Susanna Kearsley, Meg Wolitzer, & Kate Atkinson | May 2015 Audio in Advance | Fiction

Achebe, Chinua. Arrow of God. (The African Trilogy, Bk. 3). Recorded Bks. ISBN 9781490655864. Read by Peter Jay Fernandez.
In this new recording of Achebe’s 1964 classic that is set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, the conflict between old and new plays out in the personal struggle between father and son.

f32c538877507a96ed6cf2f256255dd7Atkinson, Kate. A God in Ruins. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478932635. Reader TBA.
In this companion to Life after Life, the dramatic story of the 20th century is told through Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy—would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather—as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world.

Badani, Sejal. Trail of Broken Wings. Brilliance. ISBN 9781501220494. Read by Karen Peakes.
When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she fled years before. As she and her sisters come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay. Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death.

Butler, Nickolas. Beneath the Bonfire. Macmillan Audio. ISBN 9781427261144. Read by Luke Daniels & Andi Arndt.
In these ten stories, young couples gather to participate in an annual “chainsaw party,” cutting down trees for firewood in anticipation of the winter; a group of men spend a weekend hunting for mushrooms in the wilderness where they grew up; an aging environmentalist takes out his frustration and anger on a singular, unsuspecting target; and a woman helps another get revenge against a man whose crime extends far beyond him to an entire community.

Casey, Jane. The Stranger You Know. (Maeve Kerrigan, Bk. 4). Brilliance. ISBN 9781491589960. Read by Sarah Coomes.
Three women have been strangled in their homes, and it appears to be the work of the same sadistic killer. With no sign of break-ins, every indication shows that the women let their attacker in willingly. Maeve Kerrigan is almost at a loss about how to move forward with the investigation. Then the evidence starts to point to a shocking suspect: DCI Josh Derwent, Maeve’s partner on the police force. Maeve refuses to believe he could be involved, but how well does she really know him?

Dickerson, Melanie. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. Brilliance. ISBN 9781501222207. Reader TBA.
Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave’s game. Odette justifies her crime because she thinks the game she poaches is going to feed the poor. But there’s a chance the meat she thought she was providing for the poor has actually been sold on the black market. The one person who could help Odette find out the truth could also learn her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester has fallen for a notorious poacher?

51kgl0MDeRL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Enright, Anne. The Green Road. Blackstone. ISBN 9781483084732. Reader TBA.
Booker Prize winner Enright’s latest is set in a small town on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Rosaleen is the matriarch of the Madigans. As they grow up, Rosaleen’s four children have left their hometown for lives in Dublin, New York, and Mali. In her early old age Rosaleen announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

Ferrante, Elena. The Story of a New Name. (The Neapolitan Novels, Bk. 2). Blackstone. ISBN 9781483080567. Reader TBA.
In the follow-up to My Brilliant Friend, Lila and Elena are now in their twenties, and marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila. Meanwhile, Elena continues her journey of self-discovery. Each vacillates between hurtful disregard and profound love for the other. With this complicated and meticulously portrayed friendship at the center of their emotional lives, the two girls mature into women, paying the sometimes cruel price that this passage exacts.

Ferriss, Lucy. A Sister to Honor. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781490651408. Read by Mozhan Marno.
Afia Satar is studious, modest, and devout. The young daughter of a landholding family in northern Pakistan, Afia has enrolled in an American college with the dream of returning to her country as a doctor. But when a photo surfaces online of Afia holding hands with an American boy, she is suddenly no longer safe even from the family that cherishes her.

Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night. Random House Audio. ISBN 9781101923450. Read by Mark Bramhall.
In Holt, CO, home to all of Haruf’s fiction, widow Addie Moore makes an unusual suggestion to her widowed neighbor, Louis Waters—whether he might be willing to spend nights with her, in her bed, so they can have someone to talk with. Louis is surprised, even shocked, though he soon is brave enough to try. And so their lives now find a new rhythm and their conversations range freely, if sometimes haltingly, through their personal histories. Their nightly pattern is disrupted when her son, asks Addie to take in his six-year-old son, Jamie, for the summer while he tries to solve his various troubles. Jamie is confused and hurt, of course, but gradually finds comfort in the company of his grandmother and her friend Louis.

