Notable new releases
Compiled by Sally Brewster
The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett returns with her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood and a past that will not let them go. Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost, with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
In 1932 Minnesota, the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams and makes us whole.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, by Caitlin Doughty
Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. The best questions come from kids. What would happen to an astronaut’s body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Can Grandma have a Viking funeral? In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, Doughty blends her mortician’s knowledge of the body and the intriguing history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer factual, hilarious and candid answers to 35 distinctive questions posed by her youngest fans. Doughty details lore and science of what happens to, and inside, our bodies after we die. Why do corpses groan? What causes bodies to turn colors during decomposition? And why do hair and nails appear longer after death? Readers will learn the best soil for mummifying your body, whether you can preserve your best friend’s skull as a keepsake, and what happens when you die on a plane.
Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson
Two families from different social classes are joined by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. One evening in the year 2001, 16-year-old Melody has her coming-of-age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony — a celebration that ultimately never took place. Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs — the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity; ambition; gentrification; education; class and status; and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives — even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.
Chasing the Bear: How Bear Bryant and Nick Saban Made Alabama the Greatest College Football Program of All Time, by Lars Anderson
Both Bear Bryant and Nick Saban are undeniable kings of college football, two coaches at Alabama who each have won more national championships — six apiece — than anyone else in the history of the game. Chasing the Bear examines how they did it, revealing along the way their similarities in style, background, football philosophy and recruiting methods, while providing readers a rare inside look at two of the greatest leaders in the history of sports. Separated by two generations, Bear Bryant and Nick Saban are mythic figures linked by a school, a town, and a barroom debate centering on one question: Which is the greatest college coach of all time?
The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood
Finally, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale! When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her — freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. Atwood assures us that every question she has been asked are the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything: The other inspiration, she tells us, is the world we’ve been living in. SP
Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com