A Sudden Light by Garth Stein. A sad sort of ghost story, more about loss and keeping families together than anything else. Now an adult, Trevor tells the story of the summer he was fourteen and visiting his family’s ancestral estate on Puget Sound. Nicely atmospheric and some lyrical writing, there’s a melancholy sense of loss but also growth about this story.
The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller. I’m a sucker for stories about outsider kids and outsider teachers coming together, so I liked this a lot. I was reminded very much of Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Iris is a budding journalist at an elite prep school in Massachusetts, and she’s recruited by a secret society to get some dirt on her science teacher (who has secrets of his own). There’s a great mystery element, as Iris begins working to uncover Mr. Kaplan’s secrets, and as the past collides with the present. It’s funny and smart and on the quirky side–a nice coming of age tale, too. It’s also very self-aware, complete with references to Dead Poets Society. A really fun read!
Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Her scholarship really can’t be topped–Ulrich makes the past feel real and tangible, and she presents her arguments and research incredibly well. This book examines women’s lives and work in colonial New England, considering in particular what it meant to be a “goodwife.”
House of the Lost by Sarah Rayne. I’ll be saving this haunted house tale for Halloween. Check back then!
Slowly (oh so slowly) but surely, I am whittling down my TBR list! It feels great to clean house.