Historic School House Summer Library

About Deering Public Library

The petition to the Senate and House of Representatives in Portsmouth to incorporate a library in Deering was granted on 6 December 1797.

"To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in general Court at Portsmouth November 1797 Humbly sheweth [sic], That Robert Alcock Thomas Merrill Thomas Aiken William Forsaith James Sherrier and others their Associates Inhabitants of Deering have purchased a number of Books, for the purpose of a social Library in said Town, but finding it necessary to be Incorporated, in order to realize the advantages thereby Intended, by purchasing books in common, your petitioners therefore pray that they may be Incorporated with such priviledges [sic] as are usually granted in such cases, and they as in duty bound will ever pray
Robert Alcock for himself and Associates"

The Deering Library's Mission is to create a vibrant community center that inspires curiosity, personal growth and opportunities for life-long learning.



To view our policies, agendas and the minutes of trustee meetings please visit the library, or use the link to the Town of Deering website.



Deering Public Library is located in Southwest New Hampshire's glorious Monadnock Region. Deering is a quintessential New England town with a white clapboard church, a town hall at its center and a population of approximately 1800 people. The library is located year round on the second floor of the town hall. Our seasonal school house library is open during the summer.

NEW BOOKS FOR APRIL


 NONFICTION

 MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL by Adam Higginbotham, 2019

The full story of the events that started that night in the control room of Reactor No.4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant has never been told—until now. Through two decades of reporting, new archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses, journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the full dramatic story, including Alexander Akimov and Anatoli Dyatlov, who represented the best and worst of Soviet life; denizens of a vanished world of secret policemen, internal passports, food lines, and heroic self-sacrifice for the Motherland. Midnight in Chernobyl, award-worthy nonfiction that reads like sci-fi, shows not only the final epic struggle of a dying empire but also the story of individual heroism and desperate, ingenious technical improvisation joining forces against a new kind of enemy.

FICTION

 Two local writers

THE ORACLE FILES : ESCAPE by Masheri Chapelle, 2017

 The Oracle Files: Escape presents a new insight into an old world from the psychic perspective of Elizabeth Beeson Chase. Cursed by her mother at age six, Elizabeth is forced to battle Malachai, an angry West African ghost, as she rises from slave to Quaker, to "Blue Vein" Socialite, in the harsh Black and White world of 1850 New York. With the help of her Quaker father and her spirit guide, she creates a shelter of love wherever she goes. However, the raging storm of racism, the looming threat of slavery, and Malachai's relentless hauntings pelt her life with indomitable fear. After a painful betrayal sends her running into New York's dangerous FIVE POINTS, she emerges with a gypsy's secret to battle Malachai and racism. Freed from Malachai's ghostly grip, and ready to embrace her secret "Blue Vein" world, she quickly discovers her freedom will cost more than she is willing to pay.

This is the first of a proposed trilogy that is set, at least in this first volume in 1850 and the New York/Philadelphia corridor. The author, Masheri Chapelle, is chair of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project Board of Trustees. She is a Data Analyst by day and a novelist, playwright, and intuitive consultant by night. She utilizes her profound spiritual experiences in the telling of her stories and plays. 

BEAUTIFUL, FRIGHTENING AND SILENT by Jennifer Ann Gordon, 2020

 Adam, a young alcoholic, slowly descends into madness while dealing with the psychological scars of childhood trauma which are reawakened when his son and wife die in a car accident that he feels he is responsible for. After a failed suicide attempt, and more group meetings that he can mention. Adam hears a rumor of a Haunted Island off the Coast of Maine, where “if someone wants it bad enough” they could be reunited with a lost loved one. In his desperate attempt to connect with the ghost of his four-and-a half year old son, he decides to go there, to Dagger Island, desperate to apologize to, or be condemned by, his young son. Adam is not sure what he deserves or even which of these he wants more. While staying in a crumbling old boarding house, he becomes involved with a beautiful and manipulative ghost who has spent 60 years tormenting the now elderly man who was her lover, and ultimately her murderer. The three of them create a “Menage-a-Guilt" as they all come to terms with what it is that ties them so emotionally to their memories and their very “existence”.

Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent is a poetic fever dream of grief, love, and the terrifying ways that obsession can change who we are.

Trigger warnings: suicide attempt, alcoholism, some f bombs, a murder, child abuse, psychological manipulation, etc.

Jennifer Gordon is resident of Concor.  Beautiful, Frightening and Silent is her debut novel.

 OTHER FICTION  

THE NIGHT WATCHMAN by Louise Erdrich, 2020.

Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new “emancipation” bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn’t about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a “termination” that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans “for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run”?

Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice’s shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn’t been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life.

Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice’s best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice.

In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.

 REDEPLOYENT by Phil Klay, 2014

I would not normally have picket up this book, but it was highly recommended by a respected friend who I would not have predicted to have read the book. We have been at war so very long now and a whole part of our population of young -- and not not so young -- have been deployed. Their reality of life in a combat zone is far, far different from mine. Maybe worse, their reality of returning to what is called 'home,' but which may actually be 'away' and 'home' is in the zone. The book is fascinating, extremely written, poignant and all those adjectives. Those of us who have not experienced War, should read this in an effort to try to understand and appreciate the changes -- horrific and sublime -- that these warriors undergo from their deployments.

Here is the publisher's blurb

Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.

In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died." In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains - of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.

Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.

 

 TWO BOOKS FROM 'THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE'

AMERICAN DIRT by Jeanine Cummins, 2020

 Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

  
American Dirt has become very controversial.  Its writing has been highly praised by reviwers and the book was chosen for Oprah's Book Club. It is an important story about Latinx immigrants. However, because American Dirt was written by an 'Anglo' author. The main criticism of the book has been one of cultural appropriation: how can a white American possibly write about the experience of a Mexican mother who is running from the cartel?

One fact has been highlighted by the book. The book, the experience of a Mexican mother entering the USA illegally and written by a white American author was immediately picked up by reviewers such as Oprah Winfrey. On the other hand Latinx authors  are poorly represented in mainstream literature. We can hope that this furor will lead to the recognition of more Latinx literature.

THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS by Luis Alberto Urrea, 2018

Prizewinning and bestselling writer Luis Urrea has written his Mexican coming-to-America story and his masterpiece. Destined to sit alongside other classic immigrant novels, The House of Broken Angels is a sprawling and epic family saga helmed by patriarch Big Angel. The novel gathers together the entire De La Cruz clan, as they meet for the final birthday party Big Angel is throwing for himself, at home in San Diego, as he nears the end of his struggle with cancer and reflects on his long and full life.

But when Big Angel's mother, Mama America, approaching one hundred, dies herself as the party nears, he must plan her funeral as well. There will be two family affairs in one weekend: a farewell double-header. Among the attendants is his half-brother and namesake, Little Angel, who comes face to face with the siblings with whom he shared a father but not, as the weekend proceeds to remind him, a life.

This story of the De La Cruzes is the story of what it means to be a Mexican in America, to have lived two lives across one border. It is a tale of the ravaging power of death to shore up the bits of life you have forgotten, whether by choice or not. Above all, this finely wrought portrait of a deeply complex family and the America they have come to call home is Urrea at his purest and best. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.
 
When Ii picked up AMERICAN DIRT from Toadstool in Peterborough, Willard directed me to HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS which he had just finished reading. If AMERICAN DIRT was reviled because of  'cultural appropriation  'HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS was the 'real' thing. This is an incredible book. This is one book I am saving to reread.

