Braille Book Review

November-December 2001
Books for Adults--Fiction


The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea BR 12729
by James Fenimore Cooper
5 volumes (Reissue)
A nineteenth-century sea story suggested by an episode in the life of John Paul Jones, which combines romance, intrigue, betrayal, near-shipwreck, and sea fights. 1823.

A Complicated Situation: Stories BR 12744
by Jane Mullen
2 volumes
Nine stories depicting various facets of family life, including sibling relations, aging, conflict, separation, tragedy, and loss. "Dardis and Me" tells of a twenty-five-year-old man who takes in his troubled sister after their parents die. The brother comes to realize that he is as much in need of succor as she. 1998.

The Captain's Bride: The Northern Lights, Book 1 BR 12820
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
3 volumes
Following their marriage in Norway in 1880, Elsa and Peder Ramstad sail to America, where Peder owns a shipyard in Maine. Others are along, including Karl, Peder's business partner, and Elsa's sister Tora. Problems abound, but perseverance, faith, and fidelity triumph in the end. Prequel to Deep Harbor (BR 13142). 1998.

Shopgirl BR 12849
by Steve Martin
1 volume
Artistic Mirabelle has an uninspiring job behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus in Los Angeles, but what she really craves is love. Then smitten Seattle millionaire Ray Porter sends Mirabelle the gloves he purchased from her, beginning an unconventional relationship. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller 2000.

Sidetracked: A Kurt Wallander Mystery BR 12874
by Henning Mankell
4 volumes
Ystad, Sweden. Police officer Kurt Wallander is about to leave on vacation when a young girl immolates herself and a former minister of justice is brutally murdered. Somehow the cases are connected. Other killings follow, committed by someone who always escapes on a moped. Some violence. 1999.

In the Gloaming: Stories BR 12875
by Alice Elliott Dark
2 volumes
Ten tales about American suburbia. The title piece--about a young man with AIDS returning to his mother's home to die--was adapted for film. In "Dreadful Language," a judgmental young girl grows up to have the same kind of empty, disappointing marriage as her mother's. Some strong language. 2000.

The Summer after June BR 12880
by Ashley Warlick
2 volumes
Twenty-five-year-old Lindy Jain finds herself unable to cope and abandons her family and fiancé, taking her murdered sister's baby to her grandmother's house in Galveston. There Lindy falls in love with a childhood friend soon after discovering her own pregnancy. Some descriptions of sex. 2000.

The Inland Ice and Other Stories BR 12901
by ilís Ní Dhuibhne
2 volumes
Modern-day stories by an Irish writer are interspersed with excerpts from a folktale, revealing that young women's feelings and interests have much in common across the ages. In "Love, Hate, and Friendship," Fiona flies to France ostensibly for a literature conference but really to gain perspective on a relationship. Some strong language. 1997.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson BR 12902
by Louise Rennison
2 volumes
A fourteen-year-old English schoolgirl records important events in her journal, describing life at school and at home with her toddler sister and troublemaking cat. Georgia and her boy-crazy girlfriends spend their spare time on beauty treatments and devising strategies for catching the right guy's attention. For senior high readers. 1999.

By the Shore BR 12903
by Galaxy Craze
2 volumes
Twelve-year-old May lives with her self-indulgent mother and younger brother in a bed-and-breakfast by the English sea. She observes her mother's love affairs, daydreams about her long- absent father, and aspires to join the in crowd at school. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 1999.

Soft Money: A Filomena Buscarsela Mystery BR 12904
by k.j.a. Wishnia
2 volumes
Ecuadorian-born ex-NYPD policewoman Filomena joins rookie Janette Ivins investigating the murder of a friendly neighborhood grocer. Meanwhile, Filomena has a new job at an environmental firm where she soon suspects some illegal activity is depleting the charity funds. Some violence and some strong language. 1999.

Leaving Pico BR 12905
by Frank X. Gaspar
2 volumes
Award-winning poet Gaspar's autobiographical tale of Josie Carvalho, who grows up in the Portuguese fishing village in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Abandoned by his mother, Josie is raised by an aunt and his seldom sober grandfather, who regales him with the adventures of an ancestor who supposedly discovered America before Columbus. 1999.

