List: Chosen Family Stories
Beah, Ishmael, 1980- author.
"A powerful novel about five young people, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with... More
"A powerful novel about five young people, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together, from the internationally bestselling author of A Long Way Gone. Hidden away from a harsh and chaotic outside world, five young people have cobbled together a home for themselves in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country's tumult. At seventeen, Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise: the group's father figure. Clever Khoudimata is mother by default, helping scheme how to keep the younger boys--athletic, pragmatic Ndevui and thoughtful Kpindi--and especially little Namsa, their newest and youngest member-safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the small group may be able to keep the world at bay and their ad hoc family intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the 'Beautiful People'--the fortunate sons and daughters of the powerful and corrupt--the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and forge her own destiny proves impossible to resist. A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we're dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice."-- Less
Persaud, Ingrid, author.
"After Betty Ramdin's abusive husband dies, she invites a colleague, Mr. Chetan, to move ... More
"After Betty Ramdin's abusive husband dies, she invites a colleague, Mr. Chetan, to move in with her and her son, Solo, as their lodger. Over time, these three form an unconventional family, loving each other deeply and depending upon one another. Then, one a fateful night, Solo overhears Betty confiding in Mr. Chetan and learns a secret that plunges him into torment. Ultimately sends him running to live a lonely life in New York City, devastating Betty in the process. Yet, both Solo and Betty are buoyed by the continuing love and friendship of Mr. Chetan, until his own burdensome secret is uncovered with heart breaking consequences. In vibrant, addictive Trinidadian prose, Love After Love questions who and how we love, the obligations of family, and the consequences of choices made in desperation"-- Less
MacDonald, Andrew (Andrew David), author.
For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is ... More
For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules: 1. A smile means "thank you for doing something small that I liked." 2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect. 3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home. 4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet. 5. Sometimes the most important things don't fit on lists. But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable--and dangerous--methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn't long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength. Less
Boyce, Erica, author.
"Daniel travels through America's countryside, creating astonishing crop circles that lea... More
"Daniel travels through America's countryside, creating astonishing crop circles that leave communities mystified. But when a dying Vermont corn farmer hires Daniel in an effort to breathe new life into the town he loves, Daniel is drawn into a community struggling to stitch itself back together. For once he is forced to stand still, and face the past he's been running from all this years. For fans of Phaedra Patrick and Fredrick Backman, this astonishing debut explores the healing power of forgiveness, the quirky definition of family, and the realization that home is not the walls you build but the people you choose to build them with." -- Less
Duffy, Lisa, 1970- author.
"On Ichabod Island, a jagged strip of land thirteen miles off the coast of Massachusetts, ten-... More
"On Ichabod Island, a jagged strip of land thirteen miles off the coast of Massachusetts, ten-year-old Sky becomes an orphan for the second time after a tragic accident claims the lives of her adoptive parents. Grieving the death of his best friends, Leo's life is turned upside down when he finds himself the guardian of young Sky. Back on the island and struggling to balance his new responsibilities and his marriage to his husband, Leo is supported by a powerful community of neighbors, many of them harboring secrets of their own. Maggie, who helps with Sky's childcare, has hit a breaking point with her police chief husband, who becomes embroiled in a local scandal. Her best friend Agnes, the island busybody, invites Sky's estranged grandmother to stay for the summer, straining already precarious relationships. Their neighbor Joe struggles with whether to tell all was not well in Sky's house in the months leading up to the accident. And among them all is a mysterious woman, drawn to Ichabod to fulfill a dying wish."--Provided by publisher. Less
Klune, TJ, author.
"A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary lif... More
"A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they're likely to bring about the end of days. But the children aren't the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn. An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place-and realizing that family is yours."-- Less
Gabel, Aja, author.
Forging a familial bond over their shared artistic talents and secrets, four young people navigate ... More
Forging a familial bond over their shared artistic talents and secrets, four young people navigate a cutthroat world and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love reinforce and divide them throughout the course of their lives. Less
Wilson, Kevin, 1978- author.
