If there are ninety-nine Arabic words for love, then Bea, an American student, is determined to learn the meaning of each one during her stay in Syria. A Word For Love, Emily Robbins’ haunting novel, is a love story on many levels: to a country on the brink of revolution, to a family holding tight to each other as chaos looms and to a young couple trapped by circumstances beyond their control, who still find a way to share their passion. And Bea, who yearns deepen her heart, will experience the piercing beauty and pain that comes with it.
In a year of powerful new literary voices, Brit Bennett’s is one of the loudest in terms of importance. Her debut novel, The Mothers, gracefully layers a story of family, love, loss and eventual catharsis through her protagonist, Nadia Turner, whose mother kills herself when she is seventeen. The suicide reverberates through their church’s community, especially as Nadia tumbles into a relationship with the pastor’s son. Their involvement leads to secret upon secret, unfolding like a Greek tragedy with the elderly Mothers of the church as a resonating Chorus to guide us through each act. Profound and beautifully written, The Mothers proves Bennett possesses all the right seeds to sow a stunning career.
Few things that are more delightful than a Simon Van Booy book. He writes with a luminous quality that captures your senses and heart. His latest novel, Father's Day, is no exception as he tells the tale of Harvey, who brings her adopted father to Paris and presents him with a series of Father's Day gifts, each representing an experience that narrates the story of how they found their way to and with each other. With unflinching honesty and compassion, Van Booy once again proves a master at crafting characters engaged in often difficult circumstances who still find a way to love deeply and find beauty in life.