New fiction in bloom at Juneau's libraries

In The Stacks

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2003

Spring fiction at the Juneau Public Libraries!

• "The Fall," by Simon Mawer. Rob Dewar is in his car when he hears the name of his friend and former climbing partner mentioned on the radio - Jamie has fallen to his death on an ill-advised solo climb. Rob's trip to Wales to console Jamie's widow takes him back in time and history, reunites him with his first lover and illuminates two generations of complicated relationships.

• "Heart-side Up," by Barbara Dimmick. Physically recovered after being knifed in her classroom by one of her teen-age students, Zoe is still trying to put her life back together when she receives news of Dayton, a former lover. Deciding that what she needs is not to reconstruct her old life, but to construct a new one, she abruptly leaves her home and buys a half-finished house outside a small town, near the monastery that Dayton lives in. Zoe's hoping for healing and maybe, secretly, for an apology from Dayton - and, in a way, she gets what she needs.

• "Great Neck," by Jay Cantor. Growing up as the young and privileged children of Long Island Holocaust survivors means a constant battle between high society and low, between conscience and consciousness of family standards. When the older brother of one of the group of friends is murdered while doing social work in Mississippi, it provides the catalyst that turns the group away from family and towards a new society. And so we follow them through the sixties and seventies as they explore the means of social change through groups like Black Power and the Weather Underground.

• "Derailed," by James Siegel. This is how the affair begins: A beautiful married woman. A lonely married man. The wrong train. Soon, Lucinda and Charles have more on their minds than love and lust, because a man is dead, a fortune is missing and their home lives have been torn up by the roots. How difficult can it be to put things right again? Satisfyingly full of Hitchcockian psychological twists and turns.

• "Your Mouth is Lovely," by Nancy Richler. This is the rich and complex story of Miriam, imprisoned in Siberia for political crimes, who is writing her life story for the daughter she gave up at birth. Miriam herself has grown up steeped in the mysticism and ritual of her small Jewish village in Belarus. Finding herself in Kiev as the Russian world begins to convulse in revolution, she joins a political organization that eventually lands her in exile.

• "Manta's Gift," by Timothy Zahn. In a future where humans have finally settled the question of the existence of alien beings, the new question is how to bridge the gap between humans and the Qanska. The solution? Insert an adult human into the womb of a volunteer alien and, with a little manipulation, the human will be reborn as a Qanska, with his human intelligence intact. Both the humans and the Qanska have ulterior motives and Matt, the liaison, finds himself with torn loyalties.

• "The Book of the Heathen," by Robert Edric. On the surface, this is the story of an Englishman tried for the murder of a native child in the Belgian Congo. Deep below run the questions of justice, friendship and honor in a society on the edge. The Belgian Congo has been pumped dry of its riches, and the natives are ready to revolt against the heavy foreign hand.

• "Fitcher's Brides," by Gregory Frost. If you've read any original Grimm's fairytales you know that they are not meant for children, concerned as they are with themes of betrayal, lust, evil and obedience. This retelling of the Bluebeard story, set in New York in the 1830s when religious revivalism was reaching fever pitch, tells the story of three sisters, who, one by one, are married off to their preacher. The first two disappear mysteriously; the third must use the knowledge the first two have passed to her and all her wits to try to survive the evil that is her husband.

If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site ( and looking at our catalog. The "In the Stacks" column is now archived! Go to the Juneau Public Libraries' Web site and look for "In the Stacks."

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