 




 

NEW BOOKS IN THE DEERING PUBLIC LIBRARY

THESE BOOKS WERE ADDED TO THE LIBRARY IN OCTOBER



The Testaments, Margaret Atwood, 2019

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

"Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." --Margaret Atwood


The Porpoise, Mark Haddon, 2019

From The New Yorker: 

"Have we entered a zone of gods and monsters, or simply men? Haddon, who is also the author of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” declines to resolve such ambiguities. He is working from rich, if messy, source material. The medieval poet John Gower told the tale of Antiochus, a king who fell in love with his daughter after his wife died; Shakespeare popularized the legend with his play “Pericles,” which he likely co-wrote with his friend, the pimp and playwright George Wilkins. Pericles, prince of adventure, seeks the hand of Antiochus’s daughter but flees when he discovers her incestuous secret. Pursued by killers-for-hire, he sails around having exploits. After she jumpstarts the plot, Antiochus’s daughter disappears."
A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash.


Perhaps “The Porpoise” is her revenge, and Darius turned Pericles’s voyages are her act of creative resistance. Now and then, the story’s wild twists and pileups of incident hint sweetly at its teen-age creator. But the narration can also be alien, frightening, with an implacable omniscience. (“In two hours he will be dead.”) “The Porpoise” is terrifically violent, with a bright, innocent ferocity. When Pericles imagines pulling his “long wet blade” from the chest of a fallen foe, a stern clarity animates both the act and the language. Descriptions of death are beautifully wrought and clinical—as one character suffers a heart attack, “two bracelets of fire” travel “down his arm as if someone were peeling the skin from shoulder to wrist.” These formally striking passages feel intentionally divorced from any understanding of the human body as a site of suffering. Written from a kind of artistic absolute zero, they scan like the announcements of an insane person or a god.
She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world."




The Parisian, by Isabella Hammad, 2019


From Goodreads:


"As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself.

Midhat Kamal picks his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong.

Isabella Hammad delicately unpicks the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era – the Palestinian struggle for independence from the British Mandate, the strife of the early twentieth century and the looming shadow of the Second World War. An intensely human story amidst a global conflict, The Parisian is historical fiction with a remarkable cTimontemporary voice."


 Time's Convert, by Deborah Harkness, 2018


From Goodreads:

"On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus's deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor--the young employee at Sotheby's whom Marcus has fallen for--is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he'd escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both--forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time's Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries."


Black Leopard Red Wolf, by Marlon James, 2019

 From Goodreads

"In the first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written an adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf explores the fundamentals of truths, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all."


The Institute, by Stephen King, 2019


 From Goodreads

"In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.
As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t alwayswin."


The Outsider, by Stephen King, 2018

 From Goodreads

"An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can."



Bowlaway, by  Elizabeth Mc Cracken, 2019


From Goodreads

"A sweeping and enchanting new novel from the widely beloved, award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken about three generations of an unconventional New England family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley.

From the day she is discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the turn of the twentieth century—nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin, and fifteen pounds of gold on her person—Bertha Truitt is an enigma to everyone in Salford, Massachusetts. She has no past to speak of, or at least none she is willing to reveal, and her mysterious origin scandalizes and intrigues the townspeople, as does her choice to marry and start a family with Leviticus Sprague, the doctor who revived her. But Bertha is plucky, tenacious, and entrepreneurial, and the bowling alley she opens quickly becomes Salford’s most defining landmark—with Bertha its most notable resident.

When Bertha dies in a freak accident, her past resurfaces in the form of a heretofore-unheard-of son, who arrives in Salford claiming he is heir apparent to Truitt Alleys. Soon it becomes clear that, even in her death, Bertha’s defining spirit and the implications of her obfuscations live on, infecting and affecting future generations through inheritance battles, murky paternities, and hidden wills.

In a voice laced with insight and her signature sharp humor, Elizabeth McCracken has written an epic family saga set against the backdrop of twentieth-century America. Bowlaway is both a stunning feat of language and a brilliant unraveling of a family’s myths and secrets, its passions and betrayals, and the ties that bind and the rifts that divide. "


 The Chain, by Adrian McKintym 2019


From Goodreads:


"You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain."

