Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bets, Tears, and Manuscripts

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet, even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs, even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree to never see each other again. But Fate has other plans...

The Sweetness of Tears by Nafisa Haji
When faith and facts collide, Jo March--a young woman born into an Evangelical Christian dynasty--wrestles with questions about who she is and how she fits into the weave of her faithful family. Chasing loose threads that she hopes will lead to the truth, Jo sets off on an unlikely quest across boundaries of language and religion, through chasms of sectarian divides in the Muslim world. Against the backdrop of the War on Terror--traveling from California to Chicago, Pakistan to Iraq--she delves deeply into the past. She encounters relatives, often for the first time, whose histories are intricately intertwined with her own...only to learn that true spiritual devotion is a broken field riddled with doubt and that nothing is ever as it seems.

Tony and Susan by Austin Wright
Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband, Edward Sheffield. One day, comfortable in her home, with her children, and in her second marriage, she receives a parcel entirely out of the blue. It contains the manuscript of her ex-husband's first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says. As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a math professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read with her, we too become lost in Sheffield's thriller. As the Hasting's family's ordinary, civilized lives are disastrously, violently sent off course, Susan is plunged back into the past, forced to confront the darkness that inhabits her, and driven to name the fear that gnaws at her future and will change her life.

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