Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running.
Suddenly, mother and son are as trapped as the animals. Joan’s intimate knowledge of this place that filled early motherhood with happy diversions—the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines—is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.
A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself—from its tender moments of grace to its savage power—Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life?
The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple—young, beautiful, successful, and in love. But after receiving an odd gift at their wedding, they find themselves initiated into a mysterious organization known as The Pact.
The goal of The Marriage Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And some of the rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls, plan a trip together once per quarter, exchange thoughtful gifts regularly. But other rules—and their methods of enforcement—prove to be far more terrifying.
What follows is a relentlessly paced tale of deception, unfaithfulness, and duplicity in which the twists and turns just keep coming.
South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby
Do you have digestion problems due to stress? Do you have problems with authority? How many alcoholic drinks do you consume a week? Would you rather be a florist or a truck driver?
These are the questions that decide who has what it takes to live at South Pole Station, a place with an average temperature of -54°F and no sunlight for six months a year. Cooper Gosling has just answered five hundred of them. Her results indicate she is strange enough for Polar life. Cooper’s not sure if this is an achievement, but she knows she has nothing to lose. Unmoored by a recent family tragedy, she’s adrift at thirty and—despite her early promise as a painter—on the verge of sinking her career. So she accepts her place in the National Science Foundation’s Artists & Writers Program and flees to Antarctica—where she encounters a group of misfits motivated by desires as ambiguous as her own.
A winning comedy of errors set in the world’s harshest place, Ashley Shelby’s South Pole Station is a wry and witty debut novel about the courage it takes to come together, even as everything around you falls apart.
When the English Fall by David Williams
When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community in Pennsylvania is caught up in the devastating aftermath. Once-bright skies are now dark. Planes have plummeted to the ground. The systems of modern life have crumbled. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) become more and more desperate, they begin to invade Amish farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the peaceable community.
Seen through the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob as he tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos: Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they don’t, can they survive?
David Williams’s debut novel is a thoroughly engrossing look into the closed world of the Amish, as well as a thought-provoking examination of “civilization” and what remains if the center cannot hold.
I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
Get ready for some wit, wisdom, and warmth from this collection by the bestselling duo.
Lisa and Francesca are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. This seven book series is among the best reviewed humor books published today and has been compared to the late greats, Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron.
Hot Reads July
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips