Sorties VO • Mars 2021

It’s 2013, and much of the world still reels from the global economic collapse. Yet in the auction rooms of London, artworks are selling for record-breaking prices. Seeking a place in this gilded world is Martin, a junior specialist at a prestigious auction house. Martin spends his days catering to the whims of obscenely wealthy clients and his nights drinking in grubby pubs with his demoralized roommate. However, a chance meeting with Marina, an old university friend, presents Martin with a chance to change everything.

Pursuing distraction from her failing marriage and from a career she doesn’t quite believe in, Marina draws Martin into her circle and that of her husband, Oleg, an art-collecting oligarch. Shaken by the death of his mother and chafing against his diminishing influence in his homeland, Oleg appears primed to change his own life—and perhaps to relinquish his priceless art collection long coveted by London’s auction houses. Martin is determined to secure the sale and transform his career. But his ambitions are threatened by factors he hasn’t reckoned with: a dangerous attraction between himself and Marina, and half-baked political plans through which Oleg aims to redeem himself and Russia but which instead imperil the safety of the oligarch and all those around him.

Haitian-American Vodou priestess Mambo Reina Dumond runs a healing practice from her New Orleans home. Gifted with water magic since she was a child, Reina is devoted to the benevolent traditions of her ancestors.

After a ritual slaying in the French Quarter, police arrest a fellow vodouisant. Detective Roman Frost, Reina’s ex-boyfriend—a fierce nonbeliever—is eager to tie the crime, and half a dozen others, to the Vodou practitioners of New Orleans. Reina resolves to find the real killer and defend the Vodou practice and customs, but the motives behind the murder are deeper and darker than she imagines.

As Reina delves into the city’s shadows, she untangles more than just the truth behind a devious crime. It’s a conspiracy. As a killer wields dangerous magic to thwart Reina’s investigation, she must tap into the strength of her own power and faith to solve a mystery that threatens to destroy her entire way of life.

Lady Sophia Huntington Villiers is no stranger to intrigue, as her work with Alan Turing’s Bombe Machines at Bletchley Park during the war attests. Her wartime marriage of convenience to Simon Barre, the eighth earl of Camden, granted her the independence she craved and saved his estate. Now, as part of his covert team in postwar Vienna, she uses her charm to uncover a lethal double agent immersed in the world of relics—including the long lost death mask of Mozart. 

Simon is determined to gather any information he can to end the Cold War before it becomes as devastating as the war Britain has just won. He has been secretly in love with Sophie Villiers for years, and their work together in Vienna leads him to hope for genuine romance in their marriage. Until a mission in Prague drives Sophie to a decision that will brand her not only a traitor to her country but also to her husband.

With Sophie’s allegiance in question, Simon is torn between his duty to the crown and saving the woman who might have betrayed his cause and his heart.

In a small, provincial town behind the Iron Curtain, Sasha lives in a house full of secrets, one of which is her own dream of becoming an actress. When she leaves for Moscow to audition for drama school, she defies her mother and grandparents and abandons her first love, Andrei.

Before she leaves, Sasha discovers the hidden war journal of her uncle Kolya, an artist still missing in action years after the war has ended. His pages expose the official lies and the forbidden truth of Stalin’s brutality. Kolya’s revelations and his tragic love story guide Sasha through drama school and cement her determination to live a thousand lives onstage. After graduation, she begins acting in Leningrad, where Andrei, now a Communist Party apparatchik, becomes a censor of her work. As a past secret comes to light, Sasha’s ambitions converge with Andrei’s duties, and Sasha must decide if her dreams are truly worth the necessary sacrifice and if, as her grandmother likes to say, all will indeed be well.

Born into the House of Romanov to the all-powerful Peter the Great and his wife, Catherine, a former serf, beautiful Tsarevna Elizabeth is the envy of the Russian empire. She is insulated by luxury and spoiled by her father, who dreams for her to marry King Louis XV of France and rule in Versailles. But when a woodland creature gives her a Delphic prophecy, her life is turned upside down. Her volatile father suddenly dies, her only brother has been executed and her mother takes the throne of Russia.

As friends turn to foes in the dangerous atmosphere of the Court, the princess must fear for her freedom and her life. Fate deals her blow after blow, and even loving her becomes a crime that warrants cruel torture and capital punishment: Elizabeth matures from suffering victim to strong and savvy survivor. But only her true love and their burning passion finally help her become who she is. When the Imperial Crown is left to an infant Tsarevich, Elizabeth finds herself in mortal danger and must confront a terrible dilemma–seize the reins of power and harm an innocent child, or find herself following in the footsteps of her murdered brother.

Hidden behind a gorgeous, wildly decadent façade, the Russian Imperial Court is a viper’s den of intrigue and ambition. Only a woman possessed of boundless courage and cunning can prove herself worthy to sit on the throne of Peter the Great.

Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.

Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.

But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.

Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?

In 1999, an elite interdisciplinary team headed by Nobel laureate Andrew Danicek gathered in California to carry out a ground-breaking time-travel experiment. While the rest of the world remained unaware, Julius Caesar was successfully transported from the last day of his life to a specially-constructed covert facility. Four days of conversation with historians and Latin scholars were planned, followed by Caesar’s return to the moment from which he was extracted. But despite the team’s meticulous efforts to maintain secrecy and plan for all possible exigencies, a kidnap attempt plunges Caesar into peril. Fully aware that the future of civilization may hang in the balance, one team member must summon strength she didn’t know she possessed to return Caesar to the Ides of March.

After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual–and very secret–assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.

Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.

Anna loves Girls’ Night with her friends. With the kids safely in bed, it’s a chance for the women to let loose, enjoy some wine, and just laugh. But after one lively evening, Anna doesn’t arrive for school drop-off the next morning—or the next, or the next.

Everyone, especially her husband and young son, are frantic with worry but none more so than Grace, her childhood best friend. Grace is certain that someone is hiding the truth about Anna’s unexplained disappearance. As rumors fly and accusations are whispered among neighbors, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands and find out what happened to Anna…or die trying.

By April 1916, the fervor that accompanied war’s outbreak has faded. In its place is a grim reality. Throughout Germany, essentials are rationed. Hope, too, is in short supply. Anna Zeller, whose fiancé, Bruno, is fighting on the western front, works as a nurse at an overcrowded hospital in Oldenburg, trying to comfort men broken in body and spirit. But during a visit from Dr. Stalling, the director of the Red Cross Ambulance Dogs Association, she witnesses a rare spark of optimism: as a German shepherd guides a battle-blinded soldier over a garden path, Dr. Stalling is inspired with an idea—to train dogs as companions for sightless veterans.

Anna convinces Dr. Stalling to let her work at his new guide dog training school. Some of the dogs that arrive are themselves veterans of war, including Nia, a German shepherd with trench-damaged paws. Anna brings the ailing Nia home and secretly tends and trains her, convinced she may yet be the perfect guide for the right soldier. In Max Benesch, a Jewish soldier blinded by chlorine gas at the front, Nia finds her person.

War has taken Max’s sight, his fiancée, and his hopes of being a composer. Yet despite all he’s given for his country, the tide of anti-Semitism at home is rising, and Max encounters it first-hand in one of the school’s trainers, who is determined to make Max fail. Still, through Anna’s prompting, he rediscovers his passion for music. But as Anna discovers more about the conflict’s escalating brutality—and Bruno’s role in it—she realizes how impossible it will be for any of them to escape the war unscathed

1940. In a world newly burning with war, and in spite of her American family’s wishes, Virginia decides to stay in occupied France with her French husband. She’s sure that if they keep their heads down they’ll make it through. But as the call to resist the enemy grows around her, Virginia must decide if she’s willing to risk everything to help those in need.

Nineteen-year-old Violette is a crack shot with an unquenchable spirit of adventure, and she’s desperate to fight the Nazis however she can. When her mother sends her to find an exiled soldier, Violette meets the man who will change her life. Then tragedy strikes, and Britain’s clandestine war organization—the Special Operations Executive—learns of Violette’s dual citizenship and adept firearm handling and starts to recruit her. But Violette is no stranger to loss and must decide whether the cost of defiance is too great a price to pay.

On Crow Island, people whisper, real magic lurks just below the surface. 

Neither real magic nor faux magic interests Annie Mason. Not after it stole her future. She’s only on the island to settle her late father’s estate and, hopefully, reconnect with her long-absent best friend, Beatrice, who fled their dreary lives for a more glamorous one. 

Yet Crow Island is brimming with temptation, and the biggest one may be her enigmatic new neighbor. 

Mysterious and alluring, Emmeline Delacroix is a figure shadowed by rumors of witchcraft. And when Annie witnesses a confrontation between Bea and Emmeline at one of the island’s extravagant parties, she is drawn into a glittering, haunted world. A world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death.

Charm is a witch, and she is alone. The last of a line of conquered necromantic workers, now confined within the yard of regrown bone trees at Orchard House, and the secrets of their marrow.

Charm is a prisoner, and a survivor. Charm tends the trees and their clattering fruit for the sake of her children, painstakingly grown and regrown with its fruit: Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain.

Charm is a whore, and a madam. The wealthy and powerful of Borenguard come to her house to buy time with the girls who aren’t real.

Except on Tuesdays, which is when the Emperor himself lays claim to his mistress, Charm herself.

She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone. 

But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion. 

Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic. 

Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.

The winter hike is meant to bring their nature group together.
Emily, the sister who never lets her hearing loss hold her back.
Lauren, the sister who always feels a step behind.
Morna, who doesn’t get on with Lauren.
Ben, whose feelings for Emily border on obsession.
Dan, the quiet newcomer to the group.
Kai, who isn’t just on the hike to enjoy the wildlife.
And Alec, the one who knows all their secrets.

Dark Fell Barn is a “perfectly isolated” retreat, or so says its website when Jayne books a reservation for her friends. A quiet place, far removed from the rest of the world, is exactly what they need.

The women arrive for a girls’ night ahead of their husbands. There’s ex-Army Jayne, hardened and serious, but also damaged. Ruth, the driven doctor and new mother who is battling demons of her own. Young Emily, just wed and insecure, the newest addition of this tight-knit band. Missing this year is Edie, who was the glue holding them together until her husband died suddenly.

But what they hoped would be a relaxing break soon turns to horror. Upon arrival at Dark Fell Barn, the women find a devastating note claiming one of their husbands will be murdered. There are no phones, no cell service to check on their men. Friendships fracture as the situation spins wildly out of control. Betrayal can come in many forms.

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…

– Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them. 

When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.

Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.

Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long. 

Norway, 1942. War rages, and operation Shetland bus is in full swing. Under cover of darkness, Rumi Orlstad and other locals smuggle British agents, fugitives and supplies across the North Sea to the relative safety of Scotland.

But when one mission goes awry, and Rumi’s husband is lost to the dangerous waters, she retreats from the clandestine group, vowing never to take to the seas again.