I Cannot Play With You, by Dana Biscotti Myskowski, 2019

 I might have it wrong, but I think the author is from Henniker. How could I not buy a novel about Lyme disease written by an author who lives in our neighboring town? To be honest, I was not impressed by the writing or the story. And have no idea what the title is about.I get the impression that the author is using this book as a platform to complain that CDC does not recognize chronic Lyme. Does it? We know that Lyme disease is borne by ticks. In this story it is also borne by evil people. It's a slim book, so won't take much of your time.

Here's the blurb from Goodreads

While Lyme disease won't kill her, the man who infected her just may.

Sick with a disease that doesn't officially exist, a state director for a U.S. Senator struggles to make sense of her boss' suicide as she investigates the suspicious activities of the state's other U.S. Senator and his sidekick, a nefarious rheumatologist--all while her best friend helps her manage her new and confusing symptoms of chronic Lyme. When she begins to suspect that her home, workplace, and car are littered with listening devices installed by some evildoer, she wonders if she's crazy. After all, her best friend seems to think she is.


 Pursuit. A novel of suspense, by Joyce Carol Oates, 2019

 I love Joyce Carol Oates creepy stories. This looks like a good example.

From the publisher:


 As a child, Abby had the same recurring nightmare night after night, in which she wandered through a field ridden with human skulls and bones. Now an adult, Abby thinks she's outgrown her demons, until, the evening before her wedding, the terrible dream returns and forces her to confront the dark secrets from her past she has kept from her new husband, Willem. The following day--less than 24 hours after exchanging vows--Abby steps out into traffic. As his wife lies in her hospital bed, sleeping in fits and starts, Willem tries to determine whether this was an absentminded accident or a premeditated plunge, and he quickly discovers a mysterious set of clues about what his wife might be hiding. Why, for example is there a rash-like red mark circling her wrist? What does she dream about that causes her to wake from the sound of her own screams?

Slowly, Abby begins to open up to her husband, revealing to him what she has never shared with anyone before--the story of a terrified mother; a jealous, drug addled father; and a daughter's terrifying captivity.

With a suspenseful, alternating narrative that travels between the present and Abby's tortured childhood, The Pursuit is a meticulously crafted, deeply disquieting tale that showcases Oates's masterful storytelling.


The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obrecht, 2011

  From Goodreads:

"In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.

But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.

Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weeklytrips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for."


Inland, by Tea Obrecht, 2019

From Goodreads:

"In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life--her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.

Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Nora's and Lurie's stories intertwine is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.

Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht's talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely--and unforgettably--her own."

 The Library  Book, by Susan Orlean, 2018

This is a fascinating book uses a destructive fire at the Los Angeles County library as the focal point to talk about libraries, librarians, books and people who use libraries, librarians and publicly owned books.  A thoughtful and well-written book that is particularly relevant to Deering, which doesn't -- really -- have a library and is one of the few New Hampshire towns that doesn't.  

Gingerbread, by Helen Oyeyemi, 2019

 From Goodreads:

"Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories--equal parts wholesome and uncanny, from the tantalizing witch's house in "Hansel and Gretel" to the man-shaped confection who one day decides to run as fast as he can--beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe.

Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there's the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it's very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (and, according to Wikipedia, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee's early youth. In fact, the world's truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread is Harriet's charismatic childhood friend, Gretel Kercheval--a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met.

Decades later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother's long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet's story. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi's inimitable style and imagination, it is a true feast for the reader.
"


The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead, 2019

 From Goodreads:

"As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."

In reality, The Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors, where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked and the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.

The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at The Nickel Academy.

Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative."

 

 





NEW BOOKS FOR THE NEW YEAR

 Adult fiction, history (what WOULD the Founders have said?), Michelle Obama, daring women in flying machines, and a series for young adult readers and some kids books to help you start the year.

