Justine by Lawrence Durrell (1957) Set in Alexandria Egypt on the eve of World War II, this is the story of a doomed love affair between a struggling British writer and the Jewish wife of an Egyptian banker. It’s known for its beautifully crafted language, and creative structure and style. It has been praised by both readers and critics. Justine is the first volume of the author’s Alexandria quartet which also includes Balthazar, Mountolive and Clea.
Other People’s Children by Joanna Trollope (1999) Trollope is a popular, best-selling British author with a gift for creating realistic, middle class characters who face recognizable situations. In this story she explores the consequences of divorce and remarriage and the messiness of blended families. Trollope introduces us to two women: Josie whose second marriage includes three stepchildren who are loyal to their mother and hate their father’s second wife; and Elizabeth who is loved by her husband’s son but detested by his daughter.
Our Kind of Traitor by John LeCarré (2010) The author ratchets up the tension step-by-step in this accessible Russian Mafia spy thriller which focuses on the powerful, equivocal position of money launderers in the new world order.
Unfinished Desires by Gail Godwin. (2009) Set in 1951, the story of a traumatic year at Mount Saint Gabriel’s, a Roman Catholic all-girls school in the mountains of North Carolina. A friendship between popular Tildy Stratton and new student Chloe Starnes fills a void for both girls but also sets in motion a chain of events that will profoundly affect the course of many lives, including the girls' young teacher and the school's matriarch, Mother Suzanne Ravenel.