| By Tamara Butler |
October is Global Diversity Awareness Month with a focus on the positive impact that a diverse culture can have on society. A great way to celebrate diversity is to spend time with fascinating characters from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. This month, Thorndike is offering the story of a Black woman questioning what she wants when she unexpectedly finds an abandoned white baby, complicating her successful life (You Were Always Mine: A Novel). Set in nineteenth-century North America, a riveting account of an Indigenous woman tells of her harrowing travels in Canada and Montana. It’s also a compelling story of her marriage to a white fur trader (Crow Mary: A Novel). In Victoria Belim’s memoir (The Rooster House: My Ukrainian Family Story, a Memoir), she sets out to discover her family’s past, which is intricately intertwined with Ukraine’s complex history. There is also a debut novel by an author born and raised in India that was selected as the Good Morning America Book Club pick. It’s a twisty domestic thriller that will leave readers guessing who murdered Ciara, the perfect wife (Dirty Laundry: A Novel).
You Were Always Mine: A Novel by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza
Booklist Starred Review
New York Times Bestselling Authors
The acclaimed authors of the “emotional literary roller coaster” (The Washington Post) and Good Morning America Book Club pick We Are Not Like Them return with this moving and provocative novel about a Black woman who finds an abandoned white baby, sending her on a collision course with her past, her family, and a birth mother who doesn’t want to be found. Cinnamon Haynes has fought hard for a life she never thought was possible—a good man by her side, a steady job as a career counselor at a local community college, and a cozy house in a quaint little beach town. It may not look like much, but it’s more than she ever dreamed of or what her difficult childhood promised. Her life’s mantra is to be good, quiet, grateful. Until something shifts and Cinnamon is suddenly haunted by a terrifying question: “Is this all there is?” Daisy Dunlap has had her own share of problems in her nineteen years on earth—she also has her own big dreams for a life that’s barely begun. Her hopes for her future are threatened when she gets unexpectedly pregnant. Desperate, broke, and alone, she hides this development from everyone close to her and then makes a drastic decision with devastating consequences.
Crow Mary: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
New York Times Bestselling Author
Indie Next Pick
Library Journal Starred Review
A New York Times bestselling author of the book club classics The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything returns with a sweeping historical novel inspired by the real life of Crow Mary—an Indigenous woman in 19th-century North America.
In 1872, sixteen-year-old Goes First, a Crow Native woman, marries Abe Farwell, a white fur trader. He gives her the name Mary, and they set off on the long trip to his trading post in Saskatchewan, Canada. Along the way, she finds a fast friend in a Métis named Jeannie; makes a lifelong enemy in a wolfer named Stiller; and despite learning a dark secret of Farwell’s past, falls in love with her husband. The winter trading season passes peacefully. Then, on the eve of their return to Montana, a group of drunken whiskey traders slaughters forty Nakota—despite Farwell’s efforts to stop them. Mary, hiding from the hail of bullets, sees the murderers, including Stiller, take five Nakota women back to their fort. She begs Farwell to save them, and when he refuses, Mary takes two guns, creeps into the fort, and saves the women from certain death. Thus, she sets off a whirlwind of colliding cultures that brings out the worst and best in the cast of unforgettable characters and pushes the love between Farwell and Crow Mary to the breaking point.
The Rooster House: My Ukrainian Family Story, a Memoir by Victoria Belim
Kirkus Starred Review
A timely and deeply moving memoir of journalist Victoria Belim’s Ukrainian family history, interwoven with the country’s turbulent story. In 2014, the landmarks of Victoria Belim’s personal geography were plunged into tumult at the hands of Russia. Her hometown, Kyiv, was gripped by protests and violence. Crimea, where she’d once been sent to school to avoid radiation from the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, was invaded. Kharkiv, where her grandmother Valentina studied economics and fell in love; Donetsk, where her father once worked; and Mariupol, where she and her mother bought a cherry tree for Valentina’s garden, all became battlegrounds. Victoria, by then a naturalized American citizen then living in Brussels, felt she had to go back. She had to spend time with her aging grandmother and her cousin Dmytro. She had to unravel a family mystery spanning several generations. And she needed to understand how her country’s tragic history of communist revolution, civil war, famine, world war, totalitarianism, and fraught independence had changed the course of their lives.
The Rooster House is a beautifully written memoir of a family, a country’s past, and its dangerous present. It is about parents and children, true believers and victims, gardens and art, secrets, and tragedy. Compulsively readable, deeply moving, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, it is a stunning debut book by an experienced, expressive, and gifted writer.
Dirty Laundry: A Novel by Disha Bose
Good Morning America Book Club Selection
Amazon Editors’ Category Pick
Film/TV Deal with Sony/TriStar
She was the perfect wife, with the perfect life. You would kill to have it. Ciara Dunphy has it all—a loving husband, well-behaved children, and a beautiful home. Her circle of friends in their small Irish village go to her for tips about mothering, style, and influencer success—a picture-perfect life is easy money on Instagram. But behind the filters, the reality is less polished. Enter Mishti Guha: Ciara’s best friend. Ciara welcomed Mishti into her inner circle for being … unlike the other mothers in the group. Discontent in a marriage arranged for her by her parents back in Calcutta, Mishti now raises her young daughter in a country that is too cold, among children who look nothing like her. She wants what Ciara has—the ease with which she moves through the world—and, in that sense, Mishti might be exactly like the other mothers. And there’s earth mother Lauren Doyle: born, bred, and the butt of jokes in their village. With her disheveled partner and children who run naked in the yard, they’re mostly a happy lot, though ostracized for being the singular dysfunction in Ciara’s immaculate world. When Lauren finds an unlikely ally in Mishti, she decides that her days of ridicule are over. Then Ciara is found murdered in her own pristine home, and the house of cards she’d worked so hard to build comes crumbling down. Everyone seems to have something to gain from Ciara’s death, so if they don’t want the blame, it may be the perfect time to air their enemies’ dirty laundry. In this dazzling debut novel, Disha Bose revolutionizes age-old ideas of love and deceit. What ensues is the delicious unspooling of a group of women desperate to preserve themselves.