Meanwhile, her childhood friend Anya has been placed in Lebensborn, one of Himmler’s secret Aryan maternity camps. And when Rumi learns the fate of Anya’s child, she knows she has no choice but to face her fears and help Anya flee from Nazi grip… 

After her eighteenth birthday, Hilde, a former orphan in 1930s Berlin, goes out into the world to discover her place in it. But finding a job is hard, at least until she stumbles into Café Lila, a vibrant cabaret full of expressive customers—and Rosa, the club’s waitress and performer. As the café and all who work there embrace Hilde, and she embraces them in turn, she discovers her voice and her own blossoming feelings for Rosa. 

But Berlin is in turmoil. Between the elections, protests in the streets, and the beginning seeds of unrest in Café Lila itself, Hilde will have to decide what’s best for her future

In the snowbound city of Kiev, wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son–but Hitler’s invasion of Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper–a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.

Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC–until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.

Samantha Downing • For your own good (2021)

For your own good • Samantha Downing • 2021 • Berkley Books • 320 pages

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

Depuis quelques semaines, je me régale de thrillers qui se situent au sein d’universités, de pensionnats et d’écoles privées. Toutes ces lectures font partie de ma thématique pour 2022, Dangereuses universités. 2021 a vu la publication d’un nombre conséquent d’ouvrages dans ce domaine, et 2022 semble également suivre cette tendance. J’en ai déjà présenté quelques uns et c’est au tour de For your own good qui est un autre coup de coeur.

Pourtant, la manière dont le roman est écrit aurait pu lui faire perdre de points. En effet, Samantha Downing propose une alternance de points de vue entre quelques personnages clés. Elle plonge le lecteur dans leurs plus sombres pensées, nous révélant ainsi leurs secrets inavouables. Finalement, il n’y a pas vraiment de surprise sur ce qui va se passer, mais surtout sur l’identité du coupable. Très rapidement, le lecteur sait qui et pourquoi… Et pourtant, j’ai adoré. Tout simplement, ce ne sont pas les questions les plus importantes du roman.

Malgré cet aspect du roman, je n’ai pas pu le lâcher une seule seconde et j’ai suivi avec beaucoup d’attention les différentes aventures des personnages dans leurs quêtes de vérité, ou de réaliser d’autres meurtres sans se faire prendre. C’est là que réside tout l’intérêt de ce roman, cette course du chat et de la souris : savoir quand, comment et pourquoi l’assassin va se décider à frapper ou se faire définitivement attraper.

La tension et le suspens sont omniprésent dès les premières pages. Ils augmentent progressivement et j’attendais qu’une chose, que la vérité explose en plein jour. Les dernières pages sont prenantes et explosives. Le lecteur va de surprise en surprise. J’ai retenu mon souffle durant les derniers chapitres.

Les personnages jouent beaucoup dans l’appréciation globale de ce roman, malgré la tendance de certains aux meurtres. Teddy est un personnage intéressant, élu meilleur professeur de l’année. En même temps, c’est normal, car il se démène pour ses élèves… Qui ne lui rendent pas autant qu’il le souhaiterait. Il a bien des secrets à cacher avec un petit côté « Harry, un ami qui vous veut du bien« . Il donne à ses élèves d’autres leçons que celles de littérature anglaise. Les autres personnages ont aussi leurs petits secrets et ils ont tous un gros défaut : la cupidité, l’égoïsme, l’arrogance de ce que l’argent peut acheter… Ils ont tous un aspect détestable, mais j’ai adoré suivre leurs péripéties.

Gros coup de coeur pour ce thriller autour d’une école prestigieuse. Je ne connaissais pas du tout cette auteur avant de me lancer dans ce roman, mais si un autre croise ma route, je le lirai avec plaisir.

Blossom Spring Challenge

Le printemps et l’été ne sont pas forcément les saisons qui m’inspirent, que ce soit dans mes lectures ou pour le blog. Je me suis laissée convaincre par Steven du blog Maven Litterae de participer à ce challenge saisonnier. Ce dernier est proposé par le Boudoir Bibliothèque et il se déroule du 1 mars au 31 mai 2022.

Comment valider le challenge ?

Je mets la barre haute pour cette première participation en essayant de réaliser l’objectif Bookworm, lire les trois catégories de chaque menu.

Quels sont les quatre menus et les livres que j’ai prévu de lire ?
Pour Printemps florissant,
  • Un champ de jonquille pour Sandra : Pandora de Susan Stokes-Chapman
  • Le jardin des secrets : La carte des Mendelssohn de Diane Meur
  • Mauvaises herbes : L’oiseau de mauvais augure de Camilla Lackberg
Pour Escapade printanière,
  • Clip, clap, clip, pluie d’avril : The silence of the girls de Pat Baker
  • L’éveil de la nature : Ermite dans la taïga de Vassili Peskov
  • Voyage à Craig Na Dun : La mort s’invite à Pemberley de P.D. James
Pour Lapin de Pâques,
  • Le pudding à l’arsenic : Les morsures de l’ombre de Karine Giebel
  • Chasse aux oeufs : Vie et destin de Vassili Grossmann
  • Madeleine de Proust : Au Bonheur des Dames d’Émile Zola
Ajia No Haku
  • Le Shogun de l’empereur : Richard Coeur de Lion, L’ombre de Saladin de Mireille Calmel
  • Yokai, Tengu, Kitsune et autres créatures : Dracula’s Child de J.S. Barnes
  • Contempler les fleurs du Mont Fuji : Le Cycle du Graal, Tome 1 de Jean Markale

L’organisatrice propose également un petit bingo. Cependant, je ne pense pas me concentrer dessus. Je verrai surtout au moment du bilan des trois mois écoulés si certaines catégories sont validées ou non.

