Everyone in this Room will one Day be Dead

by Emily Austin

Gilda, who can’t stop thinking about death, goes to the local Catholic church in response to a flyer for free therapy. Father Jeff assumes she’s here for a job interview and hires her to replace his recently deceased receptionist, Grace. Gilda isn’t even Catholic and is too embarassed to correct him so she takes the job. Grace’s old friend has been trying to reach her through the church’s email adddress so Gilda, who feels sorry for her, responds pretending to be Grace. What harm can it do? Turns out Grace’s demise is suspicious and the police come around asking questions. I loved Emily Austin’s ability to lay bare what disconnection and loneliness feel like. And, of course, she does it all with humour and gentleness.

The Bullet that Missed

By Richard Osmann

The Thursday Murder club reconvenes to chase down and solve some cold murder cases. Richard Osmann has created a cast of characters that are easy to love and I always look forward to new novels in this mystery series. They’re all great fun!

Vigil Harbor

By Julia Glass

Vigil Harbor is a small coastal town in the US that is feeling the effects of a changing climate. Julia Glass creates a host of characters that are all grappling with the devastating cost of our disregard for the earth. She writes with compassion, wisdom and wit as she explores how people navigate their lives in a shattering world.

Our Missing Hearts

By Celeste Ng

This is the story of the love Margaret, a Chinese American poet, has for her twelve year old son, Bird, that is in conflict with her resolve to right the wrongs of a society that has rendered a whole people invisible. Bird’s father is a former linguist professor who now shelves books in a university library. Bird has been taught to keep his head down and not ask questions about why his mother left them when he was nine years old. This is a beautifully written examination of what happens when a society ignores injustices in the name of a greater, undefinable “good” and the power of art to raise awareness. Another amazing novel by Celeste Ng!

The Hidden things

By Jamie Mason

How does a stolen, 400 year old painting come to hang in the hallway of fourteen year old Carly Liddell? It’s a secret that can no longer be kept when the video that captures her fending off an attacker at her front door goes viral. What happens next will get your head spinning and Jamie Mason will keep it that way until this great thriller ends. Loved it!

The Theory of Crows

by David Robertson

Matthew and his troubled, daughter Holly, set out to find the trapline of his father’s youth. This book is an exploration of the bonds within a family and the healing that the land can provide. David Robertson writes with compassion and wisdom providing hope for his characters, and by extension, his readers. This is a beautifully written book.

Fayne

By Ann-Marie MacDonald

Charlotte Bell grows up on Fayne, an isolated estate in Scotland being cared for by her adoring father. She has a strange “condition” that prevents her from attending school, she has the run of the moorlands, she is precautious and fearless. Ever so slowly, Charlotte pieces together the mysteries surrounding Fayne and her own life. Ann-Marie MacDonald is such a keen observer of the complexities of love and explores them with wit, wisdom and courage. I LOVE her novels!!!!

Demon Copperhead

By Barbara Kingsolver

Demon Copperhead

“Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, this is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival.” I am amazed at Barbara Kingsolver’s ability to capture Demon’s voice so authentically. I found myself cheering on his successes and holding my breath as he braved crushing losses, foster care, child labor and addiction. I laughed out loud at Demon’s observances while crying over the hurdles he faced over and over again. What a beautiful book!

Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow

By Gabrielle Zevin

Sam Masur and Zadie Green love gaming. They create a blockbuster game and are catapulted into success. I have never been interested in gaming, yet the world that Gabrielle Zevin creates and the characters who inhabit it had me hooked from the moment Sam and Zadie meet. Zevin is funny and wise as she weaves together a story about two brilliant gamers whose just can’t seem to get it together. I loved this book (I actually love all of her books!)

The Last Party

By Clare Mackintosh

The setting is a village by a lake and nestled in the mountains of Wales. Rhys Lloyd, universally hated by all (whose reasons become clear as the novel progresses), along with his investors, has built cottages for rich English “foreigners” . During a Christmas party, where the villagers reluctantly gather with the cottagers, Rhys is found dead in the freezing lake. DC Morgan, herself a native of the village, and Leo set about to solve the murder. Clare Mackintosh’s characters are interesting, the dialogue is witty and sharp, and the setting is perfect for the crime. Lots of twists that I didn’t see coming. I loved this who dunnit!