The Latest from Greg Iles, Norah Vincent on Virginia Woolf, an Unconventional Kate Walbert | Fiction Reviews, April 15, 2015

redstarIles, Greg. The Bone Tree. Morrow. Apr. 2015. 816p. ISBN 9780062311115. pap. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062311146. F

iles41715Penn Cage and fiancée Caitlin Masters doggedly continue their search for the truth behind a series of murders from the 1960s. Past secrets have resurfaced to haunt Penn’s father, Dr. Tom Cage. When Tom is accused of killing his former nurse, he jumps bail to evade the far-extending reach of the Double Eagles, a Ku Klux Klan secret cell. Frank Knox, the deceased Double Eagles leader, was rumored to have been highly involved with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Tracking this theory, FBI special agent John Kaiser is determined to hear the truth from Cage. High-ranking state policeman Forrest Knox, Frank’s son, is also hunting for Cage, using his extensive network of corrupt police and government officials. Tangible proof of the conspiracy is rumored to be in a giant cypress known as the Bone Tree, but Forrest and the rest of the Double Eagles will do anything to stop Penn, ­Caitlin, and Cage. VERDICT Picking up immediately from Natchez Burning, best-selling author Iles superbly blends past and present in his swift and riveting story line. [See Prepub Alert, 10/13/14.]—Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV

redstarVincent, Norah. Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf. Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780544470200. $23; ebk. ISBN 9780544471917. F

adeline41715Drawing deeply on Hermione Lee’s 1996 biography of Virginia Woolf, Vincent’s (Thy Neighbor) historical novel provides startling glimpses into the mind of this troubled genius at multiple intervals between 1925 and her suicide in 1941. This profound psychological exploration of the writer features her conversations with her own inner voices as well as the heady, intellectual exchanges she has with members of the Bloomsbury Group and other luminaries, including T.S. Eliot and William Butler Yeats. During her emotional crises, Woolf interacts with Adeline, a version of herself at 13, the age of her first psychotic break following the death of her mother. Woolf was a true lover of language, and Vincent peppers the book with delightful wordplay and linguistic exploration. The portrait of husband Leonard Woolf as Virginia’s rock and constant supportive companion and helpmate is particularly touching. VERDICT This beautifully written and penetrating re-creation of the life of a feminist icon will appeal to anyone with a passing interest in Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of both Woolf’s brilliance and her suffering and may be inspired to revisit her writings.—Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

redstarWalbert, Kate. The Sunken Cathedral. Scribner. Jun. 2015. 208p. ISBN 9781476799322. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476799377. F

sunkencathedral41715Simone and Marie, two elderly widows in New York City, sign up for an art class to complete an unfinished painting by ­Simone’s husband, while Elizabeth, a tenant in Marie’s brownstone, becomes emotionally paralyzed by an assignment at her son’s school meant to share insights into the students’ families. Reading this hypnotic novel by Walbert, a National Book Award nominee for Our Kind, feels like falling down a rabbit hole of linked stories, with connections that resemble a trail of literary hyperlinks. In a postmodern quirk, effectively employed here, the novel contains numerous footnotes, which gradually take up more and more of the page. By design, the subtext overwhelms at times, the footnotes revealing the often painful undercurrents that lie just beneath the surface of the story. There are apocalyptic overtones, with themes of drowning, climate change, and an impending sense of doom. Though the novel seems to be set in the present, it feels more menacing than our current world, with sudden, dangerous storms and terrorism drills in school. VERDICT An unconventional and unsettling novel with vivid imagery and passages of pure poetry. [See Prepub Alert, 12/8/14.]—Lauren Gilbert, ­Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our new Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers.

To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict Pro Today.

Don't know if you have an account with us? It's easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.
The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

redstarAsim, Jabari. Only the Strong: An American Novel. Bolden: Agate. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9781932841947. pap. $15. F DEBUT

redstarBarrows, Annie. The Truth According to Us. Dial. Jun. 2015. 512p. ISBN 9780385342940. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780812997842. F

Basnight, Gray. Shadows in the Fire. Five Star: Gale Cengage. Apr. 2015. 364p. ISBN 9781432829896. $25.95. F

redstarClifford, Stephanie. Everybody Rise. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9781250077172. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889125. F DEBUT

Couto, Mia. Confession of the Lioness. Farrar. Jul. 2015. 208p. tr. from Portuguese by David Brookshaw. ISBN 9780374129231. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374710958. F

Dinerstein, Rebecca. The Sunlit Night. Bloomsbury USA. Jun. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781632861122. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781632861139. F

redstarDrager, Lindsey. The Sorrow Proper. Dzanc. Apr. 2015. 160p. ISBN 9781938103001. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781941531242. F DEBUT

Dugan, Polly. The Sweetheart Deal. Little, Brown. May 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780316320351. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316320337. F DEBUT

redstarDuncker, Patricia. Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance. Bloomsbury USA. Aug. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781632860644. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781632860651. F

Faye, Lyndsay. The Fatal Flame. Putnam. May 2015. 480p. ISBN 9780399169489. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698155947. F

Grey, Iona. Letters to the Lost. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. May 2015. 384p. ISBN 9781250066770. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466874688. F DEBUT

Griffin, Neal. Benefit of the Doubt. Forge. May 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780765338501. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466839021. F DEBUT

redstarGrossman, Austin. Crooked. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Jul. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780316198516. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316198509. F

King, Stephen. Finders Keepers. Scribner. Jun. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9781501100079. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501100130. F

McCoy, Sarah. The Mapmaker’s Children. Crown. May 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780385348904. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780385348911. F

McFarlane, Mhairi. It’s Not Me It’s You. Harper. May 2015. 544p. ISBN 9780008116217. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780007524990. F

McNear, Mary. Moonlight on Butternut Lake. Morrow. May 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780062283184. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062283191. F

Nichols, Peter. The Rocks. Riverhead. May 2015. 432p. ISBN 9781594633317. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698167995. F

redstarOhanesian, Aline. Orhan’s Inheritance. Algonquin. Apr. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781616203740. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616204914. F DEBUT

redstarPapernick, Jonathan. The Book of Stone. Fig Tree. May 2015. 400p. ISBN 9781941493045. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781941493052. F DEBUT

Pekkanen, Sarah. Things You Won’t Say. Washington Square: Atria. May 2015. 388p. ISBN 9781451673555. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781451673562. F

Perkins-Valdez, Dolen. Balm. Amistad: HarperCollins. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780062318657. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062318671. F

redstarPierpont, Julia. Among the Ten Thousand Things. Random. Jul. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780812995220. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812995237. F DEBUT

Pitlor, Heidi. The Daylight Marriage. Algonquin. May 2015. 256p. ISBN 9781616203689. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616204921. F

Quick, Matthew. Love May Fail. Harper. Jun. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780062285560. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062285584. F

Swyler, Erika. The Book of Speculation. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781250054807. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466857797. F DEBUT

Thayer, Nancy. The Guest Cottage. Ballantine. May 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780345545510. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780345545718. F

Thirlwell, Adam. Lurid & Cute. Farrar. Apr. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780374292256. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374712426. F

redstarWalker, Sarai. Dietland. Houghton Harcourt. May 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780544373433. $26. F DEBUT

Short Stories

redstarAlvar, Mia. In the Country. Knopf. Jun. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780385352819. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385352840. F DEBUT

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Share