New in Fiction: 5 Must-Reads

#WeekendReads.These five family sagas and multi-generational tales top our to-read list this month.

 

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THE EXCELLENT LOMBARDS (Grand Central Publishing) by Jane Hamilton

From the internationally bestselling author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, this fraught family drama set on a 21st century Wisconsin apple orchard is both a coming-of-age story and poignant account of a vanishing way of life. (Publication date: April 19, 2016.)

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THE NEST (Harper Avenue) by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

You won’t want to put this one down. The story is about a dysfunctional, yet somehow lovable New York family and a feud that involves grown-up siblings, years of simmering resentments and most of all, the fate of a joint trust fund – “the nest” – which is suddenly in serious jeopardy.

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THE TRANSLATION OF LOVE (Knopf Canada) by Lynne Kutsukake

This debut novel from 64-year-old Toronto writer and librarian Lynne Kutsukake tells the story of a young girl who was in a Canadian internment camp during the Second World War before being repatriated to Japan, where she uses her knowledge of English and North American culture to help a classmate find her sister. Despite calling herself “a late, late, late bloomer”, Katsukake has recently been named the New Face of Fiction for Knopf Canada.

 

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AS CLOSE TO US AS BREATHING (Hachette) by Elizabeth Poliner

This multi-generational family saga begins in 1948 along a small stretch of Connecticut shoreline known affectionately as “Bagel Beach.” A long-time summer destination for Jewish families, the shore is an idyllic retreat from real life until the summer when tragedy strikes, leaving long-lasting reverberations.

 

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CONVERSATIONS FOR TWO (The Jam Press) by Jacqueline Markowitz

This exploration of suicide and grief becomes a dialogue between siblings, as a middle aged woman tries to make sense of her brother’s suicide twenty-five years before. After discovering a box of his journals, she gains insight into the passions and love that defined him. Billed as a novel that is based partially on real life experiences – the author actually did have a brother who committed suicide and was a poet – the story weaves both Markowitz’s prose and her brother’s poetry into the narrative.