Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
New – Literary Crime
Winter Counts, the debut novel by David Heska Wanbli Weiden is an intense and moving contemporary crime novel that takes place on the Lakota Sioux Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The main character, Virgil Wounded Horse, has had a life filled with loss and hard luck. After losing his parents and sister, he assumes responsibility for his teenaged nephew, Nathan. Virgil works hard to be a good example for his late sister’s son while maintaining both his own sobriety and a risky job as the reservation’s go-to muscle for hire. When Virgil is asked to investigate the recent influx of heroin on the reservation, he is forced to confront both the evils of the American drug trade and the secretive inner workings of his own tribal nation. Winter Counts is gripping marks David Heska Wanbli Weiden as a major new voice in literary crime fiction.
The Lying Lives of Adults by Elena Ferrante
New – Literary Fiction
Elena Ferrante is the Pseudonym for the Italian writer who has written several acclaimed novels including the four-book Neopolitan series, which is often referred to by the first volume, My Brilliant Friend. The Lying Lives of Adults is also set in Naples, and it focuses on the life of a girl named Giovanna as she evolves from childhood to young adulthood. Along the way, she forms an intense bond with her estranged aunt, learns hidden truths about her parents, and explores the forbidden neighborhoods of the tumultuous and vibrant city in which they all live. With her signature biting humor and profound insights into the human condition, Ferrante has created a stunning portrait of a girl who is learning to locate herself within the context of her family and her world.
Jack by Marilynne Robinson
New – Literary Fiction
Jack, the fourth and final novel in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead series, tells the story of the lonely and errant Jack Boughton who looms like a heartbreaking shadow in the previous novels. Over and over again, Jack turns to alcohol in order to numb his feelings of inadequacy and displacement both in his family and in the larger world. After a stint in prison, Jack finds himself in post-WWII St. Louis where he strikes up a relationship with a young black schoolteacher named Della Miles. Jack and Della, both children of ministers, discover a mutual admiration for literature and an ability to see and accept each other as the complex humans that they are. Though society refuses to acknowledge their love for each other, Della and Jack understand that despite the guilt and isolation that comes with defying the rules, in the end, it is the grace they receive from following their hearts that matters most.