The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, Mira Jacob
A sweeping family story that bounces from India to Seattle to New Mexico. Beautifully written and quite moving, though I found the main character (Amina) strangely passive. To review for Shelf Awareness (out July 1).
The Awakening of Miss Prim, Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
Prudencia Prim, a librarian (who lives up to both her names), takes a position in a French village. The townspeople’s unconventional views on education and love challenge Miss Prim’s preconceived notions. A lovely fable about being willing to open your mind and heart. To review for Shelf Awareness (out July 8).
Emeralds Included, Betsy Woodman
A gently humorous tale of a Scotswoman living in an Indian hill town in the 1960s, with her talking parrot and an eccentric cast of family and friends. Third in the Jana Bibi series; I haven’t read the others, but this one was entertaining. To review for Shelf Awareness (out July 8).
A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman
Mrs. Pollifax, that unlikely but resourceful spy, goes undercover at a Swiss convalescent clinic to search for missing plutonium. Several creepy scenes and assorted quirky characters made this a winning entry in the series.
Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng
Lydia Lee, the apple of her parents’ eye, is found drowned in the lake in her small Ohio town. As her parents and siblings grapple with her death, their fragile family life begins to unravel. A haunting, gorgeously written novel about mixed-race families, identity, buried dreams and the things we leave unsaid. (I received an ARC; it comes out June 26.)
Pioneer Girl, Bich Minh Nguyen
Adrift after earning her Ph.D., Lee Lien begins researching a family legend, trying to determine if Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter, Rose, really did visit her grandfather’s Saigon cafe back in 1965. I’m a longtime Little House fan and I wanted to love this book, but I found Lee disappointingly flat and passive, and the story lacked resolution. Elegantly written, but unsatisfying.
Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins
Against her will, Anna is packed off to boarding school in Paris – but once she begins to embrace it (hello, it’s Paris!), she makes friends, learns a bit of French and falls in love with a handsome boy. Swoony, witty and so much fun.
Links (not affiliate links) are to my favorite local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith.
What are you reading?