  YOUNGER CHILDREN

 We Don't Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins, 2018


It's the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can't wait to meet her classmates. But it's hard to make human friends when they're so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . 
  
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, art work by Christopher Silas Neal, 2011

Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow exists a secret kingdom of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals that live through the winter safe and warm, awake and busy, under the snow. Discover the wonder and activity that lies beneath winter's snowy landscape in this magical book. 


Notes at the end of the book about the various animals that are found under winter's snow greatly increase the appeal of this very attractive book. 


THIRD GRADERS


Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, 2017 


2018 Newberry Award Winner


In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his loud and boisterous family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just act normal so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends -- at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms

 

ADULT FICTION 

River by Esther Kinsky (translated from German by Iain Galbreath), 2018.

The river Lea runs through northeast London and into the Thames. It passes through derelict industrial wastelands and wetlands teeming with life, through bustling urban locales and down at the heels parts of town that are populated by people who landed there from all over  the world.

The river Lea runs through northeast London and into the Thames. It passes through derelict industrial wastelands and wetlands teeming with life, through bustling urban locales and down at the heels parts of town that are populated by people who landed there from all over  the world. 

The protagonist is a German woman who grew up along the Rhine River and who is now living, temporarily, in London. We never  know why, but it works for us because as she wanders the length of the Lea she sees this poor river through eyes that have known many other rivers.

This book is more meditation on rivers, nature and people than it is a novel. There is no plot, only a few recurring characters who live in the vicinity of the writer's flat (Katz, the green grocer, the Croat, the King and a few more).  One could read the 18 or so chapters in any order. 

It took some time for me to adjust to the writer and, in the end, I found the book to be more poetry than anything else.

This is what one reviewer wrote:

So much has been packed inside these 350 pages or so that calling River a mere description of flowing bodies of water is very much slighting. It is true that reading it requires some amount of concentration, especially in the beginning when one is only getting accustomed to Kinsky’s style of writing, but its meditative flair is surprisingly addictive to follow. As long as you do not expect plot twists and are willing to go unhurried with the flow, you are in for a literary treat. Reading River is, in a sense, a meditative practice, a welcome exercise in an age of short attention spans. In fact, I don’t think River’s level of observation and focus on the everyday is very far from the actual experience of meditation.

The narrator isw a German woman who grew up along the Rhine River and who is now living, temporarily, in London. We never  know why, but it works for us because as she wanders the length of the Lea she sees this poor river through eyes that have known many other rivers.

This book is more meditation on rivers, nature and people than it is a novel. There is no plot, only a few recurring characters who live in the vicinity of the writer's flat (Katz, the green grocer, the Croat, the King and a few more).  One could read the 18 or so chapters in any order. 

It took some time for me to adjust to the writer and, in the end, I found the book to be more poetry than anything else.

This is what one reviewer wrote:

So much has been packed inside these 350 pages or so that calling River a mere description of flowing bodies of water is very much slighting. It is true that reading it requires some amount of concentration, especially in the beginning when one is only getting accustomed to Kinsky’s style of writing, but its meditative flair is surprisingly addictive to follow. As long as you do not expect plot twists and are willing to go unhurried with the flow, you are in for a literary treat. Reading River is, in a sense, a meditative practice, a welcome exercise in an age of short attention spans. In fact, I don’t think River’s level of observation and focus on the everyday is very far from the actual experience of meditation.

Unsheltered by Barvara Kingsolver,  2018

Willa Knox has always prided herself on being the embodiment of responsibility for her family. Which is why it’s so unnerving that she’s arrived at middle age with nothing to show for her hard work and dedication but a stack of unpaid bills and an inherited brick home in Vineland, New Jersey, that is literally falling apart. The magazine where she worked has folded, and the college where her husband had tenure has closed. The dilapidated house is also home to her ailing and cantankerous Greek father-in-law and her two grown children: her stubborn, free-spirited daughter, Tig, and her dutiful debt-ridden, ivy educated son, Zeke, who has arrived with his unplanned baby in the wake of a life-shattering development.

