The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau begins on a fateful night when the family of Jonas, a 15-year-old Muslim, is killed by Americans. Running for his life in the rugged mountains surrounding his home, Jonas is rescued by an American who dies the same evening. He is taken in by an international relief organization and adopted by a Christian family in Pittsburgh, Pa. As he and his new family do their best to find common ground, the dead American soldier’s mother, also coincidentally in Pittsburgh, is determined to uncover what happened to her son.
First-time novelist Christina Alger’s pedigree reads just like that of her characters’ in The Darlings: Harvard, NYU School of Law, work at Goldman Sachs. Alger takes the adage, “write what you know,” to heart and tells an entertaining story of the rise and fall of some of the “1%” during the financial crash of 2008.
The book opens at 2:00 a.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, with the alleged suicide of Morty Reis off the Tappan Zee Bridge. Reis’ investment fund is suspected of a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi fraud.
T.C. Boyle has written adeptly on subjects ranging from academic politics, to illegal immigration, to the women who loved Frank Lloyd Wright. When the Killing’s Done, Boyle’s 14th novel, is set principally off the Santa Barbara coast on the sparsely inhabited Channel Islands.
Opening with a quote from Genesis in which man is instructed by God to have “dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, over every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” Boyle sets out to explore that very dominion we attempt to exert over the earth.
What would your legacy look like three generations down the line? Would it be a fledging family business? A statue symbolizing a conquest? Moral values and religious beliefs?
Jonathan Evison’s West of Here is a novel of the western expansion. It juxtaposes the legacy of the past with the drama of the present in the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington state’s Pacific coast. While everything changes, basic human nature remains the same as the two very distinct worlds collide in interwoven chapters.