Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley
Riley propels readers through the collision of a lonely farmer and a woman on the run from a failed communal experiment—her fearful and reluctant teenage daughters in tow. Riley deftly explores the bonds and boundaries of love, faith, and responsibility when passionate and well-intentioned ideals stray far from their origins in this emotionally fraught debut.
Icons by Margaret Stohl
Though I had high hopes for Margaret Stohl’s YA novel about teens who discover they hold the key to ridding the Earth of a deadly alien invasion, it was disappointing in the long run. The story is an inventive one and while I enjoyed the premise, the plot lagged in places and the nature of the children’s gifts as well as other details about how it all came together were either vague or lacking all together. There was also a weirdness that included a lover’s quad and some random insta-love that was a little WTF, coming out of nowhere as it did. With trilogies you always have the hope that things will become more clear as the series progresses, but this one didn’t leave me wanting more. There is a sense of completion in the end, so while the set-up for the next novel is clear, you aren’t left completely hanging if you only want to invest in the one book.
Flora by Gail Godwin
It’s hard to say which element of Gail Godwin’s Flora is the most intriguing—the tension that arises in Helen’s isolation with her high-strung governess, the curious nature of this precocious young narrator, or the salacious details of family history that are hinted at through story and letter—but it’s the delightful mix of haunting goodness that readers will consider long after they have turned the last page.
Lighthouse Bay by Kimberly Freeman
Kimberly Freeman‘s Lighthouse Bay is a fabulous read. I loved the dual time periods, and the dual stories of sisters who in different ways are separated and have to make their way back to each other. Beautifully written and put together, and the atmosphere is wonderful. I loved the Australian landscape, past and present. A great way to mix your history with a bit of romance!
The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver
Fans and first-time readers alike will enjoy Deaver’s clever and cantankerous scientist and crime scene analyst Lincoln Rhyme. This tenth entry in the Rhyme series is full of tension, intrigue and complex moral issues as Rhyme and Sachs try to resolve the murder investigation of an anti-American U.S. ex-pat killed in the Bahamas.