Braille Book Review

November-December 2005
Books for Adults--Fiction


Johnny Got His Gun BR 15448
by Dalton Trumbo
2 volumes
Classic antiwar novel presents the internal monologue of a young soldier maimed during World War I. Hospitalized Joe Bonham, drifting in and out of consciousness, is beset by past memories and present horrors. 1990 introduction by Vietnam veteran and author Ron Kovic. Violence, some descriptions of sex, and some strong language. 1939.

The Cradle Will Fall BR 15451
by Mary Higgins Clark
3 volumes
While hospitalized, New Jersey prosecutor Katie DeMaio spies from her window a man loading a woman's body into a car. Later, she helps medical examiner Richard Carroll investigate a questionable suicide. Richard suspects Edgar Highley--Katie's new doctor--and fears the worst when Katie disappears. Some violence and some strong language. 1980.

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc BR 15498
by Mark Twain
4 volumes
Fictional biography of French heroine Saint Joan of Arc (1412- 1431) told from the viewpoint of her page, secretary, and lifelong friend, Sieur Louis de Conte. Describes her early childhood, the "voices" that prompted her to aid the dauphin, the fight for Orleans, and her eventual capture, trial, and martyrdom. 1895.

Goodbye, Earl: A Bad Girl Creek Novel BR 15504
by Jo-Ann Mapson
3 volumes
Continuation of the lives and loves of four female friends following Along Came Mary (BR 14680). Beryl's Alaska boyfriend abruptly disappears; Phoebe contends with her willful five-year-old daughter in California; Ness nurses a friend dying of AIDS; and Nance suffers repeated miscarriages. Some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. 2004.

The Clarinet Polka BR 15545
by Keith Maillard
4 volumes
1969. Soldier Jimmy Koprowski returns to his blue-collar Polish American community, where a friend's death, a destructive affair, and alcohol aggravate his depression. Only when he falls in love with Janice, the clarinetist in his sister's polka band, does he discover the healing power of music and tradition. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2002.

For Better, for Worse BR 15559
by Carole Matthews
3 volumes
Josie Flynn, newly separated, flies to New York from London for her cousin Martha's wedding. En route she meets Matt Jarvis and agrees to get together with him in the city. Matt forgets, Josie's husband shows up, and the bride has an affair. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2000.

Red Tide BR 15569
by G.M. Ford
3 volumes
Seattle. While disgraced journalist Frank Corso attends ex-lover Meg Dougherty's photo exhibition, a terrorist releases a modified Ebola virus into a bus tunnel, killing 116 people. Police, firefighters, and federal officials race for answers. During the chaos Corso infiltrates the scene--and becomes a prime suspect. Violence and strong language. 2004.

Murder in Montparnasse: A Phryne Fisher Mystery BR 15573
by Kerry Greenwood
2 volumes
Australia, 1928. Bert and Cec, soldiers who unknowingly witnessed a murder in post-WWI Paris, appeal to Phryne Fisher to investigate the suspicious deaths of two comrades. Phryne confronts her own repressed memories as she proceeds with this assignment. Some explicit descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. 2002.

The Fox's Walk BR 15576
by Annabel Davis-Goff
3 volumes
During World War I, ten-year-old Alice Moore is left in County Waterford, Ireland, to live with relatives while her parents return to London. She gradually becomes aware of the nationalist movement as well as the dangers that threaten her aristocratic Protestant family with the outbreak of the civil war. 2003.

The Truth about Forever BR 15577
by Sarah Dessen
3 volumes
Macy suppresses sorrow for a year and a half after her father's death, but finally learns to grieve--and to live a little--on her summer job at a zany catering business. There she connects with Wes, whose mother has also died. Some strong language. For senior high readers. 2004.

Spindle's End BR 15579
by Robin McKinley
3 volumes
Evil fairy Pernicia curses a princess on the infant's naming day, but Katriona, a young fairy, whisks the baby away to raise as her own and evade Pernicia's vengeful powers. Based on the fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty." For junior and senior high and older readers. 2000.

Done for a Dime BR 15583
by David Corbett
3 volumes
When a legendary blues musician is murdered, his son, Toby, is a major suspect. As Rio Mirada detective Dennis Murchison investigates, it becomes apparent that the killing is only part of a larger, darker scheme centering around racism and mob activity. Strong language and some violence. 2003.

The Mrs. Dalloway Reader BR 15586
edited by Francine Prose
3 volumes
Selection of critical essays exploring the evolution and impact of Virginia Woolf's 1925 classic novel Mrs. Dalloway and the companion piece, "Mrs. Dalloway's Party." Includes the two works, Woolf's journal entries and letters regarding the works' creation, and various writers' commentary. Includes editor's introduction. 2003.

Night Fall BR 15590
by Nelson DeMille
4 volumes
Antiterrorist agents John Corey and wife Kate Mayfield reopen the investigation of a Paris-bound jet's 1996 crash off the Long Island coast. They learn of an adulterous videotape made on the beach the night of the disaster and search for the couple. Violence and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller 2004.

