This will be the last EB Recommends blog post for 2013. This year is screaming to an abrupt halt and I cannot seem to keep up. I won't bore you with my lack of posting, the lack of time and my slow up take of the next big fiction read but I will tell you, that for eight months, I have always had a book to read, some surprised me, others bored me, but all engrossed me. So with a stray tear I give you the last EB Recommends for October... The winning book will be announced on the 25th of October - I'll keep you updated.
The Round House is a tender story by Louise Erdrich that has been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird. One Sunday in the summer of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatised and reluctant to reveal the details of what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill-prepared. While his father endeavors to wrestle justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated and sets out with his trusted friends Cappy, Zack and Angus to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them to the Round House, a sacred place of worship for the Ojibwe.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick is the latest incredible novel from the author of The Silver Linings Playbook. Matthew Quick asks poignant questions about loneliness and friendship, and how society can so utterly forget its neediest citizens. On the day of his 18th birthday, Leonard plans a murder-suicide - he packs the Nazi pistol his grandfather brought back from the war and starts his school day with a plan, targeting his best friend turned bully. Creeping through the morning with this secret knowledge, he attempts to reconcile the lives that have gone wrong around him, and to savour the freedom that comes from his imminent demise. Ultimately this is a quirky story about hope, and how just a glimmer of something more can make a world of difference.
The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison, a long-awaited novel from one of the most popular writers of the last few years. Zoe Fleming is an American attorney working with an NGO devoted to combating child sexual assault in Lusaka, Zambia. When an adolescent girl is raped in the dark of night and delivered by strangers to the hospital, Zoe’s organisation is called in to help. Working alongside Zambian police officer Joseph Kabuta, Zoe learns that the girl’s assailant was not a vagrant or a paedophile, but the son of a powerful industrialist with deep ties to the Zambian government. As the rape trial builds to a climax and sends shockwaves through Zambian society, Zoe must radically reshape her assumptions about love, loyalty, family, and especially the meaning of justice.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is the first book in a seven-part series of dizzying imagination. The novel is set in the year is 2059 and features nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney who works in the criminal underworld of Scion London. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. Paige is a dream walker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut that is sure to be a huge success.
One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore is a chilling thriller that will have you glued to each page. Set in Moscow in 1945, Stalin and his courtiers are celebrating their victory over Hitler when shots ring out. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl lie dead, but this is no ordinary tragedy and these are no ordinary teenagers. These are the children of Russia’s most important leaders who attend the most exclusive school in Moscow. Is it murder? A suicide pact? Or a conspiracy against the state? Directed by Stalin himself, an investigation begins as children are arrested and forced to testify against their friends – and their parents. Based on a true story and featuring real-life historical characters, this heartbreaking novel of passion, intrigue and betrayal takes you inside 1940s Russia with thrilling authenticity.
And the winner is...
The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison