Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“The guilt is collective, the responsibility shared…. History is forgetting. Afterward we write the account, the account becomes truth, and we tell ourselves it has always been this way, that others were responsible, that there was nothing we could have done.”
This is a riveting and heartbreaking debut novel. It is simultaneously a Western, great historical fiction, political commentary, an extraordinary character study – one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This was rather disappointing. I thought it lacked cohesion and I struggled to like any of the main characters. It was also longer than it needed to be with characters that lacked depth dropping in and out of the plot. Honestly, I only read to the end because I was waiting for something to happen to tie all the loose ends together. Disappointed in that, too.
The Patriots by Sana Krasikov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A multi-generational, epic, family saga encompassing family members moving between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia. Idealism, disillusionment, love, loss, memory – all propel the characters across three generations of this Jewish/Russian/American family. This is well written, well-researched, and character-driven historical fiction.