Luisa Smith is the Buying Director for Book Passage. She's been a part of the store staff for almost twenty years.
Elizabeth Church brings us a remarkable novel of love and sacrifice. With a light hand she beautifully renders Meridian, a smart and complex woman who makes the choice to support the man she loves and limit her own ambitions. With Church’s sharp prose we watch Meridian try to find herself while struggling as a housewife in 1940s Los Alamos. This contemplation on courage and identity will ring true to many women today, and yet this beautiful novel makes this familiar story extraordinary.
A luminous quality to Chris Cleave’s writing reveals a deep well of emotion, always just beneath the surface of his characters, that brings them leaping to life off the page. Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a story of London during the blitz, where everyone is struggling to find their footing and social norms are challenged. Mary and her friends each have their own unique reaction to the war, where every act of kindness can be an act of bravery. I found myself moved to tears as these intertwined stories reveal the strength required to still love during a time of such despair.
Adam Haslett has written a powerful story of one family’s love and the legacy of depression. When Margaret discovers her fiancé suffers from depression, she decides to stay with him not fully understanding how his depression will haunt their lives. In Imagine Me Gone, Margaret and her adult children tell the story of their family and all of the pain and laughter they have endured. Each voice is distinct and adds a richness to the tale. Haslett is one of the best writers today and his ability to make us both laugh out loud and bring us to tears in this brilliant novel proves why.
Within the first few pages of Dodgers my pulse started racing. Here was a literary crime novel, both brutal and beautiful, so masterfully written that the need to keep reading was akin to an addiction. Four South LA boys, each toughened by the streets, but at turns funny, tender, and charming, are sent on a deadly mission into the heart of middle America. Discovering what it means to be alien in your own country and struggling with the true cost of loyalty, Bill Beverly takes us on a road trip full of surprises up to the very last page.
Imagine a world where every dark thought you possessed was revealed by a wisp of smoke. And what if a portion of the population could hide their darkness, while others were forever stained by their sins. Set in an alternate England, we see what really lies behind this sinful soot through the eyes of three teenagers, who begin to question all they have been told. Smoke is a brilliant combination of fantasy and historical fiction, where layers of mystery and glimmers of truth kept me feverishly reading until the very end.