Israël Joshua Singer • La famille Karnovski (1943)

La famille Karnovski • Israël Joshua Singer • 1943 • Folio • 768 pages

La famille Karnovski retrace le destin de trois générations d’une famille juive qui décide de quitter la Pologne pour s’installer en Allemagne à l’aube de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Comment Jegor, fils d’un père juif et d’une mère aryenne, trouvera-t-il sa place dans un monde où la montée du nazisme est imminente?

Publié en 1943 alors que les nazis massacrent les communautés juives en Europe, le roman d’Israël Joshua Singer est hanté par ces tragiques circonstances et par la volonté de démêler le destin complexe de son peuple.

Une de mes bonnes résolutions de 2021 était de découvrir la littérature israélienne ou des auteurs écrivant en hébreu ou yiddish. J’ai commencé ce nouveau voyage par ce roman d’Israël Joshua Singer. Adorant les sagas familiales ayant un fort ancrage dans un contexte historique, La Famille Karnovski me semblait un choix judicieux, qui ne pouvait que me plaire. Il me rappelait quelque peu La Saga Moscovite de Vassili Axionov. Les deux sont des énormes coups de coeur que je recommande.

Le roman s’intéresse à trois générations de Karnovski dans un contexte historique qui va de quelques années avant la Première Guerre mondiale, puis l’auteur évoque l’entre-deux-guerres et la montée du nazisme et le début de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Ce que j’ai apprécié durant cette lecture est que l’auteur ne donne jamais une date précise. Cependant, les indices, notamment par rapport à certains événements historiques, comme la Nuit de cristal, donnent la temporalité et une idée plus précise du temps qui passe. Ce n’est pas ce qui est le plus important dans ce roman. En effet, l’auteur montre plutôt comment les changements dans la société impacte la famille, la manière dont ils les vivent à la fois à leurs échelles et avec leurs sensibilités propres, mais également à celle de leur communauté. J’ai aussi aimé la manière dont Israël Joshua Singer décrit ce contexte historique mouvant et difficile. J’ai vraiment trouvé qu’à travers les expériences des différents personnages et leurs vécus, on sent celui de l’auteur. Le roman est criant de vérité de ce point de vue.

Il y a trois personnages principaux : David, le patriarche, son fils Georg Moïse et son petit-fils, Jegor. Le point commun entre eux est leur entêtement et opiniâtreté. Ils sont tous les trois extrêmement têtus et persuadés d’être dans le vrai. Après, ils ont des caractères totalement différents, des positions aussi qui diffèrent sur des sujets variés, mais plus particulièrement sur leur conception de la foi juive. Ce qui amènent des conflits au sein de la famille, car ils réagissent selon leurs sensibilités, mais aussi dans le contexte historique dans lequel ils ont grandi. Encore une fois, le lecteur peut voir comment l’histoire donne des caractères, des conceptions différentes au sein d’une même famille. Néanmoins, ce sont trois personnages attachants.

David m’a plu par sa volonté de s’intégrer à tout prix au sein de sa nouvelle communauté à Berlin, mais également de garder et d’inculquer les valeurs de sa foi à ses descendants. Son fils, Gregor Moïse est un célèbre chirurgien allemand qui m’a étonné par sa résilience, le courage de trouver sa propre voie, d’accepter les changements et d’émigrer. Cependant, c’est le fils de ce dernier, Jegor, qui m’a le plus touché et bouleversé parmi les trois générations de Karnovski. Il est peut-être le plus complexe d’entre eux. Il grandit au sein d’une famille où son père est juif et sa mère est considérée comme une bonne Aryenne dans un contexte de montée du nazisme et où il est difficile d’être les deux. Il vit une véritable crise d’identité à une période de sa vie qui n’est pas la plus facile, l’adolescence. Je pense que rien que pour ce personnage, il faut lire ce roman.

Le roman est très bien écrit, et malgré tout, la tension est au rendez-vous. Les pages se tournent toutes seules, car on s’attache aux personnages principaux, comme secondaires. Le lecteur attend que le drame arrive. Il survient dans les dernières pages et de là provient mon unique petit point de déception concernant ce roman. En effet, la fin est un peu brusque, par rapport au reste de l’intrigue. Le rythme s’accélère énormément dans les dernières pages et l’auteur m’a laissé sur ma faim concernant le destin des différents membres de la famille Karnovski. Même si le livre s’approche des huit-cent pages, je n’aurai pas boudé mon plaisir si l’auteur en avait rajouté une centaine, voire même un peu plus. J’ai quitté les Karnovski avec un pincement au coeur.

Malgré cette petite note finale, le roman a été un énorme coup de coeur. Israël Joshua Singer est un auteur que j’aime beaucoup. J’avais également dans ma bibliothèque un autre roman de lui, une autre saga familiale aussi, Les frères Ashkenazi. J’ai aussi beaucoup aimé, mais pas un énorme coup de coeur comme pour La famille Karnovski.

Liza Wiemer • The Assignment (2020)

The Assignment • Liza Wiemer • 2020 • Delacorte Press • 336 pages

SENIOR YEAR. When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of students to argue for the Final Solution, a euphemism used to describe the Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jewish people, Logan March and Cade Crawford are horrified. Their teacher cannot seriously expect anyone to complete an assignment that fuels intolerance and discrimination. Logan and Cade decide they must take a stand. As the school administration addressed the teens’ refusal to participate in the appalling debate, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue as well. The situation explodes, and acrimony and anger result. What does it take for tolerance, justice, and love to prevail?

