I’ve read a lot of books this past year, some of them good, some of them not so good, and a few of them great. Here’s my list of books I can highly recommend.
1. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Lyrical and mesmerizing, The Dovekeepers takes the reader into ancient Israel. The book is told from the point of view of four very distinct personalities, women who loved and fought and protected their families. Hoffman skillfully weaves the setting, the food, the history together in a poetic masterpiece. The book is over five hundred pages, but I didn’t want it to end. When it did end, I was unable to read another book for two weeks because I was still living in The Dovekeepers. Ultimately, it’s a novel about love and war, mysticism and motherhood. My number one pick.
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book has been a bestseller since it’s publication, and there’s a good reason for that. With two distinct voices telling the tale–a husband and his wife who has gone missing–the novel carries you from page to page with rich descriptions and personality development that has you on the one hand rooting for the husband, on the other for the wife. For a while, at least.
3. At First Site: A Novel of Obsession by Stephen J. Cannell. Who doesn’t love a good book about obsession? And this one delivers. The main character, who is suffering a failing business and a cheating wife, will do anything to get the object of his affection.
4. The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler. Well, it’s by Anne Tyler so you know it’s good. This is a fairly short read peopled with characters that only Anne Tyler can invent. Yes, it’s got the brother and sister, both a little odd, a little out of place in the contemporary world. A doctor wife who is clinical in all aspects of her life, including her marriage. As is typical of Tyler’s novels, The Beginner’s Goodbye is a journey into loneliness.