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Literary fiction

  • Author:
    Conrad, Joseph
    Summary:

    This is the story of a young man unwittingly caught in the political turmoil of pre-revolutionary czarist Russia. When a bomb kills a hated Russian minister of police, along with several innocent bystanders, a young student named Razumov hides the perpetrator, who questions his moral strength and integrity.

  • Author:
    Saucier, Jocelyne
    Summary:

    With twenty-one kids, the Cardinal family is a force of nature. And now, after not being in the same room for decades, they're congregating to celebrate their father, a prospector who discovered the zinc mine their now-deserted hometown in northern Quebec was built around. But as the siblings tell the tales of their feral childhood, we discover that Angele, the only Cardinal with a penchant for happiness, has gone missing- although everyone has pretended not to notice for years. Why the silence? What secrets does the mine hold?

  • Author:
    Creelman, Elizabeth
    Summary:

    In the mid-1970s, tensions simmer beneath the surface of a small town in rural Massachusetts. But sixteen-year-old identical twin sisters April and Pilgrim live happily on their parents' farm. Their father recruits a young Bahamian doctor to minister to the town's residents. While racial prejudice keeps patients away, the idle doctor spends much of his time with the family. When the relationship between the girls and the young doctor comes to light, the family is torn apart. Years later, Pilgrim, long estranged from her family, learns her father has died and her mother is living in homecare. When she returns to see her mother, Pilgrim discovers her bucolic childhood home in shambles. It is in the midst of this decay that Pilgrim picks up the threads of her past and finds herself finishing what was begun three decades earlier. Libby Creelman is the author of a novel and collection of short stories. Her stories have also been published in literary magazines across the country.

  • Author:
    Bowdring, Paul
    Summary:

    After a thirty-year exile in Toronto, self-described "mid-listing" Newfoundland author James Nightingale leaves behind a failed marriage to a successful classical musician, who has taken up with an avant-garde composer, and a middling, if critically successful, career to return temporarily to St. John's to receive an honourary degree from his alma mater. Braving the obstacles of artistic and domestic uncertainty and neglected family obligations--not to mention a book-signing and a launch that go risibly wrong--he meets old friends whose own artistic lives have borne little fruit, and contends with a talented daughter who, in defiance of her mother, has abandoned her classical-music roots in favour of performing "deconstructed" traditional Newfoundland songs, a father suffering from dementia but with a sharp memory of disappointment, and an untrustworthy former publisher who is re-releasing his seminal first novel.

  • Author:
    Young, Jared
    Summary:

    Daniel Solomon is not having a good day. Somewhere between Bangkok and Tokyo, zipping through the stratosphere, the jetliner on which he's travelling cracks open like an egg, ejecting Daniel and his fellow passengers into the great blue sky. If only that were the worst of it. Thousands of feet above the merciless Earth, still strapped into his seat, his cherished comics fluttering away like freed parrots, Daniel finds out what it means to have your life flash before your eyes. Time stops, the wreckage of the plane freezes in place, postponing the inevitable end, and Daniel finds that he can transport himself back into his past. Re-experiencing his memories in real time, but helpless to change the present, he plunges into the detritus of his all-but-concluded life.

  • Author:
    Taylor, Drew Hayden
    Summary:

    On the cusp of becoming teenagers, Ralph, his sister Shelley, and their friend William, befriend Danielle, an odd girl in their school. She draws an extraordinary horse in a competition created by Ralph's mother. It's the kind of drawing no child -- or adult, for that matter -- should be able to draw. It will haunt Ralph into adulthood, because it represents everything wrong in Danielle's life and everything she wished her life could be. As teenagers and later adults, Ralph, Shelley, and William are struck, trying to figure out what the horse means to the girl, and how they can help.

  • Author:
    Ekwuyasi, Francesca
    Summary:

    An intergenerational saga about three Nigerian women: a novel about food, family, and forgiveness. Spanning three continents, Butter Honey Pig Bread tells the interconnected stories of three Nigerian women: Kambirinachi and her twin daughters, Kehinde and Taiye. Kambirinachi believes that she is an Ogbanje, or an Abiku, a non-human spirit that plagues a family with misfortune by being born and then dying in childhood to cause a human mother misery. She has made the unnatural choice of staying alive to love her human family but lives in fear of the consequences of her decision. Kambirinachi and her daughters become estranged from one another because of a trauma that Kehinde experiences in childhood, which leads her to move away and cut off all contact. She ultimately finds her path as an artist and seeks to raise a family of her own, despite her fear that she won’t be a good mother. Meanwhile, Taiye is plagued by guilt for what her sister suffered and also runs away, attempting to fill the void of that lost relationship with casual flings with women. She eventually discovers a way out of her stifling loneliness through a passion for food and cooking. But now, after more than a decade of living apart, Taiye and Kehinde have returned home to Lagos. It is here that the three women must face each other and address the wounds of the past if they are to reconcile and move forward. For readers of African diasporic authors such as Teju Cole and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Butter Honey Pig Bread is a story of choices and their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit and the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family.

  • Author:
    Crewe, Lesley
    Summary:

    Can you really move forward without putting the past to rest? Grace Willingdon has everything she needs. For fifteen years she's lived in a trailer overlooking Bras d'Or Lakes in postcard-perfect Baddeck, Cape Breton, with Fletcher Parsons, a giant teddy bear who's not even her husband. But Grace's blissful life is rudely interrupted when her estranged son calls from New York City, worried about his teenaged daughter. Before she knows it, Grace finds herself the temporary guardian of her self-absorbed, city-slicker granddaughter, Melissa. Trapped between a past she's been struggling to resolve and a present that keeps her on her toes, Grace decides to finally tell her story. Either the truth will absolve her, or cost her everything. Crackling with Lesley Crewe's celebrated wit and humour, Amazing Grace is a heartfelt tale of enduring love and forgiveness, and the deep roots of family.

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