The Fall of the Year BR 12913
by Howard Frank Mosher
2 volumes
Vermont, 1950s. Frank Bennett returns to his small home town after graduation from university to decide his future. His adoptive father, a priest, keeps him busy assisting with parish duties involving the locals, who include a fortune teller, a herbalist, a con artist, and a girl who captures Frank's heart. 1999.

Prince BR 12914
by Ib Michael
2 volumes
In the suspension of time that is summer, Malte (age twelve) helps out at a Danish seaside inn in 1912. Icebergs release their secrets, and Malte finds a long-ago sailor's coffin on the beach. The mystery of the sailor intermingles with the boy's own adventures with the townspeople. 1999.

Jitterbug: A Novel of Detroit BR 12916
by Loren D. Estleman
2 volumes
Detroit, 1943. A serial killer is roaming the city murdering people suspected of hoarding ration coupons. Lieutenant Max Zagreb uses all the methods available--legal and illegal--to track down the culprit. Meanwhile, police contend with growing racial unrest that explodes into a race riot. Violence and strong language. 1998.

Moll Flanders BR 12919
by Daniel Defoe
3 volumes (Reissue)
Moral tale set in seventeenth-century England and Virginia recounts the crimes and misfortunes of a lusty and strong-willed woman. Among Moll's five marriages was one, unwitting, to her own brother. After years as a thief and a prostitute, she attains great wealth, and spends her old age comfortably repenting her youthful excesses. 1722.

Sea of Memory BR 12920
by Erri De Luca
1 volume
Italy, 1950s. A sixteen-year-old boy spends the summer with his family on an island near Naples. He learns to fish with his uncle and old Nicola, falls in love with a Jewish orphan girl, and becomes obsessed with learning about the horrors of the recent war. 1999.

The Book Borrower BR 12922
by Alice Mattison
2 volumes
Two young mothers meet in 1975, while their children play in a park. Deborah lends Toby a memoir of the 1920s trolley strike, which she reads and forgets. But years later, her encounter with the book's now elderly central figure helps Toby come to terms with Deborah's death. Strong language. 1999.

White Sky, Black Ice: A Nathan Active Mystery BR 12947
by Stan Jones
2 volumes
Alaska state trooper Nathan Active works in his native village where his birth mother, an Inupiat Eskimo, had given him up for adoption to his white parents years ago. Active suspects that two recent suicides were actually murders. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. 1999.

Stories of the Far North BR 12949
edited by Jon Tuska
2 volumes
Nine short stories set in the far northwest portraying the fight against the elements, the tie between man and dog, and the struggle for survival. Includes The League of the Old Men by Jack London and the ballad The Trail of 'Ninety-Eight by Robert Service. 1998.

Code to Zero BR 12966
by Ken Follett
3 volumes
In January 1958, as the U.S. prepares to launch its answer to Soviet satellite Sputnik, key space scientist Luke Lucas wakes up in a public toilet with a hangover and amnesia. Luke must reconstruct his identity in order to thwart a sabotage plot--and the clock is ticking. Some strong language. Bestseller 2000.

The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment BR 12993
by Graham Greene
2 volumes
In the early phase of World War II, British widower Arthur Rowe, after having euthanatized his sick wife, unwittingly becomes embroiled with a band of fifth columnists. And then he falls in love. Some violence. 1943.

The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War BR 13144
by Stephen Crane
2 volumes (Reissue)
Henry Fleming, a young country boy, enthusiastically enlists with the Union army during the Civil War. Wanting to prove himself a hero, but experiencing shock and fear on the battlefront, he finally revives his courage and self-respect in a crucial advance. New edition includes an additional chapter from author's notes. 1895.

Doña Inés vs. Oblivion BR 13195
by Ana Teresa Torres
2 volumes
Caracas aristocrat Doña Inés is obsessed with regaining title to a piece of jungle land. The legal battle between her white heirs and the descendants of her husband and a black slave woman go on for centuries after her death in 1781. Mobil Pegasus Prize for Lit. 1999.

Murder in Foggy Bottom BR 13196
by Margaret Truman
3 volumes
A well-dressed corpse in Washington's Foggy Bottom may be connected to three suspicious commuter plane crashes. Lovers Max Pauling and Jessica Mumford, both of the State Department, are pursuing the investigation when Jessica's ex-husband turns up, fleeing the right-wing extremist faction in which he'd been operating undercover. Some violence and some strong language. 2000.

