The first book is Emma Brown. This novel, based on an unfinished manuscript by Charlotte Bronte, was completed in 2003 by Irish author Clare Boylan. The story centers around young Matilda, a girl mysteriously without origin, identity, and family. The reader is taken on a whirlwind of plot turns and unexpected secrets until Matilda's past and true identity are discovered. I found this book to be a truly melodramatic page turner - a real "chic flick" of a book!
The second book is Return to Paris: A Memoir with Recipes by Colette Rossant. In this delightful little book, Colette tells the story of leaving Egypt as a teenager and going to live with her French grandmother in the foreign world that was 1940's Paris. If you have a fascination with Egypt, France, post-WWII Europe, and / or good food, you will love this book!
The third and final offering I have for you today is quite possibly my favorite fiction of the last two years - The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Ah, where to begin in describing this book... Maybe I should take the easy way out and hope that my fervent endorsement and the title alone will move you to read this book. If not, go here to read a well put summary of this complex and compelling work. As an aside: I have not read Krauss' debut, A Man Walks Into a Room, but let me assure you that this recommendation is nothing like her third, Great House. I found Great House to be all of the complexity, struggle, and pain with none of the humor, hope, and redemption that is the hallmark of The History of Love.
If you have read any of these works, or do so at my recommendation, drop me a line and share your thoughts!