Assessed for Awesome Indies Book Awards
Author: Kate Rigby
Told from both daughter and father's perspectives, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room is a coming-of-age, riches-to-rags tale of loss, resilience, and self-discovery, set just before the millennium. Leila is the eight-year-old daughter of Hassan Nassiri, a wealthy Iranian property owner, and younger sister to the adored Fayruz, her father's favourite daughter. But a holiday narrowboat tragedy has far-reaching consequences for the surviving family. Hassan withdraws into reclusive grief or high jinks with his men friends at his second home in Hampstead, leaving Leila to fend for herself in a lonely world of nannies, chess and star-gazing. Leila eventually runs away from home and joins a family of travellers in Sussex, and so follows a tale of adventure, danger and romance – and further anguish for her surviving family. But how will she fare at such a young age and will her family ever find her?
Author: Tabitha Vohn
Tomorrow Is A Long Time is an intertwining of two stories, both exploring the boundaries of romantic love and the consequences of pushing those boundaries. It tests preconceived notions of age, fidelity, and sacrifices made for love.
Assessed for Awesome Indies
Author: Rosaline Riley
This is a coming-of-age novel set in the 1950s and 60s in Lancashire. Its point-of-view protagonist is Ellen, a working class girl who becomes friends with middle class Erica when she goes to the convent school in the neighbouring town. Focussing on both Ellen’s home life and her school life (which she tries to keep separate), the novel explores the gains and the losses that education and religion provide over the course of her school years. Thematically, it’s a novel about friendship, love, loss, and death. Social class is also dealt with lightly. There are dark passages in the novel, but also much humour. Each chapter is a month of the year – beginning with September to reflect the structure of the school year. This framework also allows for treatment of the seasons and the liturgical year. The months are sequential but the years are not. Between September 1959 and September 1966 the years go back and forth (with some flashbacks to earlier years).
Assessed for Awesome Indies
Author: Brian Kindall
Poetic rogue Didier Rain is hired by The Church of the Restructured Truth to deliver a baby – Virtue – to be the bride of the Prophet Nehi at his church’s new settlement in the wilderness territories. A picaresque novel set in the American frontier of 1854. “It’s 1854 in the American West and Didier Rain – rogue, poet, and would-be entrepreneur – is hired by an upstart church to deliver a child bride to the sect’s prophet across a frontier fraught with perils.” Delivering Virtue is a picaresque novel set in the American frontier of 1854. A poetic rogue by the name of Didier Rain is hired by The Church of the Restructured Truth to fulfill a prophecy. He is to deliver a baby – Virtue – to be the bride of the Prophet Nehi at his church’s new settlement in the wilderness territories. The story is an account of the trials Rain endures on this journey, attempting to adhere to the contract he signed prescribing his sacrosanct behavior throughout, while wrestling with his more base animal inclinations. As he walks this precarious line between the sacred and the profane, Virtue remains Didier Rain’s guiding miracle, showing him the true meaning of salvation by journey’s end.
Assessed for Awesome Indies
Tags: Family memoir, Finnish foreigners, Married love, New life, Nordic book, Sisterly secret, Swedish language
Author: Helena Halme
A fascinating Nordic story of immigration, family secrets and sisterly love, set in Finland and Sweden in the 1970’s and now. ‘In Stockholm everything is bigger and better.’ When Pappa announces the family is to leave their small Finnish town for a new life in Sweden, 11-year-old Eeva is elated. But in Stockholm Mamma finds feminism, Eeva’s sister, Anja pretends to be Swedish and Pappa struggles to adapt. And one night, Eeva’s world falls apart. Fast forward 30 years. Now teaching Swedish to foreigners, Eeva travels back to Finland when her beloved grandmother becomes ill. On the overnight ferry, a chance meeting with her married ex-lover, Yri, prompts family secrets to unravel and buried memories to come flooding back. It’s time for Eeva to find out what really happened all those years ago…
Assessed for Awesome Indies
Category: Literary Fiction
Tag: Mainstream Fiction
Author: Florence Osmund
The troubled son of a callous father and socialite mother determines his own meaning of success after learning shocking family secrets that cause him to rethink who he is and where heʼs going. Lee Winekoopʾs reinvention of himself is surprising; the roadblocks he confronts are unnerving; and the cast of characters he befriends along the way is both heartwarming and amusing. His journey into manhood teaches him that lifeʾs bitter circumstances can actually give rise to meaningful consequences.
Author: Alan Bray
One violent act draws together three very different people in Alan Bray’s haunting debut The Hour of Parade. The year is 1806, and Russian cavalry officer Alexi Ruzhensky travels to Munich to kill the man responsible for murdering his brother in a duel, French officer Louis Valsin. Obsessed by the main character in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s novel Julie, Alexi delays his search and becomes romantically entangled with a young Bavarian woman. When he finally meets Valsin and his mistress Anne-Marie, Alexi hides his true identity and befriends them. As the three grow closer, tensions mount as Alexi and Anne-Marie desperately try to resist their growing attraction. But in the novel’s explosive conclusion, Alexi will learn that revenge cannot be forgotten so easily.
Tags: Coming of Age, dating and relationships, family life, feminist fiction, humor, psychological fiction, rape fiction, sex and intimacy
Author: Sandra Hutchison
Publisher: Sheer Hubris Press
Will they or won’t they? Should they or shouldn’t they? It’s the summer of 1977 in a small college town, and physics professor David Asken has just lost his young family in a plane crash he somehow survived. Sixteen-year-old neighbor Molly Carmichael used to be the babysitter, but now will be keeping house for him while he recuperates. David’s quietly planning to end his life just as soon as he can drive again. Molly’s trying to cope with being known as Tampon Girl, thanks to a sculpture by her notorious artist mother, but she will have to deal with much worse after a drunken teenage party. In this engrossing coming-of-age novel by the author of The Awful Mess, both man and girl must grow up the hard way, and it’s their unexpectedly tender connection, fraught with potential scandal, that may just help them do it. This provocative novel asks: Is there ever a time when doing the wrong thing might be exactly right? Warning: Offers adult themes, bad language, violence, and a blistering feminist critique of how men always leave that crap in the bottom of the sink. May also keep you reading way too late into the night.
Author: Cathy Baker
This humorous career and family drama will captivate anyone who has ever held a job, lived in a family, or been on either side of a sales transaction. To Do the Deal, A Novel in Stories is about the quotidian — the challenges, minute dramas, and endearing moments that make up the every day. Set in a suburb of Washington, DC, To Do the Deal sets its focus not on the power brokers that dominate the nation’s capital but rather, on one family that is muddling along. Through ten stories, one each set in the years 1991 through 2000, we follow Kenneth Bodine on his quest to make a decent living in commission sales. We also follow his wife, Jodi, who tries hard as wife, worker, and mother and who often gets it right but just as often overthinks. To Do the Deal will appeal to readers who like witty stories, well told; who appreciate carefully plotted narratives; and who want to be entertained by an ensemble cast of deftly drawn characters. The language is literary yet light: readers who put check marks in the margins next to lines that resonate will mark a lot of pages. Beyond the appeal of its writing, To Do the Deal will captivate anyone who has ever held a job, lived in a family, or been on either side of a sales transaction.