End of Days BR 13197
by Dennis Danvers
3 volumes
In this sequel to Circuit of Heaven (BR 11977), seventy years have passed since Gabriel attempted to destroy the Bin. When a young Christian Soldier discovers a prototype of the Bin, Gabriel learns the Bin itself still exists, setting off unforeseen consequences. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1999.

Dawn on a Distant Shore BR 13199
by Sara Donati
5 volumes
Upper New York, 1794. Elizabeth Bonner and her children travel to Montreal to ransom her husband Nathaniel and his father, Hawkeye, from the French. The children are then kidnapped by a Scotsman intent on returning the Bonners to Europe to claim an inheritance. Sequel to Into the Wilderness (BR 12298). 2000.

World of Pies BR 13218
by Karen Stolz
2 volumes
Vignettes of growing up in small-town Texas, with regional recipes included. In 1962 Roxanne, a baseball-playing tomboy, learns how to bake for the pie contest and encounters racial prejudice for the first time. In high school she is embarrassed by her mother's pregnancy. And tragedy strikes the family. 2000.

The Tidal Poole: An Elizabeth I Mystery BR 13219
by Karen Harper
2 volumes
London, 1559. Queen Elizabeth I, with the help of her informal council of friends from The Poyson Garden (BR13032), foils another plot on her life. When the promiscuous sister of the queen's lady-in-waiting is murdered, suspicion falls on the traitorous Seymour family. Some violence. 2000.

The Houseguest BR 13220
by Agnes Rossi
3 volumes
In 1934 grief-stricken Edward Devlin buries his wife in Ireland, leaves his six-year-old daughter, Maura, behind with maiden aunts, and goes to America. With John Fitzgibbon's help, Edward finds a new job; he also stays in Fitz's home and has an affair with Fitz's young wife. Some strong language. 2000.

Slo-Mo! My Untrue Story BR 13221
by Rick Reilly
2 volumes
Sportswriter's novel is "as told" by young seven-foot, eight-inch Maurice Finsternick. After spending his formative years in a cave-dwelling cult, naive Mo is drafted into the NBA and struggles to comprehend Charles Barkley, his other teammates, and the industry. Some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1999.

The Queen of Attolia BR 13222
by Megan Whalen Turner
2 volumes
In this sequel to The Thief (BR 11285), the Queen of Attolia captures Eugenides, the official thief of Eddis. Although her severe punishment nearly breaks his spirit, he continues to love her throughout the ensuing political and military intrigues. For junior and senior high readers. 2000.

Even Steven BR 13229
by John Gilstrap
3 volumes
A filthy, terrified toddler stumbles into the campsite of Bobby and Susan Martin, who are grieving for their stillborn child. In the next few horrifying minutes, Bobby kills the man chasing the boy, discovers he was a cop, and then flees with the boy and Susan. Violence and strong language. 2000.

The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love BR 13230
by Joan Medlicott
3 volumes
Three widowed roommates leave their Pennsylvania boardinghouse for the North Carolina mountains to look at a dilapidated farmhouse one of them has inherited. Against the wishes of their children and landlady, the women move in and soon find their lives dramatically changed--for the better. 2000.

A Burnt-Out Case BR 13244
by Graham Greene
2 volumes
Colonial-era Belgian Congo. Querry, a playboy architect with a lurid background, retires to an African leprosarium, where he earns a reputation as a "saint" by using his expertise to build better facilities for the community. But then his past is discovered. 1960.

Dreamcatcher BR 13274
by Stephen King
5 volumes
Four friends have hunted together for twenty-five years. This trip, however, is interrupted by an intruder's rambling about lights in the sky. Patterned like a Native American talisman, the dreamcatcher phenomenon must be summoned for the men to fight alien and natural horrors. Strong language and some violence. Bestseller 2001.

On the Street Where You Live BR 13281
by Mary Higgins Clark
2 volumes
Because lawyer Emily Graham is being stalked, she changes jobs and moves to New Jersey. She buys the house that once belonged to her great-great-grandaunt Madeline Shapley, whose skeleton turns up in Emily's back yard. Suddenly Emily finds herself being followed again. Some violence. Bestseller 2001.

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