Lillian and Madison were unlikely, yet inseparable friends at their boarding school. Then Lillian h... More
Lillian and Madison were unlikely, yet inseparable friends at their boarding school. Then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal, and they have barely spoken since. Years later, Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help. Madison's twin stepkids are moving in, and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there's a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it's the truth. Thinking of the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other while also staying out of the way of Madison's uptight husband. Surprised by her intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her. Could this be the start of the amazing life she'd always hoped for?-- Less
Winslow, De'Shawn Charles, author.
Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbors' gossip won't keep Azalea ... More
Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbors' gossip won't keep Azalea "Knot" Centre from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. Alone in her one-room shack, ostracized from her relatives and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. But while he's busy trying to fix Knot's life, Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light. -- Less
De Robertis, Carolina, author.
"From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new nov... More
"From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new novel about five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find each other as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family. In 1977 Uruguay, a military government has crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In an environment where citizens are kidnapped, raped, and tortured, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression. And yet, despite such societal realities, Romina, Flaca, Anita "La Venus," Paz, and Malena--five cantoras, women who "sing"--somehow, miraculously, find each other and discover an isolated cape, Cabo Polonio, inhabited by just a lonely lighthouse keeper and a few rugged seal hunters. They claim this place as their secret sanctuary. Over the next 35 years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. Throughout it all, the women will be tested repeatedly--by their families, lovers, society, and each other--as they fight to live authentic lives. A genre-defining novel and De Robertis's masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. De Robertis has written a novel that is at once timeless and groundbreaking--a tale about the fire in all our souls and those who make it burn"-- Less
McDaniel, Juliet, author.
"The year is 1969. Dick Nixon was just sworn in as the thirty-seventh President of the United ... More
"The year is 1969. Dick Nixon was just sworn in as the thirty-seventh President of the United States. Neil Armstrong just took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. And notable Palm Springs socialite Maxine Simmons just found out that her husband is leaving her for his twenty-two-year-old secretary. After a public meltdown at Thanksgiving, Maxine finds herself not only divorced but exiled to Scottsdale, Arizona. However, these desert boondocks will not be her end--only her Elba. The former beauty queen sets her eyes on a new crown: that of the Mrs. American Pie pageant, awarded to the nation's best wife and mother. Maxine only has one problem: to win the crown she'll need to find--or build--a family of her own."-- Less
Vanderah, Glendy, author.
A mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again. After the loss of her mother ... More
A mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again. After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. When a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin, barefoot and covered in bruises, Joanna enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren't Jo and Gabe checking the missing children's website anymore? Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. Less
Williams, Ian, 1979- author.
"Felicia, a nineteen-year-old student from a Caribbean family, and Edgar, the lazy-minded and ... More
"Felicia, a nineteen-year-old student from a Caribbean family, and Edgar, the lazy-minded and impetuous heir of a wealthy German family, meet by chance when their ailing mothers are assigned the same hospital room. After the death of Felicia's mother and the recovery of Edgar's, Felicia drops out of high school and takes a job as caregiver to Edgar's mother. The odd-couple relationship between Edgar and Felicia, ripe with miscommunications, misunderstandings, and reprisals for perceived and real offenses, has some unexpected results. Years later, Felicia's son Armistice--'Army' for short is a teenager fixated on a variety of get-rich-quick schemes that are as comic as they are indicative of the immigrant son's fear of falling through the cracks. When Edgar re-enters Felicia's life at a typically (for him) inopportune moment, the book's exhilarating final act is set in motion and the full import of its title is revealed."-- Less
Krueger, William Kent, author.
1932, Minnesota. The Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children,... More
1932, Minnesota. The Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O'Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent's wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. -- Less
Hyde, Catherine Ryan, author.
"Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong. Not with his mother's new family. Not a... More
"Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong. Not with his mother's new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father's wife. Not at school, where he's an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he's tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who's introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez? Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two. Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there's hope if you have someone to hold on to."-- Less
"The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she ... More
"The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past"-- Less
Backman, Fredrik, 1981- author.
"A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young... More
"A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door"--Amazon.com. Less
Ishiguro, Kazuo, 1954-
Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its st... More
Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is. Less
Makkai, Rebecca, author.
"A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980... More
"A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca Makkai In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster"-- Less
Shaffer, Mary Ann.
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subj... More
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island. Less