Hillerman, Anne. Rock With Wings. (Navajo Mysteries, Bk. 20). Blackstone. ISBN 9781504611060. Reader TBA.
Navajo tribal cops Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito and their mentor, the legendary Joe Leaphorn, investigate two perplexing cases. Chee follows a series of seemingly random and cryptic clues that lead to a missing woman, a coldblooded thug, and a mysterious mound of dirt and rocks that could be a gravesite. Bernie has her hands full managing the fallout from a drug bust gone wrong, uncovering the origins of a fire in the middle of nowhere, and looking into an ambitious solar energy development with long-ranging consequences for Navajo land.

51PUEygt4AL._SL250_Jackson, Charles. The Lost Weekend. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781490627465. Read by Donald Corren.
This classic tale of one man’s struggle with alcoholism, originally published in 1944, is a daring autobiographical work that paved the way for contemporary addiction literature. It is 1936, and on the East Side of Manhattan, a would-be writer named Don Birnam decides to have a drink. And then another, and then another, until he’s in the midst of what becomes a five-day binge.

Kearsley, Susanna. A Desperate Fortune. Brilliance. ISBN 9781501256387. Reader TBA.
For nearly 300 years, the mysterious journal of Jacobite exile Mary Dundas has lain unread. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas has been hired by a once-famous historian to crack the journal’s cipher. But when she arrives in Paris, Sara finds herself besieged by complications from all sides: the journal’s reclusive owner, her charming Parisian neighbor, and Mary, whose journal doesn’t hold the secrets Sara expects.

Kennedy, Eliza. I Take You. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780553399516. Read by Julia Whelan.
Lily Wilder has a dream job, great friends, a family full of charismatic and loving women, and a total catch of a fiancé—brilliant, handsome archaeologist Will—to whom she has no business getting married. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five), and completely incapable of being faithful to just one man. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he really know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily is forced to confront the possibility that she’s making a terrible mistake.

L’Amour, Louis. The Diamond of Jeru. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781101914106. Read by a full cast.
This gritty adventure tale is set in the jungles of Borneo during the 1950s, a departure from the Western novels that made L’Amour famous. Transforming the original unfinished short story (discovered posthumously and 40 years after it was written) into an audio dramatization narrated by a 21-person cast complete with original music and sound effects has been an eight-year labor of love for Beau, L’Amour’s son.

f9b9e8ad283586db34f49a74a2f11ac4O’Brien, Edna. The Love Object: Selected Stories. Blackstone. ISBN 9781478933106. Reader TBA.
The 31 stories collected in this volume provide, among other things, a cumulative portrait of Ireland, seen from within and without. Coming of age, the impact of class, and familial and romantic love are the prevalent motifs, along with the instinct toward escape and subsequent nostalgia for home. In “A Rose in the Heart of New York,” the single-mindedness of love derails the relationship between a girl and her mother, while in “Sister Imelda” and “The Creature” the strong ties between teacher and student and mother and son are ultimately broken. “The Love Object” recounts a passionate affair between the narrator and her older lover. The title story portrays a Dublin dinner party, and more recent stories include “Shovel Kings” and “Old Wounds,” which follows the revival and demise of the friendship between two elderly cousins.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Make Something Up. Recorded Books. ISBN 978147038391. Reader TBA.
For years Palahniuk has reserved his best storytelling for his readings, often choosing to read a new short story instead of whatever novel he is supposed to be promoting. Here he compiles these previously unpublished tales for the first time, as well as his most notable pieces from Playboy.

Pitlor, Heidi. The Daylight Marriage. HighBridge. ISBN 9781622315680. Read by Xe Sands.
Over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She’s become withdrawn and directionless. His work affords him a convenient distraction. The children can sense the tension, which they’ve learned to mostly ignore. Until, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. Lovell, for the first time, is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory—and the eyes of his children. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife—and to their lives together—readers follow Hannah through that single day when the smallest of decisions takes her to places she never intended to go.

