Neshama’s Choices for May 22

The titles and links below will direct you to print copies when available.  Click on the title to see all available formats, including recorded versions and eBooks.

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A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon

Linda is a modest soul who is intrigued by her home’s previous occupant, the glamorous Rebecca whose mail she gets. She manages to track Rebecca down and infiltrate her life. Things get bizarre as Linda believes Rebecca has become her best friend—not.  Meanwhile Linda’s husband Terry, never a prize, is not around much. And in town girls are disappearing. I was gobsmacked by the trickiest denouement I’ve ever come across on the page. Tidy ending, hah! Lively characterizations—the author is a psychiatrist.  

The Hundred Waters by Lauren Acampora

A tony Connecticut town, a striking house designed by her architect husband—not the life Louisa envisioned when she first fled to become an artist in NYC. But now, secure and settled, she runs a local arts center while raising a daughter. An intriguing family moves to town; art collectors with a fascinating intense 17-year-old son, Gabriel. He manages to get involved with both Louisa and her daughter with tragic consequences. A tale that displays the disturbing power of thwarted ambitions, fueled by the backbiting, status seeking art world.  

All the Way to the Tigers by Mary Morris

She was determined to see these elusive beasts in India, but that trip was postponed when she broke her leg and had to undergo extensive rehabilitation. Now finally underway in 2011, we can accompany her as she experiences a mix of anticipation, discomfort, disappointment and. excitement. Other chapters return to her period of stasis and frustration in 2008 as she waits for her leg to heal and we also get lore about tigers. A great mix of material.  

Exiles by Jane Harper

A different setting for this excellent Australian mystery writer:  lush wine country. An annual festival turns sinister when Kim disappears, leaving her baby in the parking lot in a stroller. Yes, she’d been depressed, but what seems like a suicide in the lake doesn’t sit right, especially for Falk, a family friend from Melbourne who’s an investigator by trade. What’s unsaid weighs heavily. Who’s covering up what? A long ago-trauma casts a shadow. My favorite kind of mystery, with emphasis on psychological tangles. Note: I listened to this, and it took me awhile to get used to  the narrator’s Aussie accent but eventually realized it added local color.