Fierce, Forceful Fiction of 2019

To Keep the Sun Alive: A Novel

It’s May 2019, and I have read 38 newly published so far this year.  The books have been thought-provoking, sad, meaningful, and altogether extremely engaging.

Here are some that you may find worthwhile…

A Woman Is No Man (Etaf Rum, Harper, March 2019).  A compelling novel explores three generations of Palestinian-American women.  It’s a moving and sad tale about brutal treatment, the arranged marriages, and suffering these women endure.

Searching for Sylvie Lee (Jean Kwok, Morrow, June 2019). Sylvie the beautiful, smart and successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to The Netherlands to visit her dying grandmother, and then vanishes.  Amy, her timid little sister, flies there to figure out what happened to Sylvie.  As she searches for the truth, she unravels many secrets.  A very moving story about an immigrant family.

Ask Again Yes (Mary Beth Keane, Scribner, May 2019).  An engrossing tale of two neighboring families in a New York suburb.  The story revolves around the friendship between their two children.  As tragedy ensues, the book questions the power of forgiveness.

To Keep the Sun Alive (Rabeah Ghaffari, Catapult, January 2019).  A story set on the eve of the Iranian Revolution.  At an extended family get together for a spring lunch, secrets emerge.  The book explores the family members and their opposing allegiances to their beliefs.

The Other Americans (Laila Lalami, Pantheon, March 2019).  A suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant brings a daughter home to discover what happened to her father.  Set in the California Mojave desert region, each chapter is narrated by different key characters.  It’s a family saga, a social commentary and a love story.  The author is a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Nickel Boys (Colson Whitehead, Doubleday, July 2019).  Based on a true story of a reform school in Florida — this is a devastating narrative of two boys sentenced there.  Taking place in the Jim Crow 1960s, the violence, sexual abuse and corruption determine the boys’ fate.  Whitehead has won the Pulitzer and National Book Award for The Underground Railroad.

There are a few more titles which I recommend, and they have had so many great reviews; I will let you explore them for yourselves.  They are Normal People, Trust Exercise, and Those Who Knew.








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