abolitionist John Brown, ten-year-old Henry Shackleford is mistaken for a girl. He maintains this disguise for years while riding with Brown as “Little Onion.” McBride’s retelling of the events that led to the tragic raid at Harpers Ferry is enthralling. (LJ Xpress Reviews, 7/19/13)