Sometimes a good book is the only answer to these gray and gloomy winter months—you know, the kind you can’t wait to crack open and almost hate to finish. (Or in my case, the sort that forces you to quit parenting until the final page.)
Here are five recent favorites:
• Pachinko – Author Min Jin Lee labored over this sweeping, multigenerational saga for nearly 30 years to get the tone and perspective exactly right. The book chronicles the hardships, secrets and triumphs of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family and the discrimination they face in 20th-century Japan. A National Book Award finalist and upcoming series on Apple TV.
• Nothing to See Here – I first heard author Kevin Wilson interviewed on NPR, and the premise of his latest novel—twins who set themselves on fire when anxious or upset—sounded too bizarre NOT to read. The story is told from the point of view of the nanny hired to care for the twins—a broken woman who develops a fierce and surprising love for her strange charges. The humor Wilson deftly weaves throughout is SPOT ON.
• The Farm: A Novel – A desperate immigrant woman is paid an astronomical sum to serve as a surrogate for a rich unnamed woman. To receive the full sum, however, she’s contractually bound to stay at a luxury retreat dubbed “The Farm” where her every movement is monitored. As the pregnancy progresses, Jane starts to question her commitment to The Farm and the anonymous woman whose baby she’s carrying.
• This Is How It Always Is – After giving birth to five sons, Rosie and Penn finally get the girl they’ve always dreamed of—but not in the way they expected. Frankel’s prose is dense, intricate and deeply satisfying.
• The Perfect Child – My sister found this one too disturbing to finish, but I loved its dark and disturbing plot twists. When Hannah and Christopher adopt an abandoned six-year-old discovered at the hospital where they both work, the couple gets much more than they bargained for.
Have any page-turners to recommend? Please share in the comments!