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The High Season by Judy Blundell, Random House/Penguin Random House, US $27.00, Pp 416, May 2018, ISBN 978-0525508717

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger, Simon & Schuster, US $26.99, Pp 352,   June 2018, ISBN 978-1476778440

OK, Mr. Field by Katharine Kilalea, Tim Duggan Books / Crown Publishers, US $27.00, Pp 218, July 2018, ISBN 978-0525573630

 Eagle & Crane: A novel by Suzanne Rindell, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, US $27.00, Pp 434, July 2018,  ISBN 978-0399184291

Ruthie Beamish still has the house — the house she got lovingly renovated – facing the sea in the quiet corner of Long Island. She had been doing savings all her life to buy it. She added her young daughter’s college fund and her ex-husband’s retirement account to buy it. But, she has to let it for the best part of the year so that she can afford it. On this Memorial Day weekend, Ruthie has packed up her belongings for the family’s annual exile so that the renters can move in. This year is different. Ruthie is losing everything she has worked for all her life. This year’s renter, Adeline Clay, is a rich widow of an artist who is taking over not only the house but also her ex-husband. Adeline Clay is elegant and has a “gorgeous satellite” stepson. When Ruthie loses her job as director of a small museum as her staff betrays her she decides to stand up and fight back. In the meanwhile, Ruthie’s 15-year-old daughter, Jem, is having an affair with a man she knows nothing about. Jem is enjoying newly-found freedom during her first summer job. But she is taking all risks. In the meanwhile, one of Ruthie’s staff named Doe succeeds in penetrating the closed inner circle of an eccentric billionaire and his wayward daughter. The High Season is about romance, art, and class warfare. Judy Blundell explores how a not-very-rich woman fit into the world of wealth. It is a class conflict between haves and have-nots in a rich corner of Long Island. The High Season is equally an astute look at the world of art. Judy Blundell has a sharp eye and a brilliant style.

Judy Blundell is a New York Times bestselling author. Her novel What I Saw and How I Lied won the 2008 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The High Season is her first novel for adults. She lives on Long Island with her husband and daughter.

*****

When Life Gives You Lululemons is set in the beautiful town of Greenwich, Connecticut. What makes Greenwich beautiful and distinguishable from other towns is its well-kept lawns. Women in Greenwich are known to take extraordinary care of their appearances. Ever since Emily Charlton moved in the town at the request of her childhood friend Miriam, they are all talking about her. She left Runway magazine’s editor Miranda Priestly as his first assistant nearly ten years ago and is working in Los Angeles as a celebrity stylist and an image consultant to the stars in Hollywood. Recently, she has lost a few clients after a hotshot rival started luring some of her clients with the help of social media. She needs more clients and sooner. If she cannot win more clients, she may have to pack up and go back to Runway magazine’s editor Miranda Priestly. But, she is not a social media savvy like her rival. In the meanwhile, when gorgeous former supermodel Karolina Hartwell is accused of a DUI offense, she goes into hiding in Greenwich. Emily takes all this as an opportunity. But, she can take advantage of the situation only after a team effort. It so happens that Miriam is ready to join forces with Emily and Karolina. Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make a formidable team to face up to social pressure in suburban Greenwich. Miriam, a former powerful attorney, decides to restart her law practice. It turns out that Karolina was set up at the behest of her ambitious politician husband. Lauren Weisberger explores the lives of rich people who act badly in a way that brings a smile to your faces. It is an inspiring story that shows how women can make a difference in their own lives by standing up. It is an extraordinarily engrossing and entertaining story.

Lauren Weisberger is the author of The Devil Wears Prada, which spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestseller lists. The film version, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, won a Golden Globe Award and grossed over $300 million worldwide. Her second novel, Everyone Worth Knowing, was also a New York Times bestseller. She lives in New York City with her husband.

*****

Mr. Max Field is a concert pianist who recently broke his left wrist as a result of a train crash. He wants to start a new life and leave his frustrations and disappointments behind. The train crash has ended his music career. He is a disappointed and lonely man now. When he receives compensation for his wrist injury, he decides to buy a house on the coast of Cape Town – a replica of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. The original Villa Savoye was an austere concrete house on stilts outside Paris and it became a global icon soon after it was built in 1920. He had never seen the house and he made this crucial decision on a whim. He thinks he will be able to restart his life and be less unhappy if not really happy there. He moves into the new house with his wife, Mim. His hope of being less unhappy comes crashing soon as he starts believing that he is losing his mind. He starts getting pleasure in his frustrations. The spaces in the house stop making sense as he feels he is not from this world. He has no desire or energy to look for his wife when one day she leaves him without informing him. Everything around Mr. Field is decaying and he finds himself removed from reality. He becomes lonelier with the passage of time. He develops a desire for a strange and perverse intimacy with the widow of his house’s architect, Hannah Kallenbach. He starts stalking her by peering through her windows in her suburban home. Generally, Mr. Field is a man without emotions and feelings. Katharine Kilalea explores how we manage our emotions and spaces in real life. OK, Mr. Field is a psychological debut masterpiece that will seize your attention in the very beginning. Katharine Kilalea is a welcome new voice in the world of fiction. OK, Mr. Field must be on your summer reading list.

Katharine Kilalea grew up in South Africa and moved to London for an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She has published a poetry collection, One Eye’d Leigh, which was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. She lives in London.

*****

Eagle & Crane is the story of two families — the Thorns and the Yamadas — in the late 1930s and the early 1940s. The two families are living as good neighbors in Newcastle, California, before the breakout of World War II. The two scions of the two families – Louis Thorn and Haruto “Harry” Yamada who are commonly known as Eagle and Crane respectively – work together as stunt pilots and are close friends. Louis and Harry met Ava Brooks in 1940 when the two daredevil young pilots joined Ava’s stepfather’s Earl Shaw’s Flying Circus – a daredevil act. Both become the star attraction at the show. Both Louis and Harry are attracted to Ava. But the Great War changes everything as the Yamadas are sent to the internment camp for Japanese Americans. Before moving to the internment camp, the Yamadas had signed over their farm to the Thorns. Interestingly, there is a history of a feud between the Thorns and the Yamadas, going back to a few generations. It so happens that Harry Yamada and his father, Kenichi Yamada, escape the internment camp. Soon after their escape, FBI agent named Bonner visits Newcastle to see if the Yamadas had returned to their farm. While Bonner is questioning 23-year old Louis about the Yamadas, they see a plane fall from the sky. Later, the rescuers find two charred bodies inside the fallen plane. They assume they were Yamada and Kenichi. But, Bonner is doubtful and continues his investigation. The ensuing investigations bring about ugly truths about the Thorns and Yamadas. But more importantly, Eagle & Crane shines a light on not-so-distant ugly past of the American history itself. Eagle & Crane is a rare historical novel that covers an important period of American history. Suzanne Rindell is a gifted storyteller who has weaved a romantic story in a historical novel. It is an extraordinarily mesmerizing novel.

Suzanne Rindell is the author of Three-Martini Lunch (2016) and The Other Typist (2013). The other Typist has been translated into 15 languages and optioned for film by Fox Searchlight Pictures. She recently received her Ph.D. in English literature from Rice University. She divides her time between California and New York City and is currently working on her next novel.

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