Fiction Reviews | April 15, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Allende, Isabel. Maya’s Notebook. Harper: HarperCollins. Apr. 2013. 400p. tr. from Spanish by Anne McLean. ISBN 9780062105622. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062105646. F

International best-selling novelist Allende (Inés of My Soul) delivers a no-holds-barred story of Maya Vidal, a troubled 19-year-old American living in exile on Chiloé, a remote island off the coast of Chile. Over the span of one year, Maya records in her notebooks how she arrived on the island and regained her life there. She was raised in Berkeley, CA, by unconventional grandparents, Chilean native Nini and Popo, an African American astronomy professor. When her beloved Popo died, Maya’s world fell apart; a few wrong turns led her into drugs, shoplifting, and then, in Las Vegas, to an association with a despicable drug dealer named Brandon, whose hidden cache of counterfeit money she revealed. Soon, a corrupt cop, Brandon’s killers, and the FBI were all after her. Nini sent her to the bottom of the world to stay with Manuel, an anthropologist writing a book on magic in Chiloé. Surrounded by the accepting Chilean villagers, Maya learns about herself, her heritage, and her connection to Chile’s turbulent past. VERDICT Allende paints a vivid picture contrasting Maya’s drug-clouded past and her recovery in Chiloé. Yet another accomplished work by a master storyteller that will enthrall and captivate. This is a must-read. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]—Donna ­Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Palisade, CO

Library Journal Reviews starred review Le Carré, John. A Delicate Truth. Viking. May 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780670014897. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101618028. F

As he approaches the microphone, he adjusts his tie as well as his accent, with just a hint of his Glaswegian upbringing on show, but not too much, of course. Man of the people. “Allegations have been made concerning an initiative undertaken by New Labour, supposedly in concert with the U.S. government and with the support of a fundamentalist U.S. conglomerate on the soil of gallant Gibraltar. I’m here to tell you unequivocally that no such initiative was sponsored by the British government,” he lies, and takes a sip of water. Le Carré, the author of such 20th-century classics as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, has nothing left to prove except that he can still be stung into turning out suspenseful, totally convincing political object lessons, as in his attack on the pharmaceutical industry in 2001’s The Constant Gardener. His target of choice here is the mendacity of the British government and the easy camaraderie between the public and private sectors. ­VERDICT This is a guaranteed hair-raising cerebral fright, especially for anyone who enjoyed Robert Harris’s The Ghost or who just knows his or her email account has been hacked. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]—Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO

Library Journal Reviews starred review Ebel, Kathy. Claudia Silver to the Rescue. Houghton Harcourt. Jun. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780547985572. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780547985602. F

Unlike her roommate, Bronwyn, Claudia Silver is not beautiful, thin, or receiving an allowance from a wealthy father. Nor does she have prospects for an intellectually stimulating job in a creative field. Unlike the usual chick-lit heroine, however, Claudia doesn’t waste time bemoaning the hard facts of her life. Despite setbacks and missteps, she quixotically sets out to rescue her 16-year-old half sister, Phoebe, from their emotionally distant Brooklyn bohemian mother and the woman’s abusive live-in boyfriend. Readers stay transfixed as self-deluded but well-intentioned Claudia, confident and careless, lurches from one train wreck in her life to the next, focusing on dreamy future scenarios as Phoebe calmly sets about saving herself. Comic sparks fly and fast-paced dialog sparkles in this first novel from a Los Angeles author with television screenwriting experience (Cold CaseLaw and Order). VERDICT This hilariously cringe-worthy tale of woe about a jobless young woman surviving by her wits in New York City is smart and savvy chick lit with plenty of snark. [See Prepub Alert, 12/7/12.]—Laurie Cavanaugh, Holmes P.L., Halifax, MA

The following titles are reviewed in the April 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Aciman, André. Harvard Square. Norton. Apr. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780393088601. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393240313. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Aw, Tash. Five Star Billionaire. Spiegel & Grau. Jul. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780812994346. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994353. F

Bakker, Gerbrand. Ten White Geese. Penguin. 2013. 230p. tr. from Dutch by David Colmer. ISBN 9780143122678. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781101603055. F

Berry, Steve. The King’s Deception. Ballantine. (Cotton Malone). May 2013. 432p. ISBN 9780345526540. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780345526564. F