In an act of desperation, Willa begins to investigate the history of her home, hoping that the local historical preservation society might take an interest and provide funding for its direly needed repairs. Through her research into Vineland’s past and its creation as a Utopian community, she discovers a kindred spirit from the 1880s, Thatcher Greenwood.

A science teacher with a lifelong passion for honest investigation, Thatcher finds himself under siege in his community for telling the truth: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting new theory recently published by Charles Darwin. Thatcher’s friendships with a brilliant woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor draw him into a vendetta with the town’s most powerful men. At home, his new wife and status-conscious mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his financial worries and the news that their elegant house is structurally unsound.

Brilliantly executed and compulsively listenable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerizing story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realize that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred—whether family or friends—and in the strength of the human spirit.
 .

 Macbeath by Jo Nesbo, (translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett) 2018.

Joe Nesbo, the writer of Norwegian thrillers, has updated Macbeath for Hogarth Shakespeare, a series in which best-selling novelists turn Shakespeare’s works into contemporary fiction.

From one reviewer:

Nesbo has spoken of finding himself on familiar terrain here, arguing that “Macbeth” is essentially a “thriller about the struggle for power” that takes place “in a gloomy, stormy crime noir-like setting and in a dark, paranoid human mind.” True enough, yet many features of this 400-year-old tragedy don’t easily fit the demands of a modern, realistic thriller. One of the pleasures of reading this book is watching Nesbo meet the formidable challenge of assimilating elements of the play unsuited to realistic crime fiction, especially the supernatural: the witches, prophecies, visions, and the mysterious figure of Hecate. "

 Nesbo's Macbeath is 450 pages in length while Shakespeare's play is one of his shortest. Nesbo uses these pages to delve into the missing back stories of major and minor characters, to paint a very gritty picture of the setting (probably  Glasgow in the early 1970's).  Drug addition provides plenty of space for witches and other supernaturalia. 

It's a dark novel. The reader will remember bits from Macbeath that were read so long ago in highschool. And will most likely welcome Nesbo's filling in the blank spaces.

Only to Sleep, a Philip Marlow NOvel by Philip Osborne, 2018.

From the publisher:

In this brilliant new novel, commissioned by the Raymond Chandler estate, the acclaimed author Lawrence Osborne gives us a piercing psychological study of one of literature's most beloved and enduring detectives, told with a contemporary twist. It is an unforgettable addition to the Raymond Chandler canon.

The year is 1989, the Reagan presidency has just come to an end, and detective Philip Marlowe--now in his seventy-seventh year--is on the case again. What country is this for old men? For Marlowe, this is his last roll of the dice, his swan song, and he is back on his home turf. Set between the border and badlands of Mexico and California, Marlowe's final assignment is to investigate the disappearance of Donald Zinn: supposedly drowned off his yacht in Mexico and leaving his much-younger wife a very rich woman. But is Zinn actually alive, and are the pair living off the spoils?

Lawrence Osborne's unforgettable Marlowe investigates.


 YOUNG ADULT FICTION


Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, a series by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children,2011
Hollow City.The second novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, 2014
Library of Souls. The the third novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, 2015
A Map of Days, the fourth novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, 2018

From Wikipedia:
This young adult book [Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children] was originally intended to be a picture book featuring photographs Riggs had collected, but on the advice of an editor at Quirk Books, he used the photographs as a guide from which to put together a narrative.Riggs was a collector of photographs, but needed more for his novel. He met Leonard Lightfoot, a well-known collector at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and was introduced to other collectors. The result was a story about a boy who follows clues from his grandfather's old photographs, tales, and his grandfather's last words which lead him on an adventure that takes him to a large abandoned orphanage on Cairnholm, a fictional Welsh island.

The series builds through these four novels, following a group of children - - each of whom has special powers.

