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by Colson Whitehead
(We are featuring this novel again as the author was recently awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Nickel Boys)

Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead returns with a dark, tragic story based on The Dozier School for Boys that actually operated in Florida for nearly 100 years. Told through the eyes of Elwood and Turner, who arrive during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, they learn that this reform school which is tasked with providing "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the students can become "honorable and honest men" couldn't be further from the harsh reality that exists there. Harrowing, yet profound, Whitehead shines his light on a horrifying chapter in American history. Truly a must read as I cannot stop thinking about this powerful book.
-Di Grumhaus
by Mikel Jollett

I was captivated from the start of musician Mikel Jollett's inspiring memoir. Full of raw honesty, he takes us along the difficult journey of his life, starting in Synanon, a cult where his first seven years were spent in orphanage-like conditions, to years of poverty, neglect and addiction, yet always on a search for family and a need to belong. When many would succumb to the cards they were dealt, Jollett continues to question, search, get angry and find a way to keep moving forward, creating his own path and building a new life, while still holding on to the family that helped to make him who he is today.
-Maxwell Gregory

by Louise Fein

Set in the 1930s, we follow the love story of Hetty Heinrich, daughter of a powerful and rising member of the Third Reich, and Walter, Hetty's Jewish childhood friend turned lover. Set against the dark and menacing backdrop of Hitler's rise to power as war looms, their love quickly becomes impossible. However, they are determined to be together despite the risks, and Hetty soon learns they are being watched. As a reader you root for this couple as life in Germany becomes horrifically impossible for Walter and his family and friends. I have read a lot of WWII genre, and this story has really stuck with me.
-Morley Vahey

by Natalie Jenner
(Releases May 26, 2020)

I found myself swept up in this charming novel. Set in a cozy English village in the countryside, post WWII, eight very different characters find a common bond in their favorite author, Jane Austen. Her writings have profoundly effected them all and they join together, overcoming various obstacles along the way to create a memorial to this literary icon. A delightful testament that a book can change your life.
-Maxwell Gregory
by Susan Allott
(Releases May 19, 2020)

This is a story of two next door neighbor couples and one of the women, Mandy, goes missing. Thirty years later, the other husband is questioned as a suspect in her disappearance and presumed murder and their daughter has come home to help uncover the truth. Both families have secrets that are tearing their marriages and lives apart. Issues of violence, abuse and betrayal push one of them to an unspeakable act. All of this takes place during a time when some Aboriginal children in Australia were being forcibly removed from their homes by authorities. These children became known as the Stolen Generation. Mandy's husband, Steve, is one of the men whose job it is to remove these children from their homes, and it takes at toll on all of their lives. The author seamlessly leads the reader along the emotional demise of these two families, alternating between past and present, to tell their stories as their secrets come to light. A great read, I couldn't put it down! Fans of Before We Were Yours will enjoy this book.
-Kirsten Starr
by Emma Straub

Told with humor and heart, Straub takes us on an intimate journey with a family, all of whom are in the process of coming of age in different ways, as they drag the past along with them. When Astrid Strick, the family matriarch, witnesses a freak accident in town, it shakes her up and causes her to question the type of parent she was to her now adult children who are currently struggling with issues in their own lives. Little by little, the cards are turned over, exposing secrets and resentments that can finally be dealt, drawing everyone back into the fold. Well done!
-Maxwell Gregory
by Laura Hankin
(Releases May 19, 2020)

After Claire's band finds overnight fame without her, she reluctantly hires out at as a baby/toddler musician for an affluent "mommy and me" playgroup in NYC. Despite their uppity ways, Claire finds herself drawn to the Moms in the group with their seemingly boundless energy, perfectly dressed children and polished veneer. But as so often is the case, things are not as they seem on the outside and Claire soon learns there are chinks in the armor. Part laugh-out-loud funny, part dark humor, Happy and You Know It is entertaining, twisted and not easy to put down.
-Morley Vahey
by Amy Meyerson

This engaging multi-generational family drama is full of history, secrets and an unexpected inheritance. The Miller family is shocked to discover their frugal grandmother has left them a historic heirloom, the Florentine Diamond, missing since the fall of the Hapsburg Empire. Can they put past issues aside and work together to learn their family history and make their claim on the diamond?
-Maxwell Gregory
Click here for Children's and Young Adult Selections:

One Last Shot by John David Anderson
Grandmas Gardens by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
Tyrannosaurs Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs
The Seed of Compassion by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Lake Forest Book Store
662 N. Western Avenue
Lake Forest IL 60045