Shoulder the Sky: A World War I Novel BR 15592
by Anne Perry
3 volumes
Chaplain Joseph Reavley from No Graves as Yet (BR 15128) journeys to the Flanders war front in 1915 to help the wounded. When a hated military correspondent is murdered, Reavley probes into the mystery of his own parents' deaths caused by the unknown "Peacemaker." Some violence. 2004.

The Coma BR 15607
by Alex Garland
1 volume
After being attacked on a subway train and left comatose, Carl regains consciousness--or at first he thinks he does--to a familiar but distorted life. He visits a friend and has a surprisingly pleasant affair with his secretary, but eventually fights to awaken from his dreamlike new reality. Some violence. 2004.

Vote for Larry BR 15616
by Janet Tashjian
2 volumes
After faking his death in The Gospel according to Larry (BR 13993), seventeen-year-old Josh "Larry" Swensen runs for president as the Peace Party's candidate to advocate for youth issues and to encourage voter turnout. He doesn't anticipate mudslinging and a love triangle. For senior high readers. 2004.

A Time Gone By BR 15617
by William Heffernan
3 volumes
While investigating the murder of a prominent NYC judge, rookie homicide detective Jake Downing has an affair with the judge's widow and knowingly sends the wrong man to the electric chair. Thirty years later, haunted by his decisions, Jake reopens the case. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2003.

Hot Biscuits: Eighteen Stories by Women and Men of the Ranching West BR 15623
edited by Max Evans and Candy Moulton
2 volumes
A collection of short stories by cowboys and cowgirls of the "real working West." Diverse tales of ranch hands, a horse trainer, and even murder have a few themes in common: hard work, survival among the elements, and homemade biscuits. Includes Jimbo Brewer's Spur Award-winner, "The Old Man." 2002.

Tar Baby BR 15625
by Toni Morrison
3 volumes
Son, a black fugitive, invades the West Indian home of a retired millionaire, upsetting the racially diverse household. He captivates pampered Jadine, a black fashion model. Their ideologically complicated love affair plays out from the Caribbean to Manhattan. 2004 foreword by the author. Strong language. 1981.

Run if You Dare BR 15641
by Randy Powell
1 volume
Fifteen-year-old Gardner is shocked to discover that his beloved but recently unemployed father considers himself a failure and may leave the family. Gardner seeks direction in his own life by joining the track team and renewing his friendship with an old girlfriend. For junior and senior high readers. 2001.

Pocahontas BR 15679
by Joseph Bruchac
2 volumes
Jamestown colony, 1607. Alternating narratives of Pocahontas, a Powhatan chief's daughter, and captain John Smith reveal the alliance between Smith and his fellow English settlers and the native Indian population. Portrays the cultural misunderstandings that arose during their encounters. For junior and senior high readers. 2003.

The Night Country BR 15681
by Stewart O'Nan
2 volumes
One year ago on Halloween, a car carrying five Connecticut teenagers slammed into a tree. Two survived--Tim, physically unharmed, and Kyle, left severely brain-damaged. As the anniversary of the crash approaches, Toe, Danielle, and Marco return to haunt the living. Strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2003.

Desperadoes BR 15682
edited by Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg
2 volumes
A collection of seventeen short westerns about men in trouble-- gamblers, outlaws, miners, and lawmen--some victims of circumstance, others because of their own doing. Includes Louis L'Amour's "The Town No Guns Could Tame" as well as works by Loren D. Estleman, Bill Pronzini, Bill Gulick, and others. 2001.

The Presence BR 15701
by Eve Bunting
1 volume
On a trip to California to visit her grandmother, seventeen-year- old Catherine meets a mysterious stranger at church. Noah claims he can help her contact a friend who died in a car crash for which Catherine feels responsible. But Noah turns out to be a ghost. For senior high readers. 2003.

Bright Eyes BR 15705
by Catherine Anderson
3 volumes
Natalie Patterson's son Chad vandalizes neighbor Zeke Coulter's property. Since she can't pay for the damages, Zeke allows Chad to work off the debt. Zeke soon becomes attracted to the entire family. Sequel to Blue Skies (BR 15389). Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2004.

The Prince of Beverly Hills: A Rick Barron Book BR 15709
by Stuart Woods
2 volumes
Beverly Hills cop Rick Barron saves movie star Clete Barrow from unwanted publicity after a deadly traffic accident. This good deed lands Barron a security position at Barrow's studio. The cop squires around actors and starlets and soon gets involved with gangster Bugsy Siegel. Violence and strong language. 2004.

Her Name Was Lola BR 15717
by Russell Hoban
2 volumes
Thirty-nine-year-old Max Lesser, struggling novelist and children's book author, meets his "destiny woman," beautiful, leggy Lola Bessington. Soon after, flirtatious Lula Mae Flowers distracts Max's attention, and in the ensuing drama he loses both women. Five years later a strange course of events again twists Max's fate. Some strong language. 2003.

The Tyrant's Novel BR 15740
by Thomas Keneally
2 volumes
In a nameless totalitarian desert country, camp detainee Alan Sheriff recounts his misfortunes. The country's dictator, dubbed Great Uncle, commands Sheriff, under contract with an American publisher, to ghostwrite a polemic novel denouncing international sanctions on this country, throwing Sheriff into political conflict and personal danger. Strong language. 2004.

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