This from Goodreads review of the third volume, Library of Souls,:

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.


BIOGRAPHY


Becoming by Michelle Obama, 2018

This is the widely praised biography of our former First Lady.

NONFICTION

Fly Girls. How five daring women defied all odds by Keith O'Brien, 2018 

Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.

Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.


HISTORY/POLITICAL SCIENCE

Frederick Douglass. Prophet of Freedon by David W. Blight, 2018

The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

This is a fascinating biography of a simply incredible person. David Blight recounts Frederick Douglass' life from slavery in Maryland's Tidelands to become the most famous and influential African American of the 19th Century. Blight describes Douglass' evolution as he understands that nothing short of a civil war will abolish slavery and free his people in the county he loves. I was not so aware of the 'colonists,' which included President Lincoln, who had the idea that the bvest solution was for former slaves to be transported to 'climes more suited to them,' whether it was Mexico or the Caribbean region.

This is a big book at 800 or so pages of text, but it is fascinating to read about the peri Civil War period, the build up to Emancipation and the ultimate disappointment of Reconstruction and Jim Crow.

American Dialogue. The Founders and Us by Joseph J. Ellis, 2018

 The award-winning author of Founding Brothers and The Quartet now gives us a deeply insightful examination of the relevance of the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams to some of the most divisive issues in America today.

The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today's political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions--and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice--Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.
 




NEW BOOKS FOR THANKSGIVING

We jave added a mix of books to the Deering Library.  Some popular fiction for young adults and adults, some  history and political science and memoirs written New Hampshireites. 



MEMOIRS BY NEW HAMPSHIRE WRITERS

A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety by Donald Hall, 2018 

Donald Hall lived a remarkable life of letters, one capped most recently by the New York Times bestseller Essays After Eighty, a “treasure” of a book in which he “balance[s] frankness about losses with humor and gratitude” (Washington Post). Before his passing in 2018, nearing ninety, Hall delivered this new collection of self-knowing, fierce, and funny essays on aging, the pleasures of solitude, and the sometimes astonishing freedoms arising from both. He intersperses memories of exuberant days—as in Paris, 1951, with a French girl memorably inclined to say, “I couldn’t care less”—with writing, visceral and hilarious, on what he has called the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of extreme old age.  




Child of War: A Memoir of World War II Internment in the Philippines by Curtis Whitfield Tong, 2011

The author is not exactly a New Hampshire writer, but the Tongs lived in Hillsborough, Deering and Weare in retirement. The Tongs were missionaries in the Philippines before WW II,when they were interned by the Japanese. This is is the story of their internment.

Hours after attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers stormed across the Philippine city of Baguio, where seven-year-old Curt Tong, the son of American missionaries, hid with his classmates in the woods near his school. Three weeks later, Curt, his mother, and two sisters were among the nearly five hundred Americans who surrendered to the Japanese army in Baguio. Child of War is Tong's touching story of the next three years of his childhood as he endured fear, starvation, sickness, and separation from his father while interned in three different Japanese prison camps on the island of Luzon. Written by the adult Tong looking back on his wartime ordeal, it offers a rich trove of memories about internment life and camp experiences.

Relegated first to the men's barracks at Camp John Hay, Curt is taken under the wing of a close family friend who is also the camp's civilian leader. From this vantage point, he is able to observe the running of the camp firsthand as the war continues and increasing numbers of Americans are imprisoned. Curt's days are occupied with work detail, baseball, and childhood adventures. Along with his mother and sisters, he experiences daily life under a series of camp commandants, some ruling with intimidation and cruelty but one, memorably, with compassion. In the last months of the war the entire family is finally reunited, and their ordeal ends when they are liberated from Manila's Bilibid Prison by American troops.

Child of War is an engaging and thoughtful memoir that presents an unusual view of life as a World War II internee--that of a young boy. It is a valuable addition to existing wartime autobiographies and diaries and contributes significantly to a greater understanding of the Pacific War and its impact on American civilians in Asia
 


HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight. 2018


The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonish by ing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight’s Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.

