Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from February 29–March 4 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday February 29
The Girls in the Garden, by Lisa Jewell
Clare Wild knows that a new flat can’t entirely erase the stress of the past few months, but she is happy to have a place that her daughters, Grace and Pip, can call home. The flat backs up to Virginia Park, a wide expanse of greenery full of roving kids, friendly adults, and neighborly goodwill. It’s the type of place where kids run in and out of each other’s houses, and parents are happy to feed whoever’s at the table. As lovely as things seem on the surface, Virginia Park still has its secrets.
Tuesday March 1
Floodwaters and Flames, by Lois Miner Huey
After enduring 70–90 mph winds for two days, an ice storm the next, and two days of heavy rain, the residents of Dayton, Ohio, became aware of a new threat on March 25, 1913. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the city had been protected by levees, but the rising waters quickly spilled over into the streets, flooding the lower floors of businesses and homes and trapping more than 70,000 residents “in buildings, in trees, and on poles.” That night brought freezing temperatures; the morning, gas explosions and fire.
Wednesday March 2
The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne
Lucy always dreamed of working in publishing, but a merger has turned her dream job into a nightmare. Being forced to share an office is bad enough, but Lucy shares hers with Joshua, an unsmiling workaholic who actively dislikes her. The two spend many of their working hours finding ways to bait and harass each other, and when a new position opens up, they are placed in direct competition—which brings out some feelings that are not exactly competitive.
Thursday March 3
The Apple Tart of Hope, by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
Irish 14-year-olds Oscar and Meg are not just next-door neighbors, they are best friends who share all their dreams and struggles and draw strength from each other. When Meg’s father needs to leave Ireland for a six-month research sabbatical in New Zealand, it’s Oscar who encourages Meg to embrace the opportunity. But her absence leaves Oscar in a dark place where he is bullied and pushed to the breaking point. Oscar’s decision to bike off the local pier into icy waters brings Meg home under circumstances she never could have foreseen.
Friday March 4
Zero K, by Don DeLillo
In DeLillo’s new novel, which, like Point Omega (2010), is austere in setting yet lush in thought and feeling, global financier Ross Lockhart marshals his wealth and power to fight a covert holy war against death. He summons Jeffrey, his brooding son, to join him and his second wife, Artis, an archaeologist afflicted with a debilitating disease, at the Convergence, a secret bunker/catacomb equipped with “faith-based” cryopreservation technology promising a future reawakening.