Are you looking for a great book to share with friends and family? Do you want a book to relax with? We hope the following compelling story lines will evoke interesting and thought provoking discussion. The books are geared for adults. Thank you for all of the suggestions I received.

Garden of Stones

By Sophie Littlefield
Lucy Takeda is 14 years old, living in Los Angeles, when bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are torn from their home, along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans and taken to the Manzanar prison camp. Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks. Her final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever.

 

The Sisters Weiss

By Naomi Ragen
Sisters Rose and Pearl Weiss grow up in 1950’s Brooklyn in a loving but strict ultra-Orthodox family, never dreaming of defying their parents or their community’s unbending and intrusive demands. Then, a chance meeting with a young French immigrant turns Rose’s world upside down. Rebelling, she begins to live a secret life, a life that astonishes her parents when it is discovered. With nowhere else to turn, and an overwhelming desire to be reconciled with those she loves, Rose tries to bow to her parents’ demands that she agree to an arranged marriage. But pushed to the edge, she commits an act so unforgivable; it will exile her forever from her innocent young sister, her family, and all she has ever known.

Forty years later, pious Pearl’s sheltered young daughter Rivka suddenly discovers the truth about her Aunt Rose, the outcast, who has moved on to become a renowned photographer. Inspired, but naive and reckless, Rivka sets off on a dangerous adventure that will stir up the ghosts of the past, and alter the future in unimaginable ways for all involved.

 

Longbourn

By Jo Baker
In this compellingly tale, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

 

Somerset

By Leila Meacham
The prequel to “Roses” begins in the antebellum South on Plantation Alley in South Carolina, where Silas Toliver, deprived of his inheritance, joins up with his best friend Jeremy Warwick to plan a wagon train expedition to a new territory called Texas. Slavery, westward expansion, abolition, the Civil War, love, marriage, friendship, tragedy and triumph all the ingredients that made so many love “Roses,” are here in abundance.

 

Orphan Train

By Christina Baker Kline
Between 1854 and 1929, orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine; the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position, helping an elderly widow clean out her attic, is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear.

 

The Last Letter from Your Lover

By Jojo Moyes
This is a sophisticated, mesmerizing double love story that spans decades. In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply “B,” from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything.

In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate, hoping it will inspire her own happy ending.

 

The Signature of All Things

By Elizabeth Gilbert
Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family. Henry Whittaker, makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

“The Signature of All Things” soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. The story is full of unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad.

 

The Paris Architect

By Charles Belfoure
In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard consents to a commission that will bring him a great deal of money and maybe get him killed. However, if he’s shrewd enough, he’ll avoid any trouble. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won’t find it. He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can’t resist.

When one of his hiding spaces fails horribly, and the problem of where to hide a Jew becomes terribly personal, Lucien can no longer ignore what’s at stake.

 

The House of Tyneford

By Natasha Solomons
It’s the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford’s young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford and Elise forever.

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