By: Gillian Flynn
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered while she hid in a closet and then climbed out of a window. Libby testified in court that her brother was responsible for the murders, sending him to prison for life. Twenty-five years later, never-employed and friendless, Libby accepts an invitation by a local group of murder-investigation enthusiasts as a way to earn some money. After visiting her brother in prison for the first time, she begins to doubt his guilt and becomes driven to discover the truth. Fans of the blockbuster hit Gone Girl will definitely enjoy this earlier work by Gillian Flynn.
By: Ron Rash
Brother and sister Hank and Laurel Shelton are outcasts in their small Appalachian town. With a pronounced birth mark, Laurel is assumed by the locals to be a witch. When a mysterious, mute stranger comes to live with them, Laurel's world is gradually transformed. They fall in love and plan to run off together, but circumstances conspire against them. Set during the waning days of World War I, the author captures the superstitions of rural Appalachia. Fans of the Southern gothic genre will enjoy this well-written piece of historical fiction.
By: Jo Baker
Author Jo Baker is a master of historical fiction that depicts the hardscrabble existence of the lower classes. In The Telling, Rachel is a modern-day woman who arrives at her recently-deceased mother's house to place it on the market. In the following days, the mentally-fragile Rachel begins to hear voices. Over a hundred years previously, Lizzy, a young maidservant, lived with her impoverished family in the same house. Baker's novel is most interesting when she focuses on Lizzy's story. Mr. Moore, a boarder in Lizzy's home, is a laborer who begins a reading room for the locals. This small act is seen as subversive to the clergy and gentry. Mr. Moore's books open a new world to Lizzy. Fans of British historical fiction will enjoy this novel.
By: Tracy Chevalier
James and Sadie Goodenough move with their ten children from Connecticut to Ohio in the 1838. They settle in the Black Swamp, an area rife with mosquitos and malaria, and try to establish a farm. Over the years, five of the children die from malaria, and Sadie has turned to potent homebrewed applejack to escape from her misery. After a tragic accident, the youngest child, Robert, heads west to California and but he cannot escape the demons of his childhood. The audio version of this book is excellent.