Fear. Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward, 2018


With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.

 

FICTION FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, 2018

This is a story of West Africa, and magic is real but reserved to a group called 'the maji.' Before the story opened the maji lived among those who did not have magical powers. Apparently (this unfortunate fact is glossed over) at least some of the maji were actually evil because they caused the deaths of member's of the king's family. This caused the king to unleash a brutal suppression of the maji, killing many and driving the rest underground. In Children of Blood and Bone the teen-aged daughter of a maji sets out to restore magic with the help of her teen-aged brother.  To restore magic, young maji Zélie  must take three objects to a magical  place on the far side of the country. The king and his son try to prevent that. Zélie  and her brother are variously adversaries and allies and even romantic partners of the two teen-aged chilidren of the king, a girl and a boy. It's an exciting story with chases and battles, magic, balls of fire and earthquakes, love and perfidy as Zélie races to the magical place. On another level, the story is an allegory for race in America: the king has all the physical power and he is unscrupulous in the use of that power to suppress the maji. The maji have no physical power, but they have magic, bug only if they can recover it, they will be restored. 

This story is an introduction to Yoruba folklore and language. At 500 ages, this is a very long book. It could have benefited from some heavy editing. I found it difficult to be completely unsympathetic to the king, given what the maji had done to him and his family. He probably did not have to have been so ruthless in suppressing magic. I could root for Zélie until i learned the scope of the 'magic,' which included skin-rotting disease. We could do without that. Zélie herself seems to question the wisdom of her mission - - of restoring all magic to all the maji - - and that left the story pretty muddled as far as I was concerned.

Children of Blood and Bone has received fabulous reviews, and there was a lot of hype around its publication. Our Deering book group was not so taken by the book.

 

ADULT FICTION

The Witch Elm by Tana French, 2018

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life: he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

 The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason, 2018

Early in WW I, Lucius - - a rich Austrian medical student - - is assigned to a forsaken outpost in the Carpathian Mountains. His little team comprises a nurse/nun and a couple of helpers. For Lucius this is on the job training, but sister Margarete is a patient and apt teacher. Together they perform amputations and treat soldiers who suffer from the whole range of war trauma, along with battling vermin, lice and sadistic officers. For two years.

The central character—the one for which the novel is named—is a man brought in by wheelbarrow from the field. He doesn’t talk, and he is in a quasi-fetal position. There are no visible wounds. This one will not be cured by an amputation. This new patient and how to treat him consume Lucius and Margarete. Lucius determines that the patient has “nerve shock.” These were the years before PTSD and shell shock diagnoses; however, these kinds of patients had been observed during wartime, with a unique and specific set of symptoms. The nexus of doctor, nurse, and especially this patient - - and a sadistic officer -- propels a large part of the story.

Of course Lucius and Margarete fall in love but then immediately become separated - - and only midway through the book. The rest of the story revolves around how this young doctor tries to refind himself and the woman he loves.

It's not a big book, around 300 pages. The writer, a doctor himself, has clearly undertaken a lot of research to produce the medical detail - - both of the physical body and of the traumatized mind -  found in this novel.

The Reckoning by John Grisham, 2018

Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi's favorite son--a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed his pastor and friend, the Reverend Dexter Bell. As if the murder weren't shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete's only statement about it--to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, to the jury, and to his family--was: "I have nothing to say." He was not afraid of death and was willing to take his motive to the grave.

In a major novel unlike anything he has written before, John Grisham takes us on an incredible journey, from the Jim Crow South to the jungles of the Philippines during World War II; from an insane asylum filled with secrets to the Clanton courtroom where Pete's defense attorney tries desperately to save him.
Reminiscent of the finest tradition of Southern Gothic storytelling, The Reckoning would not be complete without Grisham's signature layers of legal suspense, and he delivers on every page