2017 Fiction

2017 Odyssey Bookshop Holiday Newsletter=

Fiction

Staff Pick Logo
The Floating World Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616205287
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - October 17th, 2017

This haunting novel tackles the subject of Katrina head on, focusing in on one family and the challenges they face in the storm’s wake. There is Cora, the older of the Boisdore sisters, who refused to leave and is so traumatized she can barely piece together what she saw. Then there is Del, who is hesitant to leave the safe bubble of New York City to face the tragedy. Their parents, Joe and Tess, find their marriage in shambles, and they are unable to pick up the pieces. Babst is a New Orleans native, and her love for the city shines through in her poetic descriptions of the damage and the characters’ nostalgic longings for a home that will never be the same again. Her characters, while facing personal tragedies, also come face to face with the political and racial implications of the way the storm and subsequent evacuation were handled by the city. This is a terrific multigenerational family novel, and also an important historical document. ~Margaret 
 
*Signed copies available*

 


Staff Pick Logo
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062684387
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 31st, 2017

A timely new novel by the NY Times bestselling author of Wicked, Maguire has turned his notable talent for retelling classic stories to the story of Herr Drosselmeier of Nutcracker fame. But this is more than just a retelling of this well-known tale. As Maguire noted at his recent Odyssey appearance celebration the publication of Hiddensee, he sees his writing as an intellectual experience masquerading as popular fiction. As in Wicked and his other books, he ponders larger issues – in this case how the powerless and disadvantaged in society can nonetheless play an important role in helping others – while crafting a captivating story delving back into the Brothers Grimm and German folklore. This will make a great gift and we have signed copies for sale.  ~Mitch
 
*Signed copies available*
 


Staff Pick Logo
Home Fire Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735217683
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 15th, 2017

Three British siblings, separated by geography, face different issues of cultural and family identity that ultimately unite them. Isma, the oldest, has left London to study in America, but she is desperately worried about her brother Parvaiz, who has gone to Syria to follow in the footsteps of his jihadist father. The youngest, Aneeka, has become close to Eamonn, the son of an important politician whose platform on immigration will challenge their relationship. An immersive and explosive exploration of many different kinds of loyalty: to family, to one’s country, to one’s own heart, this novel had me holding my breath all the way through. Also, Kamila Shamsie studied at UMass Amherst, so the college town where Isma spends some of the novel is very much inspired by Western Massachusetts. ~Margaret 
 
*Signed copies available*
 


Staff Pick Logo
The Last Ballad Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062313119
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 3rd, 2017

This luminous novel is based on the real life Ella May Wiggins, a Depression-era mill worker in Gastonia, NC, who broke down the barriers of the era when she transformed into a protest song writer and union organizer. Class, gender, race, and workers’ rights all intersect in this incredibly moving and true story, told with both sensitivity and urgency. Wiley Cash is one of our most underrated authors today, and this is a great introduction to his work. ~Emily
 


Staff Pick Logo
Manhattan Beach Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781476716732
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 3rd, 2017

I was curious to see what Jennifer Egan’s latest would be like, because she tends to approach the novel in creative and nontraditional ways. Suffice it to say, once I read it, I was surprised by how traditional it was. But don’t let the word “traditional” get you down! I was absolutely riveted by this book from start to finish. It traces the story of Anna Kerrigan, who becomes a diver at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and the parallel narrative of a gangster, Dexter Styles. Looming over the whole novel is the disappearance of Anna’s father, an event that has haunted Anna since she was twelve years old, and ends up connecting the novel’s plot threads in unexpected ways. The writing is cinematic and reminiscent of noir, pulsing with the energy of New York City in the 1940s. Quite possibly my favorite novel of fall 2017. ~Margaret
 


Staff Pick Logo
Savage Country Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616204129
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - September 26th, 2017

The novel begins in 1873 in Kansas. David Coughlin has died while attempting to break a wild horse. His widow Elizabeth is not only in mourning, but previously unbeknownst to her owns a farm deeply in debt. David’s brother Michael appears to help pay off his brother’s debt. David’s plan to bring the farm back to financial health included a difficult and treacherous buffalo hunt. Elizabeth convinces her brother-in-law to stay and help with the organization and hard work involved to hunt and harvest some of America’s declining herd of buffalo to supply heavy duty belts to power the industrial revolution. This epic journey is portrayed in great detail and poetic language as the group reaches the herd, sets up camp, and begins to kill a thousand buffalo a day!  The so called taming of the west is really a plundering of resources, ecological disaster, and a near eradication of the indigenous peoples. Olmstead brings alive this part of our history in all its grittiness, bloodshed, and dangers from rattlesnakes, lightening strikes, fires, floods, and human greed.  ~Joan
 
*Signed copies available*


This is the artfully told story of an African American family’s haunted trip from the fictional town, Bois Sauvage to Parchman Farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary through areas of the country where blacks are most certainly not welcome.  Ward, the 2011 National Book Award-winning author of Salvage the Bones, has crafted an elegant epic of three generations and the ghosts that haunt them. Their journey is a portrait in words of a family in dire need, clinging to what they have and believe in while attempting, at the same time, to outrun their adversity.  This novel will be seared into your unconscious for weeks after you read it.  ~Mark
 


Staff Pick Logo
The Twelve-Mile Straight Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062422088
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - September 12th, 2017

In rural, Depression-era rural Georgia, a young woman name Elma Jesup gives birth to twins, one light-skinned, and one dark-skinned. People come from far and wide to see the two babies, nicknamed the “Gemini Twins.” But, as Henderson reveals, their existence is far from a miracle. In hypnotic prose that oscillates between the past and the present, she slowly unearths the dark secrets and unspoken truths surrounding the twins’ birth, revealing an undercurrent of racism and sexism that runs through the entire novel. Though this novel is set over eighty years ago, the truths it speaks about racism and bodily autonomy are still incredibly relevant. It is important, lyrically sweeping, and utterly absorbing. ~Margaret 
 
*Signed copies available*


Staff Pick Logo
Young Jane Young Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616205041
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - August 22nd, 2017

Aviva Grossman is an undergraduate who becomes embroiled in an affair with the politician she interns for, and this book is a humorous but fierce send-up of a culture whose bloodlust demands young women in these situations to pay for their mistakes the rest of their lives, while permitting the older men in positions of power to resume their places in society. Complex and interesting women share the non-chronological narrative here, including Aviva’s mother and the politician’s wife, and the author treats them all with a real generosity of spirit. Readers will nod knowingly and cheer to themselves with each chapter. ~Emily