Shared booklist

BKLYN Bookmatch: For fans of Commencement by Ann Patchett and Millers Valley by a Anna Quindlen

5 items

The poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver. |

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it -- from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

The engagements

J. Courtney Sullivan. |

Mary Frances Gerety's greatest contribution to American romance, not to mention the jewelry industry, was the tagline she wrote for her employer, the N.W. Ayer advertising agency: "A diamond is forever." Under the umbrella of the real-life Frances's career, Sullivan weaves the stories of four couples bound together over decades by one opulent and iconic diamond engagement ring.

House of sand and fog

Andre Dubus III. |

When a former colonel of the Iranian Air Force and his family purchase a small California home at auction, they are faced with a great conflict as the former owner and her police officer boyfriend fight to get it back at any cost.

Charming Billy

Alice McDermott. |

Billy Lynch's family and friends have gathered to comfort his widow, and to pay their respects to one of the last great romantics. As they trade tales of his famous humor, immense charm, and consuming sorrow, a complex portrait emerges of an enigmatic man, a loyal friend, a beloved husband, an incurable alcoholic. Alice McDermott's striking novel is a study of the lies that bind and the weight of familial love, of the way good intentions can be as destructive as the truth they were meant to hide.

A Spool of Blue Thread.

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The changing needs of aging parents impact a family gathering during which Abby Whitshank relates how her husband and she fell in love during the summer of 1959 and shared decades of marriage impacted by children and long-held secrets.