March 19– The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book
heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the
author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black,
eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so
that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children
in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves’
garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change- in painful, devastating ways. What
its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child’s
yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. The Bluest Eye remains one of
Tony Morrisons’s most powerful, unforgettable novels- and a significant work of
American fiction.

 April 16– The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

During a summer party at the family farm in the English
countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree
house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the
long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the
afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that
challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother,
Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother. Now, fifty years later,
Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family
is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing
that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions
that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in
Dorothy’s past. Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through
the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers
from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in
wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores
longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is
an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is
told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the
world. (less)

 May 21– Crawfish Mountain by Ken Wells

Ken Wells’s highly acclaimed picaresque Catahoula Bayou
novels introduced “one of the most compelling voices in fiction of the last
decade” (Los Angeles Times). Now Wells is back, writing about his favorite
subject–the exotic, beleaguered Louisiana wetlands–in a sharp, rollicking tale
of corporate corruption and political shenanigans. The fight over one man’s
tract of sacred marsh fronts a deeper story of our place in the environment and
our obligations to it. Justin Pitre’s marsh island, a legacy of his trapper
grandfather, is a scenic rival to anything in the Everglades, and he has
promised to protect it from all harm. But he hasn’t counted on oil bigwig Tom
Huff’s plans to wreck his bayou paradise by ramming a pipeline through it. When
cajolery doesn’t sway Justin to sign the land over, Huff turns to darker
methods. But Justin and his spirited wife, Grace, prove to be formidable adversaries–and
the game is on. Into the fray comes the charismatic Cajun governor Joe T.
Evangeline, who seems more interested in chasing skirts than saving Louisiana’s
eroding coast. The Guv, though, is a man on the edge, upended by a midlife
crisis and torn between a secret political obligation to Big Oil and the
persuasive powers of Julie Galjour, a feisty environmentalist. Julie is clearly
out to reform more than the Guv’s ecopolitics, but will his tragicomic Big Oil
deals wreck both his career and his chances with the brash and beautiful
activist? As Justin and Grace battle to stop this Big Oil assault, the plot
thickens–and the Guv becomes snared in the web. Featuring a gumbo of eccentrics
and lowlifes, a kidnapping, a sexy snitch, a toxic-waste-dumping scheme, a boat
chase, and a fishing trip gone horribly awry, Crawfish Mountain, spiced with
Ken Wells’s keen eye for locale, showcases his adventurous storytelling.