The Assignment est le premier roman de Liza Wiemer que je lis et je suis impressionnée. C’est un livre que j’ai beaucoup aimé, qui m’a fait énormément réfléchir sur un sujet historique, mais également d’actualité. L’auteur s’inspire d’une histoire vraie, et ce roman m’a fait penser à La Vague de Todd Strasser. Les sujets sont proches : il s’agit d’un devoir qui a été donné par un enseignant et qui va canaliser les tensions au sein d’une communauté (souvent un lycée et une ville) avant de faire la Une des journaux nationaux.

C’est aussi le point de départ de The Assignment. Logan et Cade, les deux personnages principaux; se voient obligés par un de leurs enseignants. de réfléchir autour de la Conférence de Danse, puis de la rejouer… En se mettant à la place des nazis qui y étaient. Liza Wiemer met dès les première pages le lecteur au pied du mur. Et vous, comment auriez-vous réagi face à un tel devoir ?

Logan et Cade sont convaincus dès le début que cet exercice à rendre est moralement et ethniquement condamnable. Ils ont raison, car, rapidement, au sein de leur classe des dérives se font déjà voir par des réflexions ou le salut nazi. Pour moi, ces deux adolescents ont eu raison de s’élever contre ce devoir. En revanche, je les admire d’avoir osé dénoncer leur professeur et ce qu’il leur est demandé de faire. J’étais entièrement d’accord sur le caractère immoral de ce débat. En revanche, j’avoue que je ne sais pas si j’aurai eu le même courage qu’eux d’aller jusqu’au bout, jusqu’au niveau national comme ils l’ont fait.

Ce sont vraiment deux jeunes gens courageux, qui ont la force de leur conviction, de ce qui est juste ou non. Néanmoins, l’auteur ne nous propose pas non plus des personnages absolument parfaits en tout point, bien au contraire. Elle leur donne beaucoup de nuances. Malgré tout, ils ont aussi des des doutes jusqu’où ils sont prêts à aller, en voyant la réaction de la ville… Malgré leur jeune âge, j’ai vraiment vu en eux des modèles que les jeunes lecteurs peuvent suivre. En tant qu’adulte, j’aimerais, tout comme eux, avoir la force et le courage d’affirmer haut et fort mes convictions et de ne plus les garder seulement pour moi.

Liza Wiemer donne aussi la place à d’autres points de vue que ceux de Logan et Cade. Il y a aussi des élèves qui, comme moi, ont les mêmes convictions sur ce devoir, mais qui n’ose l’exprimer. J’ai apprécié le fait qu’elle ne portait sur eux aucun jugement négatif. Elle laisse aussi la parole à l’enseignant qui peut ainsi exprimer son point de vue. Cela donne une certaine force au roman. En effet, le lecteur a toutes les cartes en main pour nourrir sa propre réflexion.

The Assignment est un roman fort parlant d’identité, d’antisémitisme, de moralité et d’éthique avec beaucoup de sincérité et d’honnêteté. C’est un livre à mettre entre toutes les mains, car il aborde un sujet important et malheureusement encore d’actualité. Pour ma part, il a été un véritable coup de coeur. Il est parfaitement écrit, et le sujet est maîtrisé. Tout comme La Vague, il fait partie des indispensables à lire et j’espère qu’il sera traduit en français très prochainement.

Maggie Brookes • The Prisoner’s Wife (2020)

The Prisoner’s Wife • Maggie Brookes • 2020 • Berkley Books • 400 pages

In the dead of night, a Czech farm girl and a British soldier travel through the countryside. Izabela and prisoner of war Bill have secretly married and are on the run, with Izzy dressed as a man. The young husband and wife evade capture for as long as possible–until they are cornered by Nazi soldiers with tracking dogs.

Izzy’s disguise works. The couple are assumed to be escaped British soldiers and transported to a POW camp. However, their ordeal has just begun, as they face appalling living conditions and the constant fear of Izzy’s exposure. But in the midst of danger and deprivation comes hope, for the young couple are befriended by a small group of fellow prisoners. These men become their new family, willing to jeopardize their lives to save Izzy from being discovered and shot.

Une autre romance historique qui, malheureusement, n’a pas fonctionné pour moi. L’auteur s’est inspirée d’une histoire vraie pour son roman.

Je ne suis pas allée jusqu’au bout de ce livre. La raison ne tient pas au rythme du livre. En effet, dès que mon intérêt s’émoussait, un événement relançait la machine et j’étais repartie pour quelques pages. Le prologue a aussi su piquer ma curiosité. Mes récriminations concernant ce roman tiennent beaucoup à des petits détails par-ci, par-là, mais surtout aux personnes principaux, Isabella et Billy.

Je ne parlerai pas de la romance dans le détail. Elle se développe rapidement, comme bien souvent dans ce type d’ouvrages. Cela peut s’expliquer par le fait que les deux personnages principaux sont jeunes et qu’ils vivent en plein conflit. À la rigueur, je peux comprendre. En revanche, j’ai eu plus de mal avec ces deux-là. Ils semblent totalement déconnectés de la réalité, de ce qu’est la guerre et du danger qu’il peut y avoir à tout moment, notamment s’ils se font rattraper par les Nazis. Pourtant, ils sont tous les deux connus les conséquences du nazisme.

Le frère aîné et le père d’Isabella sont tous les deux des résistants qui sont partis se battre en laissant la ferme à la mère. Elle et sa fille font l’objet d’une surveillance accrue de la part des SS. Billy, quant à lui, est un soldat anglais qui a combattu à différents endroits du globe ou d’être fait prisonnier en Italie. Il a ensuite connu des camps de prisonniers avant de faire la connaissance d’Isabella.

