The Orchardist

Since the death of his mother and mysterious disappearance of his sister several decades ago, William Talmadge has lived alone on his apple orchard, carefully tending his crops and riding miles into town to sell them at the market. It is now the turn of the twentieth century, and aside from his acquaintances in townContinue reading “The Orchardist”

A Cupboard Full of Coats

Jinx has carried the burden of her mother’s murder for fourteen years. Though she was only sixteen years old when the tragedy occurred, she knows that her actions on that evening were the reason her mother was killed. Now thirty years old, she lives a mostly solitary existence in that same home where the murderContinue reading “A Cupboard Full of Coats”

The Good Muslim

Told in flashbacks and mostly set in the years following Bangladesh’s civil war, Tahmima Anam’s second novel, The Good Muslim, shows a country still reeling from the horrible crimes they suffered and committed during the war. So many survivors are showing symptoms of post traumatic stress: the surviving soldiers have come home with physical andContinue reading “The Good Muslim”

Diving Belles

Set in her native Cornwall, Lucy Wood’s debut short story collection, Diving Belles, has been drawing comparisons to the likes of Aimee Bender and Karen Russell. Though it’s easy to see why — the twelve stories in this collection are at turns whimsical, dark, and ethereal, drawing heavily on oral storytelling traditions and local folkloreContinue reading “Diving Belles”

The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Set mostly in 1960s Scotland, Margot Livesey’s The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre. The daughter of an Icelandic father and Scottish mother, Gemma seems to be followed by bad luck: first her mother dies, then her father drowns, and she is taken from her home in Iceland to liveContinue reading “The Flight of Gemma Hardy”