In Semple's uniquely-constructed social satire, you'll recognize the targets of Bernadette's ire and applaud her tirades. 15-year-old Bee is a wonderful creation (making me rethink my prejudice against kid narrators!). A smart, hilarious mother-daughter love story that's a real page-turner too.
Code Name Verity is without a doubt the best book I read in 2012. Maybe in any year. Elizabeth Wein is a past master of point of view, and here she surpasses herself as the narrative voice twists and turns on a knife's edge. Weaving an unforgettable friendship through a tale of WWII espionage, she has produced a masterpiece of extraordinary emotional power. Maddie and "Verity" became my friends too; I couldn't look away even to wipe my tears.
For fans of John LeCarre, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or Brideshead Revisited, this is not to be missed.
Therese Anne Fowler
This heartbreaking new novel helps fill the gaps in our understanding of “The First Flapper.” More than just a misunderstood party girl, Zelda Fitzgerald had a unique voice which struggled to be heard in the presence of an overbearing husband and a world with few freedoms for women. Ms. Fowler’s Zelda & Scott are not one-dimensional: the readers may find themselves both rooting for the pair, and wishing Zelda could break free.