Ils ont tous les deux une certaine expérience de la guerre qui devraient les rendre plus prudents, malgré leurs jeunes âges. Mais, il y a la théorie et la pratique. Dans leur fuite, ils font preuve d’une certaine légèreté voire frivolité. Leurs actions et leurs réflexions montrent souvent à quel point ils sont totalement déconnectés de la réalité. Ils voient cela comme une grande aventure. Isabella, par exemple, fait une crise de jalousie incompréhensible qui peut les mettre tous les deux en danger. Billy se rend compte qu’ils se sont mariés sans réellement se connaître… Sans rire ! Il y a pas mal de petits moments ainsi.

Les personnages principaux m’ont quelque peu déçus, mais surtout énervée, avec Isabella en tête. Même si cette dernière a la vingtaine, elle a plutôt tendance à se comporter comme une adolescente capricieuse et égoïste. Tout au long des pages, elle a démontré qu’il n’y avait que elle qui comptait, qu’elle était et devait être le centre du monde. Sa prise de décision est uniquement dictée par ses envies et ses besoins, sans penser aux autres qui vont devoir en payer les conséquences. Un des exemples flagrants est quand elle se rend compte après quelques jours de fuite que son père, son grand frère et les autres résistants ne viendront pas les chercher, elle et Billy. Ils ont mieux à faire, car l’histoire se déroule en Tchécoslovaquie, bientôt conquise par l’Armée rouge.

The Prisoner’s Wife est une énorme déception. Les personnages sont détestables et il m’a été impossible de m’attacher à eux, malgré le danger et le sort qui les attendent.

Top 5 Wednesday • Couvertures rouges

Le thème de ce mercredi consiste à mettre en avant des livres aux couvertures rouges. J’ai ressorti dans mes dernières lectures des romans dont la dominante sur la couverture est le rouge. J’ai rajouté un petit avis express, car ils ne seront pas forcément chroniqués par la suite.

Les loups-garous d’Argentine • Jérémy Wulc • Pygmalion • Mars 2021 • 368 pages

Roman policier d’un auteur français, Les Loups-garous d’Argentine reste une bonne lecture, mais pas un coup de coeur. Beaucoup de révélations se devinent très rapidement et, finalement, le tout est sans surprise. C’est clairement le type de livre aussitôt lu, aussitôt oublié.

Les Meurtres de Molly Southbourne • Tade Thompson • Bélial • 2017 • 140 pages

Je parlerai plus de nouvelles que de roman, car il est extrêmement court. Je n’ai pas été totalement convaincue par ce premier tome, qui est catégorisé horreur. Il est inquiétant par moment, mais il est loin de m’avoir réellement fait peur. L’auteur effleure beaucoup de choses intéressantes, mais sans développer outre mesure. Je ne pense pas lire le deuxième tome.

Macbeth • William Shakespeare • Folio • XVI siècle • 176 pages

Macbeth n’a jamais été ma pièce de Shakespeare préférée avec Othello. J’ai beau la lire, la relire, j’en garde toujours un souvenir flou. L’année dernière, j’ai relu une partie des pièces de cet auteur et elle en faisait partie…

Fable, Namesake • Adrienne Young • Wednesday Books • 2021 • 360 pages

J’avais beaucoup aimé le premier tome qui mêlait parfaitement aventure, piraterie, trahison et j’étais impatiente de découvrir le deuxième tome. Il apporte son lot de révélations et de rebondissements. Il a peut-être un peu plus de longueurs que le premier, mais c’est une lecture toujours aussi agréable à faire avec des personnages attachants.

1793 • Niklas Natt och Dag • Pocket • 2019 • 528 pages

Une très bonne surprise pour ce policier historique qui m’a totalement embarqué dans le Stockholm de la fin du XVIII siècle. Le roman a été prenant, pas toujours facile, mais l’aspect historique est très bien documenté. Je lirai avec plaisir le deuxième tome, 1794.

Layne Fargo • They never learn (2020)

Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.

Every year, she searches for the worst man at Gorman University and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself—but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Scarlett insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge, Dr. Mina Pierce. Everything’s going according to her master plan…until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure.

Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident—everything Carly wishes she could be—and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay…and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality.

Pour cette thématique de Dangereuses Universités, un autre thriller psychologique autour d’une histoire de vengeance. Cet univers inspire les autres auteurs depuis quelques temps, car ce n’est pas le premier que je lis dans cette veine. Il y a eu My Dark Vanessa ou In my dreams I hold a knife. J’aime ces ambiances universitaires sombres et violentes, propices à ce type de thrillers.

They never learn propose une intrigue très rythmée, qui ne laisse aucune mérite de répit au lecteur. Ce livre est passionnant et impossible à lâcher. J’ai eu quelques nuits écourtées pour pouvoir le terminer. Je voulais savoir si la chance de Scarlett allait tourner un jour ou l’autre. Cet ouvrage est intelligemment écrit. L’alternance des deux points de vue peut, aux premiers abords, poser question. Quel peut être le lien entre les deux ? Ils prennent progressivement sens.

Ce roman n’est pas forcément à mettre entre toutes les mains. Il est énormément question de violences physique, psychologique et sexuelle. Il est brutal et choquant. Il y a beaucoup de petites et grandes révélations qui maintiennent le lecteur sur ses gardes et qui changent régulièrement la vision que l’on peut avoir des personnages. Scarlett est un personnage qui contient beaucoup de rage en elle. Cela transparait à chacune des pages, pouvant mettre mal à l’aise. Elle est animée par l’unique désir de venger les femmes qui ont subi des violences, mais que personne n’a écouté et cru. C’est très bien écrit et l’auteur arrive à faire ressentir aux lecteurs ses émotions fortes.