Robuck, Erika. The House of Hawthorne. Brilliance. ISBN 9781501234170. Read by Mary Robinette Kowal.
Together, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody will cross continents, raise children, and experience all the beauty and tragedy of an exceptional partnership. Sophia’s vivid journals and her masterful paintings kindle a fire in Nathaniel, inspiring his writing. But their children’s needs and the death of loved ones steal Sophia’s energy and time for her art, fueling in her a perennial tug-of-war between fulfilling her domestic duties and pursuing her own desires. Spanning the years from the 1830s to the Civil War, and moving from Massachusetts to England, Portugal, and Italy, this work explores the tension within a famous marriage of two soulful, strong-willed people, each devoted to the other but also driven by a powerful need to explore the far reaches of their creative impulses.

Roby, Kimberla Lawson. The Best-Kept Secret. (Reverend Curtis Black, Bk. 3). Tantor. ISBN 9781494509859. Read by Tracey Leigh.
That self–justifying, greedy, womanizing flimflam man Rev. Curtis Black is starting over. He has a new job and a new wife, and he’s convinced himself that this time he’ll be good. But Curtis hasn’t ever made a promise he could keep, and before long, he’s up to his old tricks. The difference now is his third wife. She’s unlike any woman Curtis has met before, and for the first time in his life, Curtis just might have met his match.

Silva-Rembrandt-AffairSilva, Daniel. The Rembrandt Affair. (Gabriel Allon, Bk. 10). Brilliance. ISBN 9781501230059. Read by Phil Gigante.
In the ancient English city of Glastonbury, an art restorer has been brutally murdered and a long-lost portrait by Rembrandt stolen. Despite his reluctance, Gabriel is persuaded to use his unique skills to search for the painting and those responsible for the crime. But as he painstakingly follows a trail of clues leading from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires and, finally, to a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva, Gabriel discovers there are deadly secrets connected to the painting. And evil men behind them.

Stelmach, Orest. The Altar Girl. Brilliance. ISBN 9781501240782. Read by Tanya Eby.
The daughter of uncompromising Ukrainian immigrants, Nadia was raised to respect guts, grit, and tradition. When the events around the seemingly accidental death of her estranged godfather don’t add up, Nadia is determined to discover the truth—even if she attracts the attention of dangerous men intent on finding out what she knows through any means possible. Her investigation leads her to her hometown and to the people least likely to welcome her back: her family. In this thrilling prequel to the Nadia Tesla series, Nadia must try to solve the mystery surrounding her godfather’s death—and his life.

Sykes, Lucy & Jo Piazza. The Knockoff. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780553551013. Read by Katherine Kellgren.
When Imogen Tate returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve Morton, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career.

Taylor, Sara. The Shore. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781101922736. Read by MacLeod Andrews & Jenna Lamia.
Taylor’s debut features interconnected narratives set on a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it’s a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian’s bold choice to escape an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her, to a brave young girl’s determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, the characters have deep connections to the land and a resilience that only the place they call home could create.

Tremayne, S.K. The Ice Twins. Blackstone. ISBN 9781478933182. Read by Penny Rawlins, Sandra Duncan, & Angus King.
A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcroft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives. But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again. As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day?

9781444792263Vaughan, Sarah. The Art of Baking Blind. Macmillan Audio. ISBN 9781427261618. Read by Julia Barrie.
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating exquisite pastries, biscuits, and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden. There’s Jenny, facing an empty nest now that her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife’s death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, who knows what it’s like to have nothing and is determined her facade shouldn’t slip. As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants’ problems.

Wolitzer, Meg. The Wife. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504603225. Reader TBA.
The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are 35,000 feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan’s husband, Joseph, is one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent 40 years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. Wolitzer flashes back to Smith College and Greenwich Village in the 1950s and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point—one that results in a shocking revelation.

Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.