Thursday, March 24, 2011

Four Wonderful Debut Novels

I am amazed at the talent that is writing.  We are a long ways from the death of the book.  The following four books are debut novels, so imagine what is yet to come.

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Allison
book jacketThis is a most enjoyable debut novel.  It is about the evacuation of children from London to a country estate at the start of World War ll so that they would not be present for the blitz.  It is also a love story involving many different kinds of love----the author does a good job of creating the atmosphere of the time period both at the Yorkshire estate and in London.  Toward the end the author wraps up the story quickly and I found the ending a bit questionable but it is still worth the time to read it.

Request The Very Thought of You from the Bangor Public Library

Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson
book jacketThis book grabs your attention from page one.  It is a story about a troubled military family in the 1970’s.  The father is very focused on his career and the mother is depressed and self absorbed so the family is neglected.  The story is told by Tillie the daughter and most of it takes place while Tillie and her brother are growing up.   These were children in need of sane parenting.  The father did try but was not successful.  Neither the mother or father  should have been a parent---however, I liked the father better but am sure many of you feel  the mother was a sympathetic character.

Request Up From the Blue from the Bangor Public Library

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
book jacketThis book is a page turner from the beginning.  Annie O’Sullivan has been a golden girl that things went well for-----however, her life turns horrifically wrong when she is abducted from an open house she is conducting in her capacity as a top realtor.  She is held hostage in a remote cabin by a freaky monster.  She lives through a dreadful year and finally breaks free.  In the aftermath of her ordeal and with much counseling she realizes that the old Annie is still ‘missing’.

Request Still Missing from the Bangor Public Library

Piano Teacher by Janice Lee
book jacketThis novel is set in mid century Hong Kong.  The ‘piano teacher ‘ is an English woman who has moved to Hong Kong with her husband.  She gets a job with a wealthy family, becoming the piano teacher to their daughter.  She soon starts an affair with the chauffeur.  How it all ends up I cannot tell you since I read it awhile ago---I remember loving it and wanting to include it since it was a debut.  I have looked at reviews on Amazon to refresh my memory of the story and found it had mixed reviews----I loved it ----

Request Piano Teacher from the Bangor Public Library


  1. I can't wait to begin these books! I like the idea of Still Missing-- it sounds like it has both a suspense element as well as an introspective literary fiction vibe. Thanks for the great picks!

  2. Thanks for all the great tips on must-reads. I just finished Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill, per your recommendation, and really enjoyed it. I'm thinking of trying the Piano Teacher next. Can't wait to see what you have for us next!

  3. For a debut novelist, I found Still Missing to be quite brilliantly done. For me, the last half dragged on a bit, but all in all, a worth while read.

  4. I have just marked your blog on my favorites. I think we share the same tastes in reading material. I have read Up From the Blue and agree with your observation. I did not find the mother sympathetic but rather selfish. I am excited to try the rest of your recommendations.