22 Fiction Recommendations
I always look forward to visiting the Westport Library to see Westporter Sybil Steinberg, former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly, present her latest book suggestions. She is super smart, an incredible reader with an extensive vocabulary and a real inspiration! With 34 recommendations total, I have shared Sybil’s 22 fiction picks and will follow up with her 12 nonfiction recommendations soon. (The list below was prepared, blurbed and presented by Sybil Steinberg at The Westport Library.)
Seduced by an older woman when he was a teenager at a British boarding school, the protagonist of this haunting novel drifts through the rest of his life with a sense of longing.
Lucy By The Sea by Elizabeth Strout
Lucy Barton‘s former husband moved her from Manhattan to her house by the sea in Main Where She endures the pandemic and finds solace in new relationships.
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
A 12 year old boy is determined to find his missing mother, a Chinese American poet an activist who has become a fugitive in the dystopian world of the near future.
The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
The Oppenheimer triplets, born into an upscale New York family, carry their animosities and rivalries into adulthood, while, as the title suggests, a surprise awaits them.
Properties of Thirst by Marianne Wiggins
A scorching family drama set on a southern California ranch during World War II, when Japanese American families were interned nearby in inhospitable desert terrain.
Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark
Two aging women, lifelong friends from wealthy Philadelphia families, become conflicted over plan to donate their beloved vacation community in Maine to an ecological trust.
Learning to Talk by Hilary Mantel
12 semi autographed auto graphical short stories by the late novelist picks young girls to grow up in a poor industrial village in England in the bizarre circumstances she acknowledges in the preface.
After Lives by Abdulrazak Gurnah
In an absorbing story of love, loss and indomitable endurance, the current Nobelist portrays the suffering of east Africans during German colonial control in the 1880s.
All the characters in the biting satire are animals who speak and act with human behavior as they fight for decent lives in an African country ruled by brutal tyrants.
The life of a ruthless financial tycoon is reflected in four long sections, each related from a different perspective, that eventually reveals a dark secret.
The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
Robert Browning‘s famous poem, “My Last Duchess,” inspired this imaginative narrative about the fate of Lucrezia de Medici d’Este, married at age 15 to a power-hungry duke.
A middle-class wife and mother‘s desire to achieve an independent artistic career results in a superficially happy but dysfunctional family life that conceals a sad failure to communicate.
Enslaved Black grooms were indispensable and training thoroughbred horses, as seen in the story of Lexington, the legendary steed that made racing history in the 1850s.
Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra
This witty, poignant, irresistible comedy/drama set in Hollywood during the tumultuous 1940s melds history with satire and characterizes recognizable motion picture tycoons.
Less is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer
The endearing, befuddled, gay, self-styled “minor American author” Arthur Less is back in another literary and romantic misadventure that takes him across the country.
Assassin John Wilkes Booth is one of the members of the eccentric family brought to life in this poetically imaginative history of a clan whose brilliance was deemed by dysfunction.
In a near future when America is sliding into environmental and political devastation, warmly believable characters live in a close-knit, liberal Massachusetts town hoping to stay safe.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
The future of the world is grim in these in ingeniously intertwined chapters in which time travel and paranormal experiences rule the lives of characters on a devastated earth and on moon colonies.
The delightfully cerebral Harvard student heroine of Batuman’s previous novel, “The Idiot,” is still puzzling about how she can become a writer.
Two teenage girls who live in rural poverty in post World War II France engage in a literary hoax that illuminates the mystery and the value of artistic creation.
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
When an ordinary man of modest means find the courage to challenge the nuns who ruled his Irish village church, he saves a life and his own soul.
Independent People by Haldor Laxness
Just re-issued, this brilliant novel that won the Nobel prize in literature in 1955 evokes Icelandic society and culture through the stoic lives of vividly portrayed characters.
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