You are here

Back to top

Newsletter Fiction Reviews

Hello, and welcome to our January/February 2023 Fiction Reviews!

Age of Vice: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593328798
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - January 3rd, 2023

Available in Hardcover Now

The opening scene of Age of Vice takes place in New Delhi. A speeding Mercedes is involved in an accident that kills five homeless people who are sleeping on the sidewalk. Minutes after the accident, the drunk driver is led away from the damaged car and a servant replaces him. The loyal servant is sent to prison. And thus begins Kapoor's can't-put-down novel about India's wealthy gangsters and the people who work for them. There is Sunny, son of one of the richest, meanest, most influential gangsters in India; Neda, an investigative reporter who falls in love with Sunny; Ajay the devoted servant, as well many more intriguing, brutal characters.

Age of Vice is not high literature, but I read it every chance I got. It took me to a lavish, dangerous world I knew nothing about. However, like many page turners, Age of Vice's ending was not as satisfying as the rest of the novel.

Reviewed by Nancy Randall

The Mitford Affair: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781728229362
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - January 17th, 2023

Available in Hardcover Now

I confess that I have never heard of the Mitfords of England.  They were a family of 6 sisters and 1 brother, from a well connected, socially elite family. The oldest, Nancy,  was an author whose novels often poked fun at those same people who were friends of her family.  Diana, the second sister, was married to the heir of the Guinness fortune. Unity, the third in age, was enamored by Hitler and his ideology. They lived a glamorous life until the political scene between the first and second World Wars changed everything. Diana, bored with her marriage, divorced her husband to be with a man who was trying to "save" the British people by bringing Nazism and Hitler to Great Britain.  Unity is enamored with Hitler and is rumored to be becoming Hitler's mistress. It isn't until Nancy realizes what is developing that she must choose between family and country.  In her latest historical fiction, Marie Benedict brings to life the story of the Mitford sisters and the courage one sister has to betray her sisters and save her country.

Reviewed by Marla Alexander

Ms. Demeanor: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358677888
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - December 27th, 2022

Available in Paperback Now

With these grey winter skies, we welcome a fun read and Elinor Lipman delivers exactly that.
Jane Morgan is a valued member of her law firm until she is observed having sex on her building's rooftop by a binoculared neighbor.  The judge sentences her to 6 months of home confinement for indecent exposure.  Now home, jobless and bored, Jane's identical twin sister Jackie comes up with an idea: with your great cooking skills, start cooking and put yourself doing that on the internet.  Jackie would pay for the ingredients and both sisters would benefit from dinners together. But, the plot thickens....  The doorman lets slip that there is another person in the apartment building who is also on house arrest.  Jane reaches out to the fellow white collar felon and ankle monitor wearer, Perry Salisbury.  Perry also likes to eat and suggests that once or twice a week Jane could cook for him.  Well, delivering meals leads to eating together that leads to a friendship that leads to a delightfully entertaining read.
Reviewed by Marla Alexander

The Bandit Queens: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593498958
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - January 3rd, 2023

Available in Hardcover Now

I haven't ever read a book quite like this!  It was told with a humorous note that truly entertained while truly enlightening the ironic paradoxes in the lives of Indian women.  Main character Geeta has been ostrasized in her village because of the rumors that she killed her husband; children fear her and myths surround her wherever she goes.  When a woman in her micro-loan group needs a brutal favor, she turns to Geeta; the woman is being beaten by her drunkard husband, so she asks Geeta to help her murder him too.  As more women turn to Geeta for her help with their husbands, the police begin to get suspicious.  Have these wives covered their tracks well enough to "get away with murder"? 

Reviewed by Alli Gilley

Time's Undoing: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593471821
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - February 28th, 2023

Available in Hardcover on February 28, 2023

This engrossing novel follows Meghan McKenzie, a young Black journalist, who is covering a story on Black Lives Matter while researching her great-grandfather's murder in Birmingham in 1929. We travel back in time to hear Robert Harrington (the great-grandfather) tell his story of moving to Birmingham from Florida for work as a skilled carpenter; his young light-skinned pregnant wife and young toddler daughter move there to be with him once he settles in. The blatant racism in those days is hard to read about, especially in first person, but Robert (Bobby) rises above these tough situations to keep himself and his family safe.  Until he is not able to...

The present day story of Meghan is illuminating and comes together a bit at a time as she pieces together the evidence she uncovers and interviews anyone she can guess or intuit that may have information going back to the 1920s. I really enjoyed the way the 2 stories interlaced and strengthened one another. I'd recommend this for personal reading, a gift, or for a book club selection.

Reviewed by Alli Gilley