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The Best Contemporary Women's Fiction

by Nicole Mones Maggie O'Farrell Jenna Blum Elizabeth Benedict Ann Patchett Molly Gloss

Best Contemporary Women's Fiction: Six Novels includes works by some of the finest novelists of today. Almost by Elizabeth Benedict chronicles the attempt of writer Sophy Chase to come to terms with the death of her almost ex-husband -- who may have committed suicide on the New England resort island where she left him just months before.Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum follows Trudy, a professor of German history, as she investigates her mother's past and the truth surrounding her life in Germany during WWII. Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame. The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss is a heartwarming, greatly satisfying story of a young woman with the rare talent of "gentling" wild horses and the unexpected and profound connections between people and animals. The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones takes readers inside the hidden world of elite cuisine in modern China through the story of an American food writer in Beijing. When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husband's estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell is a gothic, intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth that will haunt you long past its final page. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett tells the story of a secretive magician's death that sets in motion his partner's journey of self-discovery.

The Stormchasers

by Jenna Blum

Twins are forced to confront a violent secret from their past in Jenna Blum's first novel since her runaway bestseller, Those Who Save Us. How far would you go to protect a sibling - and at what cost to yourself? In Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum proved herself a master storyteller with brilliant insight into the spectrum of human emotion. Now, Blum turns her sights to the most intimate and mysterious of family relationships - that between twins - in her powerful and provocative second novel. As a teenager, Karena Jorge had always been the one to look out for her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder. But as Charles begins to refuse medication and his manic tendencies worsen, Karena finds herself caught between her loyalty to her brother and her fear for his life. Always obsessed with the weather - enraptured by its magical unpredictability that seemed to mirror his own impulses - Charles starts chasing storms, and his behavior grows increasingly erratic. . . until a terrifying storm chase with Karena ends with deadly consequences, tearing the twins apart and changing both of their lives forever. Two decades later, Karena gets a call from a psychiatric ward in Wichita, Kansas, to come pick up her brother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for twenty years. She soon discovers that Charles has lied to the doctors, taken medication that could make him dangerously manic, and disappeared again. Having exhausted every resource to try and track him down, Karena realizes she has only one last chance of finding him: the storms. Wherever the tornadoes are, that's where he'll be. Karena joins a team of professional stormchasers - passionate adventurers who will transform her life and give her a chance at love and redemption - and embarks on an odyssey to find her brother before he reveals the violent secret from their past and does more damage to himself. . . or to someone else.

Those Who Save Us

by Jenna Blum

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother's life.Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.

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