Fiction Reviews | March 1, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMorgan, Jude. A Little Folly. St. Martin’s. Mar. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9781250022271. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250022264. F

After their mother’s early death, Valentine and Louisa Carnell are raised under their father’s harsh rule and not allowed to express opinions or feelings; only his death in 1813 allows them the chance to live. With a fortuitous visit and return invitation from London cousins, Valentine and Louisa seize the opportunity to leave Devonshire for new experiences. But no matter the location, even the best relationships can become tangled and confused. VERDICT Brew a cup of hot tea and settle in for a classic comedy of manners novel that Jane Austen might enjoy. The strong connections between multiple pairs of caring siblings, influenced by proper and slightly questionable personages alike, bring lively spirit to a story focused on the protagonists’ internal growth and development. Details describing proper Regency era comportment and society add elegant touches to a touching book in which family, love, and kindness can win the day. A great suggestion for readers of all ages who relish the classics and character-driven books and for fans of Morgan’s other historicals (Emily and Charlotte; An Accomplished Woman). [Library marketing.]—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewJones, Holly Goddard. The Next Time You See Me. Touchstone: S. & S. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781451683363. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451683387. F

Emily is a troubled 13-year-old, teased by the cutest boy in school and unable to rise above being the seventh-grade cipher. Her world is turned upside down when she stumbles across a body in the woods. Emily’s teacher, Susanna, is worried about her problematic sister, Ronnie. Ronnie is a partier, a hard-drinking partier who loves a wild night out. But Susanna hasn’t heard from Ronnie in weeks. Wyatt is an older man set in his ways who works at the local plant. All he has in his lonely life is his dog and his measly job. These characters and more all intersect in various ways under Jones’s deft control, coalescing in a climactic ending. V­ERDICT This first novel by award-winning Jones (Girl Trouble) is going to be hot. In the vein of Gone Girl, last summer’s runaway smash, Jones’s tightly written Southern thriller will be one of spring’s sizzling titles. Jones brilliantly weaves together story lines from unexpected angles. Her writing is fluid and she keeps a pace that will have readers lacing on their running shoes. And what a suspenseful, emotional, addictive run it is! Buy it now, read it now, share it now.—Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewEpstein, Jennifer Cody. The Gods of Heavenly Punishment. Norton. Mar. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780393071573. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393089738. F

In March 1945, American B-29 bombers flying at low altitude dropped incendiary bombs (napalm) over Tokyo, igniting the city’s wood and paper buildings into a blaze that destroyed 17 square miles of city and killed more than 100,000 civilians. The firebombing is the climax of this sweeping novel by Epstein (writing, Columbia Univ.; The Painter from Shanghai), but the story is really about the interconnected lives of several people and their families, both Japanese and American. At the center is Yoshi, a young woman with a fragile, glamorous mother and a traditional, contractor father, but there is also Cam Richards, an American pilot downed in the Doolittle Raid of 1942; his young wife, Lacy; and Anton, a successful architect responsible for modernizing Tokyo, but then later called on by the U.S. Army to help destroy it. There is also Anton’s son Billy, who grew up in Japan and years later returns as an Occupation soldier. VERDICT This harrowing novel of destruction and creation will appeal to fans of historical fiction. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, 9/24/12.]—Shaunna E. Hunter, Hampden-Sydney Coll. Lib., VA

The following titles are reviewed in the March 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Amend, Allison. A Nearly Perfect Copy. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Apr. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780385536691. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385536707. F

Archer, Jeffrey. Best Kept Secret. St. Martin’s. (Clifton Chronicles). May 2013. 448p. ISBN 9781250000989. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250022370. F

Boykin, Kim. The Wisdom of Hair. Berkley: Penguin Group (USA). Mar. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780425261057. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781101619575. F

Dominczyk, Dagmara. The Lullaby of Polish Girls. Spiegel & Grau: Random. Jun. 2013. 216p. ISBN 9780812993554. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780679645993. F

Graver, Elizabeth. The End of the Point. HarperCollins. Mar. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780062184863. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062184849. $25.99. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewGreer, Andrew Sean. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. Ecco: HarperCollins. Jun. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780062213785. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062213846. F

Hannah, Kristin. Fly Away. St. Martin’s. May 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780312577216. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250031808. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewHershon, Joanna. A Dual Inheritance: A Novel. Ballantine. May 2013. 496p. ISBN 9780345468475. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345538802. F

Kennedy, Douglas. Five Days. Atria: S. & S. Apr. 2013. 512p. ISBN 9781451666335. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451666366. F

Lightfoot, Freda. The Duchess of Drury Lane. Severn House. Apr. 2013. 252p. ISBN 9780727882462. $28.95. F

Malae, Peter Nathaniel. Our Frail Blood. Black Cat: Grove. Mar. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9780802120786. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9780802193711. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewMatthews, Jason. Red Sparrow. Scribner. May. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9781476706122. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476706146. F

Mo Yan. Sandalwood Death: A Novel. Univ. of Oklahoma. (Chinese Literature Today, Vol. 2). 2013. 424p. tr. from Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. ISBN 9780806143392. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780806188829. F

Nadler, Stuart. Wise Men. Reagan Arthur: Little, Brown. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780316126489. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316192347. F

Pacifico, Francesco. The Story of My Purity. Farrar. Mar. 2013. 256p. tr. from Italian by Stephen Twilley. ISBN 9780374270445. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781429945998. F

Parker, T. Jefferson. The Famous and the Dead: A Charlie Hood Novel. Dutton. Apr. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780525953173. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101624180. F

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewPercy, Benjamin. Red Moon. Grand Central. May. 2013. 530p. ISBN 9781455501663. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781455501687. F

Preston, Edwina. The Inheritance of Ivorie Hammer. Univ. of Queensland, dist. by IPG. Mar. 2013. 336p.ISBN 9780702249211. pap. $25.95. F

Winkler, Anthony C. The Family Mansion. Akashic. May 2013. 224p. ISBN 9781617751660. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781617751745. F

Short stories

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewKasischke, Laura. If a Stranger Approaches You. Sarabande. 2013. 160p. ISBN 9781936747498. pap. $15.95. F

Last-minute SF/Fantasy

Mosley, Walter. Stepping Stone/The Love Machine. Tor. (Crosstown to Oblivion). Apr. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780765330109. $24.99.; ebk. ISBN 9781429943116. SF