The Ghost Keeper by Natalie Morrill

Josef Tobak is a quiet man who loves his wife, Anna, his son, Tobias and caring for an old, abandoned Jewish Cemetary in Austria. Then comes the Anschluss of 1938 and his world is upended. His closest friend has joined the Nazi party but helps Josef’s wife and son escape to China. Josef must stay back as he becomes too ill to travel until months later when his friend arranges passage to New York. This is a magnificent beautifully written debut novel of people coming to grips with evil, the compromises we make to survive and the need to forgive the unforgivable.

Everybody’s Son by Thrity Umrigar

David Coleman is a white US Senator and Judge. He and his wife, Dolores, adopt ten year old African American Anton. Anton becomes as successful as his adopted father, whom he has come to love and respect as his own. But when he discovers the truth about his life, his birth mother, and his adopted parents, Anton must come to terms with the moral complexities of crimes committed by the people he loves most. What I loved about this book is that the characters are good people who truly wrestle with the moral dilemmas they face and must find ways to come to terms with what they have done.

The Paragon Hotel by Lindsay Faye

Alice James, who is carrying a bullet wound and fleeing 1921 New York city, ends up at the Paragon Hotel in Oregon. Her life is saved and she becomes embroiled in the troubles of the people who have saved her. This is a fast paced story of people who don’t quite fit, who aren’t quite accepted and who don’t much care. I LOVED it!

The Secrets Between US by Thrity Umrigar

This is a sequel to The Space Between Us (This is one sequel where it really helps to have read the first book). We follow Bhima as she struggles to build a new life for herself after having been forcebly sent away from her old job. She meets Parvati and the unlikely duo begain a friendship that will save them both from financial ruin but more importantly – from loneliness. A wonderful story about the power of women’s connections to each other.

The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman

Mikey Callaghan is reconnecting with his childhood friends, known as The Gunners. The group lost touch after Sally committed suicide. Mikey is suffering from macular degeneration and some of the blur in his life is due to unresolved issues. Perhaps the Gunners, Alice, Jimmy, Sam and Lynn can help him focus? A fast paced mystery and story of friendship and redemption.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Celestial and Ray are newlyweds are crazy in love. Unforseen circumstances rip them apart as their new love is tested by systemic racism in America. This book was scary in its portrayal of how a situation than is beyond your control can change your life forever. A must read in this Trump era. Beautifully written and powerfully told.

Still lives by Maria Hummel

Kim Lord is an avant-garde feminist icon in the NY art scene. Her subject matter is paying homage to women who have been murdered after going missing. On the night of her vernissage she disappears. Her boyfriend, Greg Shaw Ferguson is the prime suspect. Maggie Richter works at the gallery that is organizing the vernissage. She doesn’t believe that Greg is capable of murder and she should know – she’s his ex and is still in love with him. This debut novel has all the elements I most love – art, feminism and mystery! Yippee!

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Casandra Bowden is a flight attendant who has a bad habit of blacking out when she drinks. This doesn’t usually pose a problem for her until she wakes up beside the man she picked up in a bar in Dubai and realizes he’s dead. She panics and heads back to NY without reporting it. I love books by Chris Bohjalian – they are well written, fast paced and usually end with an unexpected twist. I must admit that this twist was a little far fetched even for me but it’s Bohjalian so I have to give him a break!

Let me Lie by Claire MacIintosh

Anna Johnson’s father commits suicide and several months later so does her mom – in almost the exact same way. Anna is convinced that something is wrong when, several years later, she receives an anonymous message that causes her to question whether her parents’ deaths were in fact suicide. I have to admit that I figured out most of the mystery (I’m usually really bad at that) but it was still a good read.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

On a whim Simon, Klara, Daniel and Varya Gold go see a psychic who predicts the exact time of each of their deaths. The lives the children choose to lead reveal just how much of this prophecy they each believe. Do we choose our fate or do the fates choose us? A great book.