Bill, Frank. Donnybrook. Farrar. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780374532895. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781466836044. F

Binebine, Mahi. Horses of God. Tin House. 2013. 168p. tr. from French by Lulu Norman. ISBN 9781935639534. pap. $14.95. F

Bostwick, Marie. Between Heaven and Texas. Kensington. (Cobbled Court Quilts). May 2013. 354p. ISBN 9780758269294. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780758292650. F

Caletti, Deb. He’s Gone. Bantam. May 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780345534354. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345534361. F

Cook, Claire. Time Flies. Touchstone: S. & S. Jun. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781451673678. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451673692. F

Delijani, Sahar. Children of theJacaranda Tree. Atria: S. & S. Jun. 2013. 282p. ISBN 9781476709093. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476709116. F

Domingue, Ronlyn. The Mapmaker’s War. Atria: S. & S. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9781451688887. $23; ebk. ISBN 9781451688900. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Gibson, Gregory. The Old Turk’s Load. Mysterious Pr.: Grove/Atlantic. Apr. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780802121134. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780802193537. F

Graham, Lauren. Someday, Someday, Maybe. Ballantine. May 2013. 354p. ISBN 9780345532749. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345532756. F

Harrison, A.S.A. The Silent Wife. Penguin. Jul. 2013. 326p. ISBN 9780143123231. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781101608067. F

Harwood, John. The Asylum. Houghton Harcourt. May 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780544003477. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544003293. F

Kalotay, Daphne. Sight Reading. Harper: HarperCollins. Jun. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780062246936. $25.99; ebk ISBN 9780062246950. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Kushner, Rachel. The Flamethrowers. Scribner. Apr. 2013. 383p. ISBN 9781439142004. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781439154175. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Lovett, Charlie. The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession. Viking. Jun. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780670026470. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101622803. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Lyndon, Robert. Hawk Quest. Redhook: Hachette. Apr. 2013. 672p. ISBN 9780316219563. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316219556. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Mack, Karen & Jennifer Kaufman. Freud’s Mistress. Amy Einhorn: Putnam. Jul. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780399163074. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101608234. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review McCann, Colum. Transatlantic. Random. Jun. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781400069590. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780679604594. F

Miller, Rebecca. Jacob’s Folly. Farrar. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780374178543. $26; ebk. IBSN 9781466836372.F

Ozeki, Ruth. A Tale for the Time Being. Viking. Mar. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9780670026630. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101606254. F

Roy, Lori. Until She Comes Home. Dutton. Jun. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780525953968. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101624326. F

Shafak, Elif. Honor. Viking. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780670784837. $26.95. F

Shearn, Amy. The Mermaid of Brooklyn. Touchstone: S. & S. Apr. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9781451678284. pap. $14.99; ebk.ISBN 9781451678291. F

Shepard, Karen. The Celestials. Tin House. Jun. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781935639558. pap. $15.95. F

Shriver, Lionel. Big Brother. HarperCollins. Jun. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780061458576. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062199263. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Silber, Joan. Fools. Norton. May 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780393088700. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393240870. F

Stevens, Taylor. The Doll: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel. Crown. Jun. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780307888785. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780307888792. F

Strong, Sarah Pemberton. The Fainting Room. Ig, dist. by Consortium. May 2013. 360p.ISBN 9781935439769. pap. $15.95. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Strout, Elizabeth. The Burgess Boys. Random. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781400067688. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812984613. F

Tekulve, Susan. In the Garden of Stone. Hub City. May 2013. 250p. ISBN 9781891885211. pap. $17.95. F

Tessaro, Kathleen. The Perfume Collector. Harper: HarperCollins. May 2013. 496p. ISBN 9780062257833. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062257857. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Trenow, Liz. The Last Telegram. Sourcebooks. Apr. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9781402279454. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9781402279461. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Vassanji, M.G. The Magic of Saida. Knopf. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780307961501. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307961518. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Wascom, Kent. The Blood ofHeaven. Grove. Jun. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9780802121189. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802193506. F

Library Journal Reviews starred review Worsley, Kate. She Rises. Bloomsbury, dist. by Macmillan. Jun. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9781620400975. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781620400982. F