Layne Fargo met en scène un personnage complexe avec lequel j’ai aussi eu une relation compliquée et conflictuelle. Scarlett est une serial-pilleuse depuis des années et elle présente aussi un côté très violent, sans remord. En même temps, elle a un côté très attachant, car on veut qu’elle s’en sorte, que sa chance continue. Le lecteur peut aussi comprendre ses motivations. L’auteur nous met quelque peu devant nos pensée les plus sombres, puisque Scarlett nous fascine et nous horrifie à la fois.

Il y aurait beaucoup d’autres points à aborder avec ce roman : le traitement que reçoit la victime de violences dont la parole est constamment remise en cause et que l’agresseur s’en sort généralement, par exemple. They never learn est un très bon thriller psychologique que je recommande.

Top 5 Wednesday • Five Stars Read

Cette semaine, le thème proposé est d’évoquer nos coups de coeur, des lectures auxquelles on a donné la plus haute note. J’avais très envie de proposer mes derniers coups de coeur.

Berlin, 1928. Les corps de quatre prostituées sont retrouvés massacrés dans le même quartier. Bernie Gunther, jeune flic idéaliste à la brigade des mœurs est invité à rejoindre le chef de la Kripo pour enquêter sur cette sinistre affaire.

Alors que ces meurtres laissent la population indifférente, le père de l’une des victimes, un chef de la pègre très influent, est prêt à tout pour se venger de l’assassin de sa fille.

Dès lors qu’une nouvelle vague de victimes, des vétérans de guerre handicapés, déferle sur la ville, Bernie est confronté au silence imposé par la voix montante du nazisme.

Une première enquête aux allures de course contre la montre dans un Berlin sous tension, à la veille de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love, betrayal and destiny itself.

Filled with glorious full-colour illustrations by award-winning Olivia Lomenech Gill, this astonishing retelling of Greek myth is perfect for readers of Circe and The Silence of the Girls. Illuminating the girl behind the legend, it brings alive Medusa for a new generation. 

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. 

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge. 

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

Voici un texte qui, par la controverse qu’il suscita dès sa parution chez les historiens, eut le mérite essentiel de contraindre ceux-ci à entreprendre des recherches nouvelles sur le génocide des Juifs par les nazis.

En effet, le reportage d’Hannah Arendt, envoyée spéciale du New Yorker au procès de Jérusalem, philosophe américaine d’origine juive allemande, auteur d’un ouvrage célèbre sur les origines du totalitarisme, fit scandale à New York et à Londres, en Allemagne comme en Israël.

Dans son procès du procès, l’auteur – qui ne fait siens ni tous les motifs de l’accusation ni tous les attendus du jugement – est entraîné d’abord à faire apparaître un nouvel Eichmann, d’autant plus inquiétant qu’il est plus «banal» ; puis à reconsidérer tout l’historique des conditions dans lesquelles furent exterminés des millions de Juifs. Et à mettre en cause les coopérations, voire les «complicités», que le lieutenant-colonel S.S. a trouvées dans toutes les couches de la population allemande, dans la plupart des pays occupés, et surtout jusqu’au sein des communautés juives et auprès des dirigeants de leurs organisations.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

Sorties VO • Février 2022

In New York City everybody needs a side hustle, and perfumer Vic Fowler has developed a delicate art that has proved to be very lucrative: creating bespoke scents that evoke immersive memories—memories that, for Vic’s clients, are worth killing for. But the city is expensive, and these days even artisanal murder doesn’t pay the bills. When Joseph Eisner, a former client with deep pockets, offers Vic an opportunity to expand the enterprise, the money is too good to turn down. But the job is too intricate—and too dangerous—to attempt alone.

Manipulating fellow struggling artists into acting as accomplices is easy. Like Vic, they too are on the verge of burnout and bankruptcy. But as relationships become more complicated, Vic’s careful plans start to unravel. Hounded by guilt and a tenacious private investigator, Vic grows increasingly desperate to complete Eisner’s commission. Is there anyone—friends, lovers, coconspirators—that Vic won’t sacrifice for art?

As the Nazis march toward Paris in 1940, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. Lucie struggles to run Green Leaf Books due to oppressive German laws and harsh conditions, but she finds a way to aid the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.

Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. After they meet in the bookstore, Paul and Lucie are drawn to each other, but she rejects him when she discovers he sells to the Germans. And for Paul to win her trust would mean betraying his mission.

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

Chelsea Martin appears to be the perfect housewife: married to her high school sweetheart, the mother of two daughters, keeper of an immaculate home.

But Chelsea’s husband has turned their house into a prison; he has been abusing her for years, cutting off her independence, autonomy, and support. She has nowhere to turn, not even to her narcissistic mother, Patricia, who is more concerned with maintaining the appearance of an ideal family than she is with her daughter’s actual well-being. And Chelsea is worried that her daughters will be trapped just as she is–then a mysterious illness sweeps the nation.

Known as The Violence, this illness causes the infected to experience sudden, explosive bouts of animalistic rage and attack anyone in their path. But for Chelsea, the chaos and confusion the virus causes is an opportunity–and inspires a plan to liberate herself from her abuser. 

Russia, 1918: With the execution of Tsar Nicholas, the empire crumbles and Russia is on the edge of civil war—the poor are devouring the rich. Anna, a bourgeois girl, narrowly escaped the massacre of her entire family in Yekaterinburg. Desperate to get away from the Bolsheviks, she offers a peasant girl a diamond to take her as far south as possible—not realizing that the girl is a communist herself. With her brother in desperate need of a doctor, Evgenia accepts Anna’s offer and suddenly finds herself on the wrong side of the war.

Anna is being hunted by the Bolsheviks, and now—regardless of her loyalties—Evgenia is too.

An intriguing and twisty domestic suspense about loyalty and deceit in a tight-knit Texas community where parents are known to behave badly and people are not always who they appear to be.

Emily, a popular but bookish prep school senior, goes missing after a night out with friends. She was last seen leaving a party with Alex, a football player with a dubious reputation. But no one is talking.

Now three mothers, Catherine, Leslie and Morgan, friends turned frenemies, have their lives turned upside down as they are forced to look to their own children—and each other’s—for answers to questions they don’t want to ask.

Can you spot the difference?

Emma Caan is a fake.

She’s a forger, an artist who specializes in nineteenth-century paintings. But she isn’t a criminal; her copies are commissioned by museums and ultra-wealthy collectors protecting their investments. Emma’s more than mastered a Gauguin brushstroke and a van Gogh wheat field, but her work is sometimes a painful reminder of the artistic dreams she once chased for herself, when she was younger and before her family and her world fell apart.

When oligarch art collector Leonard Sobetsky unexpectedly appears with an invitation, Emma sees a way out—a new job, a new path for herself, and access to the kind of money she needs to support her unstable and recently widowed mother.

But every invitation incurs an obligation . . . and Emma isn’t prepared for what’s to come. As she’s pulled further into Leonard’s opulent scene, she will discover what’s lurking beneath the glitz and glamour. When she does, the past she’s worked hard to overcome will collide with the present, making her wonder how much of her carefully curated life is just as fake as her forgeries

During the reign of Louis XV, impoverished but lovely teenage girls from all over France are sent to a discreet villa in the town of Versailles. Overseen by the King’s favorite mistress, Madame de Pompadour, they will be trained as potential courtesans for the King. When the time is right, each girl is smuggled into the palace of Versailles, with its legendary Hall of Mirrors. There they meet a mysterious but splendidly dressed man who they’re told is merely a Polish count, a cousin of the Queen. Living an indulgent life of silk gowns, delicious meals, and soft beds, the students at this “school of mirrors” rarely ask questions, and when Louis tires of them, they are married off to minor aristocrats or allowed to retire to one of the more luxurious nunneries.

Beautiful and canny Veronique arrives at the school of mirrors and quickly becomes a favorite of the King. But when she discovers her lover’s true identity, she is whisked away, sent to give birth to a daughter in secret, and then to marry a wealthy Breton merchant. There is no return to the School of Mirrors.

This is also the story of the King’s daughter by Veronique—Marie-Louise. Well-provided for in a comfortable home, Marie-Louise has never known her mother, let alone her father. Capable and intelligent, she discovers a passion for healing and science, and becomes an accredited midwife, one of the few reputable careers for women like her. But eventually Veronique comes back into her daughter’s life, bringing with her the secret of Marie-Louise’s birth. But the new King—Louis XVI—is teetering on his throne and it’s a volatile time in France…and those with royal relatives must mind their step very carefully.

Once there was a young woman from a well-to-do New England family who never quite fit with the drawing rooms and parlors of her kin.

Called instead to the tangled woods and wild cliffs surrounding her family’s estate, Margaret Harlowe grew both stranger and more beautiful as she cultivated her uncanny power. Soon, whispers of “witch” dogged her footsteps, and Margaret’s power began to wind itself with the tendrils of something darker.

One hundred and fifty years later, Augusta Podos takes a dream job at Harlowe House, the historic home of a wealthy New England family that has been turned into a small museum in Tynemouth, Massachusetts. When Augusta stumbles across an oblique reference to a daughter of the Harlowes who has nearly been expunged from the historical record, the mystery is too intriguing to ignore.

But as she digs deeper, something sinister unfurls from its sleep, a dark power that binds one woman to the other across lines of blood and time. If Augusta can’t resist its allure, everything she knows and loves—including her very life—could be lost forever.

When Micah Wilkes was a senior in high school, her boyfriend was convicted of murdering her best friend, Emily. A decade later, Micah has finally moved on from the unforgivable betrayal and loss. Now the owner of a bustling coffee shop in her small hometown in Pennsylvania, she’s happily coupled up with another old high school friend, the two having bonded over their shared sorrow.

But when reminders of her past begin appearing at her work and home, Micah begins to doubt what she knows about Emily’s death. Questions raised on a true crime blog and in an online web sleuthing forum force her to reexamine her memories of that fateful night. She told the truth to the investigators on the case, but was there another explanation for Emily’s murder? A stranger in the woods. An obsessive former classmate. Or the internet’s favorite suspect: Joshua, Emily’s outcast younger brother who hasn’t been seen since his sister’s death.

As Micah delves deeper into the case, she feels her grip on reality loosening, her behavior growing more and more secretive and unhinged. As she races to piece together the truth about that night ten years ago, Micah grapples with how things could have gone so wrong and wonders whether she, too, might be next to disappear. 

Ray McMillian loves playing the violin more than anything, and nothing will stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a professional musician. Not his mother, who thinks he should get a real job, not the fact that he can’t afford a high-caliber violin, not the racism inherent in the classical music world. And when he makes the startling discovery that his great-grandfather’s fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, his star begins to rise. Then with the international Tchaikovsky Competition—the Olympics of classical music—fast approaching, his prized family heirloom is stolen. Ray is determined to get it back. But now his family and the descendants of the man who once enslaved Ray’s great-grandfather are each claiming that the violin belongs to them. With the odds stacked against him and the pressure mounting, will Ray